Terrible night with feeders. Graphic info

Went out to take care of feeders to discover a flood that killed off several rodents. Even worse the grow out tub had a massacre in it. A total of 8 rats were bumped off and consumed, and another half dozen were acting… off, wobbly stance lethargic. Needless to say the entire grow out is being culled and disposed of. Anyone ever see anything like this behavior?


Because that sounds so fishy I would have an exotics vet do a necropsy on one if the culled rats that was showing the symptoms you describe. You will want to know how to sterilize your facilities properly.


If there was an issue with the water line causing a flood in some tubs and leaving others without water, the wobbly lethargic stanced ones are hopefully just suffering dehydration. Rodents can dehydrate very quickly when they’re crowded. They’ll eat the weak or dead to try and replenish the hydration.

As @mblaney said though, it does sound pretty fishy so deffinetly consider testing of some sort. Just to make sure you’re not harboring something possibly transmissible


Lucky I never had that kick bad luck. Flood, yes, missing babies yes, but not at same time and no disorders. I feel your loss and know how bad the cleanup is.
Flood can happen by them being able to reach the hose and chew on it clogged or bad ends. Keep the hose out of reach and any ends that just drip slightly, replace.


I agree with @armiyana I know it seems real quick (I am sure you check on them very often) but I had a rat chew through a water tube, giving them no water and probably 32-48 hours at most- they did the same, massacred most in the cage and even looked mangy, stringy and wobbly. I think because when a good amount of rats are together they produce a lot of body heat and with their fast metabolism I think it really speeds up dehydration. Sorry for the blow to your stock, I know how hard it is to replace good feeder animals! Wishing a quick recovery your way-


I do believe I’ve found the culprit, the leaks were due to nozzles being reattached in the wrong location and got knocked/pushed against when tubs were cleaned. The massacre I do believe was dehydration induced. When I inspected the water system, the quick disconnect had become dirty and debris were impeding water flow.

I’ll be verifying the flow is good before using the grow out again.


I’m glad it looks like it was an easy find and fix.

It’s one of those things that can still just creep up on anyone. Heck after making my post when I was down by my feeder rack I went, “oh shoot…” And double checked the water because of it. I tend to check in on it regularly, but it never hurts to be too cautious. All good.

Though I did have an issue with a male in my rack that looked like a mess too. I think mine had some genital urinary issue. 1) I was already suspicious because I hadn’t had a single litter from him. 2) I came home and the tub bedding splattered in red.
I honestly just felt bad for him even though he was acting normal and cuddly. Gave him a day to see what was up, but when more red showed up, I decided it was better to cull than try to wait and see or treat if it was cancer.

I do hope your next set of growouts goes better for you! May the young rodents be plump and feisty.


That makes sense, the neuro signs you described are consistent with dehydration (edit: in mammals), especially seen following the provision of freely available water after the dehydration.