Fancy rats are domestic brown rats and are the most common type of pet rats. They are highly social and gain enjoyment and stimulation from each other’s company. Their wild counterpart – the brown rat – lives in large groups and even though fancy rats are domesticated, they should always be kept in pairs or groups, as they are not solitary animals.  

Rats don't have the longest lifespan, only living for up to around 2 years, so we try and introduce new rats to our old ones on a regular basis, to ensure a rat doesn't suddenly end up on it's own. Whenever we have any extra space for a small animal, including our rats, we rehome from small animal rescue centres or directly from people who can no longer look after their pets. 

Rats that live in groups will have fun chasing each other around their enclosure, wrestle over food, play tug of Twar with ropes and toys, sleep together in a heap and groom each other. 

Rats become active as it gets darker, so when you’re visiting the farm during the day you will most likely visit a heap of snuggle-y, sleepy rats.

Keeping rats in a social group is a great way of environmental enrichment. However rats are also incredibly intelligent. Keeping them active and interested in their environment is very important, which is why ours are given a large variety of climbing structures that they can play on and keep active with.

We try and redecorate the rat enclosure on a regular basis to keep the environment interesting for them and we give them treats such as berries and slices of apples scattered around their cage so they have to search for their food and keep active.

Compared to their wild counterpart (the brown rat) the fancy rat comes in a variety of colours, from all white over multi-coloured all the way to blue and is incredibly social and interactive with people, making for a wonderful pet for children!

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Chinchillas are native to South America and the only wild colonies of chinchillas that still exist are found in Chile. 

Chinchillas have incredibly dense, soft fur and became rather rare in the 19th century due to over hunting. These days most of the chinchilla fur used in the fashion industry comes from farm raised animals. Their fur is only one of the many things that makes them difficult pets. 

Chinchillas are mostly nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day, so are not suitable pets for children. They can live up to 15 years, making owning a chinchilla a much longer term commitment than a rat or a guinea pig. They cannot be kept by themselves, as they are naturally social. They require a spacious enclosure and ideally a lot of time out of their cage, to run around and interact with people and each other. And the aforementioned fur is kept clean, by offering your chinchilla daily dust baths in specialised chinchilla sand, which needs to be replaced at least once a week. 

However, if you are up for the challenge, they are delightful pets! 

Did you know that you can support the farm by adopting our animals? Why not adopt the chinchillas

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Go back and read about our other animals