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Following on from these two threads:

http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=18478

http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=62908

 

I said I would explain to people what a rat show is and how it all works. Firstly there are rat clubs worldwide. The biggest one in the UK is the National Fancy Rat Society (http://www.nfrs.org) plus we have about 10 smaller ones spread across the country. In the US the main club is the American fancy rat & mouse association (http://www.afrma.org/)

 

Shows are a big part of breeding here in the UK regardless of animals. We have attended large shows where dogs, cats, mice, rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Gerbils, Hamsters, lizards, snakes, spiders and even Fish have been exhibited. There is no prize money in the rat fancy (the is in most of the others). Most people will get a prize card and rosette if their rat won the class it was entered in

 

In the rat fancy we have varieties (in dogs they have breeds) which for most have a standard which the judges have to follow. This will be based on the colour and markings of the rat. We also have to take in to account if it's a baby rat (kitten) or adult and the sex to decide if it has good type (this looks at head/eye/ear shape & position, tail length, body condition and shape). You do have to train to become a judge which takes about 2 years in the rat fancy (I believe it's up to 10 years for dogs)

 

Anyway some pictures to show you the set ups

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The rats are placed in tanks so the judge doesn't know who owns the rat

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Stewards bring the rats to the table in a number order (which is written on the tank to represent the class the rat has been entered in). The scribe will write down the judges comments which go back to the owner at the end of the show

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Pet section being judged

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Rats in the tanks

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Reading the standards

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People who attend get a chance to catch up

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People can shop for toys for their rats and other small pets

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People who have never held a rat are given the opportunity to do so

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Rosettes for the winners

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We run a Curiosity table - the rat that touches the most items in 1 min is the winner

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Agility - rats are very good at courses like this

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Lots of information available on keeping rats as pets (this is my job)

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One of the big shows which includes Rabbits, Hamsters, Mice & Guinea pigs (London Championships)

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General show hall set up

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Rat shows--why not? Many people keep rats as pets.

 

I was unaware that baby rats are referred to as "kittens."

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Who knew! After thinking about it, this is not as strange as when I first heard of it. I had hamsters as a kid and a friend had a rat. I would breed them occasionally so the next step would be to show them.

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