Self Line

The History of the Line

In early 2008, I brought the first black-eyed siamese rats into this region. I loved the look of the black-eyed siamese, but even more than the siamese, I loved black-eyed himilayans and ivories, but there were no quality sources of non-siamese colorpoint rats anywhere in the area. In mid-2009, I had the opportunity to bring in a himilayan rat from CMMR in Colorado. With this rat (CMMR Glitter), I realized that I could finally work on my "dream rats," and they've been a work in progress ever since.

I will go into more detail about the genetics of this variety in the bottom section of this page; this portion is just about the history of the line.

My first generation was CMMR Glitter. She was a himilayan, whose type was fairly poor, her eyes were red, and her temperament was fair. The first step was to fix her temperament and type type - she was bred to PH Double Trouble, a blue burmese who had awesome type, size, and temperament and came from a very long line of similar rats. The only downside was that he was a berkshire and would bring in some white markings, and the burmese gene...but it was worth it. The litter was much nicer in overall type, and I kept PH Gala, a himilayan dumbo. Her type was very nice and so was her temperament. My only complaint was that she was not black-eyed, but that was expected as I knew Trouble would not have carried the black-eyed gene. Although I'd been working with Trouble's side of the family for several generations, this was the point where this line started to really come together.

Gala was bred to CMMR Icon, a beautiful black-eyed siamese. In the litter, I kept 2 black-eyed himilayan, PH Lovett, one black-eyed siamese, PH Johanna, and one male, a himilayan dumbo, PH Beadle. I'd been hoping for a black-eyed himilayan dumbo, but didn't get one. But the rats I did keep were absolutely stunning and I couldn't have asked for better temperaments.

At some point, I wanted to bring rex into this line. I decided to do it by breeding PH Hoover (who has an awesome rex coat and is a good self) and Lovett, the himilayan from Gala's litter. I knew Hoover did not carry siamese, and expected a litter of black and agouti rats, which was essentially what I got. I kept a pair of black rexes (PH Maybelle and PH Hitch) for the next generation. Maybelle turned out to be exactly what I was after; absolutely stunning with a fabulous temperament. She also carried only albino - not siamese - so she was the next step in my line. Unfortunately Maybelle's brother Hitch did not produce good health in the one litter he sired, so he and his offspring will not be bred.

Lovett's sister Johanna was bred to her brother, Beadle. In this litter I was hoping for a black-eyed himilayan dumbo...and I got one (PH Don Juan)! The temperaments are also fantastic and their type is overall very nice.

Don Juan and Maybelle were bred, and they produced my first Ivory - PH Napoleon. He has fabulous type and the wonderful temperament that this line now consistently produces.

In mid-2012, I realized that I had NO source of rex left in my rattery in my future generations. Hitch had been stricken from the gene pool - my only other option was to attempt to breed Maybelle once more. She was almost 16 months old, but was in great shape for her age, so I decided to give it a shot. I debated about who to breed her to - but in the end, I decided to use her son Napoleon. I hoped it would magnify the great temperament and type in this line, and would also give me some rexes, and hopefully some more ivories. In her litter, there were two ivories - one rex (PH Jabberwocky), and one dumbo (PH Alice). They are now growing up to be exactly what I was hoping for - stunning rats with perfect temperaments.

I also kept one black self from the litter (PH Tweedledee). I feel it's important to maintain some blacks in the line, to ensure that the colors and markings are consistent, since ivory rats' markings and color are not visible - genetically they are black-eyed albinos so appear pure white, but they could be another color that is being masked by the albino.

This page is up to date as of 9/6/12. I am absolutely thrilled with how far they've come. I couldn't ask for nicer temperaments or type. I would like to improve on size - they are not huge rats - but that is just a minor issue to me. I plan to keep reproducing and fine tuning these stunning rats. They are my pride and joy, and have come a long way in a relatively short period of time. But I've had a clear vision of where I wanted to go with them from the beginning - and I've kept focused on that vision through the generations, which has really paid off.

Genetics, Pictures, and Color Development

Main focus on this line will be ivory - I am slowly breeding away from the current colors of black-eyed himilayan and siamese. Black self will be bred as a complement to the ivory; it will ensure that the color and markings remain consistent.

Examples of Black-Eyed Siamese, Black-Eyed Himilayan, and Ivory

PH Lovett - Black-Eyed Himilayan

PH Johanna - Black-Eyed Siamese

PH Boogie - Ivory Dumbo

These three colors also come in a red-eyed variety. Although I am breeding for the black-eyed gene, red-eyed rats will be fairly common.

  • An Ivory rat is white with black eyes; it's essentialy an albino rat with the black-eyed gene.
  • Himilayans are born pure white and develop their points at about 8-12 weeks of age. Their shading is not as extensive as a siamese; their bodies remain white, with points on the nose, feet, and tail.
  • Siamese rats have two copies of the colorpoint gene. When young, they are primarily beige-colored with some darker shading in the back half of their body. At 6-8 weeks, they start to develop their adult points. They are beige-colored with dark sepia shading on the nose, feet, and tail. Rats with the darkest points and heaviest shading are most desirable. A poor siamese may resemble a himilayan, but the difference can be seen in their baby coats; when young, himilayans are pure white, and siamese are beige.

    Seal Point Siamese Point Development

    In these pictures, you can see the development of a siamese rat's points. As a baby (top left), the body color is beige with some brown shading. The second photo (top right) was taken at about 7 weeks of age; her points are developing on the nose, and her baby coat is being shed out. You can see the "cap" of darker beige color on her head; this is the last of her baby coat. It is usually shed out in a pattern that resembles a hood and then shrinks to just a cap before disappearing completely. The third photo was taken at about 3 months of age; her points are darker and they will continue to deepen and grow as she reaches adulthood.

    This color change is the same for both black-eyed and red-eyed siamese. The only difference between the two is their eye color.

    Seal Point Himilayan Point Development

    Himilayan point development is not as extreme as siamese. As infants (top left - PH Lovett, Black-Eyed Himilayan), these rats are pure white with either black or red eyes. At about 6-8 weeks old, their points will start coming in (top right, PH Lovett at 6 weeks). This timing can vary between individual rats. First there will be a very subtle nose point, then it will get darker and the points on the tail and feet will come in. The rest of the body will remain white (bottom left - PH Beadle, himilayan at 8 months, bottom right, PH Lovett at 4 months).

    This color change is the same for both black-eyed and red-eyed himilayans. The only difference between the two is their eye color.

    Since himilayans are born pure white, they are impossible to distintuish from albino or ivory rats until they are at least 8 weeks old. In some litters, this may not be an issue, as albino/ivory rats will not be genetically possible. But if there is a possbility of albino/ivory rats, it may be necessary to adopt them out at an older age (8-10 weeks), once their colors can be determined. Once I have successfully bred out the colorpoint gene, this step will no longer be necessary.