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Scots couple left shocked as 'chunky' pet rat gives birth to 13 pups just days after they bought her

By Ruaraidh Gilmour

A Scots couple were shocked after buying two baby rats from a pet shop but waking up to find 15 in the cage three days later.

Megan Corrigan and her girlfriend Daisy Crawford bought the two £12.50 female rats from Pets at Home in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, on Saturday, May 7.

The couple decided to name the pair Dolly and Janis and were drawn to one because she was "chunky".

Unbeknown to them, or anyone at the store, Dolly was actually carrying pups.

Megan and Daisy couldn't believe their eyes when they woke up on Tuesday morning to find the rodents in their cage as usual but surrounded by baby rats.

Daisy (left) with partner Megan (Deadline News)

Dolly was still in the middle of giving birth to some of her offspring when the Scots pair walked in.

She went on to deliver 13 pups but ended up eating three of them.

This is common for rats that breed for the first time as they can panic seeing their babies and confuse them as foreign bodies.

The couple from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire were delighted that in the end they managed to get 12 rats instead of two and plan to keep them all together.

Megan posted about the incident on Twitter last night, writing: "Me and my Mrs got two baby rats at the weekend from pets at home.

"We woke up this morning to 13 other baby rats.

"Feel like we've won the lottery."

Adult female rats produce an average of 40 babies per year.

They can breed throughout the year in favourable conditions and are able to conceive within 48 hours of giving birth.

Megan said: "Me and my partner bought two baby rats on Saturday, Dolly and Janis.

"We picked Dolly because she was a bit chunkier than others but then we woke up on Tuesday and found Dolly giving birth.

"In total she birthed 13 rats but she ate three of them due to health complications.

"Me and my partner were completely in awe.

The surviving rat pups (Deadline News)

"We are hopefully going to raise them together as a family.

"I feel like animals but especially rats don't get the chance to grow up in a family.

"Mama Dolly is keeping well.

"I've had to put Janis into another cage right now for a few weeks just for safety precautions.

"What has probably happened is that Dolly became pregnant from another rat in her litter.

"Luckily when I rang pets at home they gave me a free cage and offered to take the babies but me and my partner insisted on keeping them."

Rats begin breeding as soon as five weeks of age and continue until about age two.

Females are fertile approximately every three weeks and during this time they have been known to mate up to 500 times in six hours.

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Dive Deeper:
Stunned Lanarkshire couple's pet rat gives birth to 13 pups just days after they brought her into their home
Megan Corrigan and Daisy Crawford took home two female rats and were drawn to one because she was 'chunky'
Young mum goes into early labour after seeing giant rat emerge from brand new sofa
Tori Wedgewood, 25, from Spennymoor, County Durham, gave birth to her first child baby Jude after the shock of seeing…
VIDEO: Little Nippers: Jaws-Dropping Record Baby Shark Litter Born In Spain
These 15 little baby sharks born at L'Oceanografic aquarium in Valencia, Spain, are still barely the size of a human…
Scammers are trawling lost dog posts on Facebook to blackmail distraught owners
"It's a money roller"
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Cruel scammer posing as dog thief to blackmail devastated owners out of cash
Dog Lost, which unites dogs and their owners say cruel scammers and conmen are posing as dognappers targeting unsuspecting dog…
Dog breeder Kerrie Fitzpatrick denies keeping 300 of the animals on rural property
A woman charged with animal cruelty offences tells the Adelaide Magistrates Court she was not in charge of caring for…
Get all your news in one place