In Australia our ratteries are pretty scattered out. Particularly for those rat lovers who live in rural areas it can be difficult to find rat breeders nearby. Fortunately freighting ratsis a good option for people fitting this description - but sometimes the freighting process is a little unclear.
Please note that this article is only a brief outline of how the freighting process works. To get exact pricing details or to find out if your nearest airport will accept live animals, give Australian Air Express a call. AAE is the airline most people use to freight rats.
Rat Freight Prices
The minimum charge for freighting rats within Australia (to the best of my knowledge) is $60-$65AUD. This price will increase if the container is larger than their minimum size, if the weight is over 1kg, if the trip is an unusually long flight or if it requires connecting flights. I've heard that the minimum container size is 30cm x 15cm x 15cm. For the best details on how much your particular rat flight will cost, contact AAE.
Sending Rats for Freight
When sending your rats for freight it's always a good idea to call up AAEand book first. This will ensure that your particular airport will take live animals, and that the particular flight has enough room for your rats. Obviously you will need to make sure that the receiver will be available to pick up their rats when they arrive.
Preparing Rats for Freight
There are a couple of guidelines I always use when sending my rats for freight.
- Rats are always freighted in pairs of 2 or more.This ensures that the rats have eachother for companionship and reduces their stress levels.
- The rats aren't sneezing, rattling or are showing any symptoms of sickness.Not only is this common courtesy for the receiver, but battling an illness on top of freight is unneeded stress for the rats.
- The rats are not pregnant or nursing.Again, this is unneeded stress for the rats.
Making a Rat Freighting Container
Having a secure container is important for both getting passed at the airport, and making sure that your animals are safe during their flight. Unfortunately AAE has failed to supply clear guidelines as to what an acceptable container should be like... So below is what I have successfully passed at the Brisbane Airport. Your airport may be more or less strict, so while I am confident that this will pass for you, I can't guarantee it. I think that it largely depends on the actual person who takes your container through.
I usually bring a printed out version of AAE's rodent container requirements. I'll circle each part that is applicable with my container design, and if the person at the other end is unsure, I hand it to them.
You will need:
- A rigid plastic container. I've gotten away with normal storage tubs. I've also used plastic fish tanks before but be wary, the lid is a little bendy.
- A soldering iron. You can get these from bunnings or most craft stores.
- A hot glue gun. You can get these from bunnings or most craft stores. I've tried other heavy duty glues but found they didn't work as well and had a bad smell.
- Rat/mouse mesh. You can get a big roll from bunnings, or ask your other rat friends if they have some left over.
- Masking Tape
Step 1: Put air holes in the sides of the container.
AAE requires that all sides of the tubs have air holes (excluding lid & bottom). I also put smaller holes in the lid and sides to secure zip-ties in place. I usually draw where I'll put the holes first:
Then using the soldering iron (outside, making sure you don't breath in the steam) I'll put the holes in place.
Step 2: Cut out wire to go over the air holes.
AAE requires that all air hole openings have mesh over the top of them. First I cut out some newspaper that corresponds with how big I want my wire pieces to be.
Then I cut out each piece of the wire:
Step 3: Glue the wire to the plastic.
I use my glue gun to generously glue around the edges. This stuff only takes about 30 seconds to dry, so I'll hold sections in place if need be (sometimes the wire is bendy).
Step 4: Set up the container to send.
On the day I send the container, I'll fill it up with shredded paper to keep the ratties content. Don't use heavy litter as it will increase the cost to freight. To substitute water I make small foil bowls and fill them with apples, so the moisture goes to the bottom (if ratty doesn't eat the apples first):
Put your ratties in:
Step 5: Finishing Touches
I'll zip tie on the lid.
And religiously use masking tape. I cover up all the wire edges and make sure it's definitely on there.
Now lets hope the person at the other end can pull this thing apart. (:
Generally rats take the trip very well with little stress involved if these procedures are all kept in mind.
Receiving Rats From the Airport
Picking up your rats is generally simple - you just have to turn up at the right time and take the container home! If you aren't sure where to go, you can ask the airport staff or give them a call beforehand. Usually the rats will be grateful to get out of their container so let them out for a play as soon as possible and give them some water.
List of Australian Ratteries Who Freight
Are you interested in getting some rats freighted to you? Not all rat breeders will freight because they may live far away from an airport or aren't up for the struggle. I've compiled a list of Australian ratteries who will freight. We also have a list of rat breeders on our links pageto view.
- The 28th Rat- Brisbane QLD
- MPJS Rattery - Canberra, ACT
- Amethyst Rattery- Queanbeyan, ACT
- The Mad Ratter- Melbourne, VIC
- Mushroom Rattery- Port Stephens, NSW
- Silver Frost Rodentry- Brisbane, QLD
Are you a rattery who is willing to freight? Please send in your link!
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