Local Science News

Deya resorts to rearing rats in Kasese

BY ALEX BALUKU

In many parts of Africa, rats are considered as pests but Yusuf Deya and his young brother Uziah Deya, all residents of Kalamya village, Kahokya sub-county in Kasese District have decided to invest in rats rearing to raise school fees for their school going children.

The business men took this reporter through how together came up with a business plan to rear rats after conducting a feasibility study about the project.

In 2021, Yusuf Deya started with one pair of white rats with one female and one male which have reproduced and increased in number making a total of 200 laboratory rats.

Grabbing the opportunity, Uziah Deya a young brother to Yusuf, also started with two rats, one male and two female, which he bought from his brother each at 25000 and as of now, the rats have increased to more than 200 in a period of less than a year.

Uziah Deya, a farmer in Kalamia Village in Kahokya Parish, Kahokya Sub County in Kasese District is also venturing in rats rearing.PHOTO BY ALEX BALUKU

Laboratory rats (White rats) are used in schools during class practical lessons and they have made invaluable contributions to cardiovascular medicine, neural regeneration, wound healing, diabetes, transplantation, behavioral studies and space motion sickness research. Rats have also been widely used to test drug efficacy and safety.

Now, the two brothers who have decided to venture into the rat rearing business are optimistic that in the near future, they would be billionaires once the business picks momentum.

According to the duo, the type of rats that they are rearing, eat and drink all the time and because of their feeding habits, they require consistent supervision.

“White rats have a special kind of food called pellets” however, according to Deya, this type of food is expensive especially if one has a big number of rats so they feed their rats on chicken mash.

White rats getting out of their cages to find food.PHOTO BY ALEX BALUKU

He also told this reporter that white rats gives birth every after six weeks when they are well fed and at birth one rat gives birth to 08 to 12 pups. He adds that four females are placed with one male in one cage and two males in a cage bring about fighting among themselves, which is a bad vice.

Deya added that, once a female rat is pregnant, it needs to be managed by moving it to a different cage because when left among other rats, the pups might end up being eaten.

Mother rat-File Photo

Market

According to the two brothers, finding the market for their business is what they have experienced as the biggest challenge ever since they have been in the rat rearing business. Deya is now seeking to meet Hon. Dr. Chrispus Kiyonga the former Minister of Defense who is believed to have tested the fruits in rearing pets to borrow a leaf from him.

Gestation

Speaking to rwenzoridaily.com, Jeremiah Masereka, a biology teacher at Karambi Secondary School in Karambi Sub County of Kasese District, he said that rats have a short gestation period which is between 21 and 23 days and because of that, cages are most likely to get crowded in a short time. He adds that rats reach their sexual maturity at around 8-10 weeks of age for females and 10-12 weeks of age for males and that they are in heat (females) every 4 – 5 days and can be in heat again within 48 hours of giving birth.

Masereka reminded farmers dealing in rats rearing, that when rearing these pets for practical lessons, one needs to keep in mind the recommended standard size by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).

“The recommended size is nine to 11 inches long with a tail that is seven to nine inches long” While asked why, Masereka said that at that stage the internal organs of a rat are well developed.

This is the recommended standard size, with a long tail. PHOTO BY ALEX BALUKU

Diseases
Masereka also said that these rats are affected by a number of diseases and the infections noticed are wheezing, coughing, and open-mouthed breathing. He added that mycoplasma, a respiratory disease is one of those farmers need to take note of and that when one realizes that the rats are not feeding as expected, it is a clear sign that they are suffering from anorexia.

According to scientists, when a white rat is pregnant, one is advised to immunize it and its pups soon after birth.

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1 comment

Mbusa Stephen August 25, 2022 at 6:44 am

How does Deya feed the rats

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