Welcome To Calico Rattery & Exotics

We are a small rattery based near Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa. We strive to always do the best we can for our rats and community.

We have been breeding since 2018, with our first litter being born February 2018. We currently focus on a few varieties detailed in Our Lines

We breed for ourselves and the betterment of the species first and foremost. For this reason, we very rarely have rats available for adoption. When we do choose to adopt out, it is done with great scrutiny. Please see our adoption process here.

Calico Rattery is proud to be a co-founder of the United Rodent Community and we work closely with other breeders both in and outside of South Africa.

Our Story

Calico Rattery and Exotics has a long history going back to 2014, when I received a call from a friend saying their sister wanted to dump their rats in a field, because she got baby bunnies. I had never owned rats before, but I jumped at the chance to help an animal. I picked up these 2 boys who were housed in a tiny hamster cage, barely bigger than themselves. I named my 2 sweethearts Albion and Melandil (Mela- love, -ndil- Friend). Unfortunately, I was a bit of a dummy and myself didn’t do adequate research. I housed them in, what I thought at the time, was a veritable mansion. It was a triple story hamster cage with tons and tons of tubes. Granted they didn’t really live in there. They were absolute escape artists and spent majority of the time running around my bedroom and sleeping on the windowsill. My sweet boys lived to about 1.5 and 2.5 years old. 

About a year after my last boy passed away, I felt the need to get small animals again. I got 2 Syrian hamsters and they were housed in large bin cages. The doe had a litter and as I stared at the babies I realised how fascinating genetics were. Sadly, both my hamsters were taken away from me too soon due to terrible pet shop genetics. I repurposed their bin cages to be one large triple story adventure, and got 2 gorgeous rat does, Luna and Calypso, from Emsie, a reputable individual. 

As I continued to explore the world of genetics, and joined tons of overseas rat groups, I realised I wanted to begin breeding rats. I reached out to the leader of a certain breeding union, and was directed to Emsie from SAFRA. She welcomed me with open arms and so began my journey into rat breeding. Emsie and Lyndsay from Luna Moon Rattery were kind enough to provide me with breeding rats. At the same time, I obtained a stunning Russian Silver Buck. I asked Emsie for breeding rights to the does I had gotten from her and was granted them. And so I began my journey into rat breeding with my first pairing of Arceus and Luna.

Fast forward to where we are now, and I have joined SARBU, left due to politics, and alongside Imagine Rattery, we created our own community, URCSA- United Rodent Community of South Africa. We have now renamed URCSA to URC- United Rodent Community. A year in and we have already branched out to the USA, thanks to Ashley Bradley of Ritten in Stardust Rattery, Europe, thanks to Nanna Anderson of Igloo Rats, Canada, thanks to Riley “Kat” Dagley of West Coast Rattery and Australia, thanks to Jessica Ryan of Jessica’s Furbabies

Calico Rattery and Exotics has changed it’s name through the years. From starting out at Calico Rattery, to becoming Calico Rodentry, to finally settling on Calico Rattery and Exotics. We currently breed rats, dubia roaches, mealworms and superworms. We will soon begin breeding hamsters and hopefully in the future move forward to chinchillas, ferrets, bunnies, mice (again) and ASF (again).

A Bit About The Face Behind The Name

Hello there! I am Nova, the owner of Calico Rattery and Exotics. I am currently 23 years old and live near Stellenbosch.

I have moved around a ton since starting my rattery. I originally started when I lived in Stellenbosch. A year after starting the rattery, I moved to Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. We drove the whole way with all the animals.

6 Months later I moved back to the Western Cape, except this time to Paarl to live with my partner. Again we did the drive with all the animals and it was a lot easier knowing what to expect. In December 2020 we finally moved to our new home near Stellenbosch, on a farm.

Outside of the rattery my hobbies include drawing, painting, gaming, reading and watching movies. Anyone who knows me knows that I am always there to be a shoulder to lean on or an ear to speak to.

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