Pet shops get there rats from rodent mills there often say they get them from breeders this is their way of hiding that it’s an rodent farm but no good breeder will sell rats to an pet shop as they want to keep track of how their rat is doing and pet shops don’t do this.
Please get worried if they aren’t registered with NFRS. Anyone who doesn’t want to at least be on the breeders list normally means they are trying to hide things. Also worry if they keep the date of birth of they litters quite, breed hairless (which are banned from showing by NFRS due to heath issues and I also know of no good breeder that breeds them), Hide how they keep there rats, don’t make it clear if they cull or not. Anyone selling kittens before 6 weeks is an really worry. Most good rat breeders I know wait till about 7 weeks. Each litter is different and you have to see how they are doing I once homed an litter at 9 weeks because there were an few runts in the litter and I didn’t think they had grown enough. NFRS recommend minimum of 6 weeks before being rehomed. Just because an rat is weaned does not mean it’s ready. An rat breeder should have enough spare cages that they can spilit the boys and girls when they get to about 4 and half weeks. From that time it is possible for them to breed. Check which food the rat breeder feeds and the bedding they use. No good rat breeder feeds nuggets uses saw dust or keeps they adults in tanks. Also anyone willing to home out single rats doesn’t understand how an rat should be kept.
Most good rat breeders will have another job as you can’t make a living being an hobby breeder. Anyone breeding more than one type of animal is also an worry.
If an breeder doesn’t question you about how your going to keep the rats or doesn’t want to be kept up to date on how they are doing I would worry about this as well.
People also get confused about a few things thinking anyone who keeps there rats in an shed or out house does not care about their rats or in hutches. These are in fact some of the best breeders I know. It’s an great idea to do this as it makes quarantining of animals easier with separate air space.
It’s important to question the breeder yourself and find out about them also see what they ask of you on any application forms.
If I don’t have any kittens available I will always be able to recommend an good breeder to you.