Welcome to the Wild Wonderful World of African Soft Furs.
*********BETWEEN FEEDING HATCHLINGS AND INCREDIBLE SALES I HAVE TO SUSPEND ASF sales until my inventory gets back where it needs to be***
Are ASFs the miracle feeders I hear they are? Yes, they absolutely are. African Soft Furs are the natural food source for Ball Pythons in Africa and accordingly are considered miraculous in cases where Balls, or even other snakes, just don't want to eat. ASFs have 2x the Protein and half the fat of traditional rats and will never outgrow your snake like regular rats do.
SICK OF PAYING PET STORE PRICES FOR YOUR FEEDERS? Sick of never being able to get the right size? We have a fix for that. I offer Breeding Colonies so that you can never have to ever pay for feeders again. There's much to see here. So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about us. We hope you enjoy our site and take a moment to drop us a line.
CHECK OUT 20 QUESTIONS OF ASFs BELOW!!!
A little not so brief introduction to African Soft Furs.
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NEVER PAY PET STORE PRICES AGAIN!!!
3 Females & 1 Male
4 Females & 1 Male
6 Females & 1 Male
Larger female populations produce larger litter sizes in the same footprint.
African Soft Fur (ASF) Care / Breeding Guide
Common Name: African Soft Fur or Multimammate / Scientific Name: Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis
Diet (High Protein): Midwest Sweet Feed / Black oil Sunflower Seeds / Chicken Scratch / Catfish Pellets. When pregnant / nursing increase protein (Kale, Chicken, Eggs)
Temps: 70 to 90 degrees with 80 being the suggested temperature for breeding.
Lifespan: About 2 years for females, about 3 years for males
Average Weight: 1 week old - 7g / 1 mo (weanling) - 20g / 2 mos (adult) – 40-50g
1 year old (retired breeder) – 130-140g
African Soft Furs or ASFs as they are known, have their own classification and are truly neither mice, nor rats, but are commonly referred to as rats for conversation purposes. They are also referred to as "multimammate" for their extraordinary number of teats (most have 8 to 12 pair instead of the usual 5 or 6 found in other rodents).
KEY BENEFITS INCLUDE:
- They are the natural food source for Ball Pythons in Africa and accordingly will get just about any Ball Python on a feeding strike eating again (with Poor Habitat, Shedding or Breeding being the most common exceptions).
- They are very extremely nutritiously dense with twice the protein and half the fat of a fancy, or Norwegian, rat.
- Unlike their Norwegian counterparts that grow very large, very quickly, they will also never outgrow the size of your Ball Python so you’ll never waste the life of an animal or the money that goes with that.
TEMPERAMENT / SOCIAL STRUCTURE: They may bite in defense of their young in a breeding tank or a perceived threat to the colony. Over time some may become socialized as pets but it does take consistent work. If keeping as pets its highly suggested to keep more than one as they are very social animals and will not thrive alone at all.
HOUSING: Tubs in a rack or glass tanks are appropriate housing. Care must be given that any mesh lid is made from chew proof material (metal) and no bigger than 1/4" spacing. Clamps or other securing device should be used on glass tanks to avoid escape. Tubs must be smooth inside to avoid chewing out.
BEDDING (SUBSTRATE): They are very easy to raise with little to no odor with the right substrate (bedding). Recommended bedding: PDZ / Pine Pellets / “Kiln Dried (ITS CRITICAL THAT ITS KILN DRIED) Pine Flakes.
ENRICHMENT: Hides, Exercise Wheels, Chew "Toys" will keep them happy and busy enough that they do not try to chew out of an enclosure. This is important when housing them in plastic tubs in a rack system. Empty paper towel tubes make excellent chew "toys" and hides. PVC pipe can be a good addition and allows them a place to hide. Another great “hack” is a metal muffin tin. You can use the top to feed and they love to burrow beneath to hide.
CLEANING: Although ASF's have very little natural odor you still need to clean their enclosures regularly. Usually, every couple of weeks but depends on the number of ASFs and the size of the enclosure. Many colonies will establish a toileting corner and deposit most of their urine there.
FOOD & WATER:
Food: Midwest Sweet Feed / Black oil Sunflower Seeds / Chicken Scratch / Catfish Pellets. When pregnant / nursing increase protein (Kale, Chicken, Eggs). Mazrui 6F or other quality rat lab block also works well. They also enjoy a variety of fresh vegetables, in moderation.
Water: Water bottles should either be glass or have a metal chew guard on it.
HANDLING: Lift them by the base of tail either using your fingers or padded feeding tongs. Note of caution: Even young ASF's can flip around, climb their own tails and inflict a strong nip. Do not transport in your hands as they can very suddenly jump and will fall to the floor.
SEXING: Sexing can be conducted by a visual inspection depending on the age but another scientific food proof method is to examine the ports under the tail. Ports far apart are Male and Ports close together are Female.
BREEDING: Establish your breeding group at the weanling (20 – 30g), or young adult stage (40-60g) so they can become accustomed to each other. This will tend to lessen any fighting. Breeding groups can be as small as 1.1 or larger depending on the enclosure size. Most breeders use a 1M:3F or a 1M:4F ratio. Gestation is approximately 21 to 26 days with an average litter size of 10 or more. The male will re-breed the female very shortly after she delivers a litter. This does not seem to affect the health of the female.
All females in the colony will nurse the young regardless of age. ASFs are weaned by 4 weeks of age and when their eyes are fully open and they are eating and drinking independently. They can be weaned slightly earlier, but only if necessary, to provide maternal care for newer litters.
It is rare for an existing breeding colony to accept a new adult member without severe fighting which can lead to the death of the newcomer. Removing a breeding male, even for just a day, then reintroducing him to the colony can cause this level of fighting.
USE AS FEEDERS: As with any live prey animal, monitor the feeding until the snake has full control and constriction of the prey. They can also be fed pre-killed or frozen/thawed. Co2 is commonly accepted as the most humane and safe manner of euthanizing for later use.