Our Story

We have a long and successful history of breeding – now that time, home and family allow, it’s time to start our new venture.

Clare and Louis Varley met in 2009. Varley Rattery was already established from Ansbrook lines – I bought my first 2 rats from Louis. One of these, Varley Tank, was mated with Berrywoods Rosie, producing a litter of unusually marked rats with exceptionally friendly and docile temperaments.

Varley Tank

I handled the babies from birth and they thrived on human comfort and contact – many from these 2 litters went to families and made excellent pets for children. Louis and I became a couple, moving in together and forming Ratbags – a fancy rat club and breeding programme. We developed a line of russian blue based rats, who again were of excellent type and temperament, making loving and human orientated pets. Our good friend and fellow rat enthusiast used Berrywoods stock as the base line for Rat Tails rattery – one of whom is the founder of our Great Berry line.

We were very fortunate last year to adopt breeding does from Ansbrook Rattery – the original mentor for Varley Rattery. We, with permission, used a buck from Rat Tails who has made it to 2.5 years with no illness to become a first time father. We now have a breeding line of rats born and kept here – genuine Great Berries. The rattery will be registered with the National Fancy Rat Society this September after a year of membership and some very enjoyable shows and wins at the show bench

Frequently Asked Questions

What goals do you breed for?

We breed for health and temperament – no rats are culled or rejected due to colour or anything else.

Where do you live?

We are based in Langdon Hills, Essex, in an area called “Great Berry”.

Langdon Hills is about 10 minutes from Basildon

25 minutes from Southend-on-Sea.

40 minutes from Chelmsford.

We are only 10 minutes from the M25 Junction 29 (A127) and 20 minutes from the dartford bridge crossing.

Where do your rats live?

We keep our rats in our home, with us, they are family. They have large cages, good food and toys and are handled daily. They have a dedicated extension to our house especially for them.

Do your rats suffer illness?

Our rats are rarely ill and if so, receive prompt veterinary care. Common issues such as tumours are not unheard of in any line of rats.

Do you sell rats for food? ie snake food?

While we understand all animals need to eat, under no circumstances will our rats be sold to provide food for another animal, or to be bred for such purposes. We will meet all potential new owners in person.

What happends if i can no longer care for my Great Berry Rats?

While nobody wants to give up on their much loved pets – real life can take over. If you are ever no longer able to keep your Great Berry babies, they will always have a home here with us.

Can i breed from my rats?

These rats are all from our lines – they are NOT under any circumstances to be used for further breeding.

What help will you offer me?

A rat is for life…. and for the life of the rat we will always be here to offer help, advice and assistance