- "Few have seen them and recognized them for what they are. Perhaps they are the key to the destruction of the Skaven, for without females, how would they propagate? Nevertheless, Skaven females do exist, cloistered away and used as necessary by those males who have earned the right to breed. Broods of ratlings are born within the Skaven nurseries, and their mothers are rarely without child for more than a month."
- —Steffan Paulus Adelhof, Scholar of Wolfenburg[1a]
Rat Mothers, sometimes called Breeders, are the only known type of female Skaven, a creature birthed only to be a bloated baby making factory. Each weights at least 700 pounds and measures 10 feet long from snout to tail. Their flabby soft bodies bristle with dozens of protrusions, all of which leak the foul-smelling milk on which their litters are weaned. Partly crippled by their role, these creatures cannot care for themselves and must rely on castrated slaves for survival. They spend most of their time in a euphoric haze brought on by an application of hallucinogens and other drugs.[1b]
When adequately fed and attended, the Rat Mother births a litter of 1-10 squalling 'ratlings' each week, these creatures reaching maturity in 2-3 weeks.[1b]
- "There are no Skaven females, Just Skaven broodmothers."
- —Skreelin Thurntik, Grey Seer[1a]
It is a common misconception that all Skaven are male. The specifics of where they come from are widely debated amongst scholars who show an interest in the species, and include many ludicrous theories as to the origin of the Ratmen. One such postulation is that the Skaven are born directly from Chaos, while another claims they are merely ordinary rats that are mutated by constant exposure to Warpstone. The truth of the matter is that there are, indeed, female Skaven, locked away in the depths of the Under-Empire.[1a]
Female Skaven serve no other purpose than to propagate their vile species, and they are only slightly conscious. Constant application of Warpstone narcotics from a young age keeps them blissfully ignorant of events that transpire in the Under-Empire. So cloistered away from the rest of their race are they that some do not learn chittering speech, or are proficient in social skills…or so the Skaven believe.[1a]
- It is unclear if all female skaven are turned into Rat Mothers, or only a given few, be it by accident or deliberate. What happens to these non-Rat Mothers is also unclear, whether they are given military duties, are sequestered from the males, may breed normally, or if they are executed. It is quite possible that all female Skaven are turned into Rat Mothers, unless, perhaps, they are born grey-furred with horns.