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Hey all,

I'm hoping someone can answer me a couple of quick questions.

Firstly, I have only had my four boys for a few days but I'm wondering what signs should I be looking for to identify which one is the alpha?
Just for personal curiosity more than anything else.

So far they've all seemed about the same in their actions but will it take more time for them to settle and establish a hierarchy? Or am I just missing something? I'd be happy to explain in more detail what they behave like with each other if that would help.

Secondly, One of them (the boldest methinks) has set up shop away from the others on the top shelf of the cage. He interacts with them fine and eats. sleeps, drinks etc and he will sometimes go into the nest box with them but is it normal rat behavior for him to semi isolate himself away from the others and sleep alone a lot of the time?

Tying into my first question, could it be something to do with hierarchy of the group?
 

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I have two female rats and they have established who was dominant from about a week of being together in their cage. If you are not sure who is dominant amongst your rats here are a coulple of ways to tell. Does one steal food from the other? Do one of them sleep on top of each other often? You can tell by these signs and many many more signs too. Just try to keep an eye on them for a while and it should be about a week or two before you know for a fact that they will have a dominant rat. Yes, your lone rats behavior is normal. Some rats may not be as social as others. Keep an eye on him through and inspect him often. It may be that he is just a lone rat which is probably what he is, or he may have had a fight with another rat. Good luck!
 
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