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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I have had two females for nearly a year now whom I love to death (Moose and Chowder). I recently got an 9 week old neutered male (Wallace) who I have been trying to introduce into the clan. It's proving to be extremely difficult even though people generally say female to young male intros are easy! I think my alpha girl is seriously alpha, and rubs herself all over me and marks and she gets poofed. I've tried about three intro's between them all now and they start out okay. But then at some point Moose (the alpha) gets poofed and all jittered up. This usually leads to her going for little Wallace. The intros have been going slightly better (I think??) she will sniff him un-poofed in the beginning, and pay little attention to him. But then later on when I think its going better they get into a fight where they're rolling in a big, fluffy, squeaking ball. My fear is that Wallace will get scared of the girls if this keeps up, and make the merge harder if not impossible... Not really sure what to do, advice would be GREAT! Wallace literally just lays there and doesn't move, he is completely docile and then my girl will jump on him and attack. I wish I had more experience and could better determine their body language ???
Can anyone give me a better description of bad fighting vs. okay dominance establishing fighting? Ive looked on lots of forums and youtube to try and figure it out, but without much luck. Since I have never done intro's before its just really hard to tell what I need to break up and what I need to try and let happen..

Tried so far:
Their cages have been next to each other for about a week.

Put vanilla on the new rat, which seems to help but after a period of time Moose still goes for him.
Had them meet in a neutral place, with lots of treats and peanut butter.
 

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I think Isamurat advises to change the tactics when one method of intro doesnt work out. Maybe you need to move Wallaces cage out of the girls' sight for a while to calm them down?
Also from what I know, male to young male intros is easy but female to young rats is not (if the young rat is less than 10-12 weeks old) since adult females attack baby rats that arent theirs or their cagemates.
Isamurat has a number of different intro methods written out on her website under the introduction category, it might help if you go have a read and find another appropriate method to try after waiting Wallace to get older by a week or so :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
She doesn't get puffed up or even seem to care when the cage is there. But I can try that. Usually she doesn't care about him for most of the intro either, its usually after some period of time she will just kinda pounce on him, and they get into it.

But yeah another user suggested that I try intros with just the submissive female I have until he gets older, so the alpha girl still gets to smell him on the other girl. Then when he gets a little bigger and more comfortable I will try the process again. I've read a couple different types of intro, like the carrier method in the car but I'm a little nervous doing that because if Moose goes for Wallace I cant really break it up. But I will defiantly read up and see if I can find a better way. Thanks!
 

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I've read and been told that tussling and squeeking is an argument and what leads to a pecking order but that if there is blood then that's the crossed line I to bad fighting.

I'm going to be doing intros soon as well between 2 older females and 2 younger males so I'm also interested to see where this conversation goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thats what i'm gathering as well. I just would really hate to see any of my ratties with blood drawn :( hoping to avoid that.
Its hard to tell the difference having never done intros before. The tussles look bad to me lol, but i'm going to just have to take a deep breath and let it happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My only worry with the carrier method, is if she did attack the baby I wouldn't be able to break it up easily would I?
 

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Its easier in a small cage but just be on hand with a spray bottle or towel. To be honest if you catch her if she's gets fluffed up and starts lowering her head and looking angry and just bang sharply on the side this almost always nips things in the bud without having to split them up. Most introduction injuries occur when a rat leaps away and gets a rip or gash from teeth or claws so generally you see a lot less injuries (or more than a tuft of fur being pulled out) in the carrier method.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
UPDATE:

I ended up trying the carrier method and it was a huge failure for me. The young male ended up with a nasty bite wound on his face, which the girl gave him while he was submitting. So i took him to a woman who volunteers for wee companions (rat rescue in socal) and has like 50 rats in her garage and does intros a lot to get advice and see if this intro is even possible. She felt the bite she gave the young male was malicious and the way she was acting at her house (which as mentioned above is home to 50 rats and has a lot of unfamiliar smells. My female immediately went around and marked everything and this concerned the woman). She told me that she didn't feel it was safe for me to continue doing intros and was concerned she might even kill him, and the young boy I have is terrified of her. So all in all, it ended up being that my female is to macho, territorial and aggressive to be introduced to new rats. I am now looking to find a younger companion for my young male.
 
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