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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

tl;dr: How might you go about socializing 9-month-old female rat in this video: Video

Brief backstory which I've gone through here: new ball python, uneducated owner (me), failed live feeding of baby rat back in September, turned baby rat into pet, got 3-story rat manor and two cage mates from a local rescue. All females. The original failed feeder rat, Lucky, had been wrapped by the snake and then escaped and probably bitten on the neck as there was a bump/abscess there later for about a month which has fully resolved now.

Lucky has bitten to the point of drawing blood all the members of my family (5 of us). In the beginning it seemed like maybe a confusion of food or error of sticking finger in cage, but she's the only one that has bitten and it makes sense given how she started with us. She doesn't seem particularly aggressive towards us and in the beginning and still even seems curious about us but what is usually honks for other rats becomes a blood-drawing full bite.

We tried spending time with them outside the cage in the beginning (tried yogurt and a spoon for a little bit) but we all became scared of being bitten. Also, a combination of busy lives and not a good place to let them out, and now for several months they've stayed in the cage with the three of them. Fairly content seeming, they get along with eachother, fed well, will get excited when I'm bringing good, but haven't let them out literally for months.

Was thinking about seeing if the rescue would take them back but wanted to give it another chance. We have a place out back that is pretty easy to close off and let them out, which takes away one of the barriers of before.

Including YouTube video of time out with just one of the rats (who is NOT the rat that was failed feeding and has been biting). Wanted to see what people think of the rat's language and how might you suggest we go from here?

I got them when they were about 2 months old so I imagine 9 months old now.

Socializing Video

Are they too old to turn things around? If so, how might I use this outside space in the video?

I appreciate any advice!
 

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Oliver Bean, Phyllis, Waffle, Taco, Atlas, Cirrus, Orion
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Hi and thanks for reaching out to us. They sound like lovely boys. It's amazing how feeder rats can overcome their previous trauma. I had a feeder name Phyllis, she never learned to be handled, but she loved me anyway. Repeated trips to the bathtub to be offered as food broke her trust of humans, but I accepted who she was. I still miss her today, even with all the 'tame' ratties I've had. I will never forget her spirit.

Socialization is sometimes easy, sometimes tricky, and sometimes impossible. Your rattie looks to be a typical 8 month old, busy getting food and scampering about. I think this is too much space for proper socialization. They need to be in a smaller area where they have to interact with you or any other people. Also, give them food that they cannot run off with. I use wet food on a spoon to start, like cream of wheat or oatmeal. I put butter and brown sugar in so they learn to love the taste. Soon they will be sitting in your lap and begging for a spoonful of cereal. This is your training session. As they eat the food you can pet them and talk to them and make them feel safe. They learn to expect you at the same time every day, and it's like feeding time at the zoo. I feel there is much hope for your two boys 馃槈
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just did the cream of wheat with butter and brown sugar. They all fervently tried to grab and tack the spoon away but ended up staying to eat. I did it around the entrance and was able to pet Lucky on the head a couple times while she ate.

Baby steps.
 

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Oliver Bean, Phyllis, Waffle, Taco, Atlas, Cirrus, Orion
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Use a metal spoon, that way the won't bite it. Once they learn to stay and lick, it gets easier. I have tamed sooooo many ratties this way.
 
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