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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I came upon a bizarre find in my basement a few nights ago. I found a wild baby rat curled up beside the space heater I keep down there. I can post a picture if it would help, but I was wondering how old rats are when they leave their mothers? I was afraid if he’s too young and I put him outside that he’d just die. His eyes are open and he’s about, I dunno, a third the size of an adult and he’s still pretty fuzzy. He wasn’t afraid of me, which I found surprising. Part of his tail had been skinned and he had scabs all over his back that looked like teeth marks, and his back leg didn't look too great. I guess he had been attacked by something. I put some rubber gloves on and picked him up. He didn’t seem unaware or anything, his eyes were open and he was moving and looking around in his cute ratty little way, he just wasn’t scared of me. I cleaned the wound on his tail because it looked pretty bad, and put him in a little critter case thing that I have. I gave him a little cardboard box to hide in and gave him some veggies, fruit, water and a few dog kibbles. He likes yam very much. I just want to know when it would be alright to release him outside, somewhere away from the tempting but potencially deadly human settlements.
Thank you for your time!
Tess
 

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Aw that's such a sweet thing for you to do! Most people would have simply killed it or put it straight outside. I'm glad he fell into good yam-giving hands :D Pictures will help, but he sounds big enough to be able to fend for himself. Rat babies are normally seperated from their parents at about 5 weeks, when they are completely furred and eating solid foods. Just keep giving him plenty of food to fatten him up to give him the best chance in the wild, and like you said, find a good release place.
 

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It sounds possibly like he might have been driven out or they tried to kill him if he is defective in some way, and his relaxed manner though cute is definatley not wild Rat behavior. He may be Retarded, or Hydroencephletic, Does his head have a different or unusual shape?
I saw on someones Rat website where they raised a wild Hydroenc Rat, he was adorable, but could only eat soft foods.
Personally I would either keep him or find someone who will. I see things like that as a sign, and for what ever the reasons his ease around people
to me shows he should spend his life with them.
Spider
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both so much for your help- unfortunately, I think he must have had something wrong with him or had internal injuries from being attacked, because I found him unresponsive this morning. He must have died happily in his sleep though- he's all curled up in the polarfleece that I had in his little house, eyes closed, looking relaxed. I feel so sad yet I'm happy he died peacefully. I am glad he had a good last few days, well fed and loved :)
He looked pretty normal, I checked him out pretty well when I first found him, didn't have anything noticeably different that I could see aside from his injuries.

R.I.P. Popcorn!

Thanks again!

P.S. Now I want a pet rat!!
 

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Sorry to hear that. Like you say, at least he was well fed and cozy in the end. :(

Fishy said:
P.S. Now I want a pet rat!!
Woohoo!! That's excellent! Let us know if we can help with what to look for etc. :)
 

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Aw, the little guy converted you huh? Rats are their own best PR. Now, you know that rats do best in groups of two or more.... ;)
 

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Too bad about the little fellow but he was either ill and was caught by an animal or he had internal injuries. He never had a chance. :(

I have raised baby mice from before their eyes opened. As soon as their eyes opened they were "wild"...we released them after they were weaned. This little one may have been abnormal...sad but natural.

Thats great that you would like a pet rat, but first make sure its at least 2 rats since they are incredibly social animals. Do a lot of research, ask questions (do not take each answer at face value, but wait to see if a lot of different people/websites agree) before you get your RatS. Remember that rats may be inexpensive to buy but often need to go to the vet several times in their short life, and you have to find a vet that will treat rats (they are considered exotics) and have money in a vet fund as well.

Welcome to the world of being owned by your rats. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for your great advice! :)
Don't worry- I will be asking LOTS of questions before considering getting rats. My brother had one when he was little, and he had it out all the time. This was before I was born, so I never met the little guy, but my bro still tells me about him. The little rat was his best friend for many years :D
It would be impossible for me to take another animal in right now- I've got so many at the moment and it's pretty hecktic. Most of them are rescues.
Someday, I'll have my rattikins!
Thanks again!
 
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