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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I looked far and wide for a breeder but without a car me and my girlfriend had to settle and give the best life we can to two cute boys from petco! My only problem is i dont know how old they are, just that they were in the small rat box, and the guy said that in a week they would be "medium"
Does any one know what this means???:hushed:
 

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I think refers to being feeder rats, to feed to snakes. This week they are "small", next week, after they grow a wee bit, they will be considered " medium".
 

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There's a lot that goes into how fast rats grow and in fact, how big they get. Most bred for meat rats grow fast so a small might be from 5 to 9 weeks old and might be large by around 4 months, whereas I currently have girl rats that grow slowly and at about 8 months old would only be a medium. Large rats are typically a pound and up so our oldest girl might just be a large now at nearly a year and a half and she's really pudgy. If she were thin, she'd never be a large.

So it's kind of hard to guess a certain rats age when you don't know the history of the particular strain. In the end some rats age pretty quickly and live less than two years, while a few flukes live to four years or more... Basically just enjoy your rats and have fun with them, give them a great life.... no matter how long they live, it will never be long enough.
 

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Depending on when they got their small animal shipment in, you can count about 6 to 8 weeks before that and get an approximate age. We're always told the animals we get in are usually a couple months old. Rats shouldn't leave their mother until they are 6 weeks old and a good breeder would abide by this rule of thumb. They are in the small rat habitat because they are bred as feeder rats. The small rats are the young rats. The medium rats are typically the older rats. The guy telling you that in about a week they would be considered "medium" rats, means they will be older and bigger. If you ever have questions while you're at the store, do not hesitate to ask. If the associate helping you doesn't know the answer, they should always go and get someone who would know or could advise you better; if they don't ask. You can also call the store you went to and ask to talk to someone who knows about "small animals" or knows about rats. Hope this helps. :)
 

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I called Petco a couple of days ago to gauge how old my two were. Medium rats are 5 weeks old. That makes My two 3 months!
 

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I called Petco a couple of days ago to gauge how old my two were. Medium rats are 5 weeks old. That makes My two 3 months!
I think it depends on the vendor though. I work at Petco and the vendor always tells us that they animals are a couple months old. Was the Petco you called 100% sure on the age?
 

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I actually chatted on their website after I posted and they said the same thing, but I think you are right, it would seem they are older.
 

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By most standards 5 week old rats are still considered small. But it is important to note that stores are notorious about lying when it comes to the age of their animals...

A couple of years ago I went to the big box chain pet shop and there I saw a very adult male rat who was clearly pretty anti-social from long term neglect. I asked how old he was and the sales girl said three to four months. And that sounded pretty far fetched to me.... So then I casually asked how long he had been in the store and she said three months...(likely true) So I asked how old was he when he got to the store and she insisted that all of their rats come in at three to four months old from the breeder... So I again asked her how old that rat was and she almost broke down in tears and repeated that he was three to four months old... Realizing I was upsetting her, I let her off the hook.

So in that particular store all of the rats there were from three to four months old by policy, not chronology. It's not that the sales girl couldn't add... it's that she had to answer my questions by store policy, no matter how ridiculous it made her look. People don't want to adopt rats that are too old or too young and stores know it... so they tend to adjust the truth.

Some employees don't know better and others are just doing their jobs. I'm sure some stores are more ethical, but seriously pet shops know people don't want to adopt a rat that's already spent 1/3 of it's life in a pet shop and pay full price for it. Likewise they don't want to admit that their small rats were taken from their moms before they were fully weened. Never forget that salesmanship is generally predicated on telling people what they want to hear.
 

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I think mine were on the younger side. Unfortunately that's how it goes with most retailers. I worked in retail for 25 years and the truth is always bent about something. Needless to say, we WERE just regurgitating corporate policy even if we didn't really believe it. I think caution is a good thing to have and if you are too nervous, walk away. I lucked out with my two because of high demand. One day I do want to talk to a breeder and see what kinds of options I have there. Until then, Endora and Esmerelda have my heart.
 

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I super hate that I know this...but the size is a feeder term and it is used fairly much the same overall in terms. Usually small is the next step up after weaned. Which would be about 4-6 weeks old. Medium is 6-8 weeks. But it may go by weight as well.

You won't know for sure the birthday or exact age.
 

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Well, I decided to estimate the b-day for my two at around my own b-day. Give or take a week, I think it's ok to say mine are just over 3 months. I do think the stores rush the weaning process from what I've seen and read on here and on other sites.
 

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Here's the thing: There is a difference between "pet stores" and "pet supplies stores". "Pet Stores" are places like PetLand, that SELL puppies, kittens, small animals, birds, etc... in OPEN (aside from the puppies and kittens) cages. "Pet Supplies" Stores are more like Petco and PetSmart that yes, usually sells small animals, reptiles, fish, etc... but their cages are always locked - you can't put your hands in there freely or at all. But they almost always promote adoption of the more common animals instead of the sale of the more common animals. I normally do not work on the day when we get our small animal orders in, but I can ask the guy who delivers them if he knows about how old the animals are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow thank you every one who answered i dident expect such a big responce i think ill go ahead and mark nemus as 4 weeks and vanillu as 6 weeks old since hes a little biger and bolder, thank you all!
 
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