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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do male rats take an active roll with there babies? My male is not the father of my new female's babies, but he has become really protective f her. He has been making a nest for her and refuses to leave her side. I was just wondering if it was normal for him to act this way. After the birth there is no danger of her getting pregnant right after Because he is sterile, so if its safe i would like to just leave them together. She seams happier with him there.
 

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How do you know he's sterile? Did you have him neutered?

It's still a bad idea to leave him in with her after she's given birth. Moms tend to be hormonal and protective of their babies, and even the most calm mother to be can have a personality change after giving birth.

Was this an accidental litter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
She was pregnant when I bought her. I took her to the vet as soon as i brought her home and she was fine, but pregnant. I have had him for about a year now and he has been in extended contact with 2 females over the course of that year with no accidents. Our first rat was female and we found him while looking for a friend for her. I was leary about it but I loved him to much to leave him there. The pet store Thought he was sterile but offered to help with any accidents and bills to get him fixed if we had a problem.(its a locally owned very responsible store, its the only place i shop for all me pets) After being with her for about 6 months with no accidental pregnancies we took him to the vet to get him checked and fixed just in case. So yes I'm sure.


And I will separate them after she give's birth and when we are not here just in case, thank you for your input.
 

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some moms can be happy with help from their cagemates but then there are the cases where the mother's temperment and mood will greatly change after birth and injuries to both baby and/or the cagemate. so i would follow through with your idea to separate when you are not there and after birth. however, you may want to try intros with mom and the babies as well once the babies are a few days old at least. if she is very happy with him there and he's this interested in helping her, if she's happy with him there with the babies as well i would not deny her something if she wants it.

with that in mind though. in order to find out what she wants you would have to take a risk of injury. this risk can be greatly reduced though. i think if you were to take the babies and mom out on the bed (assuming she's comfortable with this step) and then bring out your boy on the bed as well. if you were to watch for any signs of aggression and at the FIRST sign remove the male i think you should be able to get a good idea of mom's opinion on the matter. if she shows no signs of aggression and the nursery is large enough for 2 adults you could try putting the male and mom in the nursery without the babies and watch for signs of aggression again--again, at the first sign remove the male. and if there is no aggression you should be safe in putting the babies back. to make doubly sure of course, once the babies are back with mom watch for a while.

then again you may just not want to take the risk and that's fine. when you can't ask verbally the only thing you can do is test actions and reactions. which means the only way you are going to be able to get a yes is if you test waters and there are no signs of anger. if there are signs of course, that means that there is a possiblity that someone could get hurt. so, whether you want to try or not is up to you. mom will be fine tending to the babies on her own too. she does not need the male and i'm sure the male will be fine without the mom and babies for a few weeks as well. however, if you do try and mom wants him there, there is no real risk to the babies for him being there. him being male does not mean he will attack or hurt the babies.

if mom is happy with your male being there, another consideration to keep in mind is the male's reaction to the babies. it is unlikely he will hurt them but he may try to take over completely from mom. and where he's male that means he definately can't feed the babes. however, i think him taking over completely is less likely then another female taking over completely, though that can happen as well.

basically, what i'm saying is there is risk involved in housing mom and step dad together with the babies. things you should consider and watch for if you decide to try. however just because the risk is there does not mean that it will happen that way. it is possible that mom and step dad and babies will be a very happy family together too. if you do try though, take precautions and make sure that you really know what mom is saying to you. don't force anything if mom does not want that living arrangement while her babes are so young. no one is going to be worse off if they are not living together either, so you don't have to make them. i merely wanted to cover the other side and offer you some options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe I'll try, about a week or so after birth,with them out side the cage but i don't think I'll take the risk of putting them together when I'm not home to watch them even if they get along, like I've herd temperaments change quickly with new parents.
Thank you for your input. You were really helpful.
 

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Male rats usually make excellent fathers, the only problem is that they will try to breed with the mother again immediately after birth so unfortunately they generally have to be separated. They like to help clean the babies and keep them warm, so if you're lucky enough to have a sterile male who wants to help the female I wouldn't worry about moving him.
However I would keep a very close eye on them, just in case he has a change of heart, though personally I've never had any issues with it.
 

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I had an old husky rat who came in with a female who was pregnant by him when I did rescue. I had him neutered and he loved being daddy. Mind you the babies all looked spitting image of him, they were such a cute family!!!

Please do bear in mind that rats will breed again as soon as the female gives birth so please don't risk anything!!!
 
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