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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you know, Gus is the big brother, and Boo is what we lovingly term, "the little BOTHER." It's not an accident, either! Gus is all about petting and love, and Boo is all about running and causing trouble. They are both loved tremendously, of course.

I'm hoping that some people here can give advice regarding a little jealousy that seems to have come up.

First, Gus...he isn't jealous at all. He most always lets Boo "win" at wrestling, and basically just has a laid back personality. He LOVES to be pet by me.

But Boo, although he's not crazy about being pet, seems to have gotten really jealous of just seeing Gus getting pet, or sometimes, just me talking to Gus. (I really didn't know that I meant so much to Boo.) Sometimes, when I pet Gus, Boo bites Gus' face (nose, ears, eyes,) to the point where Gus squeaks. Now, when I pet Gus, I try to keep one hand up as a guard for his face.

The problem is that this doesn't just go on when I'm actually petting or talking to Gus. It seems as though Boo can decide to "remember and get jealous" randomly. When ~he~ feels like causing some trouble, he hunts down Gus, and bites his face and neck until Gus squeaks.

None of the "injuries" are serious...both boys are capable of defending themselves, and are also capable of running away, and I know that they love each other, because they snuggle up and sleep together, etc. But you know how brotherly love is...sometimes it gets rough. "I love you so much I could pull your nose off!" :lol:

So, I'm making sure that Gus gets his allotted petting, even if I have to take him in a place for just the two of us. But should I do more? Should I give him, for instance, an extra sweetie, to make up for the trouble Boo is putting him through?

If I ~do~ wind up giving Gus extra of anything, it's important that Boo doesn't know about it. He doesn't know he's causing a problem. Well, OK, he knows, but he just thinks it's mischief. His heart is good, and I love him, and I don't want either one of them to feel "second in line" for my love.

I appreciate hearing your thoughts...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I have a cage that I can use for, "You're getting a time out." We usually use it for travel, or for enjoying the sun, so I don't know if Boo will understand that it is a "punishment" at first, but I agree that I do need to send him a strong message:

It is not OK to bite your brother.

If every time he bites Gus hard enough for Gus to squeak, they are separated, and Boo is put in the "less fun" place, he probably will figure out not to bite his brother.

I'm so glad I'm not trying to raise human kids! :lol:
 

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This is normal for rats to argue and for males to try to establish some kind of hierarchy.

I have a similar problem with our males. Tiny is the big guy, but gets jealous easily, has mood swings, and Camel is all laid back, except here is where it gets interesting.

Rats have several ways of showing dominance, one being wrestling, and the other being, well, the same kind of dominance you would expect in any type of male prison, if you know what I mean.

See the problem with our rats is that Tiny easily wins these wrestling sessions, either Camel is allowing it, or just too laid back to care... but once you separate them for a bit, by say, taking one out to ride on the shoulder or sit in the lap, the second they meet again in the cage, Camel will chase Tiny around and hump him like there is no tomorrow. He usually "succeeds" about two times, I can tell this because I know that a male rat immediately licks his wang after 2 successful seconds of lovemaking. See, for rats, mice, and other rodents, humping of the same sex is an establishment of dominance. (our female mice do this too)

So, we have Tiny winning the wrestling matches, but Camel violating him when he gets the urge... so no hierarchy, and the cycle continues.

I would not worry about it. Even if a little blood is drawn (on rats with fur, you would never usually notice the scratches unless you feel the clotting under the fur, but on our hairless male, it is obvious), you shouldn't worry. They are just doing what guys do in a confined space... they fight from time to time, one might bitch slap the other, a few profanities are thrown about in their rat language, but in the end... you see them having no problems grooming themselves and falling asleep together like there is nothing wrong .

I would not worry about it. Try to give them both equal time out and treats, and just let boys be boys.

Unless they are truly killing each other, damaging eyes, breaking claws, that sort of thing, they jus' tryin to man up, aint no thang.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nah, only a speck of blood here and there under the fur, no furious humping sessions yet, and Gus, the elder and larger rat is always submissive. The most he does is squeak, which I figure is the equivalent of, "Knock it off."

Right now, they're sleeping under their hammock together, all entagled in a pile of two rats.

I think the "violence" is all very much like "Leave it to Beaver," and less like, say, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." :lol:
 

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This is really weird.

Holly, my Boo has started that same stuff up too! Except he is picking on those that are smaller than he is - not cool. I swear I spend a good portion of my days giving the signals that they know means 'knock it off'

The other weird thing - the largest ratty we have is the one that we took form my 18 year old. He is massively large and we call him Tiny.

LoL

Kinda funny - both of em
 

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yashu said:
So, we have Tiny winning the wrestling matches, but Camel violating him when he gets the urge...
lol I never even knew that they did that!ive only ever seen that dogs
 

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Oh, they do that alright. Dominan Sevilla gets all over poor Belgie whenever she's in heat. And Sevilla's definately the dominant one, though I think Belgie wins sometimes when they wrestle.
 

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i wouldnt give gus any extra treats... its like with real kids... if one gets an extra treat, the others WILL find out (i have 3 brothers, this i know from experience).

just put boo into time-out, he'll either learn his lesson or he'll just keep on being boo...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the advice!

Yeah, my ratties are very smart, as I'm sure everyone's here are. They seem to have an internal "sweetie detector," that lets them know if someone other than them gets one. :)

"Time out!" LOL! I think of using that expression for human kids, but it works just as well with furry ones. "If you can't play nicely with your brother, you're going into time-out."

At this stage in their lives, Gus seems to value things like a good bed, or a long pet. Boo seems to deeply value wreaking havoc or causing trouble. Double points if a mess can be made. I don't know if we're just moving through different stages of life, or if this is a matter of personality, but I am sure that, no matter how old he gets, Boo will always be called, "The Little Bother." ;)
 

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lol, i always refer to my brothers as my "little brothers" because they are all younger than me... but i'm 5'7", and they are all over 6'
 

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Ironically, I have two brothers, Jack and Gus. When they are together (I've had to separate them because Jack is too much of a bully) Gus is always the one getting jumped on, chewed on, squeaked at etc. Jack is the trouble maker that never wants cuddles, EXCEPT when I'm cuddling Gus!

As they are both hairless, their fights used to get quite nasty and when Jack scratched open Gus' tummy I had to decide that enough was enough, and get Gus his own safe house..I mean cage. But I do allow them out on the sofa together and I've not been able to stop the 'bullying' of Jack. All I do is give Gus a little extra comfort if he's got picked on, and give Jack the 'no!' treatment.

I think it's just their heirarchy though - Jack is very much an alpha rat.

Good luck, and if you find a solution, let me know! Lol
 

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whatever you do, don't create an eating disorder by offering too many foods that are not good for them or because of our whacked human thinking... something sweet will make it all better... Pffftt, squabbles are normal rat activities & they have to work it out. Squeals don't mean break them up because someone will have hurt feelings... blood does because someone is literally being harmed.

Look at the hundreds of thousands of humans that use 'food as a friend'. You want healthy rats because with their delicate systems, one extra sweet every day or even every other day can be detrimental to their health & life as a whole.

I don't even offer my rats "sweets" per se... they have no clue what a yogie is. The things that I offer as treats are items that most people may just dump a hand full of in their bowl & walk away. I don't free feed with large mixtures. Lab block is available 24/7, thats it. Everything else (fruits, veggies & cereals) is offered in small portions twice a day & only what they will eat when offered.

Through out the day (if possible) we will check the block & offer a couple pieces of the dog food. Since they get this by hand, they see this as a treat. When they are most active (morning & night) they get their sunflower seeds by hand again (3 to 5 seeds) & this too is seen as a treat.

I have found that by offering the foods that they are required to have each day by hand encourages more interaction between us & this forms a closer bond. They seek me out because they know I provide food. They really don't disappear on me when out because why go looking for food when the source of food is the biggest living thing in the room & the easiest to find? If they do *poof* I rattle the container with the dried dog food in it & they come running.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A "healthy" sweeti that my boys like is chicken! Baked chicken is the best, to them!

Ration, who is that in your pic? He's gorgeous!
 

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My disp pic? That's Max's brother Oz - he died a couple of weeks after that pic was taken. He was a lovely little boy - shy but with a quirky personality. One of my wild'uns!
 

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Oh, OZ is a beauty! So sorry that he's passed on. RIP, cute boy! Kisses to you in heaven!
 

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Well... We feed them a good diet... veggies in the morning and the occasional yogurt drop, they love those. We use a rat and mouse food mix since we have mice, but the rats also get Masuri blocks and veggies.

I don't give them much human food... sometimes a piece of cereal or a bit of bagel, nothing to try to mend hurt feelings... just fun stuff if we are in the mood. The rule is, though, that we have to give one to everyone if we give them anything... It's only fair.

The mice don't go for the treats like rats do, but they take banana chips, also a good occasional treat for rats. Rats do one thing that also the mice will never do, they love liquid treats, like a finger dipped in fruit juice. There is nothing like rats licking your finger dry. It's cute... and sometimes they will just do it out of love, then it is even more cute.

If you like rats, mice are fun and a new perspective. They are very easy to have, and watching something that small explore the big world of your hand, is kindof cathartic in a way. You can't train them like rats though... as in, they will always poop outside the cage, but they do become attached to you and know who you are after enough time. What is also interesting, is their color patterns. Mice can have 2000 offspring a year for one couple. This means that they have evolved farther in domestication. A fancy mouse is sortof insight into what rats may look like in another 50-100 years. Their color patterns are much more random (think cows), which would be kindof neat in rats, but most rats are either a single color, or slight variation on a single color/hair type, or of a type of hooded coloring, with varying degrees of pattern breaking down the spine. There are not too many cow rats... yet.
 
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