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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, here for a little advice this time. I have recently acquired a trio of Hairless Rats (although I have my suspicions one is in fact a double rex), two Fancies and a Dumbo All three are males, there is no denying that. (Make me slightly jealous tbh ). All was fine for the first couple of weeks, the three of them had the occasional play fight but I kept a close eye on things and all seemed fine. The odd minor scratch but with Hairless I expected them to scratch themselves a bit easier than fully haired rats.

However this past week I noticed these little scuffles becoming more frequent and more intense. On a number of occasions I've had to step in and seperate them. I have sat and watched them but I can't find one that seems to "start it" as it were, although the two Fancies (Basil and Jasper) seem to start things either with each other or with the Dumbo (Baldrick). I have yet to see Baldrick start this behavior. Baldrick more often than not seems to be the victim in this. (Not that Basil and Jasper pick on him per say, but they give each other as good as they get where as Baldrick doesn't seem to put up much of a defense.) It is Baldrick I am most concerned about as he seems to be getting the raw end here. Even now I've just come up stairs from painting to get them out to play I've found that Baldrick now has a rather large cut by his front leg which I've just given a quick bath with some warm salt water.

I got these boys from my work place as I fell in love when they came into us. We originally had four but one was sold to go with a haired friend which left these three. Now I may have been thinking with my heart more than my head when I got all three of them, however now I feel I must make the best of what I can. They are my responsibility and I'm not going to ignore that. As far as I am aware they have been together from a very young age, at the most 6 weeks. They're now coming up for about 12 1/2 weeks.

Housing wise they're in a large four story cage. Floor size is 68cmx42cm with a hight of 105cm. They have plenty of places to hind and quite a few toys as well. Add to this they all come out for at least an hour a day.

Any thoughts on this matter would be appreciated. Although I've worked with rats in a store environment for some time these boys are my first rats I've kept myself.

Thank you for any help.
James
(Basil, Jasper and Baldrick will thank you to.)
 

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Hrm... Three months seems young for their hormonal time to be kicking in... :?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tbh I know this breeder and he's someone I wish we didn't deal with. (Unfortunetly I only learnt the boys were his after I'd bought them.) I wouldn't trust him as far as any of the boys could throw him and we've had a couple of issues with him in the past. As such I would take their age as an approximate figure rather than gospel.

Looking at it more it does seem to be a dominance issue. With them pushing each other onto their backs and then licking(?) each other with the one on his back squeaking to high heaven. Closer obversation and I can see the structure forming if this is what is happening. Jasper will force Basil onto his back and after a couple of scuffles Basil gives in, but then pretty quickly goes and finds Baldrick and does the same to him.
 

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My boys will sometimes do the same thing. It's kinda like *sniffle* How dare he... I need to pick on someone... *sniffle*
 

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So... the behavoir she's descibing is okay? Normal? My boys have also been bickering a lot... Teddy (the bigger boy, and older by a couple weeks) forcing Squirt onto his back and giving him little nips all over. Sometimes Squirt struggles and squeaks and sometimes he just lays there and submits(?)....

But even after Teddy gives Squirt the smackdown, Squirt still jumps up and chases Teddy, nipping his back, annoying Teddy and making him smack Squirt down all over again. Is this normal? These are my first boys and their constant struggling worries me a bit. D:
 

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The general rule is "No Blood, No Foul". My boys chase and tackle and dominate and such all the time. As long as no one gets hurt, it's all in fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the thoughts folks, I love all three of my boys so all will be staying even if I do have to seperate them which is now looking very likely, as I've just got back from the vets...

I was talking to my sister this morning on the landing when I suddenly heard an almighty squeak from the room where I keep the rats. I rushed in opened the cage to find Basil (one of the fancies) with a large gash down the side of face. Luckily I have a spare cage for things like this and quickly made it up and separated Basil from the other two. Although first I made sure to bathe the wound in warm salty water to clean it. Well as I said I've now just got back from the vets (3 o'clock was the earliest they could see him) and Basil is still there having stitches put in. I'm a little worried as doing what I do (I currently work at a pet store but have spent time working at a vets as well) I know full well the risks of anesthetic on such a small animal. However I trust my vets and I've worked with them so I know they'll do the best they can for my little bassa boy.

When he gets home he'll be staying in his own cage for some time, and whilst he's there I'm going to keep a very close on both Baldrick and Jasper and see what the situation with just the pair of them in the big cage is.

Well fingers crossed everything will be fine.
 

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Lol... i've been seeing SOOOO much of this in my two girls lately... I walk into the room sometimes to find them what i call "making out" Lol Piggle tackles Lulu and stays on top of her licking the top of her head... its lots of fun to watch, sometimes they give their little squeaks of protest when the other is a bit too riley, but I'm not overly worried about it, I have yet to find any scratches or blood.
 

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Are your boys neutered? Forcing your rats to live alone should be the absolute LAST option, after everything else has been exhausted. Personally, since they're now harming each other, I'd opt to get them all fixed. Out of my 13 rats, 12 are spayed/neutered (Mulligan is the only intact rat, and that's because he's nearly 3 years old and is too weak to undergo the procedure). They rarely ever fight, and when they do it usually ends in popcorning and playing. There are risks with any surgery, but if you have a knowledgeable vet who has done the surgery before, it's extremely safe. My rats come home acting as though nothing has happened!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Night said:
Forcing your rats to live alone should be the absolute LAST option, after everything else has been exhausted.
I whole heartedly agree. As for yet they are not neutered but I'll going to my vet during the week to see if I can book them in to get it done. May result in them going to one of the other practices sites. (My vets have three surgeries and the furthest one is the small animal specialist so I might nip down there even though it is a bit of a longer drive.)
 

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" The general rule is "No Blood, No Foul". "

My boys are around 5 months old. They're bigger than my girls now.

One of my boys lost some weight and he's got blood clots on his back. I know this happens during the night because one time I when I was up late watching TV I was alarmed by the banging of the cage and loud hissing. I saw my boys run, jump, wrestle, tackle, and climb. Their movements were so fast that I never before had an idea how fast they could move(They seem pretty slow when I hold them)
 
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