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Discussion Starter #1
So long story short, I saw a rat hanging around my house, that is calico colored, which I didn't think was possible in the wild, and is out in "public" during day time with little fear of humans... and i asked here and was confirmed as either a pet that got loose, or a feeder that the snake didnt like and got tossed, and wouldn't survive long in the wild (it's actually hanging out in my old chicken coup, eating their old food and has water so pretty safe from predators, has food, and water, and currently the climate is rather decent for him)...

So I have some live capture traps coming in tomorrow and going to get a cage (it's cute af, and I feel like it deserves a better chance than living out on a coyote ridden farm with raccoons and many other very aggressive predators and well I'm in new England so the weather gets real bad) and I'm like 95% sure I will have a pet rat as of this time tomorrow...

?#1)The cage I am buying was someone's hamster cage and comes with a hut, a wheel and some HAMSTER food, is the food ok to feed to it for a few days until I'm able to get proper food? (Its currently living off chick feed, very very high protien, I know with horses and goats and such that this mix can be an issue, I'm guessing a small rodent does too, but also a scavenger, so, cant hurt too much... and gonna be maybe 2 days after chapter of hamster food)

?#2) is there anything I should know to go for? I live on a horse farm so have very close ties with vets in the area, do they need vaccinations? Can they get double doses safely/can they tell of it's already had some and not give more?

?#3) how do I tell gender? (Don't plan on getting more... yet... but seriously I'm so excited about befriending this dude, it might happen) I know this seems dumb, but I know a lot of small animals are more difficult to sex as it more inside, idk if rats have the outer parts or such (I think they do, but idk anything here)

?#4) is there any way to age it? I'm guessing if so my vet would know, (for some reason I feel like I've hear the teeth length is how its done)

?#5) any tips on just general care are greatly appreciated

?#6) I need a name for the guy, I want it to be crafty, or a pun, or dad joke... any suggestions is great!

302370


I have actually fallen deeply in love with this guy over the past week and would really like to make sure it has a great life and is well taken care of (really the perfect pet for my room size)
 

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1) I wouldn't waste money on a cage unless you're confident that it's appropriate for rats. I'd suggest putting a hold on purchasing anything. You'll want to do some research before spending real money. In the mean time, something cheap like the Ware Chew-Proof Critter Cage would be just fine. If the hamster cage you're considering is of equivalent dimensions and cost, it might work as temporary housing. When in doubt, post a picture and/or a link to get feedback.

2) Rats don't need vaccinations but vet care will probably be necessary at some point. Call around to see if there are any exotics specialists in your area with experience with rats. Not all vets treat rats.

3) It's really easy to sex rats. Males have gigantic balls. Females have nipples.

4) Age would be a rough estimate. The rat looks fully grown so I'd guess no less than 4 or 5 months, maybe older.

5) For general care tips, I'd suggest checking out the Isamu Rat Care, Emiology, and Shadow the Rat youtube channels.

6) I like to get to know the personalities of my rats before picking a name for them. All rats have distinctly different personalities so I'm sure you'll have no problems picking a name!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I did confirm the cage is good, and only $25, its 24"x18"x36" (width, height, length) and my vet is an exotic vet (they handle rats often)

But the food thing is a concern, can you weigh in on that? Thank you so much already though (you helped me when I first joined and posted on an old topic) also love the name
 

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It sounds like you're super prepared!

Food is pretty easy but the more research you do, the more complicated it gets. The simplest thing to do is to purchase a good block/kibble as the staple diet and then supplement it with a variety of other stuff. I feed my boys Oxbow Essentials as well as a dry mix of mostly grains and I give them vegetables regularly. I make the mix with ingredients purchased mostly from the grocery store. I'm not super sciencey about it but I use the ingredients from the Isamu Rat mix as a general inspiration.
 

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It sounds like you're super prepared!

Food is pretty easy but the more research you do, the more complicated it gets. The simplest thing to do is to purchase a good block/kibble as the staple diet and then supplement it with a variety of other stuff. I feed my boys Oxbow Essentials as well as a dry mix of mostly grains and I give them vegetables regularly. I make the mix with ingredients purchased mostly from the grocery store. I'm not super sciencey about it but I use the ingredients from the Isamu Rat mix as a general inspiration.
I still love your name... lol... but thank you so much, I figured basically anything it will actually eat is probably ok (I know rats are crazy smart so I figure it knows enough as a scavenger) I got hamster and chicken feed plus horse, goat, alpaca feeds to offer as well, plenty of garden greens too

Got a **** ton of dry roasted peanuts as well I figured is a great treat/feed

And I settled on a name, Spuds, like the old budweiser dog due to similar coloring
 
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