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Discussion Starter #1
just introduced a young PEW to an older feeder guy who has been alone for about a week. his old cagemate passed away last week and the breeder gave us one of the PEW's sons that he produced this winter.

the older black/grey is nipping at the back of the PEW's neck and the PEW is squeeking and making vocal noises non-stop.

not only are we worried something's going on but we don't know if we're going to be able to sleep through this.

we just introduced them today in a bath tub

any ideas/comments?
 

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Well, the older rat is probably wondering what the heck this newbie is doing invading his cage...

Can you separate them overnight and take it a little slower?

Technically the rule is 'no blood, no foul', but during introductions things can go badly if they aren't being watched...
 

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seperating them overnight is a good idea...my introductions were going ok, lots of rough and tumble though. i didn't take my eyes off them for the several hours they were in the cage together but the next thing i realised that one of the babies had a huge gash on her belly 8O :? one of the older girls had taken huge exception to her. i am going to do another introduction when the little ones are bigger!

i used vanilla essence and tuna juice on them and the cage to mask any scents and this was after i cleaned the cage thoroughly and rearranged the furniture. I had introduced them in the bathtub several times before and it still ended in near tragedy - they can be crafty!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
the past couple days i have put Zeus (the new PEW) in the tub with Weezy (older male) and it Weez has really started to ignore Zeus altogether, but if he gets anywhere close to him Zeus begins to become vocal.

Weezy tends to nip/bite between Zeus' shoulder blades and then loses interest, but Zeus will come back to him and try to place his head under Weezy's.

not really sure what to do because i don't have enough time to socialize and stimulate them by myself.

is it possible that they may never get along?
 

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i have the same problem with Ellie and the babies...she has taken particular dislike to E.T...i worry they'll never get on! maybe just keep doing it but keep the introductions short. is there anywhere else you can introduce them like a bed that neither of them have been on? mine are getting on better out of the bath...they tend to just hate the bath so it makes them moodier!
 

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jonsrh said:
is it possible that they may never get along?
It is possible, but highly unlikely with proper introductions. Nipping and squeaking, chasing, wrestling, standing on hind legs and boxing are all normal behaviour in the introduction process. You need to keep giving them these playtimes until you are happy that they are getting along well, then you can put them safely in a cage together.
 

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Your older feeder may not be able to socialise with another rat at this point in his life. He is old, he is probably not used to being around rats other than his buddy who passed away, and he may be better off being left on his own.

I have one girl who cannot be kept with any other rats. She is completely and utterly vicious to others of her own species. I tried introducing her to a new rat just a few days ago and she ripped her side open within seconds. She is a complete sweetheart with me and with most other people. You can open her mouth and shove your finger in and she won't bite you. It's just other rats she hates.

Keep trying, but really, keep an eye on them. Introducing a young rat to an older one is generally not a good idea though. Young rats have more energy, are more demanding, and he will probably be more of an irritation to your older rat than a friend.

Just as an aside, the behaviour that Weezy is showing is not particularly aggressive. Biting around the neck, shoulder blades and upper back is more childish playfulness than anything else. Biting around the rump and mounting the back are true signs of territorial aggression.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for all the help

i have been doing sessions under careful observation and tried something new

i have placed the cages next to each other and now they can't get enough of each other. no contact yet, but they are all about sniffing each other and touching noses so we will see what happens

as for Weezy being an old feeder, we saved him in march when he was fairly small and young so we'll see what he's capable of in the next few days/weeks
 

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jonsrh said:
thanks for all the help

i have been doing sessions under careful observation and tried something new

i have placed the cages next to each other and now they can't get enough of each other. no contact yet, but they are all about sniffing each other and touching noses so we will see what happens
That's what I did with ours, until they calmed down and got used to being side by side, then I started with the introductions. :)
 

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i am glad thinga are working out! i kept going with my older girls and now all five are snuggling up together in the cage as i type-even baby E.T and Adult Ellie, and it was ellie that ripped E.T's belly! i am still watching them like a hawk though,,,i have slept on the sofa for a few nights to make sure nothing happens in the night.

i put them all in my bedroom last night running free but they were doing my head in and started jumping all over me so i had to put them back in the living room, they are so nosiy!!!!
 
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