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I’ve recently started keeping rats for use in our barn hunt events at work. I bred our female to one of our males, and she had 15 pups. They are now 2 1/2 weeks old and I’m beginning to transition them to a bigger cage than the tank I’ve been keeping them in. It would appear that I have 10 little girls and 5 boys in the litter.
The cage is roughly 20x20x40. I have to get platforms as there are none at the moment so they’re all on the ground. Is that enough size for 11 females? Spacing is 1/2” which I’ve read is safe for them, and I’ve propped the pan up to keep them from escaping out of the openings around it. The males have another cage to go to before I start transitioning them in with my older two boys.
Ive attached a picture of the cage as it is at present. I’ve ordered some platforms and am going to get some hammocks as well for them. Please pardon the laundry on my futon behind them.
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Hmmmm....

Well, for adult rats, 2 ft x 2 ft x 1 ft is usually recommended. For younger ones, you would need less. You do need those platforms and hammocks. Remember, rats LOVE climbing, so platforms, ladders, and anything to do with climbing will be appreciated. Rats are also very intelligent, so toys are fun too. I wrap dry treats in tissues, stuff those tissues in an empty toilet paper roll, and hang it from the ceiling for them to enjoy.
For platforms, you can be creative at the dollar store! Plastic-basket-type-things can be zip-tied to the side of a cage.

Good luck with your baby rats! :)

(And, just out of curiosity, what is a barn hunt?)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The babies are going crazy climbing now. They weren’t just a couple of days ago. I made some platforms and ramps for them and I’m going to get some hammocks and stuff for them soon as well.
Barn Hunt is a dog sport where we design courses out of straw bales and then hide tubes with rats safely contained in the straw. Some tubes are empty. They are very strict about the safety of the rats. The tubes have specific designs they have to follow to allow proper ventilation. Rats can only work for so long before they have to be allowed a rest out of the tube. The tubes can only be hidden in places where they can’t fall on their own. The dogs aren’t allowed to rough the tubes either. Tubes have to handled carefully as well. It’s supposed to mimic a terrier hunting rats in hay lofts. Similar to earth dog where rats are hidden in wire cages in under ground tunnels. Except out tubes aren’t see thru.
 

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Okay. So, I think you'll be fine with that cage and platforms and hammocks. Just as forewarning, in a bit your babies are probably going to start developing their dominancy and.... not-dominancy. They'll probably rough-house a bit, but all is well unless they draw blood.
Aaaannnndd you may have to clean the cage a bit more often than you would with a larger cage, because the.... ummm.. :poop: is more... concentrated.
Barn hunts sound exciting. (And now I'm imagining my dog, a mini poodle who completely ignores my rat, coming in very last place because all she did was sit in one spot and stare at everyone like "What?".)
 

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Oh you’d be surprised what dogs end up loving barn hunt.
Ill keep an eye on them for blood drawing. I’m getting ready to split them up next week and remove the males from the group.
 
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