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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone :rolleyes:

I am the proud foster parent of 14 babies that will be 4 weeks old tomorrow. Mom was surrendered to the shelter I work at when she was pregnant. When we figured it out I took her home so she could have them in a quiet setting. It has been quite the journey the last four weeks and I have loved every minute of it!

14 rats is unusual for our small shelter so I have reached out to 4H, Schools and Vet Tech students to try to stir up some interest. Coincidentally we had a hamster deliver 14 babies the same day as well so needless to say those are going before the rats are. I purchased two Critter Nation model 161 cages and will be more than happy to have them live with me until adoption. The spacing is 1/2 inch so if anyone thinks they can escape please let me know! I constructed "bumpers" but the little ones chewed through one and can now jump from the bottom to the wire and climb the cage.

Back to my question....It is a lot easier if I can say these are "....." rats we have for adoption. The picture isn't great but they look like a dark grey to me.

Thank you!
 

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If you are looking for the name of their color, looks like they are all agouti that I can see. Very cute.
 

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They look like agouti, standard ear rats. I hope they're not half wild.

Remember to separate them before five weeks by gender. The boys will most likely have large balls and the girls will have a vaginal opening.

This is also the key age to make sure they all get plenty of attention, new toys and such, and free range for at least an hour. It's okay for them to climb wire now (3 weeks is safe) and important they try and learn what they can do.
 

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In addition to what nanashi said on separating, spend as much hands on as you can. I also am a little concerned about them being half wilds (I am not sure what the odds are of domestic rats having an all agouti litter)-so make sure they really trust you and spend a lot of time holding them, and playing with them in a small free range rat proof space. (like a bathroom, a hallway that can be blocked well ect.)
 

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Definitely Berkshire agouti... Which makes me wonder if they are half wild. Seems unlikely babies from a hooded black female would ALL be Berkshire agouti unless the father was a wild rat.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Mimsy. XD
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OH MY!!! I will try to get ahold of the previous owner and ask. They are scared of me and hide under their blanket most of the time. Tuesday we will be separating them and I am hoping with two cages it will be easier to socialize them. I also bought a carry pouch to hopefully help. I may ask my friend if she could take a group too.
 

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If they are half wild, they will be harder to socialize generally and will take more work. It'll also become an issue on how to safely rehome them as they are riskier as pet rats. Only experienced owners or owners who are willing to learn should have half wild rats as they are more likely to have problems like being scared or trying to run away.

As to socializing them, try to involve as many people as you can in free range for as long as you can to acclimate them. Check out immersion.
 

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Start asap on socializing. It would of been preferable to do it from day one. The older they are when you start socializing the more skittish they will be as adults.

If they are not biting, I would just leave my hand under the blanket with them so they can get used to your smell and realize it's not going to hurt them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Are babies usually more social? I have been handling them since they were young. Once their eyes opened I turned into the big scary monster
 

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Carmen, the mom, wasn't too thrilled about being handled once she had them. Once they were a few days old she did come out and explore while I handled them. It has just become a challenge since they can now see me. I hope when we split them up it becomes easier.
 

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I've heard a lot of horror stories about wilds and half wilds, I think I've been lucky. Mine run to me when they are scared. I think it's a mixture of Goose being an awesome Mom, I've spent a lot of time with them, my daughter has handled them every chance she gets since they were born, my husband sticks his hand in every time he walks by. So they have had a lot of hands on. I also had the luck of being on this board prior to their birth so got a lot of good advice.

Some tricks right now you could do, that I used-grab some human soy infant milk. Dip your finger in it and let them lick it off. You might need to spend more time with your hand in there with them so that they know the hand won't hurt them. Pick up a baby whenever you get a chance, make your hand a really good sheltered place, with little holes that they can peak out. Mine love to be sheltered, but be able to look out when they want. Be in a place that you can pick them up easily if one was to get loose. You really don't want an escape, even this young they can extremely fast and can get into small spaces. Read all you can of the immersion sticky.

Mine are almost 5 weeks now. Some are fearful of large spaces, but most are pretty curious and bold. If they are startled ,they run to the humans. They also run to us if we make like we are going anywhere. Mine will scale me if they think I'm going somewhere.

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They may not be half wild, its possible for her to have an all agouti litter, if the car was a full agouti Rat who didn't carry self (could be the same Brown colour or could be something like a silver fawn or fawn rat which are agouti type colurs). To be honest without speaking to there first owner you won't be able to tell. I've had an all agouti litter from a topaz mum, definitly not wild rats lol (but agouti is one of the varieties I bed for).

I would spend as much time as you can with them, try breaking them into smaller groups of it helps but do lots of handling even if they squirm. This will help then get used to it and learn humans are good. If mum wasnt massively socialised before she had them this really won't help them.
 
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