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Discussion Starter #1
I was looking at Buddy this morning and I noticed that his fur is considerably thicker then my other three boys. I have no idea what breed he is, as we got him from PetSmart, so I'm wondering if maybe he's from a breed that has thicker fur. If it matters he's a really light tan color, almost white. He sorta looks like our Siamese one, but without the points.

Or maybe he's bulking up for winter and just doing so a little sooner then the others? This will be my first winter with rats, so I'm not sure if they get extra fur in the winter or not.
 

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Rex rats appear to, and poor rexes can have normal looking fur with less curl but it still looks thicker.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He's not rex, no curls at all. He's just got thick fur. I took a picture of him this morning and he looks fat in it, but if you feel him it's all fur. Also when I try to pull back his fur to see his skin I really can't. It's so thick there is no bare skin showing through at all. I thought maybe there was a particular breed with this type of thicker coat, but I guess not. In fact based on what I just read there really aren't "breeds" of rats like there are dogs. It seems that most breeding is about obtaining certain color patterns, not creating new species. Most of the distinctive stuff like dumbo, taillessness, rex, etc... are just genetic defects.
 

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What colour is he? Russian blue and its offshoots often has whats called a double coat, its thicker and useually shorter than a standard coat. There are also other coat types that can be thicker. A photo or two would be good
 

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I just wanted to say that even with dogs different breeds are all still the same species, Canis lupus familiaris. It doesn't matter if it's a Chihuahua or a Great Dane.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What colour is he? Russian blue and its offshoots often has whats called a double coat, its thicker and useually shorter than a standard coat. There are also other coat types that can be thicker. A photo or two would be good
He's the one in my avatar. His belly is white. His fur is not short. It's actually quite long. He also sheds more then the other boys.
 

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My PEW seems so have longer and fluffier hair than my other 2, so I think I know what you're describing. Straight, long fur and a lot of it lol!
 

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Just my opinion, but I think they're probably like humans and other animal species- some just have naturally thicker hair. My girls are dumbos and have really soft fine hair. Then I've seen pictures of friends dumbos who seem to have thicker fuzzier hair than my girls. So I don't know, it may just be luck of the draw to have a rat with nice hair. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
overly long coats can be a lack of protien or other nutrients in there diet
Seee that's the kind of stuff I was worried about. We feed them Oxbow Regal Rat and suplement with tuna or chicken for protien. But we only give them that a few times a week. Should we be doing it more often?

Here is a picture of Buddy near a window. He's not that yellow in person, more of a very light grayish tan
 

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He looks a buff colour so not a variety that usesually had thicker fur. Looking at that photo his fur looks in fairl poor condition to me. Some is in feel but you can get a good idea from look to.

Looking at what your feeding your actually giving him too much protien. Oxbow is about the right protien levels for your typical adult buck and he looks a good well filled out lad so not in need of lots of protien to fill out any more. i would stop the extra protien for now. Give him his oxbow plus a small amount of dark green leafy veg every other day. Once every couple of weeks you can give him and his cage mates a treat meal to replace some of there oxbow but rather than purely high protien mix it with some carbs liked cooked rice. This will balance out a bit. I'd see how his coat does on this, you should see an improvement in the next 3 or 4 weeks.

It may be he's a very dominant buck, they can get quite greasy and rough too but it does look worse than that in the photo.
 

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My two older boys have very long, very thick fur compared to others of their same age. They're both russian blue, though, so that could have something to do with it. I noticed pretty much all of their lineage has thicker, longer fur. Funny thing is that they're fur was shorter but less lovely when they had a high protein diet, but now that they're on a better diet, the fur is all long and very soft.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
He looks a buff colour so not a variety that usesually had thicker fur. Looking at that photo his fur looks in fairl poor condition to me. Some is in feel but you can get a good idea from look to.

Looking at what your feeding your actually giving him too much protien. Oxbow is about the right protien levels for your typical adult buck and he looks a good well filled out lad so not in need of lots of protien to fill out any more. i would stop the extra protien for now. Give him his oxbow plus a small amount of dark green leafy veg every other day. Once every couple of weeks you can give him and his cage mates a treat meal to replace some of there oxbow but rather than purely high protien mix it with some carbs liked cooked rice. This will balance out a bit. I'd see how his coat does on this, you should see an improvement in the next 3 or 4 weeks.

It may be he's a very dominant buck, they can get quite greasy and rough too but it does look worse than that in the photo.
He's not greasy at all. And he's not dominant. Tempy is the dominant one. He weighs a good 100+ grams more then Buddy and is significantly bigger. I think Buddy looks beefier in that picture then he really is. When he's hunched over eating like that the thickness of his coat really makes him look fat. But it's mostly fluff.

One thing of note is that Buddy is very itchy. He's constantly stopping to itch himself. All of them do it to some extent but Buddy is by far the itchiest. I wonder if his thick coat has something to do with that? I've been trying to figure out what causes it. I keep going back and forth between dry skin (we live in the desert) or mites. I've checked them all and they don't seem to have any red spots or bald spots, so mites seem unlikely. I was going to order a humidifier, but I couldn't decide on one just for their room or one for the whole house then I got side tracked and stopped looking. I should probably just grab one for their room for now and decide on the whole house unit later.

As for his diet... We just let them free feed on the Oxbow. I will usually give them a small bowl of fresh fruit or veggies once a day. It varies based on what I get at the store when we go shopping on Sundays. This week I've been giving them bananas, apples, tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower. (I thought nutrition was all about color?) Other then that they get an occasional Cheerio as a treat and my wife gives them protein (tuna or chicken) a few times a week.

What sort of dark leafy veggies would you recommend?
 

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Itchiness can be from too high of protein. Oxbow doesn't need supplemented.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Buddy is still young. I don't know his exact age, but we got him at the beginning of August and he was tiny so I'm thinking he was maybe 8-10 weeks old. Which would make him only about 5 months old. I thought you were suppose to give them protein for the first 6 months?
 

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The protien thing is very much mis interpreted. They need extra protien when there body grows rapidly, so a growth spurt. They can have these until they ate finished growing, normally around 12 months. However there's lots of time in there where they are not growing rapidly. If you feed lots of extras then it's not good for them. After my guys get to about 8 weeks assuming they are nicely growing i stop the regular extra protien. Instead i watch there tails and coat condition. When they get a square edge on there tails i top them up with 1 to 2 high protien meals. The rest of the time they don't get any. This gives then what they need not just in case stuff.

The dessert will be having an effect. Try putting a bowl of water on a nearby radiator or getting a humidifier. rears need higher humidity than us humans do. It will affect both coat and skin.

As for the itching can you see much buck grease on his skin? Is probably give him a preventative mite treatment to be safe too.

veg nutrition is about variety but some contain more important nutrients. i find a good mix is
60% dark green leafy (kale, spring greens, pak choi, dark cabbage leaves)
30% colourful (your on the right lines here)
20% others including fruits (ideally berries).

dark green stuff contains lots of vit k, copper and calcium, colourful contains lots of vit c all are important
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No radiator here, we have central heating and I don't think the vent gets hot enough to cause any sort of water evaporation. I'm going to order a humidifier.

I was looking at Buddy's skin, which I can't see that well because of all the fur, and it looks like if I were to shave him it would have patches of yellow on it. Maybe because they sleep in their own urine or because the pee on each other? Or is that an indication of something else?
 
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