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Discussion Starter #1
Aoife has been nibbling and barbering Bijou a lot lately, and has created a bald spot on the back of Bijou's head. There's also a couple tiny nips where she nibbled a little too close. But now the back of Bijou's head is completely bald.

Is there anything I can do that would help her fur grow back, or to help discourage her daughter from nibbling it all off?

Maybe Aoife is just jealous since she's a hairless rat! She could be trying to make everyone else naked too! lol

 

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No advice, but I giggled when I saw the picture because Grizz used to barber her sister Matilda in that exact same way, so Matilda always looked like a little monk.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was thinking of somthing to put on the back of her head too, but I can't figure out what. I don't think mint would work, because the tingly sensation it gives with direct skin contact might be unpleasant for Bijou. I have a shampoo that has menthol and mint and eucalyptus and other such things, and it gives a nice tingly cooling feel, but I don't think a rat would appreciate that!

It's of course not hurting her (except for the couple little nips she received) so I'm not really concerned. Just wondering if there is something that could be done at all.

I was laughing about because we already call Bijou our little old lady rat since she's very petite and has always had that sort of thin scruffy old lady fur, but now that she has a bald spot on the back of her head, she looks more like a little old man!

That Monk idea is hilarious though! We should call her Friar Bijou!! xD
 

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Maybe try some bitter apple or orange spray that is sold for cats and dogs. Get a good Quality brand. One that Walmart would be to cheap to sell, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
They have 2 neutered males as cagemates so I'd definitely stay away from the Orange, but that is a good idea! I'm guessing there probably isn't much that I can do in this situation, and just hope she stops the nibbling soon haha. But now she's nibbled a bit more down the back of Bijou's neck, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see how bald Bijou gets after all of Aoife's nibbling. I hope Aoife gets bored of it soon!
 

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I am not sure it is a great idea, the one who tastes it the most will be the rat wearing it when he grooms himself. he might find that rather distressing?
 

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If there is motivation to barber it will rebound when the flavoring goes--in the mean time you are delivering the same level of aversive (at least) to both rats. Long term the only thing found to help with barbering is changing social dynamics, providing mondo enrichment and interupting sight lines.

Just IMHO.
 

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Long term the only thing found to help with barbering is changing social dynamics, providing mondo enrichment and interupting sight lines.

Just IMHO.
I've tried to put new toys and hidey holes for my rats. Unfortunately she will still chase her sister to barber her! Their previous owner told me that their mother was the same too. Is it genetic?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've tried to put new toys and hidey holes for my rats. Unfortunately she will still chase her sister to barber her! Their previous owner told me that their mother was the same too. Is it genetic?
I have the same problem. I'm fairly certain that the mother is the highest ranking ratty of this group. But she still gets barbered (but then, i don't know if barbering is a sign of dominance or just socialization). It seems she barbers when they're settling down to snuggle and nap, and they're all being cute and grooming each other and stuff and nibbling gets a little overzealous.

The daughter is the smallest rat of all my 5, so I have trouble believing she is dominant. Like i mentioned earlier, shes hairless, and her short curly whiskers make her "blind" so she's very clumsy and bumps into things or is startled easily when approached and touched. I have trouble seeing her as a leader of any sort and being able to show authority haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I just thought I'd update with a current picture of Bijou's bald spot for humor's sake. It's funny because Aoife (the barbering culprit) will usually creep up on her while Bijou is busy eating, and very slowly sneak over and start nibbling on the top of her head while Bijou is distracted. If she creeps over slow enough, Bijou won't argue at all and just let her do it. Aoife still LOVES nibbling her head, so it's getting bigger! It's kind of silly and cute, but I hope she stops soon and lets the fur grow back! I want to find a good way to distract her and get her interested in something else to nibble instead, preferably not on a cagemate.

 

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I've got a rogue barber too. Isamu said tea tree cream deterred hers. I'll be making a salve with beeswax and tea tree oil tomorrow, I'll tell you if it works
 
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