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i haven't been around this forum in a while, because i've been extremely busy with work and getting ready for school to start (aah!). and it just figures that right in the middle of this, i'd end up with a baby rat... i was over at my friend's house on wednesday, and she told me her sister was keeping baby rats in her room for a friend whose rat had babies and couldn't care for them. i peeked in (knowing full well that with me, "just looking" at baby rats isn't just looking), and saw the mom and three little females in one ten-gallon aquarium, and seven male babies in another twenty-gallon. they were being fed nothing but dog food and kept on shredded newspaper for bedding.

the mother was vicious, but the babies were sweet, and i ended up taking home one of them. (she would have been snake food.) the thing is, she's rather young- barely a month old- but the mother's body is so taxed (this is her second litter in a row, and it appears that she's about to have another one; my guess on the mama's age is six months, but i could be wrong because she's not very healthy) that the babies weren't nursing any more, just picking at mom's food.

so.

there's the sad situation; back to the actual question. i've supplied the little one (a little black berk named veda) with block rat food, bran cereal flakes, bits of celery, carrot, and strawberry. i know she's eating because i've seen her do it, and i've seen her eagerly devour a bit of cooked rigatoni right from my fingers. the question is, do you think there's anything i should do for her to supplement her growth, nutrition-wise, to make up for the lack of mother's milk, or is she beyond needing that and able to eat normally? i've never had one this tiny totally independent of poor mom.

also, do you think because she's so tiny i should keep her away from the older ones longer? i don't want her to be alone too long, but they can be a bit rowdy, seeing as three of them are five-month-old girls.

(for letting this happen, i would like to go find my friend's stepsister's friend, who "owns" the mama, and smack her in the face.)
 

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I'd give her extra protein like eggs and maybe some baby food for something softer for her to eat. Since she's weaned she likely won't need formula.

I'd follow the quarantine time and then see... at 7 weeks rats are much bigger and can likely be introduced to the older rats I know we (back when we first got the rats and didn't know better) basically dumped Guinness in with Pernod and Bacardi. They scuffled a bit, but were fine. Perry has always treated Guinea like his own little baby.
 

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soy baby formula mixed with baby oatmeal is good if she's a little small.... even if she's weaned you can use the slightst bit of formula......my bigger rats even liked baby oatmeal...lol....or baby food..... crack open sunflower seed shells but dont take them completely off, let her take them out herself (it provides a little activity for her as well as a treat, and sunflower seeds are pretty soft)...soft fruits or veggies (bananas...mmmm) or those baby foods that are for getting babies used to solids (like the ones that are in soft sticks in jars) work too..... i kinda raised a baby from like 2 weeks old to about 4 1/2 weeks old (thats how old little wolfy was when i gave him to the shelter)
 

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thanks, guys. i tried a hard-boiled egg yesterday, and she went nuts for it at first but seemed hesitant to do anything but just nibble at the edges. i'll keep up with the fruits and veggies. sunflower seeds seem like a really good idea, for protein, or maybe peanuts in the shell? thanks for the advice.
 
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