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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a double thread, I posted this issue in the "Hello" section but I haven't got any replies... I replied to three threads so now I am allowed to post here, this is my issue:

Hi everyone,

my name is Ligeia.
I joined this forum because I need some advice from people that have a lot of experience with rats.

I am the owner of four rats: three males (brothers) and a spayed female (not related). The males are rescues, they are very peaceful creatures and get along wonderfully, my boys are almost 2 years old. About two and a half months ago I decided to add a new member to the family, a little girl (six month old) that came from an overcrowded situation... I named her "Machida".
Machida was fearful at first (she obviously wasn't used to being handled) but warmed up to me in only a couple of days, after which she became overly affectionate. I had her spayed after about 5 days that I brought her home and the surgery went smoothly. As soon as she recovered I introduced her to the boys (I followed all the recommended steps) and things went "ok" at first, even though she didn't seem to like one of the boys in particular (the alpha).

To come the point, after living in the same cage with the boys for about a week she started showing signs of aggression, at first towards my poor alpha that had to give up to his privileged position, yes Machida is now the new alpha, then she started picking on my most submissive, sweetest big boy. I would never have imagined that such a tiny female rat would literally be able to torture a big mellow boy such as my Jimmy... My boy is now covered in tiny scratches and little bites, he is no longer allowed to use the top floor of the cage and every time is treat time Machida quickly hides her treat and then steals Jimmy's, Jimmy is very slow and can't cope with this young nasty lady. My third rat, Kit, is also quite submissive and will have occasional fights with Machida even though he isn't always scared of walking near her... but Jimmy, well I feel so horribly sorry for him because he seems very unhappy at the moment and I don't know how to help him. The weird thing is that they often all sleep together in the house at the bottom floor but Machida won't allow Kit or Jimmy in their favourite hammocks, the only one that she tolerates is Tate which is the ex alpha! She keeps chasing the other two as soon as they try to reach the top floors of the cage, it's unbearable! My boys used to love their hammocks :(

I am so sorry for writing such a long thread but I wanted to give out as much information as possible so that maybe someone could tell me what I am supposed to do in such a frustrating situation... I believe that Machida is aggressive because of the overcrowded situation she came from where she had to fight with about 20 rats in order to eat. How can I make her understand that there's enough food for everyone? She is literally half of the size of my boys, why can't they defend themselves? I thought that introducing spayed females to intact boys was supposed to be easy... god was I wrong!

I attached a photo of the tiny evil monster, can anyone help me?​
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Luuucy and thanks for the reply. The immersion sticky contains a lot of useful information but it is more about aggression towards humans than cagemates. Machida is only aggressive towards my submissive boys but she absolutely loves me! She isn't scared of anything, my boys are HUGE and she is tiny but that doesn't prevent her from hurting them :(

I have attached a photo of one of the worse injuries she inflicted in my biggest boy. It's not terribly big but it looks painful!

 

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I would probably separate if she keeps it up, the wounds look superficial but I really would feel bad for the boys. The wounds themselves t hough will heal quickly I'm sure.

Which is sad, because Im sure getting a girl in their cage was like a dream come true until they realized that adorable lil thing is mean to them.

I would do play dates in neutral areas. If you have a 3rd cage, it would probably be useful to set up as a place to hang out while you are home and awake to break up fights and such too. Then everyone goes back to their own homes otherwise. You might try even 1 boy at a time with her and see how she does when there is only one other. These are just my thoughts and how I'd handle the situation. Again, let it be known, I'm very wimpy about infighting. I don't like anyone getting hurt or being bullied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I thought of separating them but as they don't fight constantly I can never make that decision... I am not that concerned about the injuries, they don't happen very often... but the bullying is pretty out of control, especially when it comes to food.

Yes a girl in the cage did sound very cute and exciting, and I can easily say that Tate's dream did come true (the ex alpha), even though he lost his position he absolutely loves and cherishes Machida, he follows her everywhere and he's the only one the grooms her and is allowed on the hammocks. Sometimes Machida gets very nasty to him and pushes him on one side arching her back to show dominance but he doesn't mind lol it's so cute when they sleep together and I really wish she would accept the other two as well, especially Jimmy. He is so scared of her that when she walks passed him he freezes, it breaks my heart :(

I guess I will keep monitoring them and if she gets too mean I will isolate her in the spare cage as you suggested, I would put Tate with her to keep her company but the three boys are too bonded and cannot be separated.

Here's a photo of Tate and Machida sleeping together, when she finally stops being evil for a second lol

Cage Animal shelter Cat Ferret Pet supply
 

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Even if it came down to separating, if you put Tate in with her it would not be completely keeping him from his bros. Your aim would still be integrating the whole group, so there would be daily play dates and such.

Another thing is, she is still fairly young and though girls are definately more active c ompared to boys they do calm down with age.

If you are going to keep them together, put more hammocks down lower in the cage for the other boys to use. have more than one food and water bowl just in case she's decided to take over one.

If the place was over crowded she came from it may of been hard to get plenty of food too, so she may of learned to be aggressive about territory. Hopefully with always full bowls and lots of treats she will mellow out on it. She is adorable even if she is naughty.
 
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