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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody.

Yesterday i got my 1st 2 rats....a champagne badger (Phineas) and a hooded agouti (Ferb).
Both roughly 8 weeks old, although Phineas is a little smaller. (Def both male) I got them from a breeder who informed they were from a rescue litter, the owner didnt realise they had a male and female rat. She had handled them every day since having them. And let me hold each rat before leaving and they were fine.

I didnt handle them at home the first night as i knew it was a big deal for them. But i opened the door and gave them a few chunks of Apple. Phineas took it from my fingers but Ferb would not come near me. So i left some apple on a shelf, which he later retrieved and i left it at that.

Today, i wanted to try putting my hand in the cage and letting them smell me. Phineas was fine with this but Ferb almost kind of "charged" at my hand, nipped me and ran back to his corner.
He did not draw blood, but was a little painful and made me a little wary as these are my first rats and first real interaction with this pair. He showed absolutely no signs of this behaviour at the breeders house.
My hand was clean and free from scent. It was as if he was telling me he was boss?

I have since tried again (with a glove). And rice crispys in palm. He didnt "charge" this time, but did nibble me until he found the treats. He then takes one and runs away.

He appears very scared of me, and i dont know why. :pensive:
Ive tried to keep any noise to a minimum, left them for one night to get used to new environment (except for a treat).
Is this something he is doing to show who is boss? He is just scared because of his new home? Will he grow out of it if i keep trying?
Any info greatly appreciated.
Andy
 

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When you first get them they might be scared no matter what. When I first got Jojo he had bitten me maybe 5 times within a couple weeks. Now he doesn't bite anymore but it still rather skittish. Still working on him ^^
 

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Your rat is just terrified of you. It isn't normally expected from a rat so young (normally seen in older rescue rats who have had bad experiences with people/lack of socialization) but can definitely be worked on and you will see improvement the more you handle him and have him outside the cage. If wearing gloves gives you some confidence about handling him, then just keep doing that - it doesn't really matter as long as you are consistently showing him that there is nothing to be scared of. He may never grow up to be the most cuddliest of rats - some rats just prefer the company of rats but in the ideal world you will eventually be able to handle him without stress (on either of your ends). It is very important that you work with him because you need to be able to safely handle him for cage cleaning, inspections, nail clippings, med administrations and vet visits. Checking out the immersion guide is a good start but do understand it may take a while for your rat to be comfortable with you. As he is still quite young, I think you will see a lot of progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
2 nights in now....the "scaredy" rat - Ferb, is no longer nibbling my fingers.
He is out of his box or hammock when i walk in the room and at the cage front saying hello, he is even eating the rice crispys from my palm - and me without a glove!! What a difference a day makes. :D
I go to the cage and talk to them whenever i enter the room and put my hand in with a treat every couple of hours.

The immersion guide by RatDaddy is a BIG BIG help. I have Rat proved my bathroom tonight and tomorrow immersion begins!

I have talked alot about Ferb - (because he bit me) but Also have a lot of love for Phineas, THE LAID BACK ONE of our pack.
I will try and get some pictures on here of my boys, when they are in the mood for posing. Only managed to get blurs so far.

Thanks everyone.
 
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