I didn't notice this board when I first joined, I was curious about her behaviour that I went straight to the behaviour borad. Anyhoo.... I am 18, I live with my parents still. I am a beginner to rats, excluding a buck I had when I was 11, I only had him for a few months, and I have had my new doe, Honey for 2 or 3 months. My family doesn't like rats, or any rodent really, but I somehow didn't ingherit that gene or didn't like that idea when I was being "nurtured" So if it isn't "nature" or"nuture", then why do I love all rodents so much??? I have predominately owned hamsters since Jerry the buck rat died but I got tired of them and wanted to go back to my favorite rodenty pet ever, which of course was Jerry the rat. I didn't want to replace Jerry, even though it has been 7 years, I still miss him terribly. So I got a black capped female instead of a black hooded male. As I am writing this, she is chittering on my shoulder and occasionally climbing down my shirt to stand on my hands as if asking "Whatcha doin'?" In case you are wondering, I only just recently discovered that rat's need to have rat companions, and haven't yet ben able to convince my parents to let me get another one, I only barely got them to let me buy Honey. So anyway, I have owned so many hamsters I can't even remember, both Syrian and dwarf. I currently have one male dwarf hamster and one male albino feeder mouse. Honey is also a "feeder" Since I have yet to find either a breeder or a rescue in my area (central eastern Ky) As a matter of fact, I have only found one petstore who even carries them, and it isn't a petsmart. The petsmart I go to only has hamsters and small birds and fish, sometimes lizards. Anyway, the petstore Where I got Honey and Remi the mouse is an independant and aside from not seperating the genders, they take fair care of the feeders, since both of the owners own rats as pets, but mice as feeders for their pacman frog and the woman's snake (a cornsnake, it won't get big enough to eat rats, she said, she likes rat's too much to watch them be killed) She gives a lot of good information about rats, but nothing about needing to pair them, or I would have bought two the first day, they were only 1.99 each and I had the money.... I don't have any idea why they don't seperate them, they both can tell the difference, I think it is just lack of sp[ace, they can't find a place to put an extra cage for each species of small animal TO seperate them. They have rats, young rats, mice, hamsters, dwarf hamsters, gerbils, and several tanks for the hamsters to keep them mostly seperated as best as they have space for, When I went to get Remi last month, they even had two adorable female hairless rats for 24.99 each, I would have bought one, but that was out of my 30 dollars price limit, I only had 30 dollars and had to get food and salt wheels and other things, so I just settled on a mouse and cage, instead of a hairless rat. I'm sorry I ramble... I just like to tell it all at once if I can.