Rat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I jsut got a foster girl and while she is absolutely precious she is very unsocialized. She has already tried to bite me (thank god for towels covering my hands) and I fear that she will not let me handle the babies. Every time she is eating I try to peak in on the babies but the second she sees me move, hears the door open, gets spooked she runs straight back to the nest. She is being a very good mom but since she was so young (i am guessing MAYBE 5 months old) and unsocialized she is even more afraid then normal overprotectivenes. What do I do? I can't have her biting since I have children in the house and I don't want to give up fostering her since I may very well be adopting her if she doesn't find a home. Help please LoL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,755 Posts
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

i once had this same problem. i bought 2 girls from a pet store and 3 weeks later there were babies. one girl came round to me very fast, the other was just starting to not bolt and scream bloody murder when taken out of the cage when she had her babies. once she had the babies i couldn't get my hand in to see them without getting a bad bite.

i didn't have the issue of small children getting they're fingers in the way as i had them in aquarims put on the side with a cage door made for them. here's a picture of what i mean, you may want to do that same to protect your children.

the door was made with some scrap metal and friend with a bit of knowledge and a welder.

i still wanted to handle the babies daily but it just wasn't an option for the first few days. i eventually put to use a pair of my mother's thick riding gloves to get to the babies for handling time and used snicketts' sister spider as a distraction in a play area. the big thing then was remembering who was who's baby as spider had her 13 babies a day before snicketts had her 11 and most of them were black mismarked berks.

i would also use the gloves to give treats to snicketts. but i think what helped best was that i would sit beside the cage and read aloud to everyone. she got used to me shifting around to get more comfortable, my voice, my smell and proxcimity to the cage.

as the babies got older and my continued pressence and reassurances she eventually came around as mush as was possible for her. i think she may have had some genetic temperment issues as well though. this was the rat that i swear was autistic and HATED and change. many of her sons had issues with other rats and a couple of her children had other temperment issues as well that were similar to her own.

but i think with some patience and being placed out of reach of young fingers for now she has a good chance of coming round as the babies grow up. she's probably just scared that you are going to hurt them and having no reason to trust humans but plenty of reasons not too she is just being even more protective of them then normal for even a naturally protective mother. read and shift around next to her, she'll get used to eventually. giving her treats with a gloved hand or in a small bowl at the door will also help her assocaite you with good rather then the person that steals her babies (even though you always put them back).

please keep us updated to her progress
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

This helps so much twitch!! thank you a tone! I was looking into getting her an aquarium and may still do it. I hate the cage she is in now for the simple fact that I think babies should be in a place where nothing can get caught in bars. She is sitting on my desk next to me and I have already spent as much time as possible talking to her and reassuring her that she is such a pretty girl. I will look into getting gloves to help handle and socialize her.

Also how much time can she be away from the babies right now? I know they need to feed quite often but I never know when and how long she can be away. I didn't see any milk bands on them when i cleaned the cage but I also was rushing as to not upset her. She was also feeding when I cleaned the cage unknown until the babies had already been unlatched from her. I assume she went straight back to feeding since I heard small squeaks then suckles coming from the cage.

I have her and the babies on alpha dri bedding with scraps of fleece and shredded paper and some paper towels for her to nest with. She is being such a good mom and I really want to keep her here.

My kids are really good about not sticking fingers in cages and they are in school all week so it isn't a huge issue just something I need to keep in the back of my mind. The kids have already been forewarned that they are not allowed anywhere near the cageunder any circumstances. And while I trust my kids I also know that they are only 6 and 7 LoL curiosity sometimes gets the best of them. I am very understanding with botes and my kids and only once has there been an issue. My son stuck his finger in the cage after eating a poptart and Sniffs got him pretty good. I made Nathaniel understad that Sniffs did not intend to hurt him and he should never do that again. As far as I know he hasn't and no other issue has come up. But still LOL I am a mom first.

Anyway I am rambling thanks so much twitch for all the great advice and i promise there will be pictures soon in the meet my rat section and in the rats needin homes when the time comes LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

Twitch has great ideas. A few things off the top of my head...

She probably won't take treats from you, but you could try luring her out, into a container of sorts, with food.

You could come up with some sort of divider to keep her separated (and you safe) from the babies while you check them out. Some sort of plastic or cardboard, maybe... If they're in a tank, this is probably the best for this suggestion. You could put some food on the other side of the tank (if it is one), and lure her over there, then push the divider down (should be about the width of the tank) and you can check/handle the babies.

It's not uncommon for this to happen, of course, as you know... She must be scared for her little ones. Of course, her being unsocialized makes it ten times worse. The BEST advice I give anyone with rats that may or do bite is try not to show your fear. In fact, try not to be afraid. They can sense it and if you're scared, they may be more likely to lash out.

She may settle down as she gets to know you, though I wouldn't bet on it.

Hrm. As for the safety of your children, I'm not so sure, other than stressing they not touch/open the cage and putting it up higher than you normally would.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,755 Posts
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

they will need feeding about every 2 hours so i would let her out for 30mins to an hour a day at first then add to that as time goes on and the babies get older. she won't want to be away too long right now anyway, especially if she's so protective.

i found that reading a book i was interested in aloud worked better then talking directly to snicketts. when i was reading i wasn't watching snicketts as much and i was using a more normal tone and inflection of voice. reading something i was interested in also kept me talking longer then i would if i was just talking to her. afterall, there is only so much you can say to someone who doesn't say anything back. but i did do the reading before the babies were born too, i just did it more and closer to her cage once the babies came and she got so scared for them. the reading may not have been a factor, it honestly could have just been the babies getting older but i believe it helped. it took a long time to see an effects though and that why i say it could just have been the babies getting older too.

i'm looking forward to the pictures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

Oops, you posted when I did!

I give about 10-30 minutes of time away for the first week (multiple times a day... Sometimes, I'll have moms freak out like they don't WANT to be out), and after that, I up it a bit each week. It works for us. :) By 3 weeks, I've got moms that are begging for longer playtimes, and the babies are fine on their own for a good hour one to three times a day.

The first few weeks, they'll feed a good 18 hours a day or so.

I error on the side of paranoia (making sure babes get plenty of milk), though, so others may do different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,755 Posts
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

i just posted what i did with snicketts. when she got more comfortable i added to how many times a day i would take her out. but i didn't know as much about rats then as i do now. sure i read up on all i could get a hold of when i figured out we were expecting babies but reading about it and experiencing is still two very different things. for me 30mins-an hour worked out fine but i can certainly see why you would start at smaller times away more often a day instead. that's probably the better route between the two actually.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

Kimmiekins said:
Twitch has great ideas. A few things off the top of my head...

She probably won't take treats from you, but you could try luring her out, into a container of sorts, with food.

You could come up with some sort of divider to keep her separated (and you safe) from the babies while you check them out. Some sort of plastic or cardboard, maybe... If they're in a tank, this is probably the best for this suggestion. You could put some food on the other side of the tank (if it is one), and lure her over there, then push the divider down (should be about the width of the tank) and you can check/handle the babies.

It's not uncommon for this to happen, of course, as you know... She must be scared for her little ones. Of course, her being unsocialized makes it ten times worse. The BEST advice I give anyone with rats that may or do bite is try not to show your fear. In fact, try not to be afraid. They can sense it and if you're scared, they may be more likely to lash out.

She may settle down as she gets to know you, though I wouldn't bet on it.

Hrm. As for the safety of your children, I'm not so sure, other than stressing they not touch/open the cage and putting it up higher than you normally would.
Funny you should say that she just took two yogies from me though catious she was really very nice about it all. I have been tlaking to her all night I will also try the sperator idea just to reduce her stress of the whole ordeal. I really want this to work out LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

I'm sure it will Stephanie, all in good time.
Congrats on the new babies. I wish you luck in taming the mother and I hope her bites aren't too bad. :[
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

Thanks everyone it is so nice to have this forum to come to for answers like this!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,160 Posts
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

It might be a case where you just have to wait until the babies are older before you can handle Mom.

In all my years of having rats the only time I was ever bitten was buy a nursing Mother.

As for checking babies while she is nursing... use a divider so that you can check the babies & not have Mom making contact with you. Once you check the babies out & handle them for a bit (since you want them to be accustomed to human touch) you can remove the divider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
798 Posts
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

Hm I know someone with this problem, a member of this forum actually. She bought a hairless from a breeder, and came to find out that the rat was NEVER socialized or handled, so shes been bitten a fair amount of times. when the rat ended up having babies she wasn't about to allow the babies to turn out like the mama so she just distracts the mom and handles the babies. theres always a way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,160 Posts
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

Keep in mind there is still hope for Mom

Rats Mothers are just protecting their babies... they may be very loving once they are no longer in Mommy-mode.

The worst bite I ever had was very early on in my years of having rats. I had no idea she was pregnant until that moment she bit me 2 days after she came home. While she was nursing it was very apparent that she was going to "go for the bone" if I went anywhere near her little ones. After they were about 3 to 4 weeks old she had no problem with me handling them & once they were all grown up/gone to new homes she was very sweet & loving. I had her for nearly 3 yrs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies

Ok so I just did a play time with momma and babies in my bedroom. I set up a play pen for mom and had the babies on my bed. Mom was very well behaved and didn't try to terrorize me at all this time around. She even ran up my sleeve to hide at one point when my kids tried to come in the door. She didn't bite at all!!! Of course she also didn't take a treat either but that's ok. It looks like we have 5 black mismarked hooded/capped, 1 pew, and 1 biege hooded but I am no expert LoL. I haven't tried to see about ear types yet either. I will post all of their info when I have it gathered together LoL i.e. which hooded is male or female. Pictures will probably come tomorrow. I am so glad she is calming down and I get to keep her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Re: Foster Rat and 7 babies **NOW WITH PICS!**

Here are pictures of the babies!!! they are ten days old today!!!










hope you enjoy!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
one of the pictures isn't working LoL but yeah I love them LOL and I am keeping the momma cause she needs so much work the little brat bit me bad last night!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,755 Posts
i fixed the last picture. you forgot to hit enter and add the to the front.

very cute babies. were you able to figure out who was what?
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top