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Kleo, Manta, Bean
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I'm back again needing some advice! So I think especially after the weird stuff last night, that my babies seem to be confident enough to come out for some free roam time now but I just don't know how to safely make it happen.

Here is some background information:
-My three girls are around 8 weeks old
-I have had them for a little over a week now
-They are pretty comfortable climbing all over me but not at all with me picking them up
-They've gotten a looooot more brave than when I got them and are getting more courageous every day

And here are some of my questions regarding this:
-Should I free roam them all together or maybe one by one or something, I don't know?
-Where should I do it? I don't have a pen or anything that could hold them in and I don't think it's safe for them to free roam our whole living room yet since it's their first time and they aren't yet the most comfortable with me
-If I do it like on a couch or a bed, how could I then even get them on the couch or the bed? Because that would require me picking them up there or bringing them out in their carrier, which doesn't really work either as I tried it when cleaning their cage. They were fine going in and getting their treats but if I moved the carrier for one bit, they would bolt out.
 

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Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
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-Should I free roam them all together or maybe one by one or something, I don't know?
They'll be more confident when together.
Where should I do it? I don't have a pen or anything that could hold them in and I don't think it's safe for them to free roam our whole living room yet since it's their first time and they aren't yet the most comfortable with me
Until you have a pen or trust them to roam a whole room then a bed, bathroom, couch, etc. will work.
If I do it like on a couch or a bed, how could I then even get them on the couch or the bed?
Can you lure them onto you then move them that way?
 

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Kleo, Manta, Bean
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They'll be more confident when together.

Until you have a pen or trust them to roam a whole room then a bed, bathroom, couch, etc. will work.

Can you lure them onto you then move them that way?
Thank you so much! Okay, bed or couch it is then! I'll just have to figure out how to get them there, I could try your suggestion, I'm still kinda afraid they'd panic if I move further from the cage while they're on me and that they'd do something stupid but.. I should give it a shot! That or I'll also try the carrier thing again, doubt it will go too much better than last time but it's worth a try!
 

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Hulu, Dibs, Sprout, & Mochi
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-If I do it like on a couch or a bed, how could I then even get them on the couch or the bed? Because that would require me picking them up there or bringing them out in their carrier, which doesn't really work either as I tried it when cleaning their cage. They were fine going in and getting their treats but if I moved the carrier for one bit, they would bolt out.
I had this problem at first too. I would just pick them up. That was the only way to get mine used to it. If your cage rolls or is really light you can just take the whole cage to the free roam area and let them get out on their own. In the future when you get more rats, try to pick them up as often as you can because that gets them used to it really fast. If they squirm and squeak just keep holding them but if they are really scared then you can let them go. The reason I recommend this is because if you let them go whenever they squirm they will learn that if they do that you will always let them go and that can cause bad habits.
 

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Kleo, Manta, Bean
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had this problem at first too. I would just pick them up. That was the only way to get mine used to it. If your cage rolls or is really light you can just take the whole cage to the free roam area and let them get out on their own. In the future when you get more rats, try to pick them up as often as you can because that gets them used to it really fast. If they squirm and squeak just keep holding them but if they are really scared then you can let them go. The reason I recommend this is because if you let them go whenever they squirm they will learn that if they do that you will always let them go and that can cause bad habits.
Thank you! This is actually really helpful, I don't know why I didn't think that since I have a double critter nation, I can just roll it next to the couch to let them on it! And thank you for the other tips too, I think I might soon start doing that, hopefully it won't be that bad for them since they have already been getting used to me for a little over a week!
 

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You might be able to transport them in a small box or tube. If you put the box or tube in the cage, you can corral them into it, then lift it out of the cage with them inside. ...but I'd really suggest learning how to pick them up. It will make your life and theirs so much easier!
 

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Kleo, Manta, Bean
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You might be able to transport them in a small box or tube. If you put the box or tube in the cage, you can corral them into it, then lift it out of the cage with them inside. ...but I'd really suggest learning how to pick them up. It will make your life and theirs so much easier!
Thank you! That's a good idea, it's just that they do jump right out if I try to move the box at all. And yeah, since I've gotten some suggestions on the picking up thing, I guess I should start trying it out. I'm just afraid that it will harm the progress we have already made with bonding since they are not yet comfortable with me picking them up 😢
 

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I'm just afraid that it will harm the progress we have already made with bonding since they are not yet comfortable with me picking them up
I find that it doesn't take long for rats to get comfortable being picked up if it just becomes a part of their routine. The faster you can get them accustomed to being handled, the faster you'll be able to bond with them. Even though getting picked up may be a little scary for them, it actually helps progress in bonding.
 

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Kleo, Manta, Bean
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I find that it doesn't take long for rats to get comfortable being picked up if it just becomes a part of their routine. The faster you can get them accustomed to being handled, the faster you'll be able to bond with them. Even though getting picked up may be a little scary for them, it actually helps progress in bonding.
That's great to hear, thank you, I will start doing that with them from now on then, slowly but surely!
 

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I find that it doesn't take long for rats to get comfortable being picked up if it just becomes a part of their routine. The faster you can get them accustomed to being handled, the faster you'll be able to bond with them. Even though getting picked up may be a little scary for them, it actually helps progress in bonding.
And even when they squeak and squirm and act like you're going to eat them, they get used to it and aren't really as terrified as they want you to think. I have one boy Vito who chirps EVERY time I touch him. He's not the least bit afraid, but he just has to chirp or squeak lol.
 

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Kleo, Manta, Bean
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
And even when they squeak and squirm and act like you're going to eat them, they get used to it and aren't really as terrified as they want you to think. I have one boy Vito who chirps EVERY time I touch him. He's not the least bit afraid, but he just has to chirp or squeak lol.
Oh my goodness, this is hilarious 😄 I'm very glad to hear this also since I just don't know these things yet and also I'm really sensitive to the babies and if they squeak or something I'm just like OH MY GOSH ARE YOU OKAY?? So.. it's good to hear that they might not be quite as horrified as they seem 😅
 

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Lol, they are drama kings and queens for sure!! My 5 9-week old babies have been picked up and handled daily for 2 weeks now, and they don't care at all. I hold them up to my mouth and pretend to eat them nom nom nom :eek: But now they are growing up so fast, and getting faster and bolder and more adventurous. They aren't as laid back as they were, more like toddlers squirming to get back with their friends cuz they're afraid they're gonna miss something
 

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Kleo, Manta, Bean
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lol, they are drama kings and queens for sure!! My 5 9-week old babies have been picked up and handled daily for 2 weeks now, and they don't care at all. I hold them up to my mouth and pretend to eat them nom nom nom :eek: But now they are growing up so fast, and getting faster and bolder and more adventurous. They aren't as laid back as they were, more like toddlers squirming to get back with their friends cuz they're afraid they're gonna miss something
Oh my! 😄 I'm going to now start picking them up daily so hopefully in a few weeks they could be fine with it too 😊
 
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