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I wasn't going to add to my mischief until my oldest passed but someone was really desperate to get rid of a girl rat and I couldn't say no... Apparently she was born Aug 2013 so shes a little over a year and a half old. She lost her cagemates and the person didn't want anymore rats. After talking to the person and sending them pics of my cage (which btw she told me it looked a little cramped for 5 rats... uhhh the dimensions are 60' long, 48' high, and 24' deep... totally cramped!!!) she then asked me what I was feeding them. I told her oxbow and fresh veggies. She told me 'well would you mind if I gave you some bird seed? its closer to what they eat naturally in the wild!' oooooookayy... I wasn't about to argue, I just said yes.

I couldn't tell this from the pictures on Craigslist but the rat is a grey hooded dumbo... except farther down her back her fur is a light brown where it should be grey. She's extremely soft, so so so much softer than my rats. But her coat feels thin as well. I'm having a hard time getting pictures in the right light but I'll post some as soon as I can.

Is this from age? I know my brown hooded rats have faded from when they were younger. Or could this be from a poor diet? Is there anything I can do to reverse this?
 

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It could be diet, genetic or age I don't have any first hand experience with this so hopefully someone will chime in but I would just get the decent diet rolling asap.
 

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I'll take your word for it on it looking different in person but what I can tell you is my older white rat, Chai always... since the day I got her a year ago, has ALWAYS looked like she just rolled around in dirt. Sometimes we joke that someone spilled coffee on her and tried to wipe it up since she always has that dirty yellow tint. We have always fed her the best we can, taken great care of her, she grooms herself as well as gets groomed by others... so there is really no explanation for it.

It is probably genetic.
 
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