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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! My name is Jess and I'm adopting two baby rats that were intended to be feeders from the pet store. The person I know who works there is taking two male babies and getting them used to handling and I'm taking them as soon as they are done nursing from the mother. Is there anything i need to do/ watch for when caring for such young babies? Also when would be a good time to have them checked by the vet? I worked at an amazing exotics hospital over the summer and can take them there whenever.
 

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How old will they be when you get them? Young rats in general need some extra protein and iron. Canned oysters are good for that, and also has some zinc. You can also use beef liver. For just protein, egg, tuna, and other meats like chicken are good treats, but oysters have more beneficial extra nutrients too. Baby food is also good.

If they are very young, you can get soy infant formula and mix it with rice baby cereal. Good nutrients in those too and they usually like it. Also gentle on their tummies. You can also give goat milk (raw goat milk is even better if you can get it) lots of good stuff in that too, and supposedly is a pretty decent rat milk substitute for orphan babies (but so is the soy infant formula).

You can take them to the vet whenever you'd like I guess. Unless there are any signs of illness, I don't think there is any rush. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will be getting them when they stop nursing and start eating the block food the pet store provides. i don't know exactly how old they are but I saw them yesterday and they were tiny and pink, no fur. the guy said it would take about another week for them to be able to come home. so I'm assuming 4 weeks? would they still need the formula mix then? I can definitely get them the oysters and the meats and the baby food. and will probably feed them the oxbow young rat food.
 

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but I saw them yesterday and they were tiny and pink, no fur. the guy said it would take about another week for them to be able to come home. so I'm assuming 4 weeks?
eek. I hope not. Rats begin getting fur at 1 week old. Around day 4 they get their pigment. So if they were still pink they are under a week, & unless they are like PEW they may be under 4 days even!

A week from that is no way old enough.

Rats begin trying food at 2 weeks, eating food at 3 weeks and are weaned at 4 weeks. Generally they are not adopted out until 6-8 weeks. But sigh pet stores.

I would ask them how old they are, and not take them before 4 weeks old.

They would not need formula. But depending on what food you feed, alittle extra protein is good. I shoot for 18% protein for babies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh ok, well maybe the guy was confused then because he did say I'm taking them after they've stopped nursing. And there not "pet rats" the store doesn't sell them as that, they are feeders. So i have to take them as soon as they can live on their own because if i don't they have to sell them as food. :( And all the rats they have are albino so I'm not sure if that makes a difference for pigment?
 
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