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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having 8 boys that are all agouti bershires makes telling apart hard unless i hold them so I can see their bellies.

Like Gooba who has no markings at all and then Moojoo has two super tiny white dots on his chest, Squazzil has a tiny white dot on his belly and jeli has a tiny dot on his chest. Now that they are growing up their hair is a little longer, I have to constantly pick them up and inspect bellies. Whenever someone is doing something cute, naughty, sweet spaztic-I want to know who it is and have to interrupt them just to check. I tried a little food dye on their tails, but they lick it right off.

It would be nice to be able to know at a glance who everyone is. We've got two small boys, two big boys, then like 4 that are roughly the same size-on the large size and then one that is just a little bigger than the smallest. Facial structures are too close to really tell, except fizzly who is a lot more stout of a build than his brothers.

Mammal Rat Vertebrate Mouse Muridae
 

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I have no advice, just have to say how freaking CUTE they are.
 

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Sharpie is non-toxic and lasts a couple of days I think. You'd have to keep redoing it, but that's one way. You can either do colors or different band patterns.
 

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Sharpie is non-toxic and also there are non-toxic food grade markers that they use for decorating cookies and such. Check the ingredients but I'm relatively certain they're rat friendly. We had white doves for a magic show and this is how we were able to tell them apart. Each dove knew a different trick so to make sure we were using the right one we color coded them with a little dot of food marker on the neck.
 

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I would do marker/ sharpie. They can't get sick unless they eat it which I don't think would be possible if it's on their tails
 

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I use sharpie marker on 2 week old babies (my last litter was 11 identical agouti's) its very effective and perfectly safe. A good method is to get different colours. So purple, blue and black show up well, red is good too but can look like someones eaten someone elses tail, green tends to fade very easily too. When i have loads to mark i mark tail tip, base and middle on different rats in one colour, then the same in the next and so on, or you can have a red 1 spot, red 2 spot and so on.
 

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You could also try puting marks on the edges of their ears instead of tails maybe? It might make it easier to tell tham apart quicker without having to try to check their butts whenever one is doing something cute. I imagine it would be harder to groom off too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I might try ears. I did the sharpie on the tails and it was gone before I could finish marking. :) They are devils about stuff that doesn't belong. Even on me-lotions, chapstick ..u name it.

Oh reminds me that I made the salve from hey fey-though I used echinacea on mine-makes a great lip balm. The rats go crazy though and want to eat it.
 

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I might try ears. I did the sharpie on the tails and it was gone before I could finish marking. :) They are devils about stuff that doesn't belong. Even on me-lotions, chapstick ..u name it.

Oh reminds me that I made the salve from hey fey-though I used echinacea on mine-makes a great lip balm. The rats go crazy though and want to eat it.
My rat penny used to groom my make-up off and I ran into the same problem with the babies I tried to mark on the tails on....it was gone the next day....AND THEY BABIES! I need to go get more colors of sharpies and try they're ears
 

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Even if sharpies are nontoxic I don't like the sound of putting it on an animal. In the piercing world, we use gentian violet to mark before piercing--only unprofessional hacks use sharpie. Gentian violet is all natural and easy to find, but it's also very staining (and only comes in one color). Truly I'm stumped by the problem! Sharpie works in a pinch. I suppose it would be too time consuming and silly to try to shave a stripe into some rats and not on others, or something like that. Obviously collars or clothes don't work for rats either. I wonder if you put some color on their nail, would they still eat it off?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nail polish I wouldn't trust, they scrape mine off, and there are very few non toxic brands.

The ears don't work well...they groom it off each other and it was really hard to see because they have pretty dark pigmentation. In a perfect world they would wear collars and like it. haha

I wonder if I use a really strong solution of food dye and dip their tails in it. I'm gonna try that tommorrow.
 

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i was thinking sharpie on the nail, possibly they'd be less likely to groom it from the nail? NOT nail polish, that stuff is toxic!
 

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Another option if you don't show is to cut a line of fur to leave a mark. You have to renew it regularly but it does work.

woth sharpies i keep them away from it for a few mins until it dries then it doesn't get licked of easily. Plus doing it just before free range helps as then they are distracted until they forget it's different
 

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Cloud fought with Max for three weeks until they became the best of friends.. on the last day of the war, Max cut Cloud's ear, it healed leaving behind a tiny tear, which healed up very quickly but the tear itself remains after 10 months and will never close over completely. It didn't bother her since day 1 and it doesn't bother her now... I'm not suggesting you notch your rat's ears yourself, but perhaps you could have your vet do it humanly for you.
 
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