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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've had two pet rats for about 4-5 months. They both are very friendly with each other. I was looking at buying them a new bigger cage and I came across an ad for one at a great price but they wanted to include 2 rats with the cage. I went ahead and bought the cage and rats thinking if they didn't work out I could sell or adopt them. These 2 new rats ended up being really awesome so I've decided to keep them. I'm now in the process of introducing the two pair to each other. I've only introduced single rats to each other, never pairs. I am following this video:

I am at the point of putting them all together in a smaller cage. Things seem to be going alright, a couple of scraps but nothing crazy. But just recently a little fight broke out,
it started with them fighting the rats they didn't know but then they turned on each other fighting their own friend. The new pair of rats have been in a boxing position for the last ten minutes. It looks like they are ready to fight any second and the other pair fought for maybe 5 seconds but right after the fight the bigger rat started protecting his smaller friend. Thought this was bizarre behavior. They do seem to be ok now but I thought this was interesting and want to make sure everything is ok. Am I doing anything wrong? Any tips for introducing pairs?

Some details:
They are all male.
The newest pair are both medium size and about 9-12 months old
The original pair are a smaller guy who is about 6-8 months old and the other is the biggest of them all and is around 1 year 2-4 months.

Thanks!!
 

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When they're a bit on edge and hammering out a new pecking order they can get a little edgy, even with their longtime friends.Sounds like you're doing really well honestly. Introing pairs is a lot like introing singles. Just keep an eye on them, wait for them to settle down, I mean boxing and scrapping happens. I go by the 'no blood, no foul' rule. I also love Emiology's videos, she does such a good job with her boys and her voice is really soothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When they're a bit on edge and hammering out a new pecking order they can get a little edgy, even with their longtime friends.Sounds like you're doing really well honestly. Introing pairs is a lot like introing singles. Just keep an eye on them, wait for them to settle down, I mean boxing and scrapping happens. I go by the 'no blood, no foul' rule. I also love Emiology's videos, she does such a good job with her boys and her voice is really soothing.
Thanks for the reply. That's good to know. Today I had them in a smaller cage. I stepped out and when I came back I noticed one rat from the new pair had a deep bite wound near his ear. And the bigger oldest rat from the original pair has a bloody bite in his back. So they got in a fight. I'm not sure if this is really working out great. I'm thinking of introducing them all individually. Or maybe I just need to keep plucking away with this method?
 

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I'd take them out and treat the wounds, then sadly start all over again. Individual intros could be worth a shot if you're having troubles, at the very least it makes it easier to intervene during fights.
 

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I'd take them out and treat the wounds, then sadly start all over again. Individual intros could be worth a shot if you're having troubles, at the very least it makes it easier to intervene during fights.
Yes I treated the wounds and your probably right I'll have to restart. I'm considering individually or maybe by pairs just this time keep a better eye on them. Thanks for the reply!
 

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That's kind of messed up to buy the cage thinking you could just adopt out the rats later. I've rehomed a pair of rats on Craigslist with a super nice expensive cage for really cheap. I did it so my ratties could get a good home and stay in their cage which they were familiar with and I spent a lot of money for them to have. Sorry didn't like the sound of your original plan at all, though it's great everything worked out I guess
 
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