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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're accepting the fact that Dumplekins and Pancakes likely won't be around much longer.. We want to get 2 new rats (preferably spayed females) to join them so when one of the brothers dies, the other won't have to live alone.

We're not sure how to do this without stressing out the old boys or the new rats. We're not sure how old the new rats will be since we're planning on getting them from a local rescue but we haven't seen who is available yet. When trying to do introductions from my personal little group with either Berki or Charlie, the old boys are interested but start getting a little rough. Dumplekins doesn't seem to mind too much, just sniffs vigorously and pulls at their fur with his hands, but Pancakes is rougher about it, and after a few minutes will start nipping. This scares my rats of course who start getting jumpy when they start getting rough, and then everyone seems tense and I separate them.

We really don't want the surviving brother to have to live alone and be lonely and depressed, but we're not sure if they will even accept younger new rats? Any special suggestions for this age gap? Or just follow standard introduction recommendations as usual and see how it goes?
 

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i tend to find a pair of babies is easiest to intro to old men, they tend to be playful and manic bit not yet rough and often it gives the oldies an extra spring in thete steps. i tend to do carrier method for this bit of your genuinely worried about there health a longer heavily supervised neutral space intro can work though it baja the stress last longer so it depends
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The local rescue we want to go to currently has young girls (little black berk girls, so cute! If we adopt 2, I already have name ideas!) and they will be spayed young to see how it affects their health when they're older (vs spaying at an older age or waiting for tumor/spay surgery like with Bijou). But most importantly, if we adopt unaltered girls, we will make a spay appointment asap so we can start intros soon. We're not sure if the boys, especially Dumplekins, will have only days left, or maybe months. It's very uncertain now. He still has an appetite which is great, and doesn't seem unhappy at all yet, but he's still constantly losing weight and is getting weaker and clumsier. And with Pancake's irregular likely cancer tumors, we don't know when/where they'll spread, and when he will start feeling the effects of his illness. So far he acts robust and lively still which is good, but I know these things can change in an instant.

What is the carrier method?

Pancakes tends to be a little more aggressive when meeting new rats. Especially when sniffing through the bars, he will get huffy and try to bite or swipe at the other rat.
 

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The carrier method is stickied in the behaviour forum. It's also sometimes called the small space method and i find it is probably the fastest and most reliable form of intros in most cases.

i expect of you go down the young girl route it will be very easy. I've only ever had one buck who wasn't besotted by girl smell, he was odd and would huff and get very grumpy if they were any where near. The others just stare wistfully through the cage at them and if they do meet they are the most interesting thing in the world
 
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