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Discussion Starter #1
Ok you guys have helped me on the other treads but i am having some problems i think.
I have fed both rats through the bars and while in the cage by hand and they are fine but today i have taken them out for a bit( about half a hour each) when i do this they look very nervous and don't eat for my hand like they do in the cage and try run away for me. And i know that the breeder i got them from handlde them for 3 days.
Is it better to take one out at a time or both?
Must i hold them for longer or shorter?
And any more tips please.
Is this normal?
And please note i have only had them for 2 days.
 

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I'd stop feeding them through the bars. They likely will start snapping at anything that comes near them outside the cage. Which means if you have children about or friends, they may get nipped.

My boys don't much like eating outside the cage. They're all about the exploring and such. On occasion, when they're falling asleep in my lap, they'll nibble on something I give them. Keep holding them.

The breeder only held them for 3 days? That means they're probably not as socialized as they ought to be. Keep up with holding them daily. Try to give them individual attentions as well as group attentions.

Maybe you could let them play in a bathtub or on a table as well.

They're very new to you, they need to get used to you. ;)
 

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The breeder only handled them for 3 days? Not from birth?

The length of time you have them out is good. If you can have them out longer, that's even better. The more time you spend with them, the faster they'll become used to you and learn to trust you. When you have them out, make sure you have them on you, on your shoulder, in your lap. A good way to do it is to wear a hoodie or something, and let them crawl around underneath it, and through the pocket and into the hood. With one of my girls, I just wore a T-shirt and let her crawl around under it.

I socialize my rats one at a time, but I'm not sure if it's better to it individually or with both of them at once.

Just keep it up, and give them time. It might take a few days, or weeks, but they will come around with patience and persistence ^_^

Oh, and it is normal for them to not take treats from you outside of the cage. They might start taking them once they're more comfortable with you, but they might not. Also, it's not generally a good idea to feed them through the bars, because then if you (or someone else) sticks a finger through the bars, the rats will chomp on it thinking it's another treat.
 

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You have to find a treat they REALLY like... like a yogurt drop... but don't give it to them through the bars. Wait until they are out and really craving one, and hold the rat, with your hand around it with the little arms over your thumb, and then feed it the treat. If he takes it while you are holding him and eats it while he is in your grasp, he will get to knowing that the hand is not evil and scary.

It takes about a month for a rat to really start appreciating you... so just give it time. Don't over excite them right away, because they are naturally scared.
 

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When I take in new rats, babies or old, I force socialize them. I yank them out of the cage as often as possible. I wear a t-shirt under an old sweatshirt and put the ratties in between. I keep them there for a couple of hours at a time. I do this a few times a day. Ratties will bond to your smell, they will get nice and comfy in your shirt and associate as nice comfy secure place to be and will soon seek you out each time they smell you around.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok thanks for all the help and i will stop feeding them through the bars and i mean the breeder started holding them from when they where three days old.
And they also seen to love sunflower seeds is this a good treat?
 

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Unsalted sunflower seeds are fine, though I've had a terrible time finding them. Also, they do have a high fat content so they shouldn't have *too* many, but they are part of Suebee's mix, just a small portion of it.

If they are salted then avoid them entirely.
 

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Usually, if you continue to hold them, pet them, and "finger wrestle" with them, especially at playtime, they will learn that you are an "honorary rat," and therefore, safe. :) How old are your babies? When my rats were young, they were always more interested in running and playing than they were in handling and petting, but when they got to be teenagers, they realized that petting was actually pleasurable, and didn't always mean that it's time to run around. Also, as has been mentioned, if you find a really great sweetie for them, they will start to associate that with your hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Today and last night they both happly whached tv with me and rode on my shoulder. So they are getting alot better very quickly thanks to all your help, thank you very much.
My rats are just over 4 weeks.
and how do you finger wrestle?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Had a great day with my rats! I was having both Felix and Ace on my shoulder and Felix started chattering his teeth! And i have only had them for 4 days!
 

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Oh, they are just little babies, then! Tiny kids! OK, don't worry if they don't want to settle down and be pet by you too frequently at this age. I think that it's ~great~ that your boys sat on your shoulder, and Felix made that sound with his teeth! The sound is called, "bruxing," and it means that the rat is happy.

In my experience, when rats are that young, they are little balls of energy, and love to run, run, run, and play, play, play. Keep playing with them, and, as they grow up, I am sure that they will see you as their "equal," and spend more and more time being touched, and trusting your hands and body.

"Finger Wrestling" is when you "wrestle" one or both of your rats, using your fingers...not too hard, of course, and be sure to let them "win" a lot of the time. Maybe your rats haven't started doing this, yet, but they will one day soon.

Does one boy like to sneak up on the other one, and have a "fake fight?" Do these fights involve a lot of touching, and sometimes end up as grooming sessions? That's rat wrestling. You can get involved in this, by joining the "wrestle" with your fingers. Sometimes, pet the boy who is down. Sometimes, surprise them, and help whomever is down out, by petting the one holding him. Be sure to let them "chase" after you, by running your fingers along the ground, and when they "win," lay your hand flat, and just move the tips of your fingers every once in awhile, while they stand on your hand in victory, and maybe groom you. :)
 
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