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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, here we go!!

I have fostered many of these hand-puppies, and currently have a Twilight group of 4, meaning they will never be adopted out because of their age (Taco is 2.5 yrs, boys are 1.5 years). Now I have 3 fosters (about a year old) who, we feel, would be best turned into Twilights also because of their history of tumors and growths, and other health issues.

So, 4 rats plus 3 rats equals 7 rats.... I think that's manageable. I'm considering combining two DCN for these guys, or maybe make a triple tower and keep one single CN for future rescues. Either way, they need to become a 7-rat mischief.

I'm open to advise from everyone. Let me know what has worked or not worked for you. They are all neutered/spayed, so I think there won't be much aggression. We call my group Phyllis and the Foodies (all the foster groups get a name) Taco is the old girl, a bit suspicious, and I don't want her to be upset. Phyllis is my b*tchy gotta-hava-boyfriend cheerleader type, so I think she'll make one of the boys her backup bf. Pancake is the alpha, but very laid back. Waffle only cares about food lol.

The Celestial Boys are Cirrus, Orion and Atlas. They are all very chill rats, not a mean bone between them and very sweet. They get in my lap during free roam for treats, and are otherwise lazy and sleep a lot.

Let me know your thoughts my friends!!
 
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Hand puppies!never heard that,so apt.I would see how they are initially with the boys in their Perspex pen and the girls roaming.Sharing the same household they will already be familiar with each other’s scent so that is half the battle won already.The only potential problem could be once One of my females fell for my friends visiting neutered male.They had a sweet 4 day ratmance until she came on heat and couldn’t understand why he wasn’t interested.She went round his rear end ,lifted his tail and shrieked with anger at his missing equipment and attacked him and would have nothing to do with him after that!Dont know if that is unusual behaviour or not as I have never had males but thought I would mention it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice. Tonight's the night! I have the Perspex pen set up inside the walls of the Rattic. Phyllis and her gang go in first, in their familiar territory that has lost it's invader rattie-essence. I'll give them half an hour to boogie around and have their treats, then I'll bring the other boys to their divided section. This way I can see if they are all curious, annoyed, suspicious, afraid or not bothered by each other's presence. I will try to video some of it if I can.

If it goes well for the first 30 minutes @SonicRat, should I leave them for longer or cut it short and return the boys so the Twilights can resume their normal scavenging and munching of treats?

And if it does go well, can I keep them in separate living cages but bring them together for free roaming in the Rattic?

The goal will be to combine them all in one massive Triple CN, that way I can free up the other one for future rescues.

Thoughts? @lfraser06, @TwilxghtRat, @CorbinDallasMyMan, any advice my friends?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hand puppies!never heard that,so apt.I would see how they are initially with the boys in their Perspex pen and the girls roaming.Sharing the same household they will already be familiar with each other’s scent so that is half the battle won already.The only potential problem could be once One of my females fell for my friends visiting neutered male.They had a sweet 4 day ratmance until she came on heat and couldn’t understand why he wasn’t interested.She went round his rear end ,lifted his tail and shrieked with anger at his missing equipment and attacked him and would have nothing to do with him after that!Dont know if that is unusual behaviour or not as I have never had males but thought I would mention it.
That is actually very funny, but poor girl, so confused and the poor boy having no idea of a woman-rat scorned 😅
 
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Most of my experience in intro has been introducing young rats to a mixed-age group of adults. I've done a few adult-adult intros and they required a little more patience. I've successfully used aspects of the carrier method but I've generally had good experiences with playpen or neutral territory intros. For the more difficult intros, I've kept interactions very brief and slowly allowed them more time with each other in each subsequent meeting. In one extreme case, initial introductions lasted only a second or two. My goal was to separate them before any sort of fighting occurred.

I think going in with a plan is helpful but you may need to pivot and take a different direction if that's what your rats need.
 

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I would leave them as long as possible if it is going well.Also start putting rat scented bedding from each cage into the other cage.It could be mayhem the first time you try and do intros and hard to keep an eye on them all so I would take it slowly and do a pair at a time maybe? It is amazing and exciting what you are undertaking and I have no experience in doing anything like that but just chucking some ideas into the pot!😉
 

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Okay, here we go!!

I have fostered many of these hand-puppies, and currently have a Twilight group of 4, meaning they will never be adopted out because of their age (Taco is 2.5 yrs, boys are 1.5 years). Now I have 3 fosters (about a year old) who, we feel, would be best turned into Twilights also because of their history of tumors and growths, and other health issues.

So, 4 rats plus 3 rats equals 7 rats.... I think that's manageable. I'm considering combining two DCN for these guys, or maybe make a triple tower and keep one single CN for future rescues. Either way, they need to become a 7-rat mischief.
For me, 7 would seem like a lot! I'm amazed at your dedication!

That being said, is there any reason why they have to become a merged mischief? I mean, why can't the seniors, et al. have their own place and the non seniors have their own place? I would think it would make it easier on the seniors to not have to endure the antis of younger, more active ratties and the newbies.
I like the idea of the divided roaming space, too. Rats can be neighbors, instead of roomies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you both for the advise. I tried the Perspex pen with the trio inside the play area, and let my mischief roam around. They didn't seem to see each other but definitely smelled and knew there were other rats around. Cirrus started digging at the bottom of the panels, and when Taco came over they sorta touched noses through the space, and he puffed up and started butt swinging and was really showing his emotions. Out of the 7, he was the only one to do this, and he did it a couple of times, once again with Phyllis, and then went inside the cardboard house and squabbled with Orion and Atlas. Then they all went about their business. No one was overly interested, and they behaved normally. I thought Pancake, who is the alpha, would thump his chest or show some authority, but nope, he was calm and not bothered at all.

I guess I thought they would be like dogs on opposite sides of a fence. But the really didn't see each other through the plastic panels. They would walk right by each other and take no notice of the other rat.

Tonight I will try again, starting with Pancake, Waffle and Phyllis (Taco is too old to get caught in a possible brawl) in the pen, then add the trio in a group and hold my breath. I have gloves and cardboard and towels to separate them if they get too aggressive. This makes me so nervous!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For me, 7 would seem like a lot! I'm amazed at your dedication!

That being said, is there any reason why they have to become a merged mischief? I mean, why can't the seniors, et al. have their own place and the non seniors have their own place? I would think it would make it easier on the seniors to not have to endure the antis of younger, more active ratties and the newbies.
I like the idea of the divided roaming space, too. Rats can be neighbors, instead of roomies.
The three boys are just over 1 year, Waffle and Pancake are 1.5 yrs, and Taco is 2.5 yrs. Phyllis is the youngster, about 7 months now. I'm only trying to combine them so I can have an available cage for future rescues. 7 does sound like a lot, now that I think about it :oops:
 

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The three boys are just over 1 year, Waffle and Pancake are 1.5 yrs, and Taco is 2.5 yrs. Phyllis is the youngster, about 7 months now. I'm only trying to combine them so I can have an available cage for future rescues. 7 does sound like a lot, now that I think about it :oops:
"I have fostered many of these hand-puppies, and currently have a Twilight group of 4, meaning they will never be adopted out because of their age (Taco is 2.5 yrs, boys are 1.5 years). Now I have 3 fosters (about a year old) who, we feel, would be best turned into Twilights also because of their history of tumors and growths, and other health issues. "

Ok ... so if it were me, I'd opt for maybe putting the 3 fosters and Taco in one cage and Phylllis and the rest in another and having one cage avilable for new incomers. You can always adjust down the road as the situation changes.
 

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I’m in the same boat as you, just my oars are easier to turn 😂
I unfortunately don’t have much advice on this other then the great things already mentioned as I am currently dealing with introductions as well with my soon-to-be girls! I would definitely start intros slow by introducing the more mellow rats first then the alphas. Too much chaos will be difficult to handle (to say the least)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Success!!!! First intro was amazing, they had so much fun, I'm so proud of them :cool: I just threw them all in together, my mischief first, then the 3 boys. Neutral territory, and not a single puff or fluff or hiss.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After 15 minutes in the pen, I opened it up and let them all out into the Rattic. They had a blast for an hour! Actually, I did have one incident of puffing. The instigator turned out to be Taco, the old girl. She loves her boys, and just had to stick her nose in Cirrus' butt and follow him around until he got annoyed. I heard some thumping in one of the boxes, and here comes Taco and Cirrus, spilling out of the hole and then boxing. Cirrus got all puffed up and was really bothered, so I broke it up and made Taco leave him alone 😅
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
"I have fostered many of these hand-puppies, and currently have a Twilight group of 4, meaning they will never be adopted out because of their age (Taco is 2.5 yrs, boys are 1.5 years). Now I have 3 fosters (about a year old) who, we feel, would be best turned into Twilights also because of their history of tumors and growths, and other health issues. "

Ok ... so if it were me, I'd opt for maybe putting the 3 fosters and Taco in one cage and Phylllis and the rest in another and having one cage avilable for new incomers. You can always adjust down the road as the situation changes.
Because Taco has bonded with Waffle and Pancake since they were babies, we will always keep them together. She would miss her boys terribly. That's actually the reason we didn't adopt the two boys out, and how I ended up with my first Twilights. So far it's been an interesting experiment. So many personalities!
 

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The oldies tend to be a bit set in their ways but don’t they,but amazing that’s it’s gone so well so far! Hopefully Taco was just making a point and things will calm down.It’s such a nerve wracking time and such a relief when they accept ( apart from the usual ratty huffing and puffing🙄) each other
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The girls are getting less annoying now. Pancake and Waffle have instigated a couple of pins and grooming, and I've only had to break up one incident because Pancake wouldn't let Orion up, wasn't hurting him but Orion was getting upset and puffy and Pancake was getting more insistent on holding him down. I just moved Pancake back and let Orion run off.

They have so much to do, they just love free roaming together! Here's Phyllis in the water bowl, I added a small pump to make it more interesting.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm happy to report that both groups are super excited to go to free roam now. There is much running and chasing and thumping around in boxes in the first half hour. More and more I'm seeing them pinning each other and grooming or just holding the other one down. Occasional boxing, because Phyllis is being a very bossy girl. Sometimes they squeak or puff up, but no one seems to be very upset. It's just normal ratty behavior. I need two hands to feed the cream of wheat, and they all gather around to get their share. It's like feeding time at the zoo! 😅 🐁 🐀 🐭
 
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I love the videos.......it occurred to me from the aerial view how beautiful and graceful rats look when they are running about,reminded me of why I 💕them so much! I am so glad to hear they are getting on ,they certainly look like they are having fun...and they even have their own water feature😁
 
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