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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry, I searched here and google and didn't come up with anything.

I am so happy with my girls. SO happy, that I am considering another... I used the cage calculator from the stickies to see how many rats my cage can reasonably hold and it said 3. I'm happy with that since adding even one more girl seems like a lot. But is it really?
I know some members have huge mischiefs and honestly I couldn't imagine lol. But rats are small and spend most of their time with each other in their cage, so maybe it's not as bad as I make it sound to myself?
 

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I was getting two rats from an oopsie litter, and at the last minute the lady asked if I would like a third, as she had an extra lone boy from the same litter whose home has fallen through. I love having three boys! Its great to see them working as a wee group as opposed to a pair. If I take one rat out for some one on one cuddles, then the other rat isn't alone in the cage.
If I had a bigger cage, and I might upgrade at some point, I would love to get another two rats, but I'm not sure I would go higher than that. The chaos my three cause during freerange means I need eyes on the back of my head and I can imagine being overwhelmed with a really large group.
 

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you see a lot more natural group dynamics when you have 3 or more rats, which is really nice. In terms of work, it doent take much more, but you need to bear in mind the time you can spend with the individual is less and the cost is potentially higher when it comes to vet bills. Its worth making sure you can afford a larger group. In terms of adding to the pack, personally i prefer adding 2 similar aged rats at once, its kinder in terms of intros, but if theres a girl on her own out there without a friend whose not that far of your group you could give her a lovely home im sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
See, that's what I was thinking, since Delilah is so bonded to me and I love her to pieces but I'm trying to spend some extra time with Dahlia to build a bond with her. It really breaks my heart to watch Delilah's little paws pawing desperately at me through the cage bars when I have Dahlia one on one time.

And I totally know what you mean, with how chaotic it is with just 2 during freerange, I don't know how you guys with 5+ do it!
 

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you see a lot more natural group dynamics when you have 3 or more rats, which is really nice. In terms of work, it doent take much more, but you need to bear in mind the time you can spend with the individual is less and the cost is potentially higher when it comes to vet bills. Its worth making sure you can afford a larger group. In terms of adding to the pack, personally i prefer adding 2 similar aged rats at once, its kinder in terms of intros, but if theres a girl on her own out there without a friend whose not that far of your group you could give her a lovely home im sure.
I think it was you who said my girls are maybe roughly 4 months old, and there is a cute little girl who just showed up at my local humane society who is 5 months old and all by herself. That's kind of what spurred this whole thing :p
 

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My first ever rats I had a group of 3 and I never noticed that they were any more hard work that the 2 I adopted about 2 months ago. Since then I've added another 2 and I haven't noticed much change in anything but money in having 2, 3 or 4! The only difference I have seen is in the mischief itself and seeing them as a little group causing mayhem and figuring things out is completely worth the extra £££ it may cost. When I've put more in my vet fund, I'm thinking about getting two girls, spaying them and adding them to the mischief too taking me up to 6! I don't think I could handle more than that though haha. People who have 12+ are my heroes!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You guys convinced me!! Not that it took much, lol.... I will now go create a post in meet my rat, I'm so excited!
 

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Im glad you are getting the third ratty!! I have 6 total and my house is now crazy LOL. I have three girls and three boys now. I love having groups of three!! No more though haha, so much cleaning!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm so glad I was talked into it, other than cleaning it doesn't feel like any extra work at all! Until I'm trying to coax out the shy ones while Delilah is pretending to be a racecar under my shirt!
 

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The only difference I notice ( I have 7) is that you need to clean the cage a bit more. Vet bills can be higher if a URI breaks out and they seem to do better in a larger group. I find 2 is just too small. Rats in my opinion do best in 3 or more...
 

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Honestly bigger mischiefs (3 and up) are better for me. I don't feel as bad if I can't free range them one day, and it's just so much more fun. I love all the personalities. I just open the cage and let the rats run free! I haven't even owned rats a year yet and in that time I've gone from 1 to 4, and I'm about to make it 6!
 

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Im at six right now and other than my actually adopted rat (who i believe was mishandled) I have yet to have any issues at all. They all have such wonderful personalities and behave so differently! My two big boys Sage and Thyme are brothers, blue dumbo rexes, Sage is my sweet lazy cuddle boy, Thyme is the alpha but hes cautiously inquisitive, then theres Basil, a nervous but a little goofy agouti berk, Dill my blind PEW who is a kissy lover boy who just wants to play, Pepper, my possibly mishandled black berk, who is petrified by everything, but warming up slowly, and Parsley, my champagne hooded baby who needs to know everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So many big groups! You guys are so right, bigger is better! I actually feel like they are even more active, and I'm no expert at rat emotions but they seem very happy :) Lots of hopping around and zooming around the cage!
 

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I pretty much decided today that I'll be getting a third rat and was just thinking about the difference between having two and three, and then I happened to see this topic here lol. After reading these I'm even more convinced that having three rats will be awesome. I've always been interested in how animals behave in bigger groups, how they "decide" the leader etc so it will be very interesting :) And also because these two are my very first rats I didn't have any experience at first, now we'll see what happens when I actually know how to handle the rat right from the very beginning ;D I sent an e-mail to my breeder because I noticed that she has a girl available. The only thing that worries me a bit is the introduction. My Pita and Coconut are roughly 9-10 months old, and the rat my breeder has is just 6-7 weeks. It would be awesome if someone could tell me the risks of introducing such a young rat to my old ones. I also asked this from my breeder in the e-mail, but she hasn't answered yet and I'd like different opinions about it.. And tips are also very welcome. I only have one cage but I've heard that intros can be done without getting another one (I really don't have any room here..)
I just realised I should maybe have done my own thread about this :p oh well. Sorry.
 

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i really dislike homing a single baby with adult rats. They get so much from having a sane aged playmate and it makes intros much easier on them.

If you decide to go ahead regardless (i find people tend to regardless if they want the rat) and your breeder will home or single babies (i won't and many breeders over here won't either) then i would see if you can leave getting her until about 9 to 10 weeks old or older (letting her stay with her siblings until she can move in with your girls). girls tend to be more accepting of older babies whereas boys do better at around 7 to 8 weeks
 

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Glad to see this thread. I've been thinking about the 3rd rat too. But would it be ok to have a mixed mischief? And would a lone boy fit well with two girls? Provided of course they're all fixed.
 

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Thanks a lot for answering. I don't think I could handle four rats, three is maximum for me atm. I'll see what the breeder responds, but I'll probably keep looking for a bit older rats then... unfortunately we don't have any rodent rescues in the whole country so it will probably be a long wait until I find one.
 

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Glad to see this thread. I've been thinking about the 3rd rat too. But would it be ok to have a mixed mischief? And would a lone boy fit well with two girls? Provided of course they're all fixed.
Many people here keep rats in a mixed mischief with no problems. Of course you have to make sure the lone boy is neutered. Harem mischiefs with just one boy are common and work really well.
 

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i really dislike homing a single baby with adult rats. They get so much from having a sane aged playmate and it makes intros much easier on them.

If you decide to go ahead regardless (i find people tend to regardless if they want the rat) and your breeder will home or single babies (i won't and many breeders over here won't either) then i would see if you can leave getting her until about 9 to 10 weeks old or older (letting her stay with her siblings until she can move in with your girls). girls tend to be more accepting of older babies whereas boys do better at around 7 to 8 weeks
I hope the OP won't mind a bit of a hijack that's related.

If one finds oneself with a single baby to add, are there any good tips for mitigating unpleasantness in intros?

I've read all the intro threads I could find, and have experience with rabbit intros, aka "bunny dating," which can be horribly tricky, but am new to rats.

I ended up with a single, ill, injured baby rat who'd been returned to Petco (where a friend of mine works, she alerted me to the baby).

She's still doing quarantine and on Doxy for respiratory, and healing well from her minor injuries (she was dropped by a child in her former home).

When she finishes quarantine, I'll guesstimate she will be about nine to ten weeks old.

I HATE that she's by herself for now, you can tell she's really lonely, but the logistics of finding her a baby friend in our very rural area, one close in age to her, and then doing yet another quarantine and intro'ing the two babies, then intro'ing the both of them to my two existing girls, urgh...it seems overwhelming and not do-able.

Just to add, my two existing girls are just now, two months in, coming out of their shells, from mishandling in a former home, and they are probably about three to four months old, but VERY big girls. They seem like giants compared to this new little baby.

Advice?
 
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