Well I'm in the process of introducing my younger rats to the older one (Marv). I've done the vanilla trick, and let them be around each other on neutral ground but I'm not sure if it's working. I put them all in a brand new cage after some time of getting to know each other (several months) but they oddly seem to avoid each other and it's heart breaking to me. I want them all to be friends. Ever since I put them in this new cage Eren (The alpha of my young ones) and Marv (Oldest) struggle and then an almost stalemate occurs, one tries to dominate the other and back and forth. I know fighting is to be expected but this is my first time with introductions and I feel like a terrible parent. Like all they want to do is avoid and not get along? is this normal? because of the new environment?
Honestly, it could potentially be due to the new environment.
I've gone through 3/3 successful introductions as I was just explaining to another member on this forum in another thread.
In my personal opinion, if my guys were avoiding each other I would do both of the following things:
Place them in a bath tub (this is neutral ground with zero distractions) and monitor the situation.
This will allow them to get to know each other, in a quiet/safe place which will easily allow for you to break up any fights that occur.
I live by this rule: No blood, no foul. You need to let them sort out their hierarchy one way or another.
Squeaking/flipping each other over is expected.
YOGURT IS YOUR BEST FRIEND! Put yogurt on your hands and get them to lick it off of you in said bath tub. Not only will it allow your rats to gain your trust, but it will get them to share and be in eachother's proximity close up.
Another great idea I use. *If you have a recliner or a love seat this would be ideal* Set them in your lap with a blanket and treats for a few hours.
They will be cuddling in no time!
IF you have anymore questions, feel free to private message me. :3
But, everyone on this forum is so helpful and I'm sure a lot of people will have sage advice for you, too!