Twig and Sprig 💕
Do bonding time with them, rat proof, and make a playpen. 💛So recently (1 week ago) I rescued two girls from a lady who had an oops litter from her rescue rats. They're 8 weeks old and very sweet and curious but also pretty skittish. For the past week I've been hand feeding them and they're totally good with that. I'll put baby food on my hand and allow them to lick it off while petting them and holding them in the palm of my hand to train them being held is okay. One of my girls is a lot more confident (Milly) and recently started letting me pick her up when I had a treat for her. Yesterday I thought it was time I tried to take them out of the cage and put them in my bonding pouch for some bonding time. I've been showing them that the bonding pouch is okay and Milly would come right to the front, jump in, eat a treat and then I'd take her out and she'd come back and do the same. So yesterday when I was ready I put treats in the bag and opened the cage and talked to them for a bit and gave them treats and they perked up and started popcorning all over and playing. Milly came right up to the front and I picked her up with a treat and went to put her in the bag and she squirmed SO FAST and darted from my lap to the floor, from the chair I was on and dashed underneath the cage. I was obviously terrified because the space where the cage is, is large and NOT rat proof. Long story short, I covered all escape exits except for one and tried to lure her out with treats and baby food for THREE hours and it just wasn't happening. At first she was hopping around and coming to me for treats but would run away after and not let me touch her, but shortly after she curled up in the corner and didn't move so I knew she was totally freaking out. I would try to use a paper towel roll to gently scoot her from the corner into the little carrier I had set up at the exit but she would run away. At the 4 hour mark I bit the bullet and tried to grab her (I really didn't want to do this as I didn't want to completely spook her but I ended up having to.) I attempted a couple times and when id put me hand over her shed start licking me but then dash when id try to pick her up. I finally got ahold of her but she was squirming so much I had to hold her pretty tight, she never squeaked or bit me so I know she wasn't hurt or too upset. She was put back in her cage and I gave them fresh broccoli and a treat and turned out the lights and let her calm down for the remainder of the night. This morning she's fine and came up to the cage when I came down but she is definitely a little skittish. ANYWAY, after all that, I'm just really terrified to try to take her out again or even open the cage if she's too close because she tries to get out. I don't want this to happen again but I want to bond with them and I know the only way to do that is to take them out of the cage to be with me. I've heard lots of people say I have to take them somewhere away from their cage but I just don't think that's possible because I can't get them into the pouch to take them elsewhere without Milly trying to escape. I have a spare room that's empty right by their cage so I was thinking I'd just roll their cage into the spare room and open it up and let them come out of their own (I know for sure Milly will.) I need advice! How do I attempt this again without her escaping me? I want to do free roaming but I'm terrified to say the least because I'm scared to take her out of the cage in the event she dashes again. I want to bond with them and I'm scared it will never happen as it's been a week and I haven't been able to take either one of them out of the cage except for when Milly escaped yesterday. HELP!