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Discussion Starter #1
So, after a year after my rats passed my fiance surprised me by taking me to a breeder. I was only supposed to get 3 but their little faces. Oh lord their little cute faces! I ended up taking home 5 little girls. Their all 6 weeks old and in a cage that's dimensions are 30x30x18. I'm worried this is to small.
Should I get a bigger cage?
If so is a Martin cage a good choice?
What are the ideal dimensions?
How much should I be feeding them?
Is their anything else I need to know about keeping such a big mischief?
Any advice would be helpful.
 

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Bigger is always better. There is a cage size calculator that tells you the recommended number of rats based on the dimensions you input, assuming you use the space well with lots of hammocks and levels and such. I'm sure you can find it on google pretty easily. A single critter nation is great for 5 rats. It's the main cage I use for my 5. A single critter nation says it's good for up to 6 rats too. You can usually find critter nations for sale online or look on websites like craigslist for a used one (we got our double critter nation used off craigslist and it's been pretty great!).

Free-feeding is usually best for rats unless they have special diet requirements. Just a full bowl or two of a good quality lab block like Oxbow Regal Rat would be good. Don't forget to include healthy fresh fruits and veggies sometimes!

I think 5 is maybe my favorite number of rats to currently own! It's great seeing how different relationships develop or change within the group, and see who's best friends, and who's just buddies, and then see those relationships change and see how they bond more with another sibling and how they interact differently with other rats.

Just make sure you're able to definitely afford that many since having to use antibiotics is pretty common with URIs or snuffly wheezyness. And especially since you have 5 girls, you should save money for future surgeries since most girl rats develop tumors when they get older, usually they start getting them around 1.5 years old, but sometimes even younger. And if they're all the same age, they may all start getting them around the same time and all need surgeries to remove tumors. Spaying a good alternative. It greatly reduces the risk of female rats developing hormone driven tumors like the common mammary tumors, or pituitary tumors. Spaying may also save you money in the long run so your girls that get multiple tumors won't have to go in for 2 or 3 surgeries each to keep removing tumors that develop as they get older.

I can't comment on the Martin cage as I've never had one. With my 5, I have to be careful of little tails, toes and faces sticking out of the doorways as I close the doors. I've pinched a toe or two more than once!
 

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My rule of thumb for cage sizes has always been one rat per level (while also taking into account 2 square feet per rat). The Martin's cage I had was three levels and I had three females in it. It was a tight fit because the cage wasn't huge, but the girls enjoyed it. In my double critter nations, I had four girls in one and four boys in another because they have four levels. I really don't like the idea of having more than four to six full grown rats in a double critter nation, but that's just me. Plus, that's also because I'm not sure I could even handle more than four rats in one cage at all. XD Especially if they all decide to ask for my attention at once. Goodness, I could never handle more than one rat like my Anya... She's always trying to make a break for it... So annoying, lol. But I love her. <3

Martin's cages are really good and there are tons of sizes to pick from. If you get one with a flip top lid, you can combine it with another one. That's what I did when I had two Martin's cages (one for boys, one for girls) and then got a critter nation for my boys. I stacked the two cages so the girls had more room and it worked beautifully. In my opinion, Critter Nations are easier to clean but I am a fan of Martin's cages.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for the advice it was very helpful. I was wondering though:
Can I get the single critter nation this month and then get two add ons next month?
I want to do it this way so I have enough money for any emergencies.
 

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That sounds like a fine idea. They'll do fine in a single for while until you can get a double. A double should be fine for five. A triple is really tall and hard to manage, but is doable.
 

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Getting the dd-on later works, but I think it ends up being more expensive in total.
 

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Goodness, I just looked at Petsmart.com because I want to buy another Double Critter Nation and the single is just $10 less than the double! D: Then the add on is over $150... If you get it elsewhere, it might be less expensive but man... I'd forgotten how much CNs cost. XD
 

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Discussion Starter #9
yeah their horrible the cheapest I've found was from ferret.com (for the critter nation). They are offering a coupon and free shipping... it rounds to $127 for a single ... hope this helps
 

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Check for used ones on Craigslist or other marketplaces. I ended up getting a double Ferret nation for $100. Only downside is that the bars were too big so youger rats slip through the bars. I was able to get wire mesh from the hardware store which made it safe, but cost me about $30 bucks or so. Definitely check for used ones though!
 
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