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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm currently introducing 2 very calm, friendly rats to a very small rescue boy who is sadly not responding very well. I have no idea how long he has been alone, but he was VERY young when I adopted him, probably no more than 8 weeks and with no idea what his history was. I started off in the playpen, but things got scrappy so I put them in the carrier.

It's worth noting that I've never had introductions go badly before, so even though I've done this a dozen times, I'm in unexplored territory. My little boy was tense and afraid for about the first 4-5 hours, nipping either new rat who got too curious and doing the "staring out" thing with whichever face was closest. He did not relax even for a moment. At around 1am, roughly 6 hours in the carrier, I heard movement, and the little rescue boy (Sprocket) was agressively humping both of the new boys over and over again. They have made absolutely no remotely aggressive moves towards him at all, and just kept trying to get away, rather than fight him off. They are both bigger than him.

So eventually I had to get a few hours of sleep, and decided to leave them in the carrier until morning. When I got up, things were calm but he was still separate from the other 2. I had no choice but to move to a slightly larger space because they had no food or water in the carrier, and I moved them into my hospital cage which is a hamster cage. No furniture at all, just substrate, 2 water bottles and scattered food. By 2pm this afternoon, my little boy had made a nest in the corner which he was defending non-aggressively. He still cries out if either newcomer tries to sniff him, and is nipping them if they get too curious. His cries are breaking my heart, he's such a sweet and beautiful little boy but it seems like I have a complete stalemate. His dominance humping has not happened in the slightly larger space, he's just scared and alone and not progressing at all from what I can see. The other 2 want to make friends SO BAD but he is resisting with all his strength. I unfortunately had to leave them to respond to an emergency at work, so I'm not sure how things are right now, but if I do still have a stalemate when I get home, should I put them back in the carrier overnight? I've never had a boy so resistant to making friends before, and my confidence that I'm doing the right thing has melted.

Advice and reassurance much appreciated!
 

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Ratties
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just an update on this intro, all three of my little boys are now a happy, inseparable rat pile. It was a long and stressful few days, but the baby has finally succumbed to the call of the mischief, and literally in the span of a few hours went from crying with fear any time another boy approached, to happily diving into the play and grooming. He's learning how to rat properly a little bit at a time, but things are progressing beautifully and I'm overjoyed by the transformation my little rescue has shown. Things are a little more complex with my big boy, but I'm going to discuss that in another post.
 
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