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Discussion Starter #1
I have a good number of little ones in my home right now:

Pheobe: Female; only social with other rats. was adopted from a coworker with a TON of other animals all ranging in size and species. Had her for 4 months so far and she is finally warming up to me only when I brought in more rats for her to hang with. She gave birth to Kirk below. Just started getting less stressed after her delivery because of the high death rate of her litter. (found out most had sever deformation of GI tract and could not properly metabolize their food; one caught pnemonia). 7 months old.

Sam: Male; fatty but isnt really into eating so much (he never lost the weight he gained while he was in the pet store). He has his lovable moments and he is really easy to train without treats. He is the dominant male. 5 months old.

Frodo: Male; good size and wants to eat EVERYTHING. very skittish. litter mate with Sam and also from the pet store. he is willing to hang out with me only on his terms. 5 months old.

Kirk: Male; only survivor of an 11 ratty litter ( Pheobe and Sam). He is healthy and 5 weeks old today ( and will be put in his new home away from momma today) Very social because of handling from week 3 and the MANY health checks from week 1-3 (pheobe and I had a very stressful 2 weeks where all her babies kept dying.

I know this is a lot of background. Here is what is happening:

Kirk needs to be introduced to Sam and Frodo. They are all going to be roommates. Sam has already played the Im dominant card with Kirk but I think is confused with Kirk's sex. Kirk still is in the cage with mom so may be covered in her scent when they see each other. ( my plan is to give kirk and Sam a bath then introduce in neutral territory). They have already smelled each others cages and have had brief HIGHLY supervised visits. Their cages are right next to each other so they can see and smell each other. Please advise if there are some things I can try to make this transition easier.

Frodo's interactions with Kirk worry me the most. When introduced (this has happened multiple times) Frodo ignores Kirk. Kirk is curious and goes in for sniffs but Frodo acts like he isnt even there. Frodo behaved the same way with Pheobe when they would play together before her pregnancy. I would REALLY like feedback on this issue if anyone has any ideas.

Thank You!

Premium Member
4,287 Posts
Ok first off, it can be a little risky introducing a young rat to fully grown males, but in this case I do think its worth it for his social development (I tend to prefer about 7 or maybe 6 weeks at a push). If oyu have the option of getting another baby boy of similar age (say from a breeder, rescue or pet shop) I would do this though as they really benefit from same age company (and introing 2 babies is as simple as putting them in the same cage lol). That way you could give it a week or two before introing to the adults (and have a lovely mixed age group which is ideal for bucks).

Next the ignoring each other is a good sign, in reality it’s a sign they don’t consider him a threat, though at the moment they also don’t see him as part of there group. What I would recommend is you have a read of this http://www.isamurats.co.uk/introducing-rats.html .

What tends to work best with baby boy to adult boy intros is the carrier method, starting in a neutral space (a room they don’t go into) before moving into the smallest cage / carrier you’ve got. This gets things over quickly and in a small space, which minimises the chances of injury. Your usual injury during this kind of intro is an adult grabbing a baby with his mouth to restrain him (let’s face it there pingy little monsters) and the baby running away, this can cause a slash or tear injury. In a small space the baby is much more likely to submit so lower risk of being hurt. It also gets the adult bucks to acknowledge that the little odd smelling thing is indeed a cage mate. Give it a week or so and they are likely to have adopted him as family.

You want to get intros done before about 11 weeks with bucks as they do indeed smell a bit like does at this age (try sniffing, its so obvious the human nose can pick it up)
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