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Hi there... 3 days ago I became a proud rat ower for the first time. I was given my new ratlet, Mitchell for my birthday and promtly went out and bought a friend for him, Monty. Now I have to two cutest babies in the world, I've basically realised how underprepared I was to have them. Caging, bedding, etc is fine as I have read up on it and they are completely fine that way... but I really want to bond with them and train them. How long does it take to bond with them? They are still quite young I would say... Mitchell seems to want to sniff everything and quite happily run around my shoulders and go to sleep under my hair at the back of my neck, but Monty is such a sloth and is more intent on building his little nest in a tissue box. Is this normal? Maybe I'm just being a new mum... Is this just their different personalities coming through? How long does litter training take? When is the best time to start it? When is the best time to start trying to train them? Mitchell is quite happy, I think as he sits on my shoulders and grinds his teeth.. I've heard that's like purring?? I'm really worried about Monty as he pretty much eats and sleeps and occasionally jumps around the cage. Is there something I may be do wrong?
 

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WOW! There are alot of questions in this one. I am a newbie to ratties but I have found that it takes about 4 or 5 days of having them close to your for them to feel comfortable. One of the older members here told me that you need to feed them and handle them so they can understand that you are "the bringer of yummy things". (Sorry if I misquoted but it was such a great saying that it has permiated through my normal speech patterns.) My two girls have very different personalities. Turfle, our first born, is gregarious and adventurous although really cautious where as Tucka (who is 2 months younger) is more of a home body. She loves to just hang out in my shirt, poking her head out occationally. This is about all I can help you with but I know for a fact that the people here can answer anything!! Good luck!
 

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My two girls have very different personalities too. In fact they're like night and day. It's never too early to train them. Some litter train real easily, some don't (I have one of each). They are very smart.
 

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Sheridan said:
Hi there... 3 days ago I became a proud rat ower for the first time. I was given my new ratlet, Mitchell for my birthday and promtly went out and bought a friend for him, Monty. Now I have to two cutest babies in the world, I've basically realised how underprepared I was to have them. Caging, bedding, etc is fine as I have read up on it and they are completely fine that way... but I really want to bond with them and train them. How long does it take to bond with them? They are still quite young I would say... Mitchell seems to want to sniff everything and quite happily run around my shoulders and go to sleep under my hair at the back of my neck, but Monty is such a sloth and is more intent on building his little nest in a tissue box. Is this normal? Maybe I'm just being a new mum... Is this just their different personalities coming through?
Yep, all normal, like people rats are all different. Handle them as often as possible and they bond quickly. :)
How long does litter training take? When is the best time to start it? When is the best time to start trying to train them?
How long it takes depends on the rat. Some grasp it quickly, others... not so much. Start as soon as possible, young creatures learn best. :)
Mitchell is quite happy, I think as he sits on my shoulders and grinds his teeth.. I've heard that's like purring??
It's called bruxing (which is the fancy term for grinding ones teeth. ;) ) Usually it means pleasure, though it can mean nervousness on occasion.
I'm really worried about Monty as he pretty much eats and sleeps and occasionally jumps around the cage. Is there something I may be do wrong?
That sounds like a normal rattie to me. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply guys... It made me feel better. I was feeling sorry for Mitch though so I went out and bought an active friend for him so now I have three. My fiance is getting a bit jealous I think now!! My house mates are calling me the crazy rat lady. Now that I have the third (I've called him Mac after Macgyver because he keeps doing this flying leaps off his loft and wrestling Mitch) I'm beginning to see their personalities a bit more. I'm still a bit worried about Monty though. He's nowhere near as active as the other two and prefers to just sit in his nest or when he is on me just sit on my chest and brux. Do you reckon he is just a sloth? Or should I get him checked out? As it turns out Monty is actually from the same litter as Mac.. Can they really be that different??
 

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Well I have half sisters and the older one (Turfle) is really becoming quiet. She sits on my shoulder and looks around but docily. The younger one (Tucka) is a total spazzzzz. She darts around like she is a hummingbird. Makes her perfect for my hummingbird daughter. So, I think you could easily get two completely different personalities. Your baby could very well be a homebody. ymmv. Although, I highly recommend that you take your baby to the vet (if the finances are ok) and have her checked out. That will ease your mind and be a good experience for your rattie. (not all vet trips are stressful)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks mate.. I feel a little better. I think Monty is just a homebody. I tried shirt diving with all of them last night. Monty just seemed to be happy clinging onto my bra strap under my shirt. Mac and Mitch are such fuzzballs. They want to wxplore everything and last night I came out in the dark to see if they were trying to escape the cage again and Mac had climbed out and was sitting on top of a jar! As soon as I turned the light on, he froze and jumped straight back in!! He is definitely the alpha male. Poor Monty though.. Mac keeps peeing on him. I'm glad I got the third because Mitch isn't so bored and Monty is just happy to hang with me. There is one thing tho... I think I've given them too many treats when I first got them and now nothing I present to them is a treat... Except cooked chicken and boiled egg. I've read somewhere that I should just feed them lab blocks for a couple of days and then try and start the treat thing all over again. And thoughts on this?
 

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:oops: Ummmm....what is a "lab block"? I feed my guys a variety of things....some high grade rat food with fresh fruit and nuts as treats and every once in awhile, some meat like chicken or hamberger. My ratties like Corn Pops cereal as a treat or really what ever I or my daughter is eating at the moment. Our guys are S P O I L E D!!!!
 

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A lab block is something like Harlan Teklad 2014 (which is what my boys get). It's a food where the ingredients have been compressed into pellets. This means that a rat cannot pick and chose from a mix of ingredients and end up not getting all their nutrients.

What brand of food are your rats getting as their staple?
 

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Turfle said:
:oops: Ummmm....what is a "lab block"? I feed my guys a variety of things....some high grade rat food with fresh fruit and nuts as treats and every once in awhile, some meat like chicken or hamberger. My ratties like Corn Pops cereal as a treat or really what ever I or my daughter is eating at the moment. Our guys are S P O I L E D!!!!
I don't know what you are calling a high grade rat food, can you be specific?

If you are just going by some marketing phrase put on the label that claims the product to be a high grade food... don't you believe it.

If you can provide the name of the product several of us may be able to tell you some things about it.

For yourself, flip over tha bag & take a look at the ingredients & the analysis information that shows you percentages of protein & such.

If that protein is in the 20% or higher range... it is far too high.

Corn Pops... whoa!! Sugar rush... not good. Maybe you give them once piece once or twice a week if you really feel compelled to do so but why not research the helpful list that many members have contributed to & find many more suitable & beneficial treats you can offer.

Seeds& nuts are extremely high in fat. This is why dieters are told to not eat seeds/nuts & cut out fats, oils & greasy foods. Many oils are derived from seeds & nuts. A few seeds in moderation & spread out over the course of the week is fine but not too much & not daily, again... there are so many other choices out there.

I just had a frightening conversation with a person the other day. She is local to me & well, many of the local know about me & my rats & they referred her to me to find a vet. She emailed me & told me about what was going on & said that she had recently lost to rats because of cancerous tumors. Her vet said to not remove them because they would just come back bigger & once the tumors with so large they prevented them from quality of life, bring them back & have them PTS. She had just done so & still had one rat at home & she was concerned because she was starting to show the same signs.

I asked her a few questions that I assume any vet would have asked... what are you feeding them & how are they housed & a few other questions that are relative to write out per this post & conversation...

She said:

Oh I have a nice big 20 gallon aquarium & I use a really good cedar bedding that removes the stinky smells. I feed my rats a really great selection of foods. I give them meat & veggies from my own meals as well as a seed & nut mix. I also feed them something I feed my sugar gliders.

I don't remember the brand she mentioned but when I googled it I found the protein rating was as I feared... high protein but get this, 45% protein.

Ok, how do you tell this person they are doing everything wrong & I mean so wrong that it may be the care they were giving them that actually killed them. I just sat there dreading my next move & that was that I needed to write back to her & tell her somethings that is really going to hit her like a ton of bricks.

I thought about it for over an hour before I replied but I couldn't think of anything to say that would lesson the blow of what she was about to read.

So with that said, right now while you can & you have healthy rats... do your research listen to the advice of people who offer it & be sure to give your rats the best chance at having a healthy life that is humanly possible. We may not ever be able to do it perfectly but we sure don't need to go about it the most wrong way possible.

***I'm going to repost this story elsewhere just so it doesn't completely side track this thread.
 

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ok...well.......
the food is Brown's Tropical Carnival...........crude protien 14%
We only give the sweets occationally as we know that sugar isnt the best for our babies. We did the research on beds and cages and food and salt and all that before we even brought our babies home. The food was recommended by a rat owner friend of ours. I had actually read that "pellets" were not the best way to feed your rat so we stayed away from it. We use Safebed or something like that.......NEVER cedar or pine as the oils are killers.
 

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first time I heard of this product

I found the ingredients list & analysis here:
http://www.petsupplydude.com/pd_fm_browns_tropical_carnival_pet.cfm

This is a vitamin and nutrient-fortified gourmet food and treat, all-in-one. It has been specifically formulated for all pet mice and rats and this special mix has been blended with everything they love and crave like fruits, nuts, veggies, seeds and grains. Plus, essential, beneficial bacteria is added to aid in digestion.

Ingredients:
Wheat, oat groats, *****, whole corn, striped sunflower seed, green whole peas, buckwheat, pumpkin seed, shelled peanuts, jumbo green peas, almonds, pecans, walnuts, banana chips, carrots, raisins, maple peas, lentils, papaya, brown rice, dl-methionine, l-lysine, di-calcium phosphate, dried brewers yeast fermentation product, salt, vitamin A palmitate, animal sterol, menadione sodium bisulfate, choline chloride, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, niacin,pyridoxine hydrochloride, copper amino acid complex, calcium iodate, cobalt chloride, manganese amino acid complex, irone methionine, zinc amino acid complex, dried bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus product, dried lactobacillus bulgaricus fermentation product, dried lactobacillus lactis fermentation product, sulphur dioxide, FD and C color, artificial flavors.

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude protein (min) 14%, crude fat (min) 7%, crude fiber (max) 9%, moisture (max) 14%.
 

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Personally, I don't like the look of that mix. Dried corn can easily mold, which can cause health issues, and the whole seeds and fruit bits are lovely treats for them if they wish to pick and choose. Not to mention it claims it's formulated for rats AND mice, which is usually a red flag. They've different nutritional needs.
 

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I have no comment on the product because as I said, never heard of it.

I wanted to address something Turfle said ealier:

The food was recommended by a rat owner friend of ours. I had actually read that "pellets" were not the best way to feed your rat so we stayed away from it.
pelleted typically describes the stuff you feed the rabbit & guinea pigs. The "blocks" that have been talked about are produced in a much larger block. Same mold process but different appearance.

On that note, any food that is pushed out through a mold then broken up into segments is "pelleted" but they have various sizes & appearance & if you look closely this mis has pellets in it as well.

It has a lot going on & I'm wondering if there is too much treat & not enough staple being offered since everything is all mixed up into one feeding & there is no portion control.
 

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Well, the ratties are healthy, according to the vet, but I am all for giving much better food. My babies need to have the best they can!!!! We only feed a bit of the food and they do not get anymore until the eat all of the other. We do remove the corn as they do not eat it anyway.
 
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