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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm beginning introductions tonight. I started with Jayne, easily the most submissive of the new bunch and introduced him to Simon, and River after I deemed it safe. I chose Jayne because I've never seen him wrestle with his two other members, he's always the one pinned, etc. The introduction from into the carrier to them falling asleep together took ten minutes. Jayne was given the once over, Simon flipped him once and that was it. No fighting. I'm actually kind of freaked out and a bit concerned. Should I be preparing for **** to break loose? Is it possible there's such a thing as omega rats, rats that don't cause issues in the dominance spectrum? What is going on?I was prepared for screams and tears. Not this. They always manage to surprise me.
 

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I've only ever seen it once... Fuzzy Rat hand picked Amelia. Fuzzy Rat had a terrible feud with her part wild roomie and almost got her throat ripped out. The next intro went pretty badly too and Fuzzy Rat really abused her new friend, then with Amelia she boxed for about 5 minutes then turned sideways and showed her a broadside and Amelia hesitantly tapped Fuzzy Rat with a single paw and Fuzzy Rat tipped over like a cow. Amelia groomed her belly and they were best friends for life. Oddly Amelia always followed Fuzzy Rat around. Whenever Fuzzy Rat stole Amelia's food and Amelia went after her Fuzzy Rat just flipped over and got her belly groomed.. then she ran away with Amelia's food... it never got old or less funny watching Fuzzy Rat outsmart Amelia.

To be honest Amelia was a year younger than Fuzzy Rat and she was huge. It was a fight Fuzzy Rat would never have won and I think she knew it, but she was never submissive otherwise to her big buddy. She robbed and cheated Amelia every chance she got. And Amelia still took excellent care of Fuzzy Rat when she became disabled and couldn't preen or take care of herself.

So I've seen this before, and it doesn't mean you have an omega rat, just a rat that's smart enough not to get torn up for no reason.

And it can work out a treat, it did for us. I wish all intros went like this.

Best luck
 

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Discussion Starter #3
But the weird thing is Jayne is the biggest of the bunch. He's older than Simon. And Wash, the current alpha of that group is only a little more than half his size. I put in Malcolm. Absolutely no fighting for this intro either. I'm about ready to do Wash which is the only one I'm nervous about.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wash introduced with no fighting and moved them all into a slightly larger cage. Listening for fighting tonight but I think that might be it! ^_^'
 

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I've been contemplating how much they learn about social manners from each other. I've been reading a lot about studies done between behaviors of isolated rats and rats that were kept in social groups. Those isolated at 3 weeks old from other rats are not able to cope well when put in a situation where they are confronted with another rat (or human for that matter). A well socialized rat will put on a offensive front and will figure out who's in charge and they all fit together relatively quickly. An isolated rat goes defensive and may have a lot of problems with unappropriated biting. (meaning biting when no one is confronting them, biting in places that mean business, severe biting)

Rats also have issues it seems when taken from their social norms-young rats that come from a playful youthful type strains if put in with a strain of rat who is unlikely to play and is very reserved can cause abnormal social development. Nothing severe like isolation, but it does effect changes.

Rats born in overly crowded situations also take on different and more violent personalities as well. Adolescent males will group together, and steal from the other groups of rats and even in situations where food is abundant may kill weaker rats. (kinda like human gangs in some of the larger cities-hmmm)

My point is, really well adjusted rats that stayed with their litter mates and mother for a reasonable time and then stayed in large (not crowded) social communities after that for much of their youth are probably able to adjust to new comers with the most ease. (I'm simplifying -we are not taking in hormonal differences, health, inherited personality traits ect)

I don't think I'd be surprised if you still have a little more laying down the laws of the group from your rats over the next couple days. But you may just have really mellow kids who understand the language of rat really well and don't need to do too much grandstanding for their place.
 

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August and Squeak were the easiest intros I have ever done. I was baffled too (though in a good way). August humped Squeak a couple times during the first intro and that was it. They just took to each other immediately, no squabbling or pinning. They were living together after only a couple intros and since day one have been snuggling and grooming each other. I have never seen them fight. When I introduced September there was a little bit of squabbling between him and August, and him and Squeak, but that was it. Squeak gets along with most of my other rats, and August adores young rats. They're just unusually well-adjusted I guess? Lol.
 

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There is actually such thing as omerga rats in the wild (and i see them a fair bit in groups here too). In the wild though there lives are pretty rubbish, they are often excluded from groups and beaten up or just ignored. Typically they have very short lifespans and simply give up living. In pet rats the life of an omega is much better, they tend to be bottom of the pack and do get the raw end of the deal now and then but they also get to interact with the group and share resources as they are plentiful. Often an Omega may end up as a future dominant rat, they tend to occur where an alpha or beta rat has made a point of singling out a lower ranking rat who needs to be taught there manners / place. A bit of bullying does often happen but once the alpha or beta goes that rat is often more likley to care enough to take over the pack.

I think what your describing sounds more like what i've nicknamed a gamma rat. That the kind of rat who doesnt care about there position in the pack, they are the glue rats that hold the pack together, happy to groom everyone, share with everyone and really not motivated to go up the rankings, even if the alpha / beta passes on or drops in the ranking.
 
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