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Pups & Adopted Rat; final update

470 Views 8 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  RatPappy
I acquired a new nice pup recently, and this time I brought my alpha & Oreo ( the rat who got angry and bit previous new pups ) along in the carrier. It made a massive difference.

As Oreo was in close quarters with the new pup, and they experienced the car ride home together I think it strengthened their bond! Oreo was the new pup’s favourite and pup would run to Oreo every time he felt unsafe.

Oreo had no hostility towards the pup except when there was some mischief hierarchy sortings, and Oreo felt stressed when his favourite nest was “invaded” by another more rowdy rat, then he did go into defensive mode at young pup. The pup recovered fast though and I am pretty sure he spent the night cuddling with Oreo. I also saw Oreo gently grooming him ( instead of dominance grooming ).

My personal learning experience is, when introducing new rats, always include the alpha, and then the most skittish, sensitive and or unconfident rat(s) to start.

It has been less than 24 hours and new pup is settling in really nicely!

I already have 2 other pups from a rattery which is why I only took in 1 solo pup : )

edit; TL;DR

Looking for any information on weekly physical development of rats from pup to adulthood ( 7+ weeks ); adult rat - pup socialization (both standard and adverse scenarios).

Hello, the mischief & I welcomed 2 pups (7wks ea.) into the group yesterday afternoon (less than 24 hours at time of posting). I have tried to find and research as much as I can on my own regarding pup-specific information, however I have not had a lot of success.

If anyone has any links to guides or videos focused on pup behaviour & development that would be great. I have been through every Isamu Rat Care videos mentioning pups thrice.

  1. How much does pups change physically week to week? The pups are very small and I feel like are still growing into their body. I am told they will grow into an adult in about 6 months, but I would like to know in general how fast do rats grow in terms of physique week by week. I could only find information from newborn pups to when they are weaned.
  2. Is it normal for pups to have a sort of "baby-fat" stomach? One of the pups has a soft protruding stomach, not very abnormal like a tumour or anything, at least I don't think so.
  3. Isamu Rat Care mentioned a fear period (I think a week?), is there any indication or method for a non-rat expert hooman to observe this?

Mischief-specific observation question —
One of the pup is absolutely terrified of all of the bucks. Aside from Oreo, everyone else is absolutely sweet and very gentle in the way they are approaching the pups. However, anytime they come even remotely close to this pup, he screams bloody murder. The effects of this are:
• his brother has now picked up on this and has learned to also scream and react the same way
• the screaming makes my bucks very confused and a bit agitated. On top of which, the alpha & beta are stressed from taking turns to "baby-sit" the pups & being screamed at
• the pups's freakout includes them bolting for their lives anytime a buck tries to groom or sniff them (not power grooming, just a nice friendly groom). Oreo got very angry (puffy fur!) and when the opportunity was there, bit one of the pups. At this point, they were moved back down into the carrier.

I wish to understand more about why Oreo bit. Is it out of a sort of assertion of dominance, or a type of "punishment"? I am not ruling out pure aggression and or fear-based reaction. The bite happened under my watch and I tapped Oreo right away and took the pup away. It is very possible he intended to draw blood but again, I am just not experienced enough to really analyze and understand the incident.

Mischief Context
Listed chronologically in terms of when the bucks & I intertwined lives.

Poco & Oreo —
Two bucks adopted from the city animal services. Information relayed to me by the city are the following:​
• approximately 2yrs old, no accessible date of birth​
• removed from a hoarder household, where a large amount (no exact quantity provided) of rats were essentially "free-ranged" in the entire house, which meant...​
• both never being handled, not hand-tame, anxious and high-strung; received no attention, was not fed (had to "forage" food in the house and compete with other rats)​
Oreo in particular is a very small rat for his age, however it is possible this might due to his genetics. Given the circumstances no accessible data regarding their 'breed' or if they are even related.​
I have recently found out, through their vet visit that Poco & Oreo were sick (respiratory infection & URI) prior to my adoption...They are currently on antibiotics (Azithromycin) although I can see it is not working.​

Max¹ & Tibby —
Two bucks rehomed from someone who had to choose between giving up her rats or give up her apartment. Information provided were the following:​
• 6ms old, however did not give me date of birth​
• both were acquired from a breeder, and raised from pups to 'adult' bucks by her​
• handled often, was told they are hand-tame and "chill" rats​
Both Max & Tibby, in comparison to Poco & Oreo are massive. Tibby in particular, I suspect might be obese. He is getting weighed in 4 weeks at the vet.​
¹ Max is the mischief alpha​

The pups —
Information supplied by the breeder are as follows:​
• date of birth for both are February 9, 2022​
• siblings from the same litter​
• 'Rex' mix (the paper says 1/2, however I think the mix is actually 2/3 as rex genes are passed down from dad, who is a 1/2 rex mix)​
• hand-tame, handled since birth​

Thank you anyone for providing any insight!
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Yowza. What a simple post! I have to study your situation a bit before even attempting to offer advice. You have such a variety of rats at a variety of ages and backgrounds... the mind reels... Thank you so much for the detail you provide. You have a mischief and a half! Not to worry, people here will help you.
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No trouble at all! It's a pleasure to read such an informative and well-composed post! That said, my experience with age-mixed mischiefs is pretty limited. I'm almost certain the pups will get over their intense fear of poor Tibby in time...It really must be heartbreaking for him, and you, to experience the violent screaming reaction, and a head-scratcher for me. What on earth could they have experienced to prompt such a response?? Rats are certainly idiosyncratic-boy, I'll say-but these pups are real lulus. My heart goes out to Tibby, and I commend your sensitivity to his unhappiness at such a violent rejection. I will almost guarantee things will improve in your family; probably quickly and surprisingly! The fact that there is some improvement already is promising. Poor Tibby. Give him heaps of love and reassurance, especially after the screaming rejections. I'm very happy he has a human who recognizes his feelings. Please keep us posted, and keep up the good work!
By the way, is Tibby named after the pet turtle of the weird little kid in the Toho film 'Gamera?' Or the brilliant MST3K episode of the same? Just wondering...
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