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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my current mischief contains two girlies who adore grooming my hands anytime i open their cage. It's usually licking and then 'nibbling' my fingernails to clean them without any real biting down. However just a minute ago i was having a grooming session with them when one of them, Nina, was getting a little enthusiastic with one of my nails. Then i felt her bite down on it (the nail, she'd never bite my finger!) and my nail had a perfect mouth shape bitten out of it!
She then chewed and swallowed the piece she'd bitten off.

I don't take much pride in the appearance of my hands so that's no issue, but i like to introduce friends and family to my rats and some of them enjoy manicures and taking good care of their nails, I don't see it going down well if Nina did this to them! Is there anyway to stop this behaviour. I love the connection that hand grooming has given me with these two so i don't want to discourage them from that, just the 'clipping' of my nails!

And also, just want to check Nina won't get ill from eating my finger nail?

Thanks guys!
 

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Hmm, well my girl Jett will apply pressure to my nail and wait to see if I react. If I do not, she applies a bit more pressure and so on until I react. Usually by ruffling her fur the wrong way, hehe. But none of my girls has ever just come along and done what your girl did.
 

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Some rats go after nail polish, some rats like to preen dead skin... I took our new pup Misty to bed with me last night, as I was falling asleep, I feel something gnawing on my foot, I looked down and she had chewed off a 1/4 inch section of callus from my heel... I just wrapped my feet more tightly in the blanket and went back to sleep... I really don't want to discourage preening behavior, but I don't want to wake up with bloody feet either.

A gently bop and a firm NO sometimes works to discourage behaviors you don't appreciate... Remember, this is just for communication, not punishment. Your rats actually thinks they are being nice to you and are helping you trim your nails... You don't want to be unappreciative, but you also can't let them eat you either... When rats get overzealous in grooming each other the rat being groomed will usually react in a way to tell the overgroomer they have gone too far... so temper your reaction, but just don't sit there and put up with something you don't like.
 

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I generally squeak really loud when they "go too far" with something. I do let my girls handle my manicures but when any of them go a little too far or bite the nail a little too hard, a squeak puts an immediate stop to it.
 

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Um, yes. Ezzie will eat my fingernails if I'm not careful. He is the only one though, lol. Everyone else just kinda nibbles but he literally clips them off and tries to eat the pieces (gross lol). I just don't let him do it. If he grabs my finger I move it away and tickle him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some rats go after nail polish, some rats like to preen dead skin... I took our new pup Misty to bed with me last night, as I was falling asleep, I feel something gnawing on my foot, I looked down and she had chewed off a 1/4 inch section of callus from my heel... I just wrapped my feet more tightly in the blanket and went back to sleep... I really don't want to discourage preening behavior, but I don't want to wake up with bloody feet either.

A gently bop and a firm NO sometimes works to discourage behaviors you don't appreciate... Remember, this is just for communication, not punishment. Your rats actually thinks they are being nice to you and are helping you trim your nails... You don't want to be unappreciative, but you also can't let them eat you either... When rats get overzealous in grooming each other the rat being groomed will usually react in a way to tell the overgroomer they have gone too far... so temper your reaction, but just don't sit there and put up with something you don't like.
Thanks for this advice, i did lose another chunk of nail but gently bopped her and told her 'no' and since then she's not gone that far again. Now i mostly just have very clean looking fingernails! :)
 
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