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Retraining, splitting the group, Changing group dynamic

3063 Views 26 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ladylady
The girl Im rat sitting for just mailed to say she has taken a job where she is (overseas) and she needs to rehome them. Aside from the finantial commitment of 4 extra rats...
They are messy-poo everywere, bowl tipped over

They are fat-ok they're big rats but they are flabby

One bit me so hard I bled-I think it might have been a mistake cus I was handing out baby corn at the time

They dont know thier names

Only one is friendly-I wanted a cuddly rats next

Is there any hope of re training middle aged rats?
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Re: Retraining rescue rats/splitting the group (+Vega pic)

OMG I love all those rats!! I am one who does not like to split up happy groups and if you are able to take them all I would. Remember that they are older and won't be around for a lot longer. I always try to remember that they only live a short while and that if I wait on something that it totally effects them compared to a human's timeline.

They are probably older and fatter, but I wouldn't worry about it. Polaris is the bluish/minkish one? Thats your alpha, I can tell from the video.
And yes you can retrain middleaged rats within limits. Never advisable to stick fingers thru bars of unknown rats. You just don't know what they were "taught" before.

They are about 18 months you say?
I believe once an Alpha is overthrown they do not become Omega's. They are finished within the colony in the wild, like wolves?

Now this is a fascinating video(s) of 2 groups of domestic rats let loose in a controlled but feral environment. You can see the changes of these young PEW and black hooded rats as they revert to more wild behaviour. This film really helped me understand my pet rats more than most.

You can watch the film chapters on the left, or if you are dialup they have pics and a written description of each chapter.


Females are less aggressive overall because its a wild rats instinct to procreate and more females means more procreating. The males on the other hand are trying to have only their genes continue to the next generations plus they are the protectors of the colony.

Rats social hierarchy is fascinating even with large groups in cages. :D
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Vixie said:
lilspaz68 said:
I believe once an Alpha is overthrown they do not become Omega's. They are finished within the colony in the wild, like wolves?

Ha, no.

Wolves rarely kill each other, the most likely scenario is the loser(be it the challenger or the current alpha) is thrown from the pack unless he/she submits.

I've only ever really heard of an alpha kiling an omega when it was stealing food from and harassing the pups(therefore he deserved it).

Domestic rats are similar in that they don't kill each other, they just have fights and that's it. It's decided. It's rare tha

t death is needed in deciding a heirarchy(at least in animals...).
Oh I didn't mean killed, but they are shunned and ostracized never to return to alphahood. I think in those videos on Ratlife.org there is an overthrow of an injured or sick Alpha.
It might change their behaviour with other rats but shouldn't change their relationship with you Mom. :)
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