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I got 3 rats a couple of months ago... they were really young when I got them, maybe 4 weeks old max. Two white & cream hooded (they look nearly identical... one's fatter than the other though lol) and a white & smoky black hooded.

The black hooded rat - who was named 'Tinkerbell' by my sister - is an incredibly jittery little guy. He jumps at everything, from the light going on right down to one of the other two rats scrabbling around in the cage or knocking into the cage wall. When I have Tink out, he makes a beeline for cover, and stays there for ages. After a while he'll get a little bolder and try to find an even deeper, darker hiding place. At the end of playtime when I need to snag him to put him back in his cage, or if I stick my hand into the clothes drawer they play in, he'll give me a solid bite, drawing blood.

The other two are fine. They'll come up and nibble on my fingernails, lick my fingers, run around over my lap, etc. but Tinkerbell is just so scared of everything that he's hard to play with. Today I took him out and plonked him on my shoulder, and when I sat down, he just stayed there frozen, then soon as I made a movement, he leapt and zoomed down my arm and into the ratty clothes' drawer in half a second.

He doesn't bite my hand unless I'm going into his hiding place, but that's often unavoidable (eg. he goes and hides behind the pile of junk computer parts in my cupboard and I can't dismantle it to reach him). He won't sit on me long enough to get 20 minutes of playtime out of him to try and tame him. Is there anything else I can try? And why would he be so timid when the other two are so bold and adventurous?

These are the 3rd lot of rats I've kept. I originally had a pair of males, then when they were gone I got a pair of females, and now I'm back to males, though I went for 3 furries this time round. I've never had a problem with them being timid. :(
 

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When I got my second rat as a baby many years ago, she always hid. She was also very tiny and got lost in my apartment and a mad search finally ended an hour later when I found her (nearly gave me a heart attack). The only way I earned her trust was so feed her by hand. I offered her sunflower seeds and made her come to me, letting her know that when she saw/heard me, it was a good thing because she got treats. I never came to her because that didn't work.
My advice (whether good or not) is to just let Tinkerbell have his space instead of grabbing for him, etc. It's not important that he comes out of his cage when you want him to...get some treats and see if he'll take them from you and let him know it's a good thing when you're by the cage.
 

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My Norway (dumbo) was skittish at first too, though she never actually bit me for pulling her out of hiding places.

I did the following:

Wear an old t-shirt or pair of pants for a day, and then rip a sleeve or other part off and put it in the cage where she usually hid. If this takes longer than a week, replace with a "fresh" piece.

I gave the other rat (Blue) treats while she was watching from the safety of her cage. Blue would run back and forth from the cage to my hand, bringing back little bits of mushroom or whatever. Eventually I would plonk down a big piece in front of her to let her know that she could also get treats.

Possibly most effectively, I let them run around the living room mostly unhindered. It took me a while to block off all the easily accessible hiding places (I now have clothing stuffed under my TV stand and around the edges of my refrigerator), but as long as I remember to close the door (and block up the space underneath it) they can't get anywhere bad without some effort. After playing with Blue for a while, I would then proceed to play some video games. They're more likely to want to explore if they aren't being watched, and if they get it into their heads that they can wander around without a large predator staring at them, they'll be more bold about it.

Norway started out as a corner camper, but now they both hate being ignored and will find the most annoying things to do to me if I sit around playing video games rather than playing with them. Kind of like reverse psychology.

If your other two are too rowdy, you may wish to prepare a play area for them in another room. That way Tink can have some peaceful exploration time without being scared by the other rats. Leave the cage for Tink, though. In early explorations, they seem to be much more comfortable if they can run back to their safe home after every few inches of newly explored territory. If you plonk Tink down somewhere unfamiliar he'll have no frame of reference or idea of where safety is and may panic. Let him explore on his own terms before showing him new and exotic play areas like a playpen or your shoulder.
 
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