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I just got two female rats yesterday, they're about 6 weeks old. I've read that you should give them a few days to settle in. How much space am I supposed to give them? They have an amazing cage with lots of toys and so far they keep to themselves at all times in this nesting tube. If they do happen to peek out and they see me, they scurry right back in the tube.

I've only held them once since I don't want to traumatize them by pulling out the whole tube (I want them to feel like they have a safe zone). Any tips on getting them to trust me? Thanks!

P.S. - they came from a private reputable breeder :)
 

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FOOD!
im telling you it works every time. Feed them treats like fruits and such, mine really enjoy things like hard boiled eggs and spaghetti noodles to. Feed them and they'll love you for life, soon enough you'll be able to pet them and then before you know it you'll be able to hold them!
 

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... if they came from a reputable breeder... i don't think they should be as shy as you're saying :s just my opinion...
 

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Honestly I never really give my ratties time to them selves I am a very hands on kinda person when it comes to my rats they learn from day one that if i want it to be play time or cudde time than it is LoL I have never been bitten badly either.
 

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Well if they are scared of people then thats not a very good breeder. Well may be good with genetics and stuff but they obviously don't socialize them very good. But from what I have heard from all over the forums you need to take them out and take them to a different room and handle them for 20-30 minutes a day. Because they arn't scared of you after 20 minutes of being handled. But they should come around. Do you have any pictures? I would love to see them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hooray! They actually came out to eat from my hand :) Maybe I was just being too impatient.. Unfortunately I left my camera at my friends, but as soon as I get it I'll make sure to post pictures of the new girls :)
 

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baguettefrenzy said:
Hooray! They actually came out to eat from my hand :) Maybe I was just being too impatient.. Unfortunately I left my camera at my friends, but as soon as I get it I'll make sure to post pictures of the new girls :)
Pictures yet? :)
 

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Socialising young rats isn't hard, but it takes ALOT of dedication. You must be willing to spend 30 minutes or more a day doing forced socialisation (keeping the rat in a 'safe place' such as pouch or hoodie pocket and handling them directly and through the matterial). This technique works miracles when used consistantly. There is no such thing as a day off from being a rat owner.


Just to note.... I'm typing this one handed because I'm doing forced socialisation with my new 5 week old girl. This same rat 3 days ago would run at the smell of a human, and she's now curled up in my hand grooming herself.
 

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IMO, It's always a good idea to wait a few days. It can all be pretty tramatizing and you don't wan't to put extra stress on the rat. The real point of waiting a few days is so the cage becomes a their home and safe zone. Eventually, you will become their safe zone as well.

Once they seem settled in, spend lots of time with your hand in the cage and offer treats. Then slowly start asking more. Start holding them for short periods of time. Then make it longer.

I think forced socialisation should only be used in situations where you have a rat that just won't respond to anything else.

Remember, it takes time and dedication to form bonds.
 

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I just got my boys yesterday. The breeder that I got them from was a good one, and my boys are not scared of me at all. I put them in the cage after the car ride, and they settled right in, they ran all over the cage exploring, and then started a wrestling match with each other. I waited an hour just to let them settle in and then came back to visit them. They both came running to the door of the cage, poking their noses out at me, and giving me kisses if I gave them my fingers.

After all this I figured it would be ok to play with them, so I opened the cage, and let them smell me and such, and they wanted to wrestle with my hand. Devil (my black berk) actually climbed up my ar and sat on my shoulder grooming himself and then walked right back into the cage. Both of my boys are 5.5 weeks old.

So, if your breeder is really as good as they say I think your girls should at least be somewhat like my boys. Yes, they are a little scared of the big monster hand coming in at times, but for the most part they are all over me the second I open the cage.

Emy
 

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Twilight, forced socialisation is just putting a timid rat in a spot where it cna feel safe while you socialise them. I do this with all new petstore babies, as they tend to be more likely to bolt when you least expect it. It's not just a tool for a total basketcase.

Giving them time to settle in is also personal preference. I've always begun to socialise right from the first day, and have always had great success. For a nervous rat there is going to be the same amount of stress whether you wait an hour or 3 days.
 

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Time and patience are key. You take an animal and put them in new surroundings, they should be given time to adjust IMO. I always give my rats a few days to themselves to DESTRESS before starting to physically interact with them.
 

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I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree ;). It seems were both set in our ways (and if you're as stubborn as me this could be pointless).
 
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