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Discussion Starter #1
I have wanted a black, or near-black self for the longest time, and the other day I found one. But the thing is... he is so so so tiny. I am surprised they even got sold to the store, but I digress.

I have 3 males, all full grown large guys, living together, the cage is the right size for them (more on that in a sec). Basically, I have the new tiny guy in a separate cage right now, which is fine, but they grow fast but not overnight, and so basically my question is, how safe is it to place this tiny guy into a cage of giant bucks, even after the QT and intro period should be over.

The plan is/was that I was going to upgrade the living arrangement of the males anyway, and the larger cage would comfortably house 4 big males, but I can foresee this guy having to live alone for a couple months just because he is so small and I am not sure how "safe" it would be to have them all together, even if they do get along during out-time. (it is so cute to see this mouse-sized rat chase around the big guys and then snuggle up with them for a nap during out-time)

So, do I really have to wait until he is much larger? I am worried more about him not being able to compete for food, ect, and of course, getting torn up in battles that would be no big deal to the big guys. I mean, this little tiny guy *just* dropped, he is so small, he really does look like an overweight mouse.

I don't want 5, or rather, I don't want to go out and buy another tiny guy just so he can have a friend during the short time it would take to grow big enough for the main cage. The time it takes to grow, though, would mean he alone for longer than normal.

Have any of you guys had problems like this? I figure with the larger cage, and with the extended QT and intro time to grow a little, that he should be fine... but dunno. I have always added rats about the same size.
 

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{disclaimer: this post may read rather harsh but you know, sometimes tough love is needed. Please understand it is nothing personal & I do wish you the best luck with it all}

You need to get that 5th rat because odds are that one of the bucks will reject him. Also the longer you go with him being all on his own the chances are you are dooming him to a lonely life. After 4 or 5 months of growing up alone he will not adjust to being thrown into an established colony.

When we make choices to bring pets into our lives we have to consider what is best for them along with what is best for us. Actually we must consider what is best for them above what is best for us since they are dependent on us for everything in their lives.

You made a choice based on your own desire to have a specific looking rat... not what was best for this little guy or what was best for the pets you already have. You make not like it being said in this manner but I always say it like it is. You made a selfish choice over a wise & well thought out choice.

Bite the bullet, get him a cage mate & plan out your choices rather than making impulsive ones, especially when other lives are involved.

Good luck with it all
 

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i've never had a problem introing based on the size the new rat. if the intros are done properly and everyone is getting along then putting the new baby in with the older adults should not be a problem. rats are very smart and they know that babies take a bit gentler care. your big boys will understand this as well. if the food is always there there shouldn't be a need for the baby to fight over anything. if he needed too he could wait the few minutes it took for one of the bigger rats to get his piece of food and move off. the only probelm would be if the residents are keeping him from the food altogether but then that means that the intros have not been completely successful and you need to go back a step or two.

the only concern about size is if the baby can get through the bars of the main cage. then you need to either cover the cage or wait for him to grow larger. but by the time QT and intros are done, it'll be at least 5 weeks, possibly more depending on how the intros go, of growing time, which is a lot for rats.
 

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A separate cage is not quarantine alone. Do you have him in another building or at least in another room? Proper quarantine requires separate air spaces which means two different buildings. Most people who can't do that will at least keep them as far apart as possible and clean well between handling.

Got a picture of the little one? It's actually usually easier to introduce younger male rats to adult males as the older males don't tend to see a youngster as as much of a threat.
 

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i introduced Napoleon when he was really tiny, and my two big boys didn't make a fuss at all. Napoleon ended up terrorizing them, and they just put up with it!

maybe some rats will beat up on a new baby, but my two didn't. guess it depends on the rat.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You made a selfish choice over a wise & well thought out choice.
I know... was curious as to what you guys thought about my questions.

A separate cage is not quarantine alone. Do you have him in another building or at least in another room? Proper quarantine requires separate air spaces which means two different buildings. Most people who can't do that will at least keep them as far apart as possible and clean well between handling.

Got a picture of the little one? It's actually usually easier to introduce younger male rats to adult males as the older males don't tend to see a youngster as as much of a threat.
I have them separated fine, and intros are/have been going great. I may just get the larger cage today or tomorrow and put him in with them, for at least the time we are awake. He could be put in now, I only was wary because of his size.

I have noticed that they have taken to him rather well since the beginning. They play together, nap together. I might just do it, since I would rather him not live alone much longer.

I have some pictures, but none when I first got him. he is a little larger but not by much. I may post them.

Basically, call me selfish all you like, but make the advice in the assumption that he is sticking around, but that I am not getting a 5th. We can have 4 males and 3 females total, and I am not going to get any more, certainly not before the females die off.
 

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You've completely ignored quarantine. Even if you "had them separated just fine" you introduced them before even two weeks (which is the minimal time for quarantine, four weeks is best). That wasn't quarantine at all. I'm glad introductions are going well, I only hope that no one was sick.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just said that I did NOT ingore it...

Maybe you misread due to my backwards quotes... the site put the slash quote before the non slash.

He has been QTd just fine is what I said. He has been intro's for a bit now as well. I was only concerned with his size relative to the others as to what the next step was going to be.

The QT period would be over for a normal situation... remember he came to me very small, so he is still small. I think you are misreading something.

Just because I posted yesterday does not mean I have not had him a while before. I am at the point when normally, it would be time for them to live together.

What would be selfish is to buy an unwanted rat just to keep this one company, and to then what? Return him to the store? They are animals not plush toys.

I think I agree with the poster that said that the young one would adjust better than an older one. I have had this experience... I have always introduced them when they are older and, yes, they do treat each other as threats well after all the procedures. They have treated this little guy nothing like a threat. They seem as if they like him, actually, and are sad when they are separated again, which is why I felt like it was time to put them in a cage together.

I have put many rats together before, but when they are at roughly the same size. I whole point of this was to ask if size matters.
 

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seeing that you were already putting them together & there was never a quarantine it was rather pointless to post your questions about how you were going to handle things once he was past his QT period...& you now say they are all getting along because they play together & nap together, why did you even bother with questions such as...

quote: so basically my question is, how safe is it to place this tiny guy into a cage of giant bucks, even after the QT and intro period should be over.

If you had just came out & said... hey I got a little rat & he seems to be getting along ok with my big males... do you guys think it would be ok to let him move in with them even though he is so much smaller? This sure would have given us a much more accurate picture of what was going on.

I never would have said... that you made a selfish choice by putting this little guy in a position where he has to be all by his lonesome for weeks or months until he was big enough to go with the big guys. Your post was all a guise & now because you weren't straight with us I can be viewed as some hard ass for calling you selfish. Gee thanks!

You obviously got lucky & intros went well & for that I'm glad because all in all... nothing on her is about you or about me. I contribute for the sake of helping out the rats & helping people to help their rats.

Why not just be honest with people when you ask questions about proper procedures or when you need to work things out rather than twist your facts around. It would really make it easier to offer advice when we actually know what is going on rather than how you want people to think things are going down.


edited to add... I see above that you said you did do a QT but it seems I am not the only one that read your post to read like you did not observe any QT... I believe the way you worded things made it very unclear as to what was happening.

My apologies if anything I said was offensive but everything really read like you DID one thing & told a story about doing it a different way to save yourself from being told that you shouldn't have done it that way


At the end of the day... tis was all a miscommunication & maybe we should just start over

Cool??
 

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I'm still confused as to HOW you did a QT when you said:

"and the other day I found one"

and another post:

"I have them separated fine, and intros are/have been going great."

Which means, if your rats are now playing, there was NOT a QT done.

It wasn't just you, Julia. I don't know how else that could be read.
 

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I agree Kimmie but I'm really trying to believe that things were done right rather than believe they weren't & if everything was done right I do apologize for my tone that stemmed from a miscommunication.

Hey, its Christmas... I don't wanna be a flippin' grinch right this moment <big grin>
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am from the south, "the other day" means anything from now to 3 months ago... it's just a miscommunication.

I have not been around the forums much the past few weeks or more and this is the reason why. I have been more involved with getting this little guy ready.

I am at the point where it would normally be time to put them together, but I was only concerned about the size. I have put young females with older ones, but the size difference isn't nearly as much.

I have the larger cage and I think it going to work out for the best. I agree that he shouldn't live alone much longer and that since he is young he will be A: non threatening, but B: he seems to take to acclimation quite well, and it is worth trying. I always have the extra cage I can put him in over night and keep doing that until I am sure they are all ok together.

It was a miscommunication and it's no big deal. I forget that sometimes my words don't come out the way they should.

The only thing that was not able to be done was completely separate airspace (not many people can afford two houses). Everything else was done and the only thing I was concerned with was the size difference. Other than that, we are go for launch, but I wanted you guy's opinions on whether size matters.
 

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yashu said:
I was concerned with was the size difference. <snip>I wanted you guy's opinions on whether size matters.
Well!!! That is an entire an entirely different topic & one that I don't believe we can thoroughly discuss in this venue (gotta keep it PG
)

Yup, I know Santa is watching & he just nudged me to remind me I was put on the naughty list with a Sharpie Marker years ago!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You need to get santa a magic eraser.

hehe...

At the moment, I have the little guy in a cage on top of the large male cage, and I put him in for a while, the big cage, and they had some fun doing their guy stuff, the little guy tried to mount one of the others, and seemed to scare one, it was quite funny, but yeah different than all the out time they have had together.

I have only now been able to put them all in one cage, since... I have one large enough. I will make their time together longer and longer and eventually they should be alright.

I can see now that the little guy plays like the big boys, so he should be fine in another week or so. I just didn't want to have to get, yet, another rat (to keep the little one company) for the short period that they can't be kept together full time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok an update.

It has been a few days now at their new Grotto, and I can tell you that I have never seen a rat integrate so fast. It took 45 minutes! That is it... 45 minutes. I mean, I have done this many times before, and with extensive intros and other precautions, it takes about a month to truly see results... but 45 minutes.

He fit better than a dirty shirt. 45 minutes of a little ball sniffing, and then they were brothers for life. The extra space probably helped, but they sleep together, clean each other, play together, there has not been a scratch on him. I thought I was going to have to move him in and out of the cage and eventually have him in there full time, as that is what I have had to do with EVERY other male, but wow, this guy impresses me. He doesn't even fear poop when he is out. I can have him out for an hour on my shoulder and he won't go, he is amazing. Tiny little guy. Stone, my last buy, *still* poops outside the cage, that *******, and he is 3X the size and been here for a good while... but the new guy seems to like to to share grooming with Stone more than the others, so maybe he (I think I will call him Miles, but not sure...) will teach that old dog a "new" trick or two. They all get along though, there was only one wrestling match during that 45 minutes and after that, all gravy.

Stone took about a month to begin to feel at home, and it totally freaked the others out for the longest time, but this guy, after about 45 minutes of guy stuff, he was one of the pack.

The funny thing, is that Tiny was always the one getting raped, always... he was getting it from Camel and Stone... hehe... but Tiny was the one and only to try and give the new guy a little dominance hump. Maybe he is finally happy not to be the bottom, however... that new guy is so fast that sometimes Tiny could either not catch him, or Tiny would get himself put down by a rat 1/3 his size.

On a side note, they LOVE, and I mean LOVE their new hammock. I have never had one, but now that I have more space I got one, and they love it. There is usually at least one in there all the time, sometimes all 4.

I am getting a 2nd hammock tomorrow to go on the middle level. So they will have bottom level with shavings, water, large food dish, mid level with one hammock, and top level with a hammock and a small food dish and water. Right now the one hammock is on the top... I figure if it gets them to go all the way up, hey, not big deal, but next step is to give them a reason to be in the middle section too.

I only wish this cage had one more door, but other than that, it is one nice cage. It should be for $140.

The female's cage is set on top and eventually there will just be males. We kindof are committed to having males now. The best thing is, there is room for one more. I think it can hold 5 full grown males with comfort, so in the future, if I see another "selfish" attraction... hehe... we certainly have the room! Until the females begin to pass, I don't want more, but this cage is something that can last many many years.
 
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