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Hello

I have 2 female rats that are both one year old. We just had their cage extended vertically so they have loads of new space. The dimensions of the cage are approx 2' wide x 2' deep x 5' height. There are loads of shelves and things to do in there, so space isn't an issue.

Yesterday we purchaced a new rat that's very small and also a female. I've introduced several new rats to older rats in the past and have never had any sort of problem before, but these guys seem to be an exeption.

The 2 older rats seemed very interested in there new friend but where quite rough with her, making her squeek an awful lot. They didn't really let her in the nest and ignored her for most of the evening, having left them alone for about 5 hours they had made little effort to bond and whenever they came accross the new rat they would shove it out of the way quite roughly. The little rat started squeeling in terror at the very sight of the bigger rats and then the bigger rats went out of the way to bully the smaller one, nipping and pushing and hissing at her.

The bigger rats seemed to get progressivly more aggressive as the night went on until we couldn't bare the bullying any more. The little one was clinging to the top of the bars like a convict trembling for a very long time. We moved the little one to a makeshift cage of her own at that point.

What can we do to integrate them successfully? Our rats are very well behaved and we had no idea they would react so badly. I've done this before many times and it has never been an issue.

Help!

Roland and Sophie
 

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Re: Wen need help integrating a new female to our older rats

Have you introduced them to each other properly?
Your new girl should be in a completely different cage from your older rats. The new cage should then be placed next to the main one so your rats can sniff and see each other through the bars.

Then you should slowly intro them OUT OF their different cages. First on neutral ground and after a few meetings in the place where your rats usually have their freetime. Carry on doing this for a week or so and then if your girls seem to be getting on fine, then you can put them all in the same cage.

Take a look in the general section of the forum, at the stickies...there's an intro thread in there.
 
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