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Discussion Starter #1
I have a few questions:

What is the best time to wean and seperate the males from females?

When can I take the babies out and let them crawl around the house (playroom with me in it)?

When can I take mom from them and let her have some time away from them everyday?


My babies just turned 2 weeks old today and most of them have their eyes open, I even catch a few of them crawling out of the nest every now and then.
 

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You should be handling the babies from day 1. They need socialization, especially at this age; it gets them used to being touched and handled. Take them out of the cage for 20 minute intervals, where you hold/pet/play with all of them - this also gives mom a break.

Babies should be separated at 5 weeks old.

You can take mom away from the litter anytime - just make sure to do it for short periods of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh I have been playing with them since day one, but not really all at once, I take one out at a time. I took mom out once but it seemed to stress her out more than anything.
 

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Oh dear, my momma was always dying to come out and get away from her demanding brats. Is the mother very handleable? She really does need to get out.

My babies first got handled on day 2 of their lives and then everyday. You have 2 weekers? Wait til those eyes are open and make a corplast rat corral. You take 2' high corplast panels, attach them with zip ties and firmly tape the open end (door), put toys and things inside and possibly you as well if its big enough. :D all the babies can come out and play with you and each other. Mom can go in there too. :D

I have no decent shots of my corral i made but here's a video that shows what I mean. You may laugh at the silly commentary. The babies loved the high pitched happy tone. :D

 

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Everyone has now opened their eyes and are starting to explore outside the nest...I am going to take them all out today and play with them for a little while.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I took them out and they ran around for a minute or two, then they piled up and went to bed in a corner.
 

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Pull the males out of the cage at 5 weeks. The females can stay with their mom indefinitely. I would not trust baby rats with free-ranging because they can scare easily. Smaller play areas with toys etc are better for young babies.
 

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Robin has it right about free-ranging. I made the corrall after a couple of incidents of "Where is the Baby???" 8O
 

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I use a child size tent I got at target. It's big enough for me to sit in it with them and they crawl all over me. I can zip it up and they can go crazy in it and they can't get lost.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, the babies are now 4 weeks old, and my have they grown. Some of them are almost as big as mom. I will probably be splitting up the males w/ their dad in a couple of days...maybe even on their 5th week.
 
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