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I had been planning to get a few companions for Mamma once she settled down a bit after rescuing her but the new litter has thrown that off a bit. I think the runt of the litter, Tiny, is a girl and assuming she reaches the age of weaning I think I'll probably keep her. But they have a very large cage( roughly 14 cubic feet of floor space) and I think that I would like to adopt another rat or two to be with them. How long should I wait to introduce new rats to Mamma and the babies though?

I found a breeder who's actually pretty close(less than an hour, woot!) that actually breeds his rats for pets. Up to now most of my experience with rats has been rescues from feeder breeders or the feeders at pet stores. The litter he's raising now have been handled from day one and are well socialized which will be a whole new ballgame for me. His pups will be ready to go Saturday, at which point my litter will be about two weeks old. I know the new rats need to be quarantined for at least three weeks which would put my litter at five weeks old. Would that be an appropriate time to begin introductions or should I keep them separated for longer than that?
 

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I really want to see your cage, what kind is it?

Will you be keeping the boys or have you found homes for them? It's something to consider moving forward.

In any case, Mamma may or may not reject pups under 12 weeks as threats to her litter. And then those 12 week old new rats may reject Tiny while she is under 12 weeks. Adult female rats are funny with babies.
 

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It's a homemade cage. I used an old breeder tank(50/60gallon, not sure but it's 18"Dx36"Wx20"H) and then I built a two level topper that's 18"X36"x24" so the whole thing is 18"x36"x44". It has wire floors on the top two levels which I know is an issue but I put old wool rug sections in for now and later this week I'll be getting cork mats to cover the floor completely with extras to switch out. The tank has flexwatt tape wrapped around the bottom from when it housed a snake many a year ago which also turned out to be quite convenient for keeping skittish hairless Mamma warm. In any sense, here's a picture I took of it once I had finished the construction. The blue blanket is old and has been sacrificed to her shredding tendencies. The green one on top gets pulled over the front to keep her warm. It's kind of empty here but I've added hammocks, a digging box, a climbing cube, and other toys.


I'm not going to keep the boys but I'm going to wait until they're a little older before I start looking for homes because I'm still concerned about Mamma being able to produce enough milk for everybody(I've started offering them formula as well in case they aren't getting enough as they grow).

Would pups under 12 weeks be more likely to get along with Tiny?
 

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I would introduce the new babies when you split the sexes at around 4-5 week. Take Mama out, put the boys in one group in a different cage (you can put Mama in with them to help them seltte), add in the new girl babies and let them play for an hour or so, then add in Mama, by this stage she probably wont notice the new additions and just adopt them. at this age they also dont need mum for food, though they may still try a bit
 
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