Why do they bully?

Discuss rat companionship, introductions and behavioural problems such as biting or shyness or tell us about your rat's unusual habits.
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Amzy
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Why do they bully?

Post by Amzy » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:40 pm

I have a large group of girls in my explorer. However I am having issues with 2 of them. The two girls in question are sisters, and are about 14 months old now.

They always bully the rat who is bottom of the pecking order. When I added Lucky, it was her..when I added the park babies, they bullied them, when I added spavo's babies they bullied them, and when I added another baby, they bullied her. They stop bullying their current victim when I add more rats, and then move onto the newbie. It isn't anything too nasty - currently its Leila who has a fair few nics on her bottom. They generally turn into hedgehogs, and chaise them around the cage, and both parties do lots of screaming and hissing (i have put in a few hiding spaces for the littleuns where the big bullies cant get in).

The thing is though.. they are wusses. They get pinned by some of my older, more feisty girls, and submit to them.... And they ignore the few that are older than them. If someone approaches them, they scream like they are being murdered!

The annoying thing is, they all integrate and sleep together. I had all the girls in the top half of the explorer a couple of days ago, all in one large hammock. I don't get it!

At the momant I am fairly certain my group is struggling determining who is alpha, or If I do have an alpha they don't seem to control these two very well!

I know other people who have siblings to these girls - both male and female - and they also have the same issues... so could it be genetic related?
Amy&the girls: Mary Miffy Lily Cupcake Lucky Pickle Dina Seven Fortune Rowena Tianna Leila Aurora Enya Texalina Kiara :dumbogirly: & the boys!: Heinz Branston Hellmans & Dave
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Eddy's mum
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Re: Why do they bully?

Post by Eddy's mum » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:19 pm

Think its like the playground - or survival of the fittest! Maybe you could seperate the sisters for a few days - let the others have some peace and establish their own heirachy - but probably someone else would start being the bully then or there'd be an even bigger fight when they went back. Maybe when the sisters get older they'll run out of steam. Perhaps a neutered buck would sort things out - but bit of a gamble!
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Re: Why do they bully?

Post by Cate » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:57 pm

I think I've said on here before that their way of scrapping to sort things out can sound like the outbreak of World War Three to us. :roll: It looks like bullying to us but it's their way of sorting out the pecking order. Rats expect there to be a pecking order in their group and are much happier once it's established. :)

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malude
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Re: Why do they bully?

Post by malude » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:40 am

Amzy wrote:I have a large group of girls in my explorer...

...At the momant I am fairly certain my group is struggling determining who is alpha
How many are in the group? I'm no expert but I've read before that people often find that once a group gets beyond a certain size then hierarchy scuffles and disharmony are much more common issues.
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Amzy
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Re: Why do they bully?

Post by Amzy » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:42 am

malude wrote:
Amzy wrote:I have a large group of girls in my explorer...

...At the momant I am fairly certain my group is struggling determining who is alpha
How many are in the group? I'm no expert but I've read before that people often find that once a group gets beyond a certain size then hierarchy scuffles and disharmony are much more common issues.
16 but ive had these issues since I first had them when I only had 8 in the explorer...
Amy&the girls: Mary Miffy Lily Cupcake Lucky Pickle Dina Seven Fortune Rowena Tianna Leila Aurora Enya Texalina Kiara :dumbogirly: & the boys!: Heinz Branston Hellmans & Dave
Aunty to 30 & Half-Mum to 4 :hearts:

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