handling issues pre intro

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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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:47 pm

handling issues pre intro

Post by Mini-moon » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:59 pm

Hello all :)

First things first, I have two baby bucks who are coming up to 2 months old who i want to introduce to my older 3, all approx a year old in august-october. Im probs gonna start introducing the babies to the big boys in the next few weeks somewhere neutral outsude of the cage. Then in about a months time if all seems well i will stick them all together in a whole brand new cage. (Im waiting for a Ferplast Furet tower to come back in stock from a cheap website!)

Only problem is, the babies are really quite skitty, have tried handling them as much as possible offering treats, letting them sniff me/approach my hand the usual stuff but they still dont really seem to have loosened up.
So heres down to you guys! Before intros do I;
A) Keep at the handling until i see some results (i can just about pick them up but only just enough to quickly transfer them to another cage)
or B) Stick them all in together and hopefully the young uns will learn from the older ones that mommas good people! ;) Have heard they can pick up on it from the 'experienced' rats but not sure if anyone else had had any succes with this?

Any input muchly appreciated :)

Meesh :love:
Meesh and the ratty-lumps: Marley, Salem, Calvin, Hoodsey and Syd

Mulberry (Jane)
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:53 am

Re: handling issues pre intro

Post by Mulberry (Jane) » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:51 am

It may be best to start introductions sooner rather than later, as your big boys won't be threated by the kittens if they are still preadolescent. Most people seem to give new kittens a few weeks to acclimatise to their new surroundings or as quarantine, with intros starting at 8-10 weeks old. Once the kittens are living with your big boys I'm sure they will learn from them that it's to their advantage to come up to you to find out what's on offer, and they'll pick up on the relaxed state the older rats are in when you are around. However I would also advise handling the kittens very frequently, offering them food by hand as you are, then when they take it, getting them to stand on your hand to take it, eventually stroking them when they are in the cage, as well as physically getting them out of the cage. When you do get them out, try putting them inside a baggy sweatshirt or similar (or pouch with your hand inside) rather than immediately putting them down again. It's said that a rat can't retain a fear state for more than 20 mins, so if you have the rat in your clothing (or in a dark pouch with your hand) for that sort of time, he will physically relax and get used toi associating your smell with being safe. As well as a daily attempt to hold the kittens, I'd go little & often, offering food as many times a day as you can fit in at the moment, this'll pay dividends in the long term.
Mulberry rats are: Tuck, Islay, Mull & Treshnish
Guinevere, Excaliber, Nymwai, Muddy, Lightnin' , BB, Monty , Brownie, Koko, Etta, Jensen, Fernando, Felipe, Vanilla, Tiffin & Matilda.

Remembered with love: Little Jon and my other sweethearts x


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