Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

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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Jinx94
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Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by Jinx94 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:56 pm

I was absolutely shocked today when I calculated my rats ages and discovered that they were 31 months old.. I knew that they were old, but I didn't realise quite how much.. These guys are my first rats and I am devastated that it is unlikely that they will be with me at Christmas. I put a post up not that long ago about introducing babies to them, but I wasn't sure if opinions would be different now that i know their age? I really don't want one of my boys to be left on his own, but at the same time, would it be too much stress to introduce new rats to them? The last thing I want to do is shorten their lives by stressing them out, but they're so sociable that it seems like a crime to not get them some company :(

I would be seriously grateful for some opinions, I'm also going to be popping along to my vets as the head nurse had six or eight rats last time that I spoke to her, and I think she may have some good advice as well.

Thanks very much xx
mum to Ozzy (a very zippy siamese self) and Alan (Ozzy's laid back and adorable brother)

soon to be joined by Blaise, Quinn and Luca!!!

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Myfynwy
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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by Myfynwy » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:17 pm

I have always found that introducing my older boys to young babies has not been stressful in the slightest. In fact the older boys usually just sniff the babies and then go to sleep. It depends on your specific rats though. If they are still fit and healthy even at their age I would introduce some bubs to them. The fact that you didn't realise how old they are suggests to me that they are in pretty good shape. As long as the babies are still proper babies (opposed to teenagers) it should be very simple :)
Rebecca and the boys, Colin :oldbuck: Archibald :olddumbobuck: Howard :teen: Bruce :teen: Cedric :teen: Norman :dumboteen: and Edmund :dumbobaby: RIP Nigel :dumbohalo: RIP Stanley :dumbohalo:
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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by ratfan70 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:33 am

Hi, I succsessfully introed 3 babies to my 27 month old buck about a month ago. I was a bit worried as well about the stress of the intro and i thought the babies would possibly annoy the hell out of my old man, but it went fine and Casper really loves his new friends. He pretty much ignores their silly-ness but he does put them in line when they need it. So i would say go for it. :luck:
mum/slave to Casper, Rico, Todd, Pepper, Louis, Riley, Cosmo, Alfie & Loki.

Missing my little ones at the bridge: Ziggy, Snowy, Buddy, Rocky & Diesel. RIP Boys!

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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by KateR » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:39 am

I'd say go for it too. We've not had problems introing babies and older rats.
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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by Alijane » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:00 am

I have girls, but intro'ed two babies to my ancient ladies. They absolutely adored them. They got a bit fed up with their whizzing around, but just retired to the hammock and let them get on with it. They loved cuddling up to the babies and I must say that the babies gave them a new lease on life. Toto - one of my old girls - really perked up when the babies came.

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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by secretpennell » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:30 am

I had a really doddery old man who was suddenly left on his own. At that stage I had a group of 6 recently seperated male babies - with trepidation I popped him in with them. He loved it and to my astonishment he played with them (in a flat on the floor, HLD sort of way!)
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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by Alijane » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:20 am

secretpennell wrote:I had a really doddery old man who was suddenly left on his own. At that stage I had a group of 6 recently seperated male babies - with trepidation I popped him in with them. He loved it and to my astonishment he played with them (in a flat on the floor, HLD sort of way!)
Sounds like Rosie, who played the "let's pretend I am a small mountain and you can climb to the top of me ... just do it quietly, so you don't wake me up" game. :lol: Lola - my very ancient lady who has HLD - tries very hard to play and I think it is good for her.

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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by hlcasey » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:24 am

I have succesfully introduced babies to 27 month olds with no problems :)
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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by Jinx94 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:26 pm

So glad to hear (or read :lol: ) so many positive responses :D I was pretty upset before I read these as I had spoken to a veterinary nurse (not the one that I know keeps rats as she wasn't working) and they told me that it would actually be better (and kinder) to not introduce new rats to them as it would most likely result in fights and my old boys may not be able to take the stress, she said that if one went before the other, it would be kinder to just keep him on his own but spend twice as much time with him.. This really confused me as I know how incredibly sociable rats are and how they need their own kind as we can't spend every single second with them, but since she was a fully qualified nurse and I'm just a teenager, I nodded and smiled and went along with it, very worried that she might be right :roll:

Thanks so much :) xx
mum to Ozzy (a very zippy siamese self) and Alan (Ozzy's laid back and adorable brother)

soon to be joined by Blaise, Quinn and Luca!!!

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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by ratfan70 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:03 pm

When i lost Diesel unexpectedly it left his brother Casper on his own, he became really quiet and he used to sit in the cage looking sorry for himself, i used to let him out to spend the evening with me, but it wasn`t the same as having constant rattie company. When i got the new boys and we completed the intros he became so much happier and livelier, the wee ones keep him on his toes and i think he likes bossing them around.... :lol: So go for it, you won`t regret it.
mum/slave to Casper, Rico, Todd, Pepper, Louis, Riley, Cosmo, Alfie & Loki.

Missing my little ones at the bridge: Ziggy, Snowy, Buddy, Rocky & Diesel. RIP Boys!

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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by Neotoma » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:16 pm

Go for it. I've only found intros a problem in old rats if they are also really ill or frail, at which point they can be a bit set in their ways. But if there isn't any extra reason why it would stress them, I would just treat it like any other intro. I might be a bit chary about introducing teenagers or younger adults, but babies has a pretty good chance of going fine.
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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by Myfynwy » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:48 pm

Jinx94 wrote:So glad to hear (or read :lol: ) so many positive responses :D I was pretty upset before I read these as I had spoken to a veterinary nurse (not the one that I know keeps rats as she wasn't working) and they told me that it would actually be better (and kinder) to not introduce new rats to them as it would most likely result in fights and my old boys may not be able to take the stress, she said that if one went before the other, it would be kinder to just keep him on his own but spend twice as much time with him.. This really confused me as I know how incredibly sociable rats are and how they need their own kind as we can't spend every single second with them, but since she was a fully qualified nurse and I'm just a teenager, I nodded and smiled and went along with it, very worried that she might be right :roll:
Yes, even "professionals" do not always know what they are talking about when it comes to rats. I'd trust the people on here over a vet any day!! (In fact I never take the vets word for it before checking here first :) )
Rebecca and the boys, Colin :oldbuck: Archibald :olddumbobuck: Howard :teen: Bruce :teen: Cedric :teen: Norman :dumboteen: and Edmund :dumbobaby: RIP Nigel :dumbohalo: RIP Stanley :dumbohalo:
http://justanotherangryfeminist.blogspot.com/

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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by GreyWitch » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:19 pm

Another vote for yes here. So far, touch wood, everytime I've introduced babies to an old boy it's given them a new lease of life & cheered them right up.
Like Myfynwy though it's normally, sniff & sleep during intros. :lol:
Good luck with it all. :)
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Jinx94
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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by Jinx94 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:45 pm

Thanks :)

I've just told the breeder that I got my lads from that I would like to reserve three of her babies and that I'll confirm for definite once I've spoken to the ratty nurse ( :lol: ) as they are friends, and I know that they both want the best for the squishies :) So in theory, in a weeks time I'll have reserved three beautiful babies and have a cage on the way :D
mum to Ozzy (a very zippy siamese self) and Alan (Ozzy's laid back and adorable brother)

soon to be joined by Blaise, Quinn and Luca!!!

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Re: Is 31 months too old to introduce babies?

Post by Mulberry (Jane) » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:28 am

Jinx94 wrote:Thanks :)

I've just told the breeder that I got my lads from that I would like to reserve three of her babies
If the kittens are even distantly related to your boys, intros are even less likely to be problematic... It seems rats have a 'family smell' or a sense of famuily connection anyway.
Mulberry rats are: Tuck, Islay, Mull & Treshnish
Guinevere, Excaliber, Nymwai, Muddy, Lightnin' , BB, Monty , Brownie, Koko, Etta, Jensen, Fernando, Felipe, Vanilla, Tiffin & Matilda.

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