Fighting, group of 5

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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LeapingRat
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Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 4:40 pm

Fighting, group of 5

Post by LeapingRat » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:29 am

So my group of 5 boys get on reasonably well most of the time, except in the night I can hear lots of squeaking and the rats are obviously fighting. so I get up and turn the light on and they all stop. But today I found two of my rats had injuries, one (Padfoot) a small wound above his eye, the other (Albus) a small bite on his bum. Whenever they are all out together for free range, they are chasing each other and pining each other Albus does it more, do you think he is the culprit of most of the fighting. Is is serious or is it rat play. On another point 3 of my rats have issues, one (Moony) has bitten me and does so whenever I'm not paying attention and he nips the end of my finger, the other two (Padfoot and Prongs) both attack my feet, they have drawn blood from my feet, they both hate being picked up with a passion, Padfoot is the fattest rat he lets me but freezes and i have to hold onto him quite tightly to get him to stay where he is, if I relax even a little he leaps off me, Prongs on the other hand squeaks like a maniac when I pick him up, and he has tried to bite me a couple of times. With these two i have tried treats which the others all love but they both turn their noses up at it and wont come near it. Prongs, Padfoot and Moony all are all about 12 weeks and Albus and Dobby are around 9 weeks, although we are unsure as those two are rescues.

Thanks
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Hexi
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:03 pm

Re: Fighting, group of 5

Post by Hexi » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:16 pm

My boys do this too although haven't drawn blood. they squeek a little but it's all play fighting as i've watched them with a very dim light on at night before.

it could be re-ordering the hierarchy

bites on the face i know is usually a defensive bite where as bites on the bum are usually dominance/aggressive bites. the Information pages will tell you about that too. I'd say that if it persists seperate them though. don't want any bad injuries. although someone more experienced could advise you better on that particular area.

As for them not letting you hold them, sit with them quietly and read a book or something and just be around the cage/in the room.
Holding him tightly is just going to scare him and teach him that hands are bad things. maybe sit in with them in a smaller pen/area or on the sofa and let them come out of the cage in their own time and climb you/hide behind you and get used to you being there and associating your smell and presence with playtime. We've been siting on the sofa with ours recently and they like to hide behind us and come out and use us as climbing frames. limit certain treats to giving them out just at these times too. or certain toys so they know it's special.

you can't force yourself on them or you'll just chase them away. I've always used this technique with all my animals.

These are my first rats, so i'm still learning but so far, being patient and calm with them has really helped them warm up to us and they come out and check out who's there when i walk past now instead of hiding.

I hope this helps a little. :/

may i just say as well that i love their names. XD
First time mum to my little men, Tokyo and Ezio.

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