intro one neutered boy to 3 girls, same age, possibly related (fosters)

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Petunia, Aug 31, 2019.

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  1. Aug 31, 2019 #1

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Petunia

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    Hi all
    I got in 3 rescued female rats about 9 mos old, from a hoarding case where they were not properly fed nor housed.

    they are curious and active but not fond of being picked up. I've been working with them for just under a month and they are making great progress.

    last weekend I brought home a neutered male foster, who was from the same hoarding case and may be related to these girls.
    he's just about 3 weeks post neuter and is still a bit hormonal so I'm waiting a bit longer before starting intro's.

    My question: I've swapped out bits of smelly fleece and swapped cages.
    I let them out to play on the same blanket (but not at the same time) and while the boy is fine with this, I've started having an issue with the girls, they smell the boy and now they've become nippy-
    they've nipped at my clothing, my hands and one bit my lip, hard but didnt break the skin, another one bit my nipple pretty hard too.

    I've since washed the blanket they play on and will not be letting them share it any more, to see if that cuts down on this nipping, but my QUESTION is,
    what does it mean that the girls are nipping me? I am assuming they are riled up by the scent of this male, but what I"m worried about is, that this means they are not going to like him and that intro's will fail.

    is their behavior an indication of what may happen when I start intro's?
     
  2. Aug 31, 2019 #2

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Petunia

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    ok sometimes I can answer my own questions lol
    I put the girls on a clean sheet, no more nipping me, problem solved!

    I also was too curious to see how they'd react to Smokey in a face to face intro, so after playtime this morning (they are getting play time twice a day most days) I put Smokey on the table and added one girl.
    Went well, put her in her clean cage, added the next girl, same thing, then the next.
    Smokey came to me for protection from the scary girls each time lol. I'd say his hormones are pretty much gone now.
    The girls were pretty good with him. Some sniffing, some peeing on each other, that's about it.
    :)

    so as usual, worried for nothing, heh
     
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  3. Sep 9, 2019 #3

    jorats

    jorats

    jorats

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    Hi Petunia! I'm so glad it all went well!
     
  4. Sep 9, 2019 #4

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Petunia

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    thanks! all four are now living in the same cage, more or less peacefully.

    the 3 girls are squealers so it sometimes sounds like things aren't going well but in reality, there have been very few squabbles and none of them were physical.

    I hope that in time they will bond with each other, I don't see a lot of evidence of that just yet (not a lot of mutual grooming or sleeping in a pile- yet!) but I think it will happen.

    They are all pretty evenly matched as far as activity level goes, so that's nice.
     
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