Need help with bullying!

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Mixalot2009, Jul 10, 2019.

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  1. Jul 10, 2019 #1

    Mixalot2009

    Mixalot2009

    Mixalot2009

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    Our rat rent was purchased young and was a pretty mellow guy. We've handled him regularly since we got him (he was probably about a month old) we have an old rat who is around a year old that we introduced him to and there were no issues for several months. About 2 weeks ago remy (the younger one) started picking on Rocky (the older one). Rocky is an extremely gentle rat and just takes it. Well after having to separate them several times and it not getting better I now have them in separate cages. Rocky is almost mentally scarred from it now and we are nursing him back from it. There was never any blood (except bit ears on Rocky) so I'm not sure it was aggression but it got so bad remy was stealing his food from him and Rocky is very shy now and seems depressed. I want to reintroduce remy with Rocky but this can't continue or Rocky with have lasting damage. Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. Jul 11, 2019 #2

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    Welcome to the forum. First off, for your location, I'd at least recommend putting your state/providence so that some us may be able to suggest a rat vet or whatever near you. It doesn't have to be your city per se, it can be something like "central Manitoba, Canada" or whatever.

    Okay, to the issue at hand.

    At least from what I understood, it sounds like Remy is picking on Rocky because he's trying to become more dominant. Older rats tend to be picked on by the younger ones, especially when they hit their teenaged months. My two youngest, Arthur and Luci, are currently bugging my older boys. My older boys don't really mind and don't really squeak, but the moment they turn back on Arthur and Luci, these two squeak up a storm. Never any blood.

    Are you sure the bloody bits on Rocky's ears are from Remy, or are they ear mites/Rocky over-scratching his ears?

    Rocky may be depressed from being separated from his buddy.

    Food stealing is often a show of dominance, at least from what I've seen. To remedy this, I give food to the "nicer" one first and then give another piece to the "meaner" one. I also have various food and water bowls set up around the cage so there is never direct competition. Also, make sure you're feeding them frequently enough, because rats may feel the need to store and fight for food if they perceive there isn't enough.
     
  3. Jul 11, 2019 #3

    Mixalot2009

    Mixalot2009

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    Awesome thank you. It's not mites I can tell that much since it's only on the tips and I've seen remy biting them rather frequently. I will definitely try putting more food in there since I feed them once a day before I leave for work and see if that helps with the hoarding. The hoarding got so bad I could tell Rocky hadn't eaten anything and as soon as I gave him a few pieces by hand remy ran down from the top and stole them from him. I've seen a few times Rocky on his back as a show of submission I'm just worried Rocky is going to be affected since who's whole demeanor has changed these last couple weeks. I ordered a critter nation's cage coming in today and hope giving them even more space will help things. Thank you so much for the advice!
     
  4. Jul 11, 2019 #4

    Mixalot2009

    Mixalot2009

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    Oh I live in Clarksville Indiana
     
  5. Jul 11, 2019 #5

    SQ

    SQ

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    Remy might do better if he had a younger rat to play with …… if you cage is large enough for 3 rats.

    How old is Remy?
    What do you feed your rats?
    How much food do you feed them? How often?
    Pictures of your cage and setup?
    A critter nation cage should help because rats can never have to much space.

    If you have access to good vet with the knowledge and experience to neuter rats (it is different from other animals) then a neuter will likely solve the problem. Aggression on male rats is usually caused by hormones.
    https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/why-spay-or-neuter-rats.35402/

    btw the Reference Thread has a lot of good information https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/reference-thread-read-only.35894/
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  6. Jul 12, 2019 #6

    jorats

    jorats

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    I'm going to assume without seeing what is really going on is that the young guy is too energetic for the older guy. Although, at a year old, that's still quite young. Honestly, if these two were my guys, I would let them handle their situation. I only intervene if I see blood or if a rat becomes sick/lose weight over it. Hoarding is normal and most colonies deal with it well. When I had an obsessed rat, I would take their food and place it all over the cage in several areas and I would go a few times during the day, find the stash and spread it around again.
     
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  7. Jul 15, 2019 #7

    Tatum

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    My first thought is that Remy is having some hormonal issues. Sometimes male rats will be overly territorial or aggressive due to problems relating to hormones. This would explain why Remy is biting Rocky's ears and stealing his food. Rats hit puberty at around five weeks old, so that may be what happened to Remy; he hit puberty which has caused his hormonal issues (if this truly is the problem).
    The only solution would be to neuter Remy if you have not already.
     
  8. Jul 15, 2019 #8

    Mixalot2009

    Mixalot2009

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    Thank you all for the wonderful advice. The problem seems to have been helped a lot. I got a larger cage (prevue feisty ferret) and put multiple food dishes as well as adopted two younger companions. Remy hasn't picked on Rocky at from what I can tell and the scrabs on his ears has stopped. They both seem generally happier as well! Im very happy to see their progress and I appreciate all the help!
     
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  9. Jul 20, 2019 at 2:55 PM #9

    jorats

    jorats

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    Awesome!
     
  10. Jul 20, 2019 at 6:25 PM #10

    SQ

    SQ

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    Wonderful ! :)
     
  11. Jul 21, 2019 at 6:46 PM #11

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    Yay! So glad for you :)
     

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