New rat is really young..?

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New Member
Jun 13, 2019
Las Vegas, NV
Hi guys,
Last week I rescued a rat that my friend had been trying to feed to her snake. Bought him a nice big cage off offerup (57"x27"x22") and went down to a local snake store to get him a buddy. There was a little naked rat in the feeder bin, and when I put my hand down to coax him, a little black rat jumped in my hand and started bruxing. So I took them both.
Not sure how old they are, but I think the naked one is too young to be away from mama. The lady at the store said he was around 5 weeks old and the black one around 6-8 weeks old, the naked one just hadnt been growing. He weighs 32 grams, the black one weighs 77 grams. Is weight enough to be able to tell his age? Today is only day 2, but he doesnt show much interest in the harder food, but is eating soft food. I gave them a little bit of my dog's homemade food of rice, oats, chicken organ meat, pinto beans and veggies. The little black rat prefers the hard/dry food mix.
I realize the little one is probably too young to be away from mom yet, but is he okay as long as he's eating? He seems to be eating well, he's much rounder today than he was yesterday.
Im not sure how old or how much the first rat weighs. He's a good bit larger, and he is still really nervous about being in the big new cage. The two new ones are in the small cage the first rat came in.


Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
Jul 21, 2007
central New Brunswick Canada
Since the babies are old enough to eat soft solid foods I would suggest:
1. main food for the babies should be given in a shallow dish several times a day and should be either organic soy infant formula (infant section of a grocery store, Walmart Amazon, etc) or kitten milk replacer KR (formula for orphaned kittens usually from a vet, Not the kitten milk sold in grocery stores), thickened with baby cereal

2. feed a good quality rat block such as oxbow, science select or Harlan 2014 - feed the blocks plus also soak some blocks in cool water to make mush and give the mush in a shallow dish a couple of times a day

3. feed a variety of vegs, cooked whole organic grains (real oatmeal, quinoa, etc), and occasional berries or pieces of fruit

. Rats need at least 2 sources of water, one of which needs to be a dish that can not be upset - babies often look like they are drinking from water bottles but their tongues are not strong enough to move the ball bearing and are unable to actually get any water. Rats die every year because their water bottles do not work or their water dishes are full of bedding or tip over.

The two younger baby sound too young to be away from their mama
Please see the info on orphans & babies, and the info on diet and nutrition in the Reference Thread

* keep an eye on the babies and make sure they are pooping normally
* You may want to weigh and record the weights of each baby at the same time each day in order to track their weights to see how they are doing (use a digital scale that weights accurately to 1 gram and has a tare function - this is an important thing for rat owners to have)

I hope this helps
and I hope you will give us updates and more pictures

BTW Welcome to the forum :)
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