Not sure how to procceed with introductions

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azara

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
11
Location
NL
Hello, thanks for reading. I'm currently in the process of introducing 2 baby rats to my older boy of 1.5 years after his brother passed away.
I am using the carrier method but haven't been able to move onto the next stage for almost 3 weeks now. (started intros 4 weeks ago)
At this point I'm not sure how to procceed as I've tried numerous things to no avail.

To summarize the situation:

They are currently staying in a medium hamster cage (duna), but the rats refuse to settle in with eachother. One of the babies seems to get along with my older boy okay, but the other one is terrified of him. Whenever there is a more serious scuffle 90% of the time it's between my older boy and the scared baby. My older boy will show agressive behaviour towards him (sidling, fluffed up fur, hissing) while the baby screams in terror. What's tricky is, is that I'm not sure which rat is the issue here. Sometimes the scared baby seems to be the instigator of the fights - I have seen him nip at my older boy's face multiple times seemingly for no reason. So it would make sense for my older boy to get fed up with him and put him in his place. Other times though, I have seen my older boy suddenly become agressive while the baby isn't doing anything in particular. What also has me confused is that I have seen all 3 of them sleep in a pile before. One moment they seem to tolerate eachother just fine, and other times the scared baby doens't want my older boy to even come near him. It all seems very random.

Moving down a stage to the carrier hasn't worked, since the moment they are put back in the carrier no agressive behaviour is shown whatsoever. And then when I move back up to the hamster cage it's the same as before. I really have no idea what to do next. Hopefully you lovely people will have some advice for me on what to try next.
 

Coffee Babies

Active Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
44
Location
PA, United States
You can try to introduce them not face to face, while they are still in their cages. By getting them used to each others scent first before allowing them to have access to each other, you are decreasing the chances of aggression on one part and fear on the other. You can do this by switching their cages, having their cages close by to each other, and switching bedding. I personally like JoinRats way of introducing rats to each other: Using Baby Steps to Introduce Rats to Rats - JoinRats
 

azara

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
11
Location
NL
Thank you so much. The link you sent looks really promising, I'll definitely give this a shot!
 

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