Suddenly smelly?

Discussion in 'Habitat' started by sampeartree, May 21, 2018.

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  1. May 21, 2018 #1

    sampeartree

    sampeartree

    sampeartree

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    Within the last 2/3 weeks I've introduced a new boy to my two others, and once the new boy was integrated into the other boys' cage full-time (which happened super quickly, I'm so proud of them!) I immediately noticed that the odor intensified and even smelled a little different.

    I had cleaned the entire cage head to toe, like you're supposed to when putting a new rat into an established cage....But that night the smell was like, if I hadn't cleaned the cage in 2 weeks?

    I have to completely clean the cage every 3-4 days now because the smell is unbearable.

    For context: The 2 original boys are about 5 months old and he new boy is a hairless 3 month old, all un-neutered. I do notice that the hairless has sort of a "gunky" smell that's similar to the rest of the cage smell. Could it be him? Do I need to bathe him?

    I use dust-free paper bedding. I just recently put a box of refrigerator baking soda behind their cage and a cup of vinegar beside it, and I've noticed a small difference. I put in a few drops of vanilla extract into their full water bottle yesterday but I don't think its been long enough to know if that worked. I spot clean their plastic levels with a 1:1 ratio of vinegar&water every morning.

    The only thing I can think of is diet? My boys are REALLY picky and won't eat those little pellets that come in the standard food boxes, only the seeds and colored bits. Should I try oxbow?
     
  2. May 21, 2018 #2

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

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    Food does have an impact or odor and yes, change their food, because what you are feeling is likely unhealthy ...... The recommended diet is a good block (oxbow or Harlan Teklad 2014 are recommended)
    plus daily vegs (see the forbidden foods list)
    and occasional healthy treats such as a piece of fruit, berries, cooked grains or cooked cereal (oatmeal etc), seeds such as organic pumpkin seeds or baked squash seeds, a piece of organic unsweetened cereal such as organic kumut puffs, etc

    as for smell, the boys are likely urine marking their cage as much as possible ..... because of the new addition and because you are cleaning so well it no longer smells like their territory ...... so clean a bit less thoroughly
     
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  3. May 24, 2018 #3

    sampeartree

    sampeartree

    sampeartree

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    They've all been on the same food since I got my two original rats over 3 months ago, and this overwhelming smell only started when the hairless was put with them earlier this month. So I doubt its the food, but I'm still going to change it to Oxbow. They get plenty of veggies every day.

    Should I still clean their plastic ledges/ramps with vinegar every morning?

    The smell is absolutely unbearable at this point. Their cage is in my room with me, and I almost can't be in here with them. I don't want to put them in our spare room by themselves but their literally running me out of my room lol......

    The odor is just so different. I never, ever smelled it before the hairless was introduced. How long do you think this behavior will last? He's been in there for about 3 weeks now. I figured they'd be used to each other by this point.

    Edited to add that I haven't cleaned the entire cage in about 5-6 days now.
     
  4. May 27, 2018 #4

    jorats

    jorats

    jorats

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    I've noticed in the warmer months, the odour is more prominent. Leaving a window open or air filter or small fan going might help. Also, don't enclose them in a room, that usually makes the odour more concentrated. Other things you could try have a small bowl of vinegar near by to absorb some of the smell. Cages should be cleaned once a week and a daily wipe down and change up of linens. If you over clean, they will produce more buck grease. They like their cage to smell like them. But if it is a new odour, like maybe urine/ammonia, then perhaps one of your little ones might have gut issues or bladder issues.
     
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