unbonded adult rat and baby rats in the same room

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by BoBa, Mar 12, 2019.

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  1. Mar 12, 2019 #1

    BoBa

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    Hello, I have a 1.5 year old boy who doesn't have a friend and a couple of days ago I got 2 new 6 week old babies. I know they need to be 8-10 weeks old to start intros so I've kept them away from each other, but their cages are in the same room. I doubt the babies care very much but I'm worried about Bodger being frustrated hearing and smelling the other rats. I've heard of some people putting cages next to each other to start bonding but some people say that that method just frustrates the rats that they can't get to each other. Maybe this will get them used to each other before intros? Anyway my question is should I move one of their cages to a different room?
    Also, the babies are already coming onto my hand and sometimes climbing up my arm; are they ready to be put out into a play area or should I wait a few more days?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Mar 12, 2019 #2

    ViciousCurse

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    Judging by the age of the baby rats, I'm assuming you haven't/aren't quaratining them. While it may be too late now, I would move the babies to another room and make sure you wash your hands in between handling/interacting with them and Bodger. This is the quarantine period to make sure neither they or Bodger get sick, because just like humans, rats carry different bacteria on them that they may be immune to, but not others.

    After quarantining, I usually put my rats' cages near one another and then switch fleece liners and toys between the two cages.
    Never introduce an adult rat to any rat younger than eight weeks. Otherwise the babies may not be able to defend themselves as well. When I got my last trio, I waited even longer because he was so little.
     
  3. Mar 12, 2019 #3

    BoBa

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    Oh no I didn't think about that! Does that mean I shouldn't take the babies out into an area Bodger's been playing in?
     
  4. Mar 12, 2019 #4

    BoBa

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    Also they only came on Sunday, do you think they are alright? Including Bodger. They sometimes sneeze occasionally but I think it might be just new surroundings that's causing it because the breeder said they weren't sneezing. I wish I had quarantined them. Bodger has moved to a different room.
     
  5. Mar 12, 2019 #5

    SQ

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    The only effective quarantines are done in a separate airspace (building) with people taking quarantine measures because the really dangerous diseases are air-born. Since most can not do this it is important to get rats that have been quarantined or are low risk - and important to stay away from pet stores etc
    Don't worry about quarantine as it is too late.

    You can put the cages near one another so they can smell and hear each other but make sure they are far enough apart that there is absolutely no possible way for the to reach one another if they all reach through the bars …. adult rats will kill baby rats or any rat they believe may be a threat
     
  6. Mar 13, 2019 #6

    ViciousCurse

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    Babies/new rats tend to sneeze a lot when coming into a new airspace-- it's their respiratory systems adjusting to the change in air quality. However, if it persists or they seem to be in distress, get them to a vet. Rat respiratory issues can advance very quickly and kill the poor rat. I'm saying this to be real, not to scare you. I've introduced baby rats multiple times have never had an issue arise. Sneezes go away after a bit (usually fluctuates between one and two weeks for me).
     
  7. Mar 13, 2019 #7

    BoBa

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    OK thank you very much. I assume that means the babies can play in an area Bodger has been in then, but obviously not at the same time as they are too young. The breeder I got them from seemed very educated and they were treated for mites, worms and fleas, although i don't know if they were quarantined-I guess there's a better chance that they were than getting them from a pet shop. I will probably put the cages next to each other however I have heard that the method similarly to swapping objects can frustrate the rats. But I know you are experienced and trust you on that. I can not wait to start playing with them and thanks again.
     
  8. Mar 13, 2019 #8

    ViciousCurse

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    Sounds like you have a responsible breeder there! I'm assuming that if he or she treated for all of these things before giving you the babies, the babies should be in fairly good health. Pet shops never do this, unfortunately. Most of their rats are probably treated like how a feeder breeder would treat their rats- letting them breed indiscriminately.

    I have some rats that like to get territorial and puffy, but I've never seen them draw blood (thankfully). I just switched fleece/poos/whatever else smells like the other rat(s) frequently to get them used to the scent. I also have so many laid back rats that they looked at the babies, give a little sniff, then went to go lay in a pile and sleep, so my case may not work for everyone.

    I put the cages fairly close to one another (not close enough that tails or legs can be grabbed and torn up) and at first, one or two rats appeared frustrated, but they were curious. I don't like seeing my rats frustrated, but I'd rather them be frustrated than tear up a baby. I've never seen a rat hold a grudge, so I don't think that frustration will carry over to actual meet-and-greets.
     
  9. Mar 13, 2019 #9

    SQ

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    If the breeder was knowledgeable, then the rats would have been pretty much quarantined because the breeder would have restricted anything that entered their environment

    It is fine if they use the same play area at different times.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  10. Mar 14, 2019 #10

    BoBa

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    Thank you!! I am so excited to play with them now!
     
  11. Mar 16, 2019 #11

    BoBa

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    Hello again, this may be a stupid question that is too late to be asking, but I was wondering if respiratory infections are contagious. My rat Bodger has had an upper respiratory infection since he was young and he's one and a half years old now. we tried giving him antibiotics a few times but they didn't work and the vet said there isn't much he can do; unless it gets worse which I believe hasn't for a while. So is it again, putting my new rats at risk by keeping them quite close together? I feel like this is really stupid but I just need some advice. Thanks.
     
  12. Mar 16, 2019 #12

    ViciousCurse

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    URIs are contagious. However it may be a myco flare up. All rats (pet anyways) have myco and it's incurable right now. I'm not too well versed in URIs because I've just had myco flares.

    Do you think this vet is knowledgeable in keeping rats? If not, a new vet may be better. You can also message jorats and SW about dosage advice.
     
  13. Mar 17, 2019 #13

    BoBa

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    Yes I'm not sure if it's uri or myco flare up. Should I start treating him again and what should I try?
     
  14. Mar 19, 2019 #14

    Dena

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    Wow! You are LUCKY to have found a breeder who treats for mites/fleas, and deworms! I foolishly bred three times over a few months, and I was super strict on the care of the babies and their health. I couldn't bring myself to breed my females (who only bred twice) more than every 2 months or so. Then when it came to the next breeding, I just couldn't do it. I felt it was wrong on so many levels. And o kept getting attached to the babies and keeping them. When it came time to rehome, it was nearly impossible. Even though I rehome them with friends. A couple of them I hand raised for a teenage girl who wanted them for breeding, and I wouldn't let her have them. She had snakes. So now I have the twins brother and taco. Wouldn't trade them for the world. Some of my other ones went to great homes. But once jellybean died in birth, that was it. Part of me wants babies from peppers bloodline, but the part of me using my head says no way! I'm not subjecting another momma to that, and possibly subjection the babies to God knows what.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  15. Mar 19, 2019 #15

    Dena

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    Sorry guys, that was my half asleep drank out response about you having a good breeder. It didn't really make much sense after I read it this morning. But what I meant to say was, you're lucky to have found a somewhat decent one. It takes a lot to be able to care for babies correctly, and ensure the health of mom, dad and babies. That's why I would advise against breeding, and always adopt the less fortunate ones out there.
    And to answer your question, which I never got to last night (I fell asleep typing), the babies are likely sneezing because of the new environment, if they are. Unless they are stressed, I don't think they can or will catch what bodger has. If you are really concerned about it, or they sound like bodger, you could always take them to the vet.
    Again, sorry for the long rambling responses. o_O
     
  16. Mar 19, 2019 #16

    BoBa

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    Thank you! Yes, I'm aware that I was very lucky to have found a good breeder and I was careful about it since it was my first time buying an animal from a breeder. I am also against petshops and have very similar views of yours. I do always try to find rescues and despite my strong wishes of being able to breed an animal, I think there are too many animals in the world who are suffering and in need of a good home. Why I got them from a breeder was because there weren't any suitable rats for adoption near me and Bodger hadn't a friend for a month. I hope I was justified in making this decision and thanks again for your advice. I will be looking closely at my babies' health. Also should I treat Bodger despite it not developing for quite a while?
     
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  17. Mar 19, 2019 #17

    Dena

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    I would have probably done the same. I can't say, as far as treating bodger. But I wouldn't have wanted him to be alone either....
     

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