Introducing 2 different groups?

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Introducing 2 different groups?

Post by spacelumps on Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:19 am

Hello Smile I'm getting 4 rats on friday - 2 males from one place and 2 more from another. They're both around the same age about 4-6 months. Just basically looking for tips on how to best integrate them - I thought it would be better to get them together since neither of them will have their own territory mapped out, they'll both be new to the cage etc. The cage I have is the one on sale from zoo plus, the huge tall one, and I have separaters just in case I do have to keep them separate.

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Re: Introducing 2 different groups?

Post by dani. on Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:43 am

Water spray bottle, or water pistol, and pair of gloves in case of any scuffles that worry you, and lots of observation over that first few hours.

And best of luck, hope all goes well!

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Re: Introducing 2 different groups?

Post by smokierat on Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:51 am

Hey Smile i generally put then together in a small clean cage or carrier with no toys or beds or anything so they have to get to know each other Smile Then see how that goes,and eventually move them to a larger clean bare cage and add beds/toys only when i see them sleeping and eating together and im happy with how they are getting on...if they seem to start any nonsense i would move them back to bare again as it stoos any potential for territorial stuff.if they are around four months thats good,the younger the better generally Smile Have you done intros before?

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Re: Introducing 2 different groups?

Post by spacelumps on Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:24 am

So intro went really well did one by one in a smal section of the cage and then let them roam around together. Two from different groups even started grooming each other. The only thing I had in there was a house and one lad went in there and guarded it from the others and started squabbling so I removed that and everything seems ok. That lad is running around the cage by himself and the other three are all huddled together. I think he'll be Mr alpha rat! I got a bunch of toys from previous owner of one group but Ill give it a few days and a wash before I put them in.

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Re: Introducing 2 different groups?

Post by dani. on Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:50 am

That's brilliant, glad all going well.

Keep us updated Smile

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Re: Introducing 2 different groups?

Post by eoghan on Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:59 am

That's a good intro. you have well behaved man rats

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Re: Introducing 2 different groups?

Post by spacelumps on Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:18 pm

Well spoke too soon I left them on there own for a bit to have dinner after staying in the room with them for a few hours making sure things went okay and came back to one guy with a serious scratch :/ So separating them again and gonna alternate between bottom and top parts of each cage every day to get them used to eachothers smell and take it a bit slower maybe have them in together for 30 mins each day with me supervising until I can trust them together. Seems to be just one guy being mischievous, the rest were getting along great and huddling together.

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Re: Introducing 2 different groups?

Post by dani. on Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:30 pm

On the plus side - at least its no worse then a scratch, and you had your plan B ready to go. Sounds like there is still good potential there for a successful bonding.

Keeping fingers crossed for you.

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Re: Introducing 2 different groups?

Post by Tribble on Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:41 am

That's all great news (except the scratch).
It's usually not great to keep them together long term until they have been introduced a few times.
Adjacent cages can be useful to get them used to each-others scent and presence, as well as exchanging small portions of used litter to get the sent around. You did a great job using neutral locations and preventing them from developing territories to protect.

It depends greatly on the rats themselves, really, we have always found that introducing them while separate, standing people hold them is useful, as they can't really do anything aggressive without being safely pulled apart, but none of our guys have been very aggressive or territorial so I can't always recommend that action.

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