New rat!

View previous topic View next topic Go down

New rat!

Post by siofradh on Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:39 pm

My newest addition is a little dumbo hoodie, bought from a petstore in Dublin. A friend of mine knows what a rat lover I am and how I've been keeping an eye out for a dumbo. I'd never been in the petstore she was bought from before, but since I had a rat from them I thought I'd take a look.. I was absolutely appalled by the conditions, mama rats with litters of babies in the smallest tanks I've ever seen. I didn't even know they made tanks this small. They had babies from five weeks to about 9 weeks both male and female in a rabbit cage. There must've been well over 15 of them. He also bred snakes too, and I can only guess he fed some of the rats as feeders. I didn't want to say what I thought of the place to my friend though - she meant well. I'll probably discuss it with her at a later stage.
She's pretty friendly for a petstore rat, but very small. Definetly too young to put in with my older girls, and I'm hesitant to even start intros since she's so weeny. Apparently she's five weeks. Any tips on when I should start introducing them? Since she's on her own (I know) I'm feeling pressured to get her into the big cage asap. Pics later.
avatar
siofradh
Oldie
Oldie

Posts : 234
Join date : 2011-12-25
Age : 21
Location : Carlow Town

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by redrach on Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:58 pm

Congrats on your new girl, a new addition is always nice and exciting.
Unfortunately the conditions you have described are common in pet shops, a reason why a lot of ratty people refuse to get rats from pet shops, only getting them from a NFRS reputable breeder, such as Zoundz, or being involved in rescues and re-homing situations.

Here is some more information on the cruelty and abuse of the pet shop trade:
http://ratz.co.uk/rodentfarm.html
http://ratz.co.uk/Petshops.html

What's done is done, and while your experience was not nice, there's a lot we can all learn from it. You could perhaps write a letter to the shop manager with ideas to improve the situation for all the animals there. You could perhaps write a letter to your local councillor/elected representative about the poor conditions. Unfortunately neither will likely have much of an impact. You can also do your bit by no longer supporting the pet trade- by getting rats from reputable breeders, rehoming or rescuing, and by shopping for rat-related items online, at places such as equinecalinefeline, ratrations, ratwarehouse, etc, etc.

I'm in no way trying to have a go by the way, what you do for your rats is entirely your decision. I have myself bought rats from petshops before, a majority of people on this forum have done the same. But it is important that we are educated about where these rats are coming from and the impact it has on their health. I hope you don't take offence to such a long post, I just feel it's something we should all know and be able to discuss.

Regarding the introductions, don't feel pressured by the fact she's on her own, rushing things will be far worse for her (trust me, I have a 13/14 week old being introduced to 16month old bucks and I rushed it a little/made the mistake of using too small a carried and ended up with a very injured rat). If you're worried about her size, you could let her get a bit bigger, what does she weigh? Can you post a picture? Up until 12-14 weeks rats tend to give off a baby scent, and usually introductions are straightforward because the adults will not feel threatened by this. So you do have a good few weeks before it's possible that it would be any more difficult than it is now. I'm not the best at introductions, but the advice I have been given is neutral territory, such as a bath. Place them all here, perhaps put some vanilla essence on their back to cover smells. The general rule is 'no blood, no foul', so squeaks, puffing up, side shuffling, boxing, etc, are all okay, but drawing blood is not and you need to intervene. Perhaps have a glove ready in case things do go sour, it's better to be prepared for this, but it hopefully won't be an issue. Take it slowly, put them in the bath for 30 minutes or so, let them all have a good sniff, give 2,3,4 food bowls and water, so they don't have to fight over it. Praise them. Repeat this for a good few days, until the rats are relaxed with each other and sitting/sleeping together. The next stage is to do the same in a small-medium cage with no toys/hammocks etc in it (I'm going to use a furet plus, for example). Make sure it is clean and smell free. Then intro the same as in the bath. Again, do it over a few days, and the best sign it's going well is rats are sleeping together. At this point, i'm not sure if it's better to start adding things into this cage (hammocks, toys, etc), or to move them to a bigger cage (the cage they will all be living in). Perhaps someone else can suggest here. With mine, I plan (so far) on doing, neutral ground, furet plus, srs. Again, when you do move them into their big cage, keep it bare, no hammocks etc until you're sure they're sleeping together and getting on well, then start adding these in slowly, one every day or every other day.

I think I've covered most things there, or at least the basics. As I said, I've had problems intro'ing, so just take your time and go by how the rats are doing. Also, if they start to fight or be unsettled in the big cage, don't worry about moving them back a stage, this is your opportunity to make sure they bond as a group.

Anywho, I hope this is helpful to you and not too bossy and long-winded Wink
avatar
redrach
Oldie
Oldie

Posts : 551
Join date : 2011-09-26
Age : 26
Location : Newtownards / Bristol.

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by siofradh on Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:26 am

I swore I'd never have anymore petshop rats and now look at me Laugh No no, I'm not offended at all, not to worry Smile Another petshop in Dublin city opened recently, and I was talking to the owner, she was actually telling me about rodent farming and told me I was about the 8th person that week to go into her and complain about The Boardwalk Petshop. She actually has two male rats in there looking for homes, they were ex lab rats that hadn't been tested on. She never orders from rodent farms, and rescues alot of unwanted small furries like hamsters, rats, guinea pigs etc. Although they're not in ideal housing, she would still be my petshop of choice. Smile You're right though, I'm actually going to start ordering online - I'd hate to think I'm supporting the petshop trade in any way, even by buying essentials like food and bedding.
I've introduced her to the girls on my bed, which didn't go so well. Bee and Whiskey like her, but Olive actually went for her and bit me in the process. I'm thinking though my bed isn't neutral enough since they're out on it everyday. Tonight I'll try again in the bathroom or my sister's bedroom. Also, I guessed that the reason Olive isn't taking to her the way the others are is because Bee and Whiskey are the dominant ones. I can't tell which one is 'boss' though, they seem sorta equal? Meh But Olive has always been the quiet one so she might be trying to establish some sort of heirarchy between her and Dora so she's not the lowest of the group. (that's her name btw. Nymphadora is her full name, I just can't stay away from the Harry Potter names Laugh Laugh ) I hope I worded that right, I can barely make sense of it in my head, let alone write it down! Roll Eyes
Thanks for the advice, I'm still a new rat owner so always appreciate it. I've also banned myself from looking at any animals in petshops from now on along with my mam. She's fallen inlove with a pair of naked mice in petmania in Carlow. Had to explain the whole petshop trade thing and she was horrified. I have yet to upload the pictures of her onto the laptop, but I'll do it tonight Grin You know she's so tiny I think she could be four weeks.. I'll put her beside a hairbrush or ketchup bottle or something so you can see how tiny she is compared to a household item. Finger's crossed I'll remember to actually put them up! Tongue
avatar
siofradh
Oldie
Oldie

Posts : 234
Join date : 2011-12-25
Age : 21
Location : Carlow Town

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by redrach on Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:48 am

no worries, glad a didn't sound horrible! (: She could well be as young as 4 weeks, make sure she's getting plenty of protein- fish, eggs, kitten food.
avatar
redrach
Oldie
Oldie

Posts : 551
Join date : 2011-09-26
Age : 26
Location : Newtownards / Bristol.

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by SaraBloo on Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:50 am

Awh, can't wait to see pics of her.
I have such a soft spot for dumbos. <3
avatar
SaraBloo
Oldie
Oldie

Posts : 253
Join date : 2012-04-25
Age : 27
Location : Norn Iron

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by Zoundz on Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:44 pm

Agree with everything Rach said! Smile

Congrats on the newbie though, just vote with your feet next time! Wink

xx

_________________
Laura Woods British Blue
Bongo Fury Rattery - Hobby rattery breeding for Russian varieties and Mink and Cinnamon with plans for Pearl based in the future. Based in West Cork. We are NFRS and IFRA members.
avatar
Zoundz
Administrator
Administrator

Posts : 2043
Join date : 2011-09-25
Age : 32
Location : Clonakilty, West Cork, Ireland

http://www.irishrats.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by siofradh on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:22 am

Thanks everyone! And Zoundz, I'm swearing this will be my last petshop rattie Laugh

Anyway, majorly delayed pics. You'll have to bare with me, since I'm the worlds' worst photographer Embarrassed Tried with flash, turned out crap, tried without, turned out crapper. Embarrassed

So here's little dora on top of the cage she is staying in. Have to be honest, she's out with me almost all the time since she's arrived, I don't want her to be bored in there by herself! Shocked Grin
http://i43.servimg.com/u/f43/17/13/50/54/dscf7112.jpg

And here she is again Smile
http://i43.servimg.com/u/f43/17/13/50/54/dscf7113.jpg




avatar
siofradh
Oldie
Oldie

Posts : 234
Join date : 2011-12-25
Age : 21
Location : Carlow Town

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by Zoundz on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:01 am

Gosh! She's miniscule!

xx

_________________
Laura Woods British Blue
Bongo Fury Rattery - Hobby rattery breeding for Russian varieties and Mink and Cinnamon with plans for Pearl based in the future. Based in West Cork. We are NFRS and IFRA members.
avatar
Zoundz
Administrator
Administrator

Posts : 2043
Join date : 2011-09-25
Age : 32
Location : Clonakilty, West Cork, Ireland

http://www.irishrats.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by smokierat on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:23 am

Oh wow Shocked teeny teeny tiny

_________________
Proudly owned by The Squirmin' Vermin and The Micicles,past and present Smile
avatar
smokierat
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 881
Join date : 2011-09-26
Age : 31
Location : Cork (city)

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by SaraBloo on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:51 am

What age is she? Shocked
avatar
SaraBloo
Oldie
Oldie

Posts : 253
Join date : 2012-04-25
Age : 27
Location : Norn Iron

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by Liathium on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:01 pm

I'm glad to hear that you aren't planning to buy petshop rats anymore.
Congratulations on her anyway. She is so tiny! Wow.
avatar
Liathium
Junior Member
Junior Member

Posts : 13
Join date : 2012-06-10
Age : 20
Location : Limerick

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by redrach on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:54 pm

Wow she's really really tiny and probably very young. Lots of protein and she could probably do with some lactol. Poor thing.
avatar
redrach
Oldie
Oldie

Posts : 551
Join date : 2011-09-26
Age : 26
Location : Newtownards / Bristol.

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by siofradh on Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:37 pm

How old do you think she is? My friend who bought her was told five weeks but I think she could be younger. I've been giving her 'royal canin babycat' which is pretty good quality kitten food and plenty of veg, cereals, pastas etc but do you think I should pick up some kitten milk too?
avatar
siofradh
Oldie
Oldie

Posts : 234
Join date : 2011-12-25
Age : 21
Location : Carlow Town

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by redrach on Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:43 pm

It's hard to tell really, I'd guess 3-4 weeks, but I'm usually not the best at telling age.
Yeah, I'd recommend lactol, it's what I used when my babies were weaning off their mums, you just mix it with warm water and you can put some in a bottle and some in a little bowl.
avatar
redrach
Oldie
Oldie

Posts : 551
Join date : 2011-09-26
Age : 26
Location : Newtownards / Bristol.

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by Zoundz on Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:10 am

At her size I'd be free feeding her protein - eggs, fish, chicken etc - she can't have too much. Lactol is good too of course, but expensive for one rat, I would probably stick to just eggs, fish, chicken etc in your situation. I would hold off introing her for about 8 weeks really - she looks about 4 weeks at a guess.

xx

_________________
Laura Woods British Blue
Bongo Fury Rattery - Hobby rattery breeding for Russian varieties and Mink and Cinnamon with plans for Pearl based in the future. Based in West Cork. We are NFRS and IFRA members.
avatar
Zoundz
Administrator
Administrator

Posts : 2043
Join date : 2011-09-25
Age : 32
Location : Clonakilty, West Cork, Ireland

http://www.irishrats.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: New rat!

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum