The Girls

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The Girls

Post by DJF on Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:21 am

After much research and postponing, I got three girls about 6 weeks ago. They are smashing little ladies who are growing in size and confidence everyday.


Maud, Constance and Peig pictured shortly after their arrival (right to left)

I believe that two are Russian Blues (Maud & Constance) and the other a Russian Silver (Peig). I went the petshop route which I know not to be optimal. I was intent on purchasing from a breeder on DoneDeal but slight issues with the landlord caused for that to be postponed. The girls came from Shauna's pet shop on Capel St.

Maud and Peig are sisters who are now ~12 weeks old and Constance is a half-sister (although I will never know this for certain) who is ~13-14 weeks old. They are all dumbos but each has a slight variation of ear type, Constance is wrinkled, Peig's have a slight point and Maud's are the classic dumbo look.

They went from insanely shy/terrified to happy, sociable girls (after much work and help from ratforum.com). Constance is not a fan of being picked up for too long and whimpers like a baby when she has had enough. She is content to climb and pee all over me. The other two are real attention seekers. Peig is intent on exploration and destruction. Maud, the slob, is content to just sit on my shoulder, smell my ears and observe the world.

I couldn't be more happy with them and their progress so far. I am still working closely with Constance and have started clicker training all three. They know their names now and mostly come when called (although sometimes my bookcase is just too interesting) and also the up on arm/hand command. Next is the shoulder command (already content to sit up there it should be easy to get them to do so on command) and then its Debbie Ducommon's Complete Rat Training Manual for new ideas. They understand the click so well now that they do a little dance of excitement when they earn one.

Rats really are superb little creatures!
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Re: The Girls

Post by Zoundz on Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:33 am

Bless them - would never recommend buying from a petshop, but what's done is done. They look sweet little things - but I'd say all three are British Blue with the palest posibly being a Lavender.

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Re: The Girls

Post by DJF on Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:42 am

Zoundz, could you explain to me the difference between British and Russian blues? I have looked at photos and cannot distinguish. Is it the fur type as opposed to the shade? The darkest girl Constance is a slate grey and looks distinctly different to the others. The texture of her coat is also different (more guard hairs and as such a little rougher).
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Re: The Girls

Post by Zoundz on Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:07 am

It's texture, fur type, shade... Can you get a clear individual pic of each? And then one clear one, top down, of them all together (but not in a hammock/bag or similar? Smile

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Re: The Girls

Post by DJF on Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:19 am

The big girls.

Maud where she shouldn't be!

[img][/img]

Peig the imitator - the tail is going 90!

[img][/img]

The sisters united in their defiance of house rules.

[img][/img]

Maud smells something interesting.

[img][/img]

Constance - the tricky one. She is a nervous nelly!

[img][/img]
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Re: The Girls

Post by DJF on Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:21 am

The little ones.

Hillary found a cheerio.

[img][/img]

Monica found a cheerio.

[img][/img]
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Re: The Girls

Post by Zoundz on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:34 am

Lovely pics, the newbies are *so* small Sad bless them - how old are they? They still have baby fur!

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Re: The Girls

Post by DJF on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:56 am

Yep, they are/were tiny. They were said to be five weeks when I collected them but I think they were just four. They were not much bigger than my thumb. By my reckoning, they are now six weeks and have grown considerably.

I kept them separate from the older girls for two weeks (they did play together) to ensure they got their fair supply of food. In that time, they got various baby foods, Applaws cat food (the treat version which is just fish), plenty of greens, soy porridge and honey, fish oil and liquid vitamins, and the usual mix and blocks I feed the bigger girls. I was initially very concerned about their size but all five are now doing well together in the new cage. I am so very attached.

Question: would they benefit from lactol at this age? They were having soy milk all along (with their porridge)? I just want to give them the best start. The baby coats shed in the last few days. The brown really came through. It is quite a rich chocolate colour.
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Re: The Girls

Post by Zoundz on Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:21 pm

6 weeks is when they should leave mum - earlier than that is detrimental Sad poor little guys.

Definitely they would benefit from any extra protein you can give them, pretty much free fed, for the next 4 weeks I would say, personally. Chicken, tinned fish, instaant porridge, EMP or Cede, Lactol... anything with a good protein count.

All the best with them! Grin

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Re: The Girls

Post by DJF on Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:57 am

Yeah, I know six weeks is ideal. They were dropped in to the place where I purchase my supplies. I don't know the previous owner. I just saw two tiny rat girls and took them home. Whomever had the litter certainly handled them well. They are the friendliest little things and quite the adventurers. It seems they got a lot of attention where they were. In contrast to my three big girls (who I am guessing arrived on plane from a rodent mill), these guys knew that hands were good and cages could be climbed. It took the others a long time to figure out how to climb bars, that hands won't hurt you and how to be rats in general. I will post more recent pictures of the little ones soon. They are quite the plump little ladies now (one is certainly more plump - so fingers crossed no surprises - I will know next week).
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Re: The Girls

Post by Zoundz on Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:15 pm

I wouldn't worry about pregnancy - I would think it highly unlikely that they were old enough to be pregnant.

Good luck with them, I am sure you'll have them big strapping girls in no time at all! Grin

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Re: The Girls

Post by DJF on Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:01 am

A snapshot from yesterday. Maud on top and the elusive Constance being unusually chilled out on the the bottom.

[img][/img]

The OH undergoing advanced exposure therapy!

[img][/img]
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Re: The Girls

Post by Zoundz on Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:23 pm

Awww! Grin I would say they're British Blues looking at the photos again Smile

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Re: The Girls

Post by smokierat on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:21 am

gorgeous Love

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Re: The Girls

Post by DJF on Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:46 am

Thanks guys!

@Zoundz - in layman's terms, can you tell me what the difference between a Russian and British is? This is a mystery to me!
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Re: The Girls

Post by Zoundz on Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:26 am

Genetically they're different, but they look different too Smile A Russian Blue has a much denser coat - so the actualy coat type, the feel of it, is different. They are also often darker, more purpley toned, with heathering, or a sort of speckling. British Blues have finer coats, more like a black or a mink, they also can be silvered, but it is different to heathering. They are usually much bluer than a Russian too - as they have a colder, icier tone, whereas Russians are warmer.

British Blue:






Russian Blue:





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Re: The Girls

Post by smokierat on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:17 am

Russian coats are gorgeous Love they make our other girls feel a bit thin in comparison!

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Re: The Girls

Post by DJF on Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:10 am

Ahh, I see the difference now. I think you are right - my girls are British. Those rats you posted are stunning! Are they yours? If so, the secrets of your photography would be appreciated!

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Re: The Girls

Post by Zoundz on Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:20 am

They are mine yes! Smile I've been photographing the squirmy little monsters for years! ;D hehe

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Re: The Girls

Post by katherine on Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:20 am

Just seen the pics of your girls. They're so tiny Love Sad I'm sure they'll grow into gorgeous girlies Smile

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Re: The Girls

Post by DJF on Fri May 10, 2013 12:26 am

A few more snaps of the girls.

Constance and her blanket.

[img][/img]

Maud having a good old sniff.

[img][/img]

Maud in her tube.

[img][/img]

Hillary (left) and Monica (right) and Peig (back) chillin'.

[img][/img]
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Re: The Girls

Post by Zoundz on Fri May 10, 2013 11:35 am

<3 aww lovelies! Grin

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we luvs ur shoos...

Post by DJF on Thu May 30, 2013 10:10 am



Monica contemplating a leap.



Hillary having a snack. Maud in the box.



Hillary - the top-eared devil rat finding solutions, a converse elevator!



Maud following suit.




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Re: The Girls

Post by Zoundz on Thu May 30, 2013 12:16 pm

I think Maud could be a mink - she's very patchy like a Mink can be - British blue can be patchy too, but that level of patchiness is normally see on Minks! Smile

Lovely photos - they look so happy and fun! Grin

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