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Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




I'm taking my first steps into rat management. Cage & supplies on their way, talking to rescues and breeders :3

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Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Guy Mann posted:

Have you decided whether you're going to go with boys or girls yet? And either way, congrats.

The breeder has both available so I opted for males, since I donít really mind either way but maybe chill rats are a better first foray, smell aside.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Guy Mann posted:

I prefer males, I know the general advice seems to skew towards females for beginners since they're supposedly cleaner and less likely to be aggressive but I've never had a problem with either and I definitely prefer the chiller guys over the more mischievous ladies.

I hadn't heard that particular advice which I suppose is fortunate then Picking up 4 ladrats in a couple of weeks.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Jack Trades posted:

Which is great if you want a lazy pile of fuzzy rat-hams on your lap to cuddle

I have made the right choice.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




New Rat Crew on site

https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3848948

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Jack Trades posted:

Those are some good rat babs.

They're very pleasant already and are quickly leaning that fingers are OK for licks but off menu for bites.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




I understand it's a known behaviour, but it's really spooky when my rats decide they want to stand stock still and stare at nothing.

Yes go ahead take this treat and then just hold it for five minutes without moving. That's normal.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




My rat babs have gone from 100% scared of me to 70% scared of me. They get more friendly as they get older, right?

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




They're mostly quite content (mostly) with exploring my lap or hands or whatever but only if they can escape back to the cage. If I cut off that retreat in any way they freak the gently caress out and get dangerously close to trying a jump they can't make. They're not into chilling in a hoodie pocket yet, they always want out.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Jack Trades posted:

If they're willing to be in your hands

On being the operative word, slowly working on their flight reaction to being touched (or in some cases a hand being held 6" above them) through progressive exposure training, we'll get there in the end.

Jack Trades posted:

Don't force them to do anything though. If they start stressing out and want to run back to their cage then let them.
It's very important that they always have a place to return to where they feel safe.

Yeah this has been my approach which makes it tricky, because what they mostly want to do is dart, grab treat, dart back.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




I put an entire quarter chicken carcass still warm in their cage and they had NO idea what to do with it, wound up in the bin after a few nibbles.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Jack Trades posted:

My rats were never interested in carrots at all but I've heard that rats usually really like them.

Yeah they will fight hardcore for a chunk o' carrot.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Couple of weeks in and the boys are settling in to a routine.

Wake up for fresh water.
Fight.
Eat.
Go back to bed.
Wake up in the afternoon.
Throw bedding about the place.
Drink.
Fight.
Spend a couple of minutes overcoming their anxiety so they can leave the cage and explore my jumper, then sprint back in.
Fight.
Sleep.
Wake up for fresh food and do rat things until the morning.

Still only one of them has learned what the wheel is for and doesn't use it much yet. But they're small enough that they seem to enjoy sprinting around the cage.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Paladine_PSoT posted:

Pretty much. I have 5, and the best part about having 5 rats is giving them 2 large treats and watching them roll pickpocket all goddamn day.

I'm too nice, there's two pairs a few weeks apart and the smaller ones wouldn't stand a chance, so I individually hand them appropriately sized chunks.

I'm ticking all the new-rat-owner boxes now as I sit worried by the amount they're sneezing.

Paladine_PSoT posted:

Also: IT Thread rat crew grows!

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




OK I'm actually worried about my rats sneezing now.

They've been here a couple of weeks. During the first week one of them was a bit sneezy, but I put it down to new home syndrome.

Then one day last week with no environment changes that I know of, all of them started sneezing the same morning, and they haven't stopped since.

I thought it might be dust from their food sitting on the wood boards I was using as flooring. So I started cleaning it every day, no dice. A couple of days ago I took the whole lot out and replaced it with freshly washed (with no detergent) fleece and I've been taking that fleece out and clearing everything off it twice a day. If anything they're sneezing more now, it's every few seconds.

Help?

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Jack Trades posted:

I unfortunately don't know enough to be of any great help here, especially since it's really difficult to diagnose this sort of thing, but if the sneezing keeps being a consistent thing for more than a couple of days then I highly recommend taking them to a vet if possible.
Respiratory issues in rats are not to be taken lightly. Better safe than sorry.

Hopefully your ratkids will be alright.

I continued trying various ways to help them out to no avail and one was getting rougher, so I took them to the vet.

Suspected myco flareup, delayed onset from moving home stress. I have the tiniest tube of ratibiotics and an even tinier syringe to measure it out with.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




They really do grip your heart, don't they. I've only had these little bastards 3 weeks and it's killing me that one of them is getting sicker.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Guy Mann posted:

rat_owner.svg




It's beautiful.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Kuule hain nussivan posted:

"We'll get a bigger cage!" we thought.

"It'll be just the right size for three rats!" we thought.

"We'll get one with wheels so it'll be really handy to move around the flat!" we thought.



We were nearly right.

7/10 for the rat cage kerfuffle, 12/10 for the cat sleeping on the pig slippers.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




I'm looking forward to the day when they let me snuggle them.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Phantasium posted:

Nice Animorphs cover.

That made me laugh. Man, it would suck if all you did was become slightly older and a different colour.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




They look so woolly

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Ratt butt

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Rats went back to the vet after their 2 weeks of antibiotics. They're all improved, one is staying on them for another two weeks at a higher dose (because they've doubled in size in those 2 weeks).

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




One of my rats is going to give me a heart attack. I try to leave at least one of the cage doors open when I'm around so they can explore, but if I take my eyes off this one guy he climbs up the outside of the cage (more than a metre tall) and then panics because he can't get down, eventually trying something stupid and nearly getting injured.

If I spot this and gently coax him back down safely, he's back up again a couple of minutes later.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




I've given up and bought £50 of perspex on clearance. They tend not to chew plastic so I think I can get away with zipties to hold it on. Try climbing sheer plastic, ya bastard.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




;_;

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Any recommendations for nebulising your rats? Here's my constraints:

- One rat needs nebbing couple of times a day, but it's OK if others get it too
- They're young so they don't like leaving their safe territory, namely the cage and my desk.
- He panics a lot if I close him in a small box
- He sort-of tolerates me pointing the nebuliser output at him in the cage but will back away from it due to I think the force of the air and I don't know how effective it is in that approach anyway

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




The Snoo posted:

you rebuy your avatar but add the image in the text box, in img tags, and it should show up

Yah. It says img tags don't work but they do if the image is on SA already, which the gang tags are. This is how people have double-height avatars, by buying the lower half as an avatar, then the upper half and putting the URL for the previous one in an img tag. Phew!

Definitely going to be adding the ratties when I next reup.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




I did it, I did the thing.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




One of my rats boggled at me for the first time today

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Falstaff posted:

Thanks, next time I've got to spare I'll definitely be adding the rat gang tag.

It's :5bux: for your own avatar but I acknowledge that often doesn't make much difference.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Just gave my rats their first nail clipping. Was also the moment I decided some tough love was required re: being picked up and held. They'd been coming round to it gradually but they were accidentally scratching the hell out of me, something had to be done.

They got over it surprisingly quickly.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Jack Trades posted:

Geez, I wouldn't have dared to try clipping my rats nails.
They got anxious and scratchy enough the couple of times I had to give them a bath.

Yeah they weren't exactly happy about it but with some patience and persistence we got it done.

Falstaff posted:

If you want to cut down on nail trimming, try putting a couple rocks or bricks in their cage in well-traveled places (such as in front of the water bottle.) It will help them wear their own nails down.

Yeah I've had my eye out for similar things but tbh this is the first time in a couple of months and only took a few minutes.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




I've seen them, yeah. They already have a chew cube thing that they chomp on to keep their teeth in check, and I imagine it's working on their front paws too, it's the back that are troublesome.

If the opportunity presents itself for wearing them down I'll go for it, but tbh cutting their nails for 5 minutes every 2 months isn't exactly a hardship.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




The Snoo posted:

I like when they steal a food that's too big for them and they try to run off with it and have to hop because it touches the ground otherwise

This but the version where they pick up something large and have to do this strut where they lift their head up and stretch out their front legs so it doesn't touch the ground. Seeing them do this while trying to steal something is adorable.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Your rats are all much cuter in behaviour than mine, which are still a few months old, and do everything except sleeping at full sprint with fear turned up to 9

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Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




OK so, what do you all use for your cage substrates? I've been experimenting and can't find the right thing.

My goal is to keep ammonia and food dust low, not so much even for me but because it irritates their little snoots.

I've tried:
1. Full-cage coated wood; collected piss real fast, awkward to clean
2. Full-cage fleece; collects dust from food etc, difficult to clean without pulling the whole lot out
3. Partial-cage fleece; one or two of the rats will throw it out of the cage
4. Bare bars; still collects some piss, neither hard nor easy to clean, concerns about bumblefoot
5. Partial-cage perspex sheets; collects lots of piss from floors above, similar issues to the wood, easy to clean but needs doing at least daily

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