Sooo I went into a local lfs today with the intention of LOOKING at ratties, not buying, just looking... though I did want to get a couple eventually! So I go in and they had 0 "Pet Rats" in stock, but had just gotten a new shipment of feeders in today, so I was looking through them and among the pink eyed white there were 2 little male dumbos huddled in the corner... Now I do not think any rat is more or less deserving of a home then any other based on color or ears (and I have had my shard of WONDERFUL Pews) but I INSTANTLY fell in love with the 2 little dumbos they just looked so scared and sad...
So naturally they ended up coming home with me...
Now here is my question... I have had rats before, but I have never had unhandled young "feeder" rats. They let me pick them up to transfer from box to cage, but they are obviously scared of me... What is the best way to go about socializing them? How long should I leave them to settle in before trying to handle them... etc?? Thanks in advance!
From my experience with fish the ones in the sick tank who I do not feed loose tame ness until I restart feeding I suggest staring at them feeding them and holding them a bit to get them used to you again I am not an expert.But they are adorible.
Bless your heart for saving those boys, they are so beautiful. Gah my computer is glichy and keeps erasing my posts but I know a few rat forums and am open to PM's for questions otherwise I have a series of video's that may help you greatly in taming.
From my own experience, sunflower seeds are the quickest way to a rattie's heart. :) If they are not used to eating them, I shell them first, then start putting a few with shells in the pile. Once they get the taste for sunflower seeds, I only give them the seeds from my hand. It takes patience. You may have to sit with your hand in the cage for a while before they come up to get some, and I suggest a mix of shelled and unshelled in your hand. Once they start getting used to your hand being the magic food delivery system, you can start doing slow steps toward moving your hand, picking them up, etc.
To get rats use to you feed hand feed them treats everyday starting from baby food from a spoon once a week working up to actually feeding them treats from your hand eventually you will earn their trust. My rat was rabid when I got her now she is as calm as can be. My ratty use to be an un-handled feeder rat too and is now a fat lovable girl :3.
Also yeah as stated above you need patience it WILL take a while wait for them to come towards the food and never put the food directly In front of them because you want them to come to you knowing that you ill not do anything to harm them when they willingly come to you for food. Un-handled rats are a hassle but quite worth it for the end result of having a rodent that will trust you.
"Also note if you do the baby food thing to make sure it's only ONCE a week as baby food has very high fat content and is not to be used as a daily food unless your rat is losing weight rapidly or is very I'll"
Also your rats are friggen Adorable :)
Last edited by gn3ranger; 09-07-2012 at 05:01 AM.
Reason: forgot to compliment the cute rats
Food food food. The sunflower seeds are a great idea. They also love plane yogurt and peas. I had rats for years and Jana, my most tame girl, slept in a burlap sack under my bed :) She was very tame, and had free run of my room for 3 years. It was always about the food. She LOVED peanut butter, yogurt, sweet corn and zucchini. She could leave the room, but as soon as I headed for the bedroom and started tapping a spoon on a peanut butter jar, she would come running. (I have a very tolerant mother, lol)
But remember these are treats and not their diet. You'll just have fat rats! Before you give them their food each day, when they're really hungry, try a treat, but don't force it. Spend about 15-20 minutes talking to them (this is important), making noises, moving around their cage and giving them treats. 2 raisins worth of treats is good, then given them their normal pellet or mix food, but only a small portion. Keep their food bowl low so you can go back and give them treats again in a few hours. Rats eat throughout the day, so take the time to interact with them and offer them food whenever you do.
They are both beautiful! I love cream colored rats. Have you thought of any names yet?
Big thanks to everyone for all of the wonderful advice (and videos!) Right now I have them in the living room to help get them used to people talking and moving around. I'm going to start with treats tomorrow, for now I'm just talking to them and getting them used to me!
On a sadder note I was browsing craigslist (which I should NEVER do) and came across an ad from a person needing to rehome her 3 rats by Sunday, or they're going to be snake food... I don't want that many rats... but I'm thinking of getting them and then rehoming them, just to keep them out of a snakes belly... ugh!