First off let me just say that this isn't a betta rescue, I do not know any other forums and this is the only one I have an account on so hopefully someone here can help me. This all started last night at around 10 o' clock. My mom wanted to go on a walk, I didn't result you guessed it big argument. I ended up trying to give her the silent treatment which failed miserably because of what was about to happen. We were about five minutes into the walk when we noticed one of those orange paint buckets, I was about to walk past it in a fit of silent rage when I heard my mom ask "Paul is this a mouse or a rat"..."what the heck is she talking about". Thinking she was just baiting me into a conversation I turned around and looked skeptically at her, well to my surprise there was this tiny little creature bunched up on some wood inside this box looking at us. We spent a few minutes looking at it and guessed it was a young domesticated rat (there were actually two rats). Well we decided they would die out there alone (we live along the coast right now it's high 80's in the day low 60's at night) so of course we took them home filled their bucket with some newspaper shavings and gave them a few wheat bread bread crusts to eat. We brought the bucket into the house, put it in a bathtub (no water just empty) covered with a block of wood but left a small opening for air and went to sleep. Now we are in the current moment. We woke up today more crusts, some carrots and now I need some advice. I know that they need at least a cage that's 24 by 12 inches i think and that has a so0lid bottom but that's it. My mom will go out and see if she can either adopt them off to a friend or buy some supplies. Also what bedding would be good besides aspen and whats their diet? Help me please. Pics coming soon *promise* Anyway i think the people who did this are just a pair of evil human beings because who leaves an animal to die like that.
First off you can put them in a temporary 20gal tank but if you keep them long term try to get the biggest wire cage you can locate at the pet store. They normally range around $100 though so save up for that if you keep them.
Secondly oxbow rat food is great stuff, I feed it to my girls. It has everything they need and also dog kibble or milk bones would be great for babies to help them out a little. Fresh foods too like veggies and fruit. Berries are fantastic and thinks like carrots and peas are wonderful for them. Also try to feed them a little yogurt to balance out their tiny systems but something low in fat. Avoid onions, the green part of the onion is very toxic and a few cheerio's should be a great treat choice for them.
Now only bedding, I use carefresh especially with babies because their is less dust and their immune systems and lungs are so fragile at a young age. With enough dust they can get upper respiratory infections. You also might want to get some ivermectin to treat for parasites. It should work with mites and internal parasites on rats and mice. I normally always treat my rodents with it after I bring them home from shelters or pet stores. Keep an eye on them, for the first week they will sneeze a lot but if you notice their fur looks ragged or they are not as active I would consider taking them to a vet to check for infections or illness. Also lots of chewy toys. The cheapest stuff is at petsmart, I can get some toys for $100 each. Also you may want to gender them, check if you have two boys or two girls or one of each. If you have one of each they will have to be separated because rats can mate at 4 weeks of age. In that case the female is likely pregnant and would need her own birthing tank. If you have two boys or two girls then you are good. To gender them it's fairly easy, males testies are rather large and easy to spot. I can also link you to a forum about rat care if you like. There will be plenty of other experts to help you on this if you decide to keep these guys and I will say so myself rats are honestly the best pets I have ever had. I wouldn't trade my mice and rats for the world.
Thank you for taking in those little babies. You are so sweet. I agree with using CareFresh. I actually recently found a small bag left over from when I had rats so if you'd like it I could mail it to you. All three of my (little white) rabbits were found abandoned, one in a parking lot and the other two in a park. Some people are horrible/stupid, but its people like you that make up for it.
I will post pics in a minute or too (so many it's taking imgur AGES to upload :). I doubt I will be able to keep them as my mom already is trying to adopt them off and she says I already have way TOO many things to take care of (4 tanks, 10g 5.5g and 2 1.5's ) I used to think rats were just the nastiest things to have as pets but now.... i gotta admit they've grown on me. I am almost tempted to fight for them to stay in our house. My mom's plans are to post some pics of them at my friends school to see if anyone will adopt :(. Anybody got some useful persuasion tactics? :P
oh and before I forget, the smaller one is fine "active, not sneezing smooth fur" it's the other I'm worried about she/he has smooth fur but was a little less active "when I took it out to have some one on one time she started turning into a little Christopher Colombus and I almost lost her but I eventually caught it, I did notice she was sneezing a bit and also was making little sounds as she explored is she gonna be ok?
Last edited by PaulO; 09-18-2012 at 04:40 PM.
Reason: Add on
Is it a rattling sound or a sniffing sound? Sneezing is fine the first week in a new home. They have very sensitive noses and a lot of new smells make them sneeze. it's called the new home sneezes. If the rat is making rattling sounds however it could be an uri.
As for persuading to keep them have your mom play with them a few times and bond with them. My mom couldn't stand my rats when I first got them and almost threw me out of the house but the week before i moved to Texas she begged me if she could keep them and I could just get new rats. I said no and she actually calls me every week and asks how the rats are and not how I am xD. They grow on you so quickly. She is currently trying to get her own rats now xD. I say just do a lot of research on them as well and hint some cool facts about them like how they can be litter trained and learn a LOT of tricks like dogs, even come to their name when you call.
Last edited by LadyVictorian; 09-18-2012 at 04:48 PM.
Just keep an eye on that one in case it gets any worse. Sounds like curious sniffing to me. They can get pretty loud sometimes. Filistata my overly hyper one almost snorts when she gets excited over the smell of food. She nearly inhaled rice up her nose once. xD They are a lot of fun especially when you train them to free roam but in the event you do let the free roam 'rat' proof as best as you can. Put anything you don't want them to chew behinds doors or on a shelf they can't climb to.
Also mixing your own rat food I wouldn't do unless you study nutrition. I have been researching rats and rat nutrition for three years and am still not qualified to mix my own food unless you use block food as the base like oxbow and then ad onto it.
I have put some shredder paper in there to help keep them warm, also i would have posted more pics but it is hard to get them to stand still enough to take a clear picture. Sorry about the slightly blurry ones.
I do keep an eye on them to prevent any escapees, the one thing I know about rats is they are notorious escape artists. However at the moment they are taking a rat nap :P. Probably up all night because of the new home.