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 Post subject: Newbie rat owners - 9 week olds, drawing blood biting
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:03 pm
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Newbie rat owner - HELP!!!
we adopted 9 week old boys just over a week ago and i thought that we could hand feed them treats as a way of them coming to us and trusting us (i also have to admit that they may of had a few little treats through the bars). On sunday i made a fish pie and despite washing my hands many times the rats must have been able to smell the fish. My usual sweet greetings became 4 frenzied rats trying to get my fingers (one succeeded). every time we go to the cage to feed them or give them a cuddle we are getting nips. how can we get them to stop nipping us? they are my 9 year olds and she is now scared to handle them. cage wise we have a double tier liberta explorer crammed packed with toys, beds etc so i dont believe it is boredom


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie rat owners - 9 week olds, drawing blood biting
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:59 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Newcastle
Your hands must have been really fishy! :sick: :lol:

First of all, don't feed them through the bars. It depends on the rat, but some automatically grab anything that comes through the bars anyway, so the possibility that it might be food only encourages this!

You can try feeding them something like yoghurt from a spoon. They'll have to lick and eat politely without grabbing (otherwise they'll just end up biting the spoon).

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 Post subject: Re: Newbie rat owners - 9 week olds, drawing blood biting
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:22 pm
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Location: Bedfordshire
Oh boys! Silly pickles. Don't worry, this is fixable. As squeakrat says, yogurt off a spoon can work wonders and if they do decide to chomp they'll hit metal and soon learn that wasn't the right thing to do.

Are you sure apart from that one incident that they are definitely biting not just having a little nibble/groom a bit too hard? If they are just test biting a bit too hard you can make an "eep" noise which will tell them that it was too hard.

A good way of approaching them if they are a bit sensitive to fingers currently is with a fist instead of a flat hand. They won't be able to grab on and will enable them to sniff without nibbling you which should help with your confidence.

My guess is that they will only be doing this in the cage so if you can, get them out and do lots of ha dlingvaway from the cage to get their confidence and yours back to where it was.

I'm sure you can get this back on track!

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 Post subject: Re: Newbie rat owners - 9 week olds, drawing blood biting
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:50 pm
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Location: York, UK
I put baby food on my fingers so they learn licking fingers is good.

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 Post subject: Re: Newbie rat owners - 9 week olds, drawing blood biting
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:26 am 
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Rhian33 wrote:
... If they are just test biting a bit too hard you can make an "eep" noise which will tell them that it was too hard.

Just to add, the "eep" needs to be high pitched. :luck:

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