Good intro suddenly going bad

Topics on behaviour, taming, companionship, introductions, and training
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Good intro suddenly going bad

Post by Stitch_03 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:51 pm

Hi wondering if you guys can help me I was recommended to you by a friend.

I have three rats one is over two her cage mate passed recently. We tried intros with some new ratties around 10-11months old.
It started well in the carrier so moved to a small hammy cage gradually adding hammocks they shared with no issues. So after a week we moved to an alaska. Again fine for a week we noticed one of the younger rats was pushing off the older rat off the hammocks.. So we took them out and gradually built up again. We added a hammock and a fight broke out between the older rat and the same youngster. It looks like the younger rat is the alpha but unfortunately the older rat was bitten. We've separated the rat that bit her and are considering trying intros again in a few days. Any tips appreciated. Thanks

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Re: Good intro suddenly going bad

Post by Onthewires » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:56 pm

During intros I've done, I've always been told to go back a step or completely return them to the carrier when things kick off at a certain step. It seems to be very much hammock related by the sounds of things as they've obviously been doing well in the small cage up until this point, so I don't know if removing the hammock and then putting it back in would be that effective. Is the hammock one that the younger girls have used in the past? if so it might be a case of them defending what they have learnt is theirs maybe? Also, how bad was the bite? The general rule seems to be no blood, no foul, and not to separate unless serious blood is drawn - so I think if it were me, I'd let them get on with it unless you're worried about your older girl's safety.

Hopefully someone else can offer a bit more solid/educated advice as I'm just going off things I've been advised to do in the past :lol:

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Re: Good intro suddenly going bad

Post by [cub] » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:28 am

I agree that it sounds like the hammock is the cause of the problems. I'm not an expert, but maybe try going right back to the beginning (i.e. small carrier) and working up from there again. And when you get to the point of adding furnishings to the small hamster cage, maybe start by adding perches and ropes and swinging toys, instead of hammocks. Things that are hard to fight over (because it's hard to fight and maintain your balance on something that's narrow, or that swings around a lot).

And maybe if you can, take them for regular outings (e.g. put the hamster cage in the back of the car if you have one and go for a little drive). Or even just carry the cage while you walk around the house for 10 minutes. A change of scenery and movement can encourage bonding. :luck:
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