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 Post subject: Body language during intros
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:15 pm
Posts: 194
Location: UK
Ive done lots of intros with adult males and have always been fairly confident, until one in july ended up with my little old man rushed to the vets to have his insides stitched back into him. I am not understandably rather nervous, mostly because the damage that was done to Peanut was literally done so quickly and silently that im afraid the slightest thing could result in a serious injury. (the offending rat was neutered and rehomed to live with girls).

Currently im trying to get a lone male from the RSPCA integrated into one of my other groups, id say hes in the early stages of sexual maturity (hes still small with a gloss coat but getting a few longer hairs and a greasy tail).

- Group 1 - group of 9, i started with a few of my more laid back older men but the took a simultaneous dislike to each other so hes got no chance again my tempermental alpha
- Group 2 - he bonded well to my OAP rat but his younger cage mate had recently gone through sexual maturity and is now a hormonal moron and they both took a instant dislike to eachother and intros were stopped after a few rounds of puffy ninja kicking resulting in a ball of fury fight and screaming. They were both as bad as eachother and hated each other straight away.
- Group 3 - 2 older males who have only been with me a short while, they are currently in the carrier. Henry seems rather defensive, hes puffy and slightly arched but the other are just sniffing him or ignoring him. If he arches next to them they just walk off. Theres been one flight but no high pitched screams.

Im just trying to figure out is puffy and archyness against a non reactive rat a sign of aggression or defensiveness?

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Body language during intros
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:44 pm
Posts: 2076
Location: Glasgow
I think of it as hes preparing himself for a fight by making himself look big and imposing.
In fearful rats being defensive (ie rescues who have been alone a long time) Ive found they tend to retreat and rear up like a boxer to defend themselves - differently to the stare-downs you see.

Sounds like if the others decided to respond he is quite ready for a scuffle. Short brief interactions, mix their bedding etc and try to keep every meeting positive. If it looks like a scuffle is going to break out try to separate them beforehand so noone takes a dislike to another. If its on open neutral ground I keep a newspaper to hand for separating the moment they start sidling and foofing.

Hormones :roll: Im sure I didnt behave like that when I was a teenager :?

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