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3 way intro advice please :)

Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:29 am
by Susanadaisy
Hi all,

I know intros is probably a really well posted about topic and we have had rats for a long time and have done many successful intros but we have a situation we haven’t had so far and just wanted a bit of advice.
Currently we have 2 older boys (over 2), two mature boys (around 18 month rescues we have had over a year) and 4 bubs - two who are nearly 10 weeks and 2 who are around 13 weeks and are bonded (one of the older boys just joined a week ago but being so young all good).
Our goal is eventually all 8 to be together but obviously with the youngest being so little we are currently concentrating on the two older lots. We’ve been doing half an hour upwards a day for the last week and the 4 seem to be doing ok, they all seem a bit nervous of each other at first - one of the 18 month olds turns into a porcupine straight away but is calm enough to eat and groom, one of the older boys just wants to run away and any time anyone touches him he cries and the other two just look a bit unimpressed with the whole thing. They live upstairs and downstairs from one and other and are constantly looking to get to each other but then when we have them together don’t seem to be sure what to do. There hasn’t been a whole lot of actual contact yet but where there is they do all seem to get a bit stressed over it - I think because they are all quite soppy really. The reason I’m just asking for a bit of advice is because when we have done intros before the dominant scuffling has all happened quite quickly and by this point they have been more comfortable near each other. I think it’s because they are getting on a bit so all just a bit nervous. We’d really like to ramp it up to get them all together as soon as possible but not rush / stress them especially as two of them are older and not so long ago (3 months) lost their two brothers and cage mates. We just don’t want to miss the window of the other 4 being still young we are hoping that once the littlest ones hit 12 weeks they can all start to intro 🤞🏼
Sorry for the waffle! Thanks in advance and appreciate any suggestions x

Re: 3 way intro advice please :)

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:14 pm
by cyber ratty
I suggest you use the carrier method (details are here) for all of them at once - there's no need to drag it out by doing 2 introductions, especially since the kittens are getting older and their intro may become harder the longer you wait.

Normally I'd say give the older rats some time away from each other before starting the intro, but since they seem to be getting on okay, it's probably okay to get started asap.

If you need more advice on cages and timings then just ask - but allow at least 6 hours in the carrier, and 3 days and nights in the hamster cage, even if everything seems calm and smooth.

Re: 3 way intro advice please :)

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:57 pm
by Susanadaisy
So so grateful to you for the reply. We have done the carrier before and it worked so well but we thought it was more when they weren’t getting on so hadn’t thought to do it! Do you think 10 weeks is too young to do with the littlest ones? They are small but growing quick 👍🏼
Plus I do think we are dragging it all out a bit - there’s been some squabbling and a lot of bushing and general avoidance but I think we have been over cautious just because the older boys are a bit older and a bit delicate but really I’m sure they will get over it as they are fine once they have a treat 🤣

Re: 3 way intro advice please :)

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:40 pm
by cyber ratty
It depends on how small they are - normally a 10 week old should be over 200g and that's the minimum I would do intros with. :luck: