Puberty problems

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oowie
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Puberty problems

Post by oowie » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:18 am

Hi guys,
I have 4 rats, 2 boys 3 months old, 2 boys 5 months old.
One of the 5 month old boys,Karel, is showing puberty problems.
He chases the other 3 around from time to time and they seem to be realy afraid when he does this. They run and scream for their lives.. He also corners them. his brother had some fur and skin of his nose and a small biting wound behind his ear.
I don't know what to do.
They live in a single critter nation and are free ranging at least 2 hours a day.
They have 2 houses and 5 hammocks. Maybe i should take the houses out and only place open hammocks?

I don't know if i should seperate Karel from the others.
I think this is something they should go trough together, and solve it together. But i don't want my 3 other boys to be scared or hurt.
If i seperate them for a few days, should i do a new intro? Do you think it can help?
Or should i just let them be and take hiding places out the cage?

It is strange, to us Karel is the most cuddling rat, always wants attention and running to the cage door when he sees us. What is best to do for all of them? I am not thinking about castrating yet....
I have had rats in puberty before, but they never were like this.
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cyber ratty
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by cyber ratty » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:51 am

No don't separate - I would put them through the stages of the carrier method in case that helps them establish a stable hierarchy, but if problems continue, I'd look at getting the hormonal chap neutered.

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oowie
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by oowie » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:15 am

this morning Karel was chasing one of the younger boys around the cage. the young boy was screaming and running around frantic.
i put all of them in the carrier this morning. the carrier is 36 x 26 x 23 cm
for how long should i leave them in it? and after that, should i switch to the mini duna hamster cage? this one is 55 x 39 x 27 cm.
should i see this as a completely new intro?

i think i have had 2 sets from the beginning.
Karel and Kees are brothers, after that i introduced the brother Hans and Gijs.
Karel and Kees always had different temperaments, and Karel liked Hans immediatly, while Kees was snuggling up with Gijs.
they have all been laying together in mixed groups from time to time, but now Karel is bullying all of them. what is going on?
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cyber ratty
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by cyber ratty » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:22 am

Yes, treat it as a new intro, so give them enough time in the carrier to see them relaxed and settled together, before moving up to the small cage, etc.

It probably is that Karel will need neutering, but with the lockdown it would be good to delay that if possible by giving them the chance to form a hierarchy.

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oowie
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by oowie » Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:03 am

i hope neutering is not needed and i hope that he will calm down in time.
they are al sleeping together in the carrier now. it is not that they do not like eachother. it is just Karel beeing a bully. also he has been the most active rat in this group, often awake and sitting by the cage door for more attention.
i willl let them in the carrier for a couple of hours and switch them to the duna cage in the afternoon, so they have more space for the night and see how that goes?
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by cyber ratty » Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:12 am

I'd give them at least 3 days and nights in the duna.

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oowie
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by oowie » Sat Apr 11, 2020 6:57 pm

update: i took them out of the carrier after a few hours sleeping all together.
cleaned and cage and decorate it without any houses or double hammocks, and since then they are good together!
hope it stays this way!
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oowie
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by oowie » Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:24 am

After my last post everything went well for a couple days, now he is back to the bad behaviour again.
He does not hurt the others,just chases them around.
Sometimes they do sleep together. During the day eveything is fine, but in the evening he starts chasing the other 3 around again from time to time. They are on edge when he behaves like that.
Now they are back in the carrier for few hours, i think i put them in the duna in the afternoon and leave them there for a few days.
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oowie
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by oowie » Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:44 am

another question: do you think they can settle this on their own and grow out of it? (assuming the behaviour is not getting worse)
and: would it help to add a adult male to the group i am having now? or would this only upset them?
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by cyber ratty » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:06 pm

I definitely wouldn't try adding a single adult male to a hormonal group of teenagers, that could be pretty explosive. I'm sure that when kittens are introduced to an adult group, the adults do help to keep them in line and get them through teenage without many incidents, but it's too late for that, and a single male is going to have his own issues anyway.

Hopefully they will settle, but if you are able to get him neutered soon then it would be better for all of them.

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Re: Puberty problems

Post by oowie » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:33 am

I started the carrier method on thursday, from 7 am till 1 pm they where in the carrier.
form 1 pm thursday i moved them to the duna cage. at first they where sleeping in pairs, or Kees was sleeping apart from the others.
since yesterday noon i have seen them sleeping in mixed pairs and all on one pile. no arguing or chasing going on.

They have the little zoo venturer double cage.
i now placed the shelves in the middle of the upper part, and have placed the bottom tray on it, so the upper cage part is devided in two.
when can i place them in the empty 1/4th zoo venturer cage? can i do this today and see how it goes?
there are only toilets and bedding in the cage, 2 drinking bottles and food scatterd on the bedding.
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by cyber ratty » Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:00 pm

I would give them at least 3 days and nights in the duna, and don't move them until they've been sharing a flat hammock for at least one night. Are you able to put a hammock into the duna? You may need to rig up some anchor points.

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oowie
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by oowie » Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:56 pm

Yes it is possible to use a flat hammock in the duna cage. Can i add this today?
And then when i move them to the bigger cage (1/4 zoo venturer) should i start with an empty cage? And when that goed well, add a hammock?
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by oowie » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:59 am

i added the flat hammock last saturday and they were sleeping in it all together. this morning i moved them to the empty 1/4th venturer cage, see how that goes....
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Re: Puberty problems

Post by cyber ratty » Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:30 am

Yes, add the same hammock without cleaning it :luck:

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