Is free range a forced activity?

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Aalice
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:43 pm

Is free range a forced activity?

Post by Aalice » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:57 pm

I have four 8 week old (tomorrow) bucks.... Who I LOVE!!!! I have had them since Saturday and I've been doing a mixture gentle and forced bonding. Sometimes I'll offer my hand with treats on for them to clamber over, sometimes I'll pop them in my big cardigan to run around in and other times I'll stroke and scoop them up just to have a quick snuggle before popping them straight back into their cage. They don't much enjoy the stroking or picking up but I am hoping this is something they will get used to in time. Today for the first time EVER one of my Ratties happily sat in my sleeve for 5 minutes, adorable..

Enough ramblings - I want to get them out of the cage! But I don't want to cause too much stress or anxiety. I'd like to get them running about on the sofa, with me there offering shelter/safe place with my baggy cardigan for hiding areas.

Can I just scoop them up and pop them onto the sofa without access to their cage? Or do I have the cage next to the sofa so they can run back in?? I don't want them so traumatised they don't want to come back out to me again..

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[cub]
Posts: 898
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: Is free range a forced activity?

Post by [cub] » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:06 pm

For rats you've had for less than a week it sounds like they're coming along pretty well, actually.

I've never had a rat that actively enjoyed being picked up all of the time. Most of them are miffed by it most of the time, in fact. :P If you think about it, it's a pretty intrusive thing to do: they're often in the middle of something, and you're not only interrupting but also physically carting them off elsewhere. If they're not terrified of you then you can at least acclimatise them to it, and I've found that older rats with wobbly back legs will sometimes ask to be picked up to save them the trouble of climbing.

Some rats enjoy stroking, some don't. Generally older rats are more likely to appreciate it, especially when they start having trouble grooming themselves.

For free ranging on the sofa, if the cage can be positioned next to the sofa and they're happy coming out of the cage, then you can try that. If they're reluctant to come out and you've given them a few opportunities, you can just plonk them out. They're generally happier when they're in control of their own movements (who isn't) but sometimes they need a bit of a shove to try something new.
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn (NLA32); Zephyr Nyahir; Zephyr Zymandis; Zephyr Blasto.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Mick Jagger "Edgeworth"; Din (NLA28); Zephyr Donovan "Phoenix"; Xeltan; Lita (NLA32); Lia (NLA28); Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28); Falere (NLA36); Mirala (NLA36); Zephyr Opold; Rila.

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