New Rat advice

Topics on mixes, tailored diets, foods, supplements, methods, and problem eaters
Post Reply
Silverspark
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:31 am

New Rat advice

Post by Silverspark » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:37 am

Hi everyone I am getting two 7 month old boys next week and am super excited they have a new pet planet rat and ferret cage filled with homemade hammocks and ropes and wood (they are truly spoiled already!) I am fully researched and ready to go but there is one piece of info I can not find. When I bring the boys home the advice is to let them settle for 24 hours or more, but when it comes to feeding do I start as I mean to go on? Scatter the food in the substrate first thing in the morning fill up all foraging toys and fresh fruit and veg in the evening, OR do I just put the RR mix in a bowl until they are comfortable enough in their new environment? We have met them a few times for them to get to recognise us, but I appreciate that the move away from their current family will be stressful for them and I want to minimise that as much as possible. Thanks in advance

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

Re: New Rat advice

Post by [cub] » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:45 pm

I actually wouldn't necessarily let them settle as such; I suspect that advice was written with nervous rescue or pet shop rats in mind, and doesn't apply equally to all rats. I've health checked rescue rats the moment I got them home (and even caught a potential big veterinary problem early that way!) so I don't think you need to treat them with kid gloves for a day or whatever; it really depends on the rat.

Things I wouldn't do immediately after bringing new rats home would be:
- free ranging, because I don't want to let them out in a big space until I'm reasonably sure I can catch them again, and for that they need to get used to being handled by me and vice versa
- foraging toys (e.g. parrot foraging wheels, treat balls, food-in-cardboard-boxes, even veg skewers), because they can be a source of conflict, especially if one rat figures out how to get the food and the other one hasn't yet. This is not much of a problem in a bonded group, but moving house can unsettle them, particularly as they're adolescent bucks, so I'd be a bit more cautious for a week or so until they've had time to get used to their new life. Same thing applies to any big single items of food that people can get possessive over, e.g. big chicken bone, whole boiled egg.

Otherwise I'd just start as I mean to go on. I think having a routine is good for them; they're captive and entirely at their keeper's mercy, so I suspect they feel more secure if they know what to expect. They'll likely figure out scatter feeding very quickly, and it's also a great way to reduce any possible arguing at mealtimes. The only difficulty with scatter feeding initially is working out whether you're feeding too much or too little, but if you sift through the bedding the next day you can usually get a decent idea of whether they're eating it all, and if you weigh them regularly, at their age they should still be gaining a bit of weight but relatively slowly.
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.

Silverspark
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:31 am

Re: New Rat advice

Post by Silverspark » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:49 pm

That’s great advice thank you I will remove all foraging things for the first week and introduce them slowly after, and will just put their fruit and veg in a bowl to begin with before introducing the skewers! I have also got some malt paste to mix with the DR3 so hopefully they will be just fine!
Thanks again for the advice!

User avatar
cyber ratty
Fancy Rats Team
Posts: 6120
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Location: South Cambridgeshire
Contact:

Re: New Rat advice

Post by cyber ratty » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:41 pm

I normally advise people collecting kittens from me to expect their rats to want to come out and meet them as soon as they've explored their new cage - but at the moment, I'd advise leaving them for 24 hours due to the risk of there being active covid-19 virus on their coats. If you decide to handle yours straight away, then at least be aware of that risk, and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

Silverspark
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:31 am

Re: New Rat advice

Post by Silverspark » Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:46 pm

That’s great news Cyber Ratty they are with us now and one of the boys is very nervous and he has been left to explore and hide a lot but the other one is taking it all in his stride, he’s already had a couple of treats but now they are both settling down to a bowl of fruit and salad! I’ve probably done too much to be honest but I will make sure they only have a small amount tomorrow!

Post Reply

Return to “Feeding”