Is free range a forced activity?

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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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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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Re: Is free range a forced activity?

Post by Feolthanos » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:59 pm

My first two boys were really shy and it took them a few weeks to come out of the cage themselves. My newer boys however where begging to come out on day one, but they were so absolutely tiny little things that I waited, and waited a week or so to bond with them. I had them in a play pen to start with, all fine there, but when they had the room one just scamped off and didn't give two hoots, the other didn't leave me until the second outing dispite being a confident boy (serious case of the floor is lava :lol: ) but then as soon as he realised that the floor was safe he was off.

Judge your rats at what they deem comfortable :) Seems like they are doing well though.

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