December 2, 2008

Well I have made a decision about what to try with Luke. He is definitely not happy at the moment and is particularly nervous of Rupert & Charlie. I have decided as the first course of action to attempt to intro him to Bob, Monty & Marlon. If that doesn’t work I will re-think my options.

Yesterday Luke met Marlon for about 10 minutes out on the desk in the rat room. They sniffed each other and that was it. Marlon was too busy wanting to get off the desk to explore but they sat on my lap together, taking very little notice of each other, so I was pleased about that. I then put Marlon away and Monty met Luke. He was slightly more boisterous with his sniffing but it was only sniffing, nothing more. He was more interested in the smells on the desk as well as was slowly getting a bit puffed up, so I put him away. I think Bob is going to be the hard one and it was only 10 minutes with the other two, but it was a promising 10 minutes. I am planning on doing intro’s very slowly in the bath, which is total neutral territory, introducing the 3 boys to Luke one at a time and going from there. So, fingers crossed.


Boy trouble!

November 23, 2008

Some people reckon boy rats make better pets than girls because they’re bigger and squishy and less active. I have decided that mine are just trouble!

I am worried about Luke because he still appears to be being picked on. He has several scabs on him, some of them long scratches so not scabs from him scratching himself or anything. I’ve given him some invermectin, in case he does have mites or anything and i’ll keep an eye on him. I think it’s Charlie causing the wounds because i’ve seen them scrapping and Luke seems very wary of him. I’m not sure what to do with them – I could take Charlie out, then I’d have to put him somewhere and he’s definitely not got to the stage where castration is needed, as he’s fine with his brothers. The most sensible thing seems to be to remove Luke, but not sure where to. I’m not leaving him on his own and am terrified of having him castrated. I don’t think the new boys will accept him as they are very confident. I could try though. I thought about putting him with Sugar and Tinkerbell as they’ve been spayed but I don’t really want to take them out of the girly group and I’m not sure if he’d still hump them and annoy them. I will have to ask for some advice, as he’s not really happy at the moment and he’s such a lovely boy, so people friendly.

I am also having trouble with Bob, who is showing some over-dominant behaviour towards me and bit me today! A couple of times i’ve had him out on my lap and he’s got foofy and grazed my knuckles with his teeth, but not bit. He did it again today so I went to get a grip of him and put him on the floor and he sunk his teeth in hard & definitely deliberately. It’s amazing how much rat bites bleed and how much they hurt! He was fine afterwards, letting me pick him up to go back in his cage. I’m just crossing my fingers he doesn’t do it again.

So, I have decided – boys are just trouble (well a couple of them anyway, most of them are absoloutely fine 🙂 )

The boys

November 2, 2008

I got some lovely pics today of the boys all snuggled up together in their hammock today, so thought i’d share them on here.

I’m a bit worried about Luke at the moment. He seems to be so much skinnier than the other boys and he’s got a couple of scratches across his back and his tail, i’m worried he’s being picked on. I’ve been watching them closely around the food and he does seem quite wary if the others are around. He waits for them to finish before he gets something out of the bowl and a couple of times i’ve seen Charlie sitting across the bowl preventing Luke from getting at it. There are two bowls of food in the cage so he can still get to food and he’s definitely not terrified of the others or anything (he climbed into the hammock earlier, straight over Rupert), he just seems to be a bit of an underdog which is a shame. If it was just Beau causing trouble it wouldn’t be such a problem as his op on Wednesday will hopefully solve his problems but it’s the other three as well, particularly Rupert and Charlie. I’m going to wait and see what happens after Beau has been castrated and what that does to the group dynamics and if Luke still appears to be being picked on, I shall have to separate him and Beau. 

They are such a nightmare at times, they have little squabbles and I end up thinking they hate each other, then find all five led in a heap like the photos:

male pet rats asleep<br /> in a hammock

This second one shows Charlie’s head where he was squidged underneath Beau and Luke.

male pet rats asleep<br /> in a hammock

And this was later on this evening. Luke wrapped around Rupert.

male pet rats asleep<br /> in a hammock

I see them all together like that and wonder why I worry!

Goodbye furry cushions

October 17, 2008

I finally got round to booking Beau into the vets for his castration. He’s going in on 5th November and I really hope it helps. He can be such a grumpy git. Poor Luke has a few scratches or bite marks on his back, which i’m assuming is due to Beau. Hopefully it is, as the castration should solve the problem, however, if it’s one of the other boys it may mean splitting them up, which I don’t really want to do. I’m still undecided on whether to put Beau back in with the boys or in with the girls. I think i’ll start with him back in the boy’s cage, then if things don’t improve, or he ends up getting picked on, then i’m sure he’ll be fine with the girlies.

I’m a bit worried about Treacle at the moment, she’s lost a whole load of weight and is so skinny, her sides go in behind her ribs. She has a wee bit of sniffling which has developed over the last couple of days, but she still seems pretty bright, coming out to play, eating and nest building! She stole a bit of dog food off of Fudge earlier. She doesn’t seem as if she feels ill but I think i shall get her up the vets next week. I’ve been reading through my ‘scuttling gourmet’ book and I’m planning on adding some of the kidney-friendly additives suggested to their food, in case it’s kidney problems causing the weight loss.

Mmmm, Digestives!

October 5, 2008

Yesterday the boys stole a couple of digestive biscuits from a packet I had on the desk in the rat room. They had three between the 5 of them and Charlie, Luke and Rupert were the three that helped themselves. I wish i’d had a video in there as Charlie was desperately trying to carry his back to the cage and he ended up falling off the desk and landing on the edge of the bin. He managed to keep hold of his biscuit until he jumped off the bin. It must be hard to work out a route when you’ve got a large biscuit blocking your path!!

Luke and Rupert had far more sense and just ate their’s on the desk:

two pet hooded male rats eating digestive biscuits

pet hooded male rat eating a digestive biscuit

Todays sleepy rats pics

September 26, 2008

Had the camera in the rat room today and got these pics of the boys, snuggled in their hammock today. Thought it was nice that Beau was in these as well seeing as he was on his own when I took yesterday’s pics.

Beau, Luke and either Jools or Rupert.

Charlie on top, Luke and Beau on the bottom.

It’s a rats’ life!

September 25, 2008

The boys at 10:00am:

The boys at 11:50am

The boys at 1:30pm

The pictures were taken on my phone so the quality isn’t great but you get the general gist of what the boys did today. Can’t remember who the black nose belongs to in each of the pics, but the brown one is Luke and the champagne one is Charlie. There were four of them in the house. Poor Beau was on his own.