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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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New Rats New names

Hey! A friend of a friend is having to give up her baby rats, they are un-named at the moment and they were just going to be given to a pet shop. Instead i have said i will adopt them.

I have had rodents before, i have had gerbils and such before and i have been looking to get some pets. I live on my own and i don't get to go out often with friends so i couple of little ratty friends would be perfect for me. I am more then willing to put all the time and effort (and money) in for them, vets bills and all that have been taken into consideration so it's no issue.

What i would really like advice on is what kind of thing i should get for them, food, treats, bedding and other things. Ive never had rats before, so any advice at all on them would be wonderful. It's going to be a learning experience for me for a while and i would like a little help from someone who has rats or have had rats

thank you!
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 09:43 PM
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What i would really like advice on is what kind of thing i should get for them, food, treats, bedding and other things.

________________________________________

Yay! Welcome and Congratulations! I'm silly excited for you. There's nothing like your first rat babies.

In answer to your questions,

Bedding choices:

Avoid: Pine or Ceder. Rats have very fragile respiratory systems and the phenols in these two beddings, which gives them their pleasant smell, irritates ratty lungs. For that matter, avoid any bedding that has high dust or perfume/deodorant content.

Some to Use: Aspin Shavings; Yesterday's News; Carefresh Unscented; Felt or Flannel--fabrics that won't have hanging threads for ratty toes and bodies to get tangled in. Felt/Flannel can be purchased cheaply from JoAnn's Fabric Store remnant bin.


Treats: Many rats like Yogi's yogurt drops, purchased at Petsmart or other pet store. They have high sugar content, so should be given very sparingly. Otherwise, just portion out samples of their daily food supply as a treat. Try different things to see what they really go bonkers over. Just remember portion control. A single cheerio is the equivalent of a large whole bagel for us.


Food: I could write a whole article on what makes a balanced diet, what foods are good to eat, what foods are unsafe or even toxic (oranges cause cancer in boy rats), and what foods are only good occasionally. Instead, I'll cut to the chase and give you the the site I used when I was a newbie rat owner:

http://www.pxrats.com/ratfood.html


The pxrats link suggests Harlin Tekklid as the staple diet. Mazuri is the commercially available version of Harlin and can be found at many petsmart locations. I get mine online Harlin 2014 is for adult rats 6 mos and up, and Harlin 2018 is for growing rat babies:

http://www.forotherlivingthings.com/...5lb-p-447.html

or

http://mainelyratrescue.org/store2/i...8feacd90cb7bbc


Other things:

Cages:

Rats need 2 cubic feet per rat, lots of climbing opportunities, and plenty of ventilation in an escape proof cage. The cage should be at least 18 inches deep to accommodate easy turn around space for the rats. Wire cages should have 1/2 inch wire spacing. All but the largest rats can squeeze through larger 1 inch or sometime even 3/4 bar spacings.

Most cages offered ready made in pet stores, even if they say they are for rats, are not adequate housing for a happy healthy rat.

Avoid aquarium/glass tanks. They don't provide enough ventilation for ratty's sensitive respiratory systems. You will end up with sicker rats then you would have otherwise.

Galvanized steel wire cages are great, but get powder coated when possible as untreated galvanized steel absorbs urine smells and will become stinky unusable in a short time.

Here's a list of helpful cage options that I listed on my rats' facebook page (yes, my rats have their own facebook page...oy):

Martins Cages:
http://www.martinscages.com/products/cages/rat/
Comments:
Cheap for what you get. We recommend the R-680, R-685, and the R-695 only for 2-3 rats. Spring for the powder coating. Galvanized absorbs urine smells and deteriorates much faster. For 20 dollars more, you get 2 or more years extra of use.



Critter Nation Cages:
http://www.midwesthomes4pets.com/cat...nu=2&catid=140
Comments:
The Rolls Royce of rat cages. This cage comes with the escape proof recommended 1/2 inch horizontal bar spacing. It is sturdy and very easy to clean. However, it's large and heavy, making it difficult to move on a non flat surface in spite of the wheeled base. The pans are too shallow for pour in bedding and it can be difficult to find a way to secure flannel/felt lining to them.

Ferret Nation Cages:
http://www.ferretnation.net/

Comments:

Made by the same manufacturers as the Critter Nation but notably cheaper. The bar spacing is 1 inch wide, which makes it unsuitable for juvenile or smaller female rats. Also, the bars are vertically spaced making it difficult to attach hammocks for climbing. It can be modified by hand by wrapping it in hardware cloth. So while not pretty, if money is an issue, this might be a better option than the Critter Nation. Otherwise, identical cleaning and movability issues as the Critter Nation.

Bass Cages:
http://www.bassequipment.com/default.aspx
Comments:
Intended more for large scale breeders, but can be purchased for pet owners.


Housing Considerations for Rats:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Housing_Pet_Rats


Cheap Rat Toy Ideas:
http://www.dapper.com.au/toys.htm#ramps


Home Made Rat Cage Ideas:
Wire Shelving:
http://exoticpets.about.com/od/careo.../myratcage.htm
Grotto Styles:
http://www.dapper.com.au/cages.htm
Hardware Cloth (Cheapest):
http://www.ratbehavior.org/CageDirections.htm
Hardware Cloth, PVC, and Zip Ties:
http://www.casualhacker.net/blog/bui...-own-rat-cage/
DIY Cage Building Accessories:
https://bunnyrabbit.com/price/cagequip2.htm


Calculating Proper Size for Cage:
http://www.rattycorner.com/odds/calc.shtml


And a partridge in a pear tree! Pfew. LOL. Have I blown your brain yet?


Hopefully these will be helpful to you.

Please post pics of your babies!!


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Melon, Skinner, Black Pete, Zanna, Custard, Tucker, Jeffrey, Zmei, and Windham.

Last edited by Storyseeker; 11-28-2010 at 09:47 PM.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Ah this is fantasitc! exactly what i was looking for
I just got sent the picture of the cage and it's very tiny, it's actually smaller than the tank i used to keep my gerbils in so i will make sure to get them a new one. I think it's actually a hamster cage! I will be picking them up in the morning and as i live in town the pet shop is just a stones throw away! The rat toys page was super cute x3

The bedding was a huge help too, the only stuff they sell in most pet shops i go into is cedar shavings which is annoying. I looked for other stuff when i had my gerbils but they didn't have any, i used aspen, straw and dried grass with them. they really loved the dried grass, they used to gather it up and make beds with it. Would rats like that too?

All the links are really helpful and i'll make sure i keep coming back to them

thank you!!
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 04:27 AM
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Welcome to the forum and I am very excited for you as well. You are just going to fall in love with your ratty babies. I am envious.

Looks like Storyseeker did a super job of listing lots of good information! I would also suggest to read and absorb as much info as you can on rats, whether it is getting books from the library, bookstore or just doing lots of online research. The more you know, the better! Can't wait to see pictures!!

Vlad

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You will always be with me, my sweet boys. I will see you at the Bridge.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 06:12 AM
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Yay. I'm glad these could be helpful.

I wanted to add: With the Critter/Ferret Nations, if you just really want to have a deep sided bedding friendly pan that fits them, you can special order the right size from BASS cages.

Also, just to throw it out there in caseys: Are you getting boys? Girls? Both? Since you have experience with other rodents, it goes without saying that they are super-fertile and hard to sex while young. They must be separated by sex at 5 weeks old, or you'll be getting the old pet store discount of 20 for the price of 1. And unlike many other rats both males and females need companions each unless they can spend hours a day (6 or so) with you. So if you are only getting two, and they are male and female, you'll either need to spay/neuter, or get them each a companion.

Keep us updated!!


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Hanging out in the Land of New Feetsies:
Melon, Skinner, Black Pete, Zanna, Custard, Tucker, Jeffrey, Zmei, and Windham.

Last edited by Storyseeker; 11-29-2010 at 06:17 AM.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
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they are both males. I've been hunting around my flat looking for things i can use as ratty toys and i found a whole bunch of stuff, even some old gerbil toys i had stuffed in my drawer. I'm actually cleaning it all off now. I found a little bag of yogurt drops too, my gerbils hated them. tried leaving them in their cage once, must have been in there for a week and they didn't even nibble! they liked ready break though.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 08:20 AM
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I noticed my rat boys when they were younger wouldn't try yogis. Now they'll eat anything I throw in front of them.

I think it's because rats are smart enough to be cautious with new situations. They'll test things multiple times before they decide it's safe. They know I'm safe now, so they trust what I give them.

It was really funny watching them with my son. They'd totally ignore him, then run by him a few times to see if he'd grab at them. When he didn't, they'd run by again, this time pausing for a sniff. Then a paw touch, then two paw touches, then they'd back off, and later they'd just jump on him and run away. Now they'll sit on him any old time.


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Hanging out in the Land of New Feetsies:
Melon, Skinner, Black Pete, Zanna, Custard, Tucker, Jeffrey, Zmei, and Windham.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 08:37 AM
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Welcome! i'm new too~!

@story seeker, wow you are too good! i'm gonna throw in my two cents though too

Honestly i recommended martins rat tower for my kids; R-690, but i don't love metal mesh cages as i have to cover the floors to protect their little ratty feet. We're actually trying to connect that cage to this one: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=17538 this was Queequeg and DiNozzo's original cage.

for toys we started out with tubes and small blocks and hanging things, but in my house they prefer Kleenex boxes and tp rolls. i can't explain it i just roll with it.

Also have you thought of any names?

thunder, Thunder, THUNDERRATS HOOOOOO~!

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 08:52 AM
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Thanks Destroyah (Thunderrats..snicker) Totally agreed with the mesh floors. I had a lady make me grommeted felt liners that I could pin in place. She made me two sets and it was wonderful.

I have a Martin's R690, but at 14 inches in depth, while it was fine for my younger boys, once they got full grown, they could hardly turn around. It was just too narrow for them. I couldn't recommend it unreservedly for the entire life cycle of a rat. I now have the big boys in a refurbished Martin's R680. The 18 inch depth makes all the difference. I imagine the 690 would be fine maybe for small females and it's definitely easier to tote and fit in tubs than the R695 (which is identical to the 690, except deeper at 18 inches).

I kept my 690 and will use it again for my four incoming babies temporarily until I can do proper intros for the four to my two big boys and get everyone moved into my sparkleshiney new double critter nation. *ting ting sparkle sound effects with only small amounts of larcenous hand rubbing *


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Last edited by Storyseeker; 11-29-2010 at 09:01 AM.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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i have had a few name suggestions so far from friends (who are rather mad) Names like Chaos and Carnage, Irony and Sarcasm, Yaoi and Yuri, Ben and Jerry, Knot and tangles. Jake and Not jake... i really don't know what to name them yet.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 09:29 AM
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I'm a big fan of funky story inciting names. So I love all the choices you have here.

Ben and Jerry? How about naming them after Ben and Jerry icecreams? Vermonty Python, Chunky Monkey. Cherry Garcia.

Yaoi and Yuri? Snicker. Boyrat luv.

Chaos and Carnage! My kids love the KungZhu Hamsters with their battle armor. I can see your guys sporting some battle armor.

Jake and Not Jake. Hehe.

Irony and Sarcasm.

On that theme...Omen and Portent? LOL

They're all too cool.


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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 09:35 AM
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Welcome! Looks like Storyseeker has everything covered for you! I can't wait to see pictures of your little guys!!!!


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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyseeker View Post
Thanks Destroyah (Thunderrats..snicker) Totally agreed with the mesh floors. I had a lady make me grommeted felt liners that I could pin in place. She made me two sets and it was wonderful.

I have a Martin's R690, but at 14 inches in depth, while it was fine for my younger boys, once they got full grown, they could hardly turn around. It was just too narrow for them. I couldn't recommend it unreservedly for the entire life cycle of a rat. I now have the big boys in a refurbished Martin's R680. The 18 inch depth makes all the difference. I imagine the 690 would be fine maybe for small females and it's definitely easier to tote and fit in tubs than the R695 (which is identical to the 690, except deeper at 18 inches).

I kept my 690 and will use it again for my four incoming babies temporarily until I can do proper intros for the four to my two big boys and get everyone moved into my sparkleshiney new double critter nation. *ting ting sparkle sound effects with only small amounts of larcenous hand rubbing *
hmmmm. maybe i'm misquoting the Martins cage (it came with my adopted boys), my full grown looks tiny in it and its more than half my size... but i could be wrong i'll take some pics and send post them later, it's definitely bigger than the deluxe ferret cage though...

oh wow a critter nation, sounds awesome, way to spoil the little ones~!

thunder, Thunder, THUNDERRATS HOOOOOO~!

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mheyrune View Post
i have had a few name suggestions so far from friends (who are rather mad) Names like Chaos and Carnage, Irony and Sarcasm, Yaoi and Yuri, Ben and Jerry, Knot and tangles. Jake and Not jake... i really don't know what to name them yet.

ha! i love Yaoi and Yuri but i would recommended against that in case someone get the wrong idea... What about Otaku and Bishouen? do you have a theme you're following? i heard ben and jerry a lot, or ben and socrates.

if you pick a theme it's easier. Mine was literary characters who share behaviors of my kids. Some people do music, letters, video games, whateva...


You could name them Ziva and Gibbs....

thunder, Thunder, THUNDERRATS HOOOOOO~!

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by breyer08 View Post
Welcome! Looks like Storyseeker has everything covered for you! I can't wait to see pictures of your little guys!!!!
come on you have to have some name ideas too!!!!

what about the doctor and the master?
geek and nerd?
ripley and hicks?
Nicodemus? Nimh?

actually, i find that no matter how many awesome names are suggested for you, you will stumble accross the correct one on your own....

wait a minute i still have an unnamed rat~!

thunder, Thunder, THUNDERRATS HOOOOOO~!

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