Anonymous: how did you introduce your new ratites to the old ones? i have a female of about…2 years? maybe a litter younger. i want to get her a friend. what age should her friend be?
well the 2 groups of girls that I have are pretty close in age.
I start with the basics. I introduce them in neutral territory. That way, neither feel the need to defend their surroundings. Most people do this in a bathtub. Personally, I don’t like using the bathtub. It stresses out my rats way too much. I use the living room instead. However this is completely up to you. After they start getting along there, I move on to to a place that they are both familiar with. This usually means my bedroom. After that, its time to place them in the same cage. When you’re doing this you need to make sure that the cage is completely clean. Make sure there is no rat scent left behind. I would also recommend rearranging things so that it feels unfamiliar to both ratties. You can also bathe both of them.
I would be super careful in this step and really watch them over. If they start to show signs of aggression, try to separate them. Rats set up their own hierarchy so hearing squeaks from the cage is completely normal. But there are times when they will fight to the point of blood. That is not okay and you need to separate them immediately. Take your time with intros. Don’t try to rush the process.
has your rattie ever been with other rats? She’s an older girl like my Dharm. I’m not sure if getting her a friend is the best thing to do at this point. Has she slowed down? I guess if she hasn’t, it would be nice to get her a friend. Keep in mind she may not respond well to other rats if she has been kept alone for her entire life. Also, sometimes older rats get too stressed out with the younger ones. Younger rats have tons of energy and they can be pretty annoying for the older ones. If you were to get a baby rat, I would recommend that you get 2 babies. Just because your rattie is older and you don’t want the baby to be alone after her passing. But I really don’t think a baby rat is the best way to go. Just because you have to wait until the baby is old enough to actually introduce them (if the baby is too small, it can’t really defend itself if the older rat decided to attack it during intros) and well, babies are kind of annoying. Then again, I don’t really know whether there will be conflict if you get an older female. I know a lot of people who have successfully introduced older ratties to their mischief.