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Rat Gender

Discussion in 'Rodents' started by Frooberty, Apr 21, 2011.


  1. Frooberty

    Frooberty PetForums Newbie

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    Hey guys and gals!
    Im new to the rat scene but am very keen to start caring for one or two. to start off i was wondering which gender to get. ive heard alot of things like females are more active, and males are smellier and more relaxed. but i dont know for sure! id like to hear what some real rat owners think about the gender differences and preferences so i can make a more informed decision! i also wondered about rat breeds if that is any cause for thought. and other than that, any general caring tips about how to make my rat(s) happy and friendly! :001_smile:

    Sorry if this has been posted before!
     
  2. quequeg1988

    quequeg1988 PetForums Member

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    LOL well 1st thing is Rats dont "smell" at all, the boy's have musky scent but they don't smell LOL they'r very clean :) i have 2 boy's, i used to have 4 girl's and before that a male. girl's are smaller than boy's, my two boy's are 15 week's old and they're already the siize my girl's were at a year :)

    you want a big cage, some people use parrot cages for them and build lots of shelving for them to climb or you can get special "rat" cages for them. Rat breed's on the other hand i have no idea what difference there is as temprement etc is concerned, i have had champaign, brown, black hooded, my wo boy's just now i have no idea what breed (s) they are, they're meant to be brother's lol but if a breed guide has it right they appear to be two different breed's with totally different colour pattens LOL.

    My girl's never got into squabble's where as my two boy's do, they loved my cat and my boy's don't LOL so if you want very active rat's then i'd go for girl's but my boy's are active when they're out, and for most of the time when they're in their cage.

    I have parrot toy's for my boy's s hammy toy's i find are useless when up against ratty teeth :D

    my rat's loved having a bath, as long as they can get they'r feet on the bottom and you have a bath mat so they don't slip and you maake sure the water's not too hot they'll love it, although my boy'ss ain't been for one yet as the weather's been cold.

    Sawdust is a no no due to the dust in it, i use hemp or you can get paper based stuff from any equine shop.
    as you know they're very intelligent and love to learn, my older ratties would come to their names being called etc lol.

    when you first get them, the more handling the better, let them curl up in your jumper pocket (careful not to smother them though) and go to sleep, they bond very quick and strongly with their human, lol my two are always looking for me, as long as hey can see me their ok.

    they eat almost anything lol few scraps off your plate now and again is ok along with veggy treat's. you can buy hang on treats from your pet shop and they love the challenge. my boy's love tomato's!

    and as a ratty owner, i'd recommend getting a same sex pair, as rats are very sociable and they need their own company :)

    if your wanting to know anything else let me know :) im sure there will be more ratty owners along shortly to fill in anything i missed out.

    rats are amazing little buddies
     
  3. thedogsmother

    thedogsmother PetForums VIP

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    I keep both sexes and the girls are nosier, busier and less cuddly than the boys, but they still want to be with people, they like to clean my hands and nails and are very kissy rats, I think they are more intelligent than the boys but that might just be my lot. The boys are total cuddle monsters and my lot certainly like their food far more than the girls. Boys apparently are harder to introduce new rats too as they can be more hormonal towards other rats, Im told boys smell more but I wouldnt really say either of my groups have a strong smell, at least not compared to my male mice. As far as rat breeds goes, they dont have different temperaments, its basically the same breed of rat with different coat types, ear position and colour.
     
  4. Snippet

    Snippet PetForums VIP

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    Hi and welcome to the forum :D

    First thing you should know about rats is that they need to be kept in same sex pairs as a minimum. They are social animals that can get very depressed if they don't have company. They're also more likely to become ill.

    You should also know that a pair of rats need a cage that fits at least 4 rats by the cage calculator. This is because they need a lot of enrichment to keep their minds active and avoid stereotypical behaviours such as over grooming. You should also use a safe substrate such as shredded card or hemp. You can't use shavings because they release phenols which irritate the respiratory tract. Also, animals that are kept on shavings show signs of elevated liver enzymes.

    I prefer female rats. This is because male rats cause me to get wheezy, and if they walk over bare skin I get a lot of red marks. I also like that girls will play with each other and with you as an owner. I also like that they're soft and silky, and it's very rare for them to become aggressive with each other. Girls are prone to benign mammary tumours, but these are easily removed.

    Rats as a species suffer from weak chests as well as other health issues. If you keep rats then you should expect large vets bills. For example: from September 2009 to September 2010 I probably spent £450 at the vets, and some people I've talked to have spent many times that in a year! Before you get rats please get a vet fund sorted. It should have between £100 and £200 per rat.

    Many commercial rat foods aren't great for rats. They're usually high in fat and protein. A rat fed a high fat diet is more likely to suffer from lumps and heart problems, while a high protein diet for adult rats puts them at risk of kidney damage. You should read this for a basic over view of a rats dietary needs.

    When you're ready to get your rats you should go to a breeder or a rescue. You should not get your rats from a pet shop because they get their rats from rodent farms. These are a lot like puppy farms, where the females are kept in tiny tanks and have litter after litter until they're too worn out to have anymore, at which point they're killed. If you want to get your rats from a breeder then you should email the NFRS on breeders@nfrs.org for the breeders list. Rescue rats can be got from the rehoming board on this forum, or there is also a rehoming board on the Fancy Rats forum. RSPCA rehoming centres often have rats in as well.

    All rats are norway rats. The different colours they come in are known as varieties, and there are different markings. You can look through this website for more information and pictures.
     
  5. myzoo

    myzoo PetForums Senior

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    :) hi i have both boys and girls and tbh each one is different my group of girls are the trouble makers destroyers and messy they lovethrowing poopsand foodout the cage lol but are very trusting of me and like to ride on my shoulder
    my boy charlie is a big lazy cuddly boy who keeps his cage nice and neat and dosent smell at all he loves scritches behind his ears.

    my boy furball is a calm boy likes to sit and watch from his hammock but it quite cage territorioal but once out also likes to climb on me but a wee bit jumpy but in time should be as trusting as charlie.

    my lone girl sunshine is a nervous girl scared of her own shaddow due to a bad background but is slowly learning to trust.she is a snatcher so i have to watch my fingers when giving treats but mainly is quietly sitting in her tube taking the world in,
    i think all my ratties are special in their own way and no matter what sex you will love them just as much.they are all also so clever.
    the only downside i can think with boys is the scent marking peeing on you but their cuteness makes up for it.
    girlies are cheekyand too clever for their own good well they are all too clever they act more like little children i love them.

    hope this was of some use even though i am babbling.when/if you get your little darlings it is a must that you post piccies:smile5:
     
  6. Frooberty

    Frooberty PetForums Newbie

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    Ah thanks! some very good advice! thanks for responding so quick!

    will have to have a good think about what to get! but im definitely set on getting 2 now! will have to look around for any local breeders that have any as babies because i think as a first time owner it will be easier to bond with them.

    could be a few weeks or so but ill definately post some pictures up when everything is sorted! :)

    thanks again!
     
  7. Snippet

    Snippet PetForums VIP

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    If you're going for breeder babies then you may be waiting for a while. Most breeders only have a few litters a year.

    If you're in the South West then I recommend Hakuna Matata Rattery. One of my girls is from HKM, and she is such a sweet rat.
     
  8. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    Just wanted to point out, there's no such thing as rat breeds, they're different varieties, they're all fancy rats (yes, even dumbos are fancies). I think the Hawthorn Rattery site has a list of varieties, there is absolutely no difference in temperament between varieties, it's all down to the genetic line, and down to the individual rat.

    Also, personally, having been keeping girls and boys (separately of course!) I find the girls smellier! As in dirtier in the cage, they're filthy minxes! I've found boys 'easier' but that's just me, some people wouldn't be without their crazy girls! You do have to watch their weight carefully. Foodwise, if you don't want to create your own version of the Shunamite diet, I recommend XtraVital Rat food.
     
    #8 Argent, Apr 22, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011
  9. ceretrea

    ceretrea PetForums Senior

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    I've had both although far more bucks then does. I can say does are generally more playful although some bucks do not go for the squish monster thing and stay playful for a while. Bucks and does have both peed up my walls lol but its the bucks who sleep in it :p They don't smell bad, we don't notice it all anymore except on cage cleaning day but thats not them its the litter.

    I can tell you what my bucks are like. Past the age of 6 months or so most of them will have a bit of a play and then happily go to sleep. Up to that age they play but not as much as my girls. They like to eat and sleep, hammocks are hogged, food relished. The girls always get handled every day without fail as they miss it most. The bucks get handled almost every day excepting those when it just can't be done for whatever reason, on those days we prioritise the girls if that makes sense.

    I prefer boys, they are overall more cuddly although both are just as loving in different ways. If I was pushed, I'd have to say the girls sprayed more (before neutering), they both dribble pee everywhere but the boys are worse at this. I guess it just depends on what you prefer.

    With bucks I have to point out that when they are old they may require help cleaning certain areas, bless em.
     
  10. manic rose

    manic rose PetForums VIP

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    i have never personally kept does so cant comment on what they are like but have my 3 little boys and love them to pieces. a lot of what I read before setting them gave the impression that bucks arent very active but mine are. they love their free ranging time and are into everything, altho they are still fairly young so this may change. they are v loving and affectionate
     
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