Author Topic: 6 Month Hormonal Boys!!!  (Read 1525 times)

Offline taku

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6 Month Hormonal Boys!!!
« on: August 23, 2005, 05:50:32 PM »
I have 7 beautiful boys... Splinter, Curly, Jitters, Kona, Stohli, Chopan, and Conner.  All are around 6 months in age. With the exception of Conner, the rest have been raised together from approximately 3-8 weeks old. Conner came along at around 4 months old, with barely a scuffle.  All of my boys have the usual differing personalities, some (Curly and Jitters) more domineering than the others. 
   I know they're going through their hormonal stages. Scuffles and fights are getting more frequent. We've had the occasional toe bites, small skin tears, etc.
   I'm looking for anyone who's had experience working through post-adolescent (do any males ever leave adolescence???) 6 month hormonal males??? I really don't want to neuter, I'd like to leave that as the very last resort..only if severe trauma begins to occur.  I'm hoping they'll work through this, and anyone else with stories and suggestions would be so welcome!!
   Help me with my post teenage hormonal men before I have to absolutely emmasculate them!!
  Pam
People can be made to believe any lie, either because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it's true.-Terry Goodkind

Offline nakedrats

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Re: 6 Month Hormonal Boys!!!
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2005, 07:57:30 PM »
I have hormonal boys!

I was told that the worst time for hormonal males was 6-9 months.  My boys are over a year now, and are still unable to keep from pushing each other around.  They each live alone, but I let them both out to play together so they aren't in complete isolation.  They are fine when exploring and walking around, but if both want to hang out in the same box or sit in the same corner, then they start posturing at each other.  They do the nudging thing, then they rear  up to intimidate the other with the cute wrinkles on their bellies ( they're hairless).  I try to catch them posturing and break it up, but sometimes it'll degenerate into a scuffle.  Misting with a spray bottle is enough to break up the scuffle.  It doesn't hurt them, it just gets their attention so they forget they're fighting.  They can be placed on opposite ends of the bed and they'll go back to leaving each other alone.  If they start stuff again, then I usually put them back in their cages. 
I separated them at about 8 months old because they were fighting multiple times a week, and were biting each other hard.  i suspect that I have 2 dominant rats, because they would switch dom-sub positions all the time.  They'd re-arrange at least once a month sometimes more.   They would get along fine for a week, then fight for a few days, someone would come out on top, and they'd go back to getting along.  I started separating them during the fighting phases, by putting a brick over one of the ramps to divide the cage in half.  That didn't work.  They'd just start fighting again a little bit after being reunited. 

Neutering wasn't really an option.  Both had horrible myco when I got them, and it scarred their lungs.  They wheeze when they get worked up or stressed, similar to an asthmatic.  I don't know that they'd make it through surgery.

I'm going to try introductions to a bunch of foster boys in the hopes that living in a larger group will help them create a more stable social hierarchy.  I am hoping that at least one will get along with the group so both don't have to live alone.  I'm going to get the fosters tomorrow, so I'll find out in about 3 weeks whether they'd be willing to live with other rats.  I hope you can sort something out with your guys.  Perhaps you could divide them up into 2 groups with one dominant one in each group?

Offline Beth

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Re: 6 Month Hormonal Boys!!!
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2005, 12:40:44 PM »
Apart from one lad, all my boys have gone through the terrible teens and out the other side - there is hope!

When I say they got through it, ultimately what's left after the hormones have done their work are adult bucks - nothing more or less. So, they are going to be a bit pushy with other cage mates, there is always going to be a pecking order that is challenged every so often with the odd scuffle, the odd scratch or small bite. That's the world of male rats for you.

I did find that space is an issue when they are hormone driven - if you can max out on the space they have, lots and lots of individual chill out places (boxes, tubes etc) in the cage and as much out of cage time as you can do that will help. One of my lad was an absolute terror until I got a larger cage and overnight he was different rat - so much less agressive and strung out. From then on I always counted him as 2 rats when considering cages and the number of rats I could house together - so long as I remembered that all was well with him.

Good Luck
Beth

Offline kmw

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Re: 6 Month Hormonal Boys!!!
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2005, 01:02:06 PM »
I did find that space is an issue when they are hormone driven - if you can max out on the space they have, lots and lots of individual chill out places (boxes, tubes etc) in the cage and as much out of cage time as you can do that will help. One of my lad was an absolute terror until I got a larger cage and overnight he was different rat - so much less agressive and strung out. From then on I always counted him as 2 rats when considering cages and the number of rats I could house together - so long as I remembered that all was well with him.


Yes.  Yes.  Yes. 

Pete and Jake were terrors.  Constant squeaking, scuffling, karate kicking, boxing, and general rowdiness.  Like Beth said, they do come out of it, but remain bucks.  There's still some squeaking and stashing and flipping, but nothing like it was.  They're got things sorted, and I'm thankful!  :)

Unless there's serious injury, let them work through it.  If one rat is taking the brunt of the bullying, separate him out with a friend or two, give them all playtime together, and hold on. This too shall pass :)
kmw
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Offline Sheppie

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Re: 6 Month Hormonal Boys!!!
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2005, 03:40:20 PM »
My two boys, Oreo and Cookie, are always testing each other. They are about a year old, maybe a little older now. Sometimes it sounds like they are killing each other although they never do any major damage. I am getting a larger cage to see if that helps because it is scary when you hear them screeching at each other. The funny thing is, they still sleep together.
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Offline taku

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Re: 6 Month Hormonal Boys!!!
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2005, 06:23:14 PM »
My boys have been in a R-695.  Today I added some more boxes and things for them to hide in, tear up, etc. **crosses fingers***.   Thanks for all the info!!!  I guess I'll have to suffer through these teenage hormonal boys.  ::)
People can be made to believe any lie, either because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it's true.-Terry Goodkind