Author Topic: do I need to neuter everyone?  (Read 633 times)

Offline brakbill

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do I need to neuter everyone?
« on: May 15, 2017, 03:43:15 PM »
I have 4 males, about 6 months old (adopted at 6 weeks). I recently got another 3 males, about 2 months old. I've been introducing them over the past week according to guidelines in the Rat Care Guide, but they are still living in separate cages because one of the older rats is sometimes aggressive.
Otter becomes increasingly aggressive the longer he is near the babies. He will show curiosity and play nice or sniff the babies for about 15 minutes. Then he starts sniffing and grooming intensely, trying to flip the babies, and sometimes attacks them. When I put him back in the cage alone, he seems to mellow out but then attacks his brothers after I leave. I find bite marks on their faces later and I'm pretty sure its him since he frequently initiates fights. He's the smallest of my four older boys, so he usually loses the fight but that doesn't seem to deter him.
His aggression seems to be getting worse- I'm seeing more bite marks on his cagemates and last night he bit me after I wouldn't let him go inside a box where another rat was hiding. He has puffed and squeaked at me before, but this is the first time he's bitten a person. I don't want a rat that can't be handled, so I'm considering having him neutered before things get worse.

My question is: can I neuter just him or should I neuter everyone? I've read that sometimes neutering an aggressive rat can cause another rat to take his place and become more aggressive. All my older boys get a little rowdy- humping, tussling, squeaking, etc... Could these behaviors escalate? I've had boys before (raised from birth since I adopted their mom when she was pregnant), but they never reached the same level of aggression as my current group. The new babies don't seem to fight as much as the older boys did when they were young either.

Should I just neuter Otter? or should I neuter all the older boys? or should I neuter all 7 rats?

Or is there another solution I'm missing?

Offline RooRat

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Re: do I need to neuter everyone?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 08:57:31 PM »
It sounds like he certainly might benefit from a neuter! A certain amount of grumpiness is to be expected during introduction (at least, in my experience) but if he's going so far as to actually leave marks on them, and now on you, then his hormones are getting the best of him. If I was in your shoes, I'd neuter just him, then keep a close eye on everyone to see if anyone else needs to be neutered.
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Offline BigBen

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Re: do I need to neuter everyone?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 03:19:51 PM »
I second RooiRat's advice.  Sounds as though he's the one to neuter.  If the others are behving themselves, neutering him should solve the problem.
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