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African Pouched RatKali aged 6 weeks
Kali's vital statistics
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Species: African Pouched Rat (Cricetomys gambianus)



28 May

New baby rat.

Such a lot has happen in the past two weeks. I have a new baby pouched rat – as yet unnamed. You can see pictures of him in the Album.

I picked him up from the breeder on Saturday. He is just four weeks old and he is completely hand tame. This is the age I had been told that it was best to get a new rat because they can be fully socialised and become really sweet pets who love human company.

To make sure he bonds to me I am still ’bottle’ feeding him. He doesn’t really need it but he loves it and holds on to the syringe even after it is empty. He is also eating solid food although he does like it chopped up very small. Like any small animal when he is not eating he is either rushing about or sleeping. He is likes to sleep while I am holding him.

I will have to keep him separate from Ambaa until he is about five months old. She will be too big for him and could hurt him unless he is big enough to look after himself. I decided not to get Ambaa mated as I wanted a breeding pair. It was really lucky that I saw the add for my new baby on the internet as I started looking.

Update on Ambaa

Ambaa is getting more interested in things again. I now let her run in a different room and I feed her mealworms when she is out. She really likes the mealworms and the change of environment has put a spring back in her step. She is still very nervous but she will let me hand feed her mealworms and her yoghurt treats. She also lets me stroke her.

The longer she is out the bolder and more playful she gets. To start with she doesn’t venture far from her carry case but with gentle coaxing she starts to explore the room. If she has a good run she will end up jumping onto the chairs, table and sideboard.

It will be a lot of extra work keeping the two of them separately but hopefully they will live together when the new baby is older and, hopefully, they will have their own litters one day.

10 May

I haven’t been able to cheer Ambaa up very much at all. She doesn’t want to run about and explore when I let her out.

I let her out last night and gave her lots of tubes and boxes to investigate but she ignored them. I’d left a few of her favourite treats around for her to discover but she didn’t venture far enough to find them. She just sat about looking uninterested.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong with her. She is eating well and looks healthy. I also hear her crashing about in her house at about three in the morning – she sounds very vigourous then. She has just got very withdrawn since Babu died.

I tried interacting directly with her and she is so sweet. She lets me stroke her and tickle her ears – I’m not sure she enjoyed it but she didn’t complain and she didn’t get aggressive or try to get away.

I am wondering if I should get her mated. It will give her something to concentrate on and make her more fulfilled. I’ll make some enquiries and see if its possible to find a stud for her.

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