Fancy rats are domestic brown rats and are the most common type of pet rats. They are highly social and gain enjoyment and stimulation from each other’s company. Their wild counterpart – the brown rat – lives in large groups and even though fancy rats are domesticated, they should always be kept in pairs or groups, as they are not solitary animals.
Rats don’t have the longest lifespan, only living for up to around 2 years, so we try and introduce new rats to our old ones on a regular basis, to ensure a rat doesn’t suddenly end up on it’s own. Whenever we have any extra space for a small animal, including our rats, we rehome from small animal rescue centres or directly from people who can no longer look after their pets.
Rats that live in groups will have fun chasing each other around their enclosure, wrestle over food, play tug of Twar with ropes and toys, sleep together in a heap and groom each other.
Rats become active as it gets darker, so when you’re visiting the farm during the day you will most likely visit a heap of snuggle-y, sleepy rats.
Keeping rats in a social group is a great way of environmental enrichment. However rats are also incredibly intelligent. Keeping them active and interested in their environment is very important, which is why ours are given a large variety of climbing structures that they can play on and keep active with.
We try and redecorate the rat enclosure on a regular basis to keep the environment interesting for them and we give them treats such as berries and slices of apples scattered around their cage so they have to search for their food and keep active.
Compared to their wild counterpart (the brown rat) the fancy rat comes in a variety of colours, from all white over multi-coloured all the way to blue and is incredibly social and interactive with people, making for a wonderful pet for children!
Did you know that you can support the farm by ? Why not adopt the rats?
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