Handling Rats

My three daughters are aged between nearly four and nine, and all have regular playtime with the rats. Hannah, the eldest is very confident and relaxed with them and I’ve added some photos of her holding the rats to show how children should be encouraged to handle rats safely and gently. My second child, Skye is a little nervous at times, because the rats like to ‘nibble’ (not bite) her clothes! She is learning to trust them more and more though. My youngest, Maya is a bit heavy handed at times, and needs constant supervision, but we encourage her to be very gentle and not to grab her rats. Also, Maya will throw out her arms towards the rats and this is slightly alarming to them as you can imagine! So I’ve found the best solution is for Maya to sit in a chair, while I pass one of the rats to her. She is becoming more aware of how to act around the rats and they are much more at ease with her, especially Pip, who goes as limp as a blancmange in her grasp!

Young children need to use both hands to pick up a rat, firmly but gently around its middle, as in the following images:

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Today my rats have been mostly eating fresh spinach

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