Retro seems to be very curious about these new rats. As a matter of fact, all he wanted to do was perch on their cage (bad idea) so I took some out and put them on unchartered territory (my desk) so they could meet. I was a bit nervous at first because Retro seemed to be trying to nip them, but as it turns out, he was trying to preen their tails, and later, their fur. The rats, mostly uninterested, sniffed Retro's butt as they were taught in rat kindergarten and he took personal offense to that and flew away a few times. A couple of the rats decided that Retro was one of them so they started "nipping" back and once locked beak and jaw. It looked like they were kissing. Very cute.
There are a couple of issues of course. Retro, if he doesn't find any stiff feathers on his young brothers' and sisters' bodies, just keeps searching. Rats, if they find any kind of crunchiness or bumps will, if friends (which they seem to be), do their best to make those bumps go away. I don't think they understand that crunchy feathers are normal yet.
The rats also, thanks to their previous owners, are quite fond of bird seed. Thanks to Retro though, they're now addicted to millet as well. They saw him eat it so they joined in. Five minutes prior they wanted nothing to do with it.
Retro was taught some pack-ratting behaviors today as well. The little vermin kept moving his millet under the monitor for safe keeping. He kept moving it back. Very funny.
Don't think the little rats aren't giving back to big brother though. Retro, because he saw them do it, has taken to eating their bedding. Not sure why. Maybe it's because they were picking his seed scraps out from under their bedding.
Oh, as for the second of the "couple of issues," he doesn't seem to comprehend that mom-rat is a lot bigger and has stronger jaws and most likely isn't as friendly toward green chickens. On the other hand, at least currently, she seems disinterested.
Anyway, here are some of the later photos. I was a bit nervous about the meetings at first, so I missed a few good ones. These are pretty amusing though:
The rat was pacing around like a madman and finally got fed up, plowed underneath Retro, and went about aquiring his feast.
Retro just sat there on the girl's head for a bit and then moved on over to his millet.
The rat sat perched on the seed dish, and Retro on his millet, for a few minutes. Retro came up for a breather after a bit and spooked the rat. She came back to find Retro perched on -her- seed dish.
What was Retro thinking?!