For the next Mischief Monday, I thought that I’d introduce you to our alpha girl, Zhaan, and her sister Aeryn. I’ve paired them up as I can’t really say much about one without talking about the other, they are a pair!
Zhaan is a big girl. She’s also the next oldest along with Aeryn. They were two in June. Aeryn and Zhaan came from a breeder who was local to us in Brighton, the breeder has a line of Big Rats and these two are part of it. Their Daddy was well over 800g and the boys from these litters generally are just as big as he was, that’s without being just fat as well amazingly! (Though a few are a tad podgy, like our Zhaan!)
They were our first two from that breeder and we’ve gone on to have 5 more from her too, all of whom have been wonderful additions to our Mischief and super friendly from day one. We actually had two female rats booked from the same breeder that we got Howl and Haku from and we were to pick those up a few weeks later, but we popped into the Brighton Breeder’s pet shop and she had a cage of baby girls there waiting to be taken home. All but two of them had been reserved and she told us to open the cage and have a play with them. Funnily enough, the only two who wanted to come out for a play were Zhaan and Aeryn and they were perfectly content running between us and being super playful. When we inquired as to which two were needing a home still and she said these two, we knew that we couldn’t leave without them! It felt like we had been Chosen by the girls to be their new owners!
If it wasn’t for A&Z I don’t think that Nibbles would have been so tame once her companion died a few weeks later. A&Z really calmed her down and put up with a lot of being dragged around the cage to nests Nibs had made! They were really good with her once Ruby died. At first Aeryn didn’t get along with Nibbles and Zhaan didn’t get along with Ruby, so we paired them off during intros and once each of the older girls had a baby they were all fine. A&Z would cuddle up to ‘their’ older rat and all was well, and by the time Ruby died they were all getting along fine anyway.
Aeryn is a big softie and has the most perfect derp face. She’s extremely cheeky but can be very cuddly as well. We have a soft spot for her as she had a period of six weeks a few months after we got her where she kept getting injured and needed to go in the hospital cage, so she was out with us in the snoods a lot of the time or just resting in a little nest we made her on our desks.
Zhaan is also quite cuddly when she wants to be, but usually just wants to explore when she’s out with the others. She’s also a bit of a bitch with the others and she gets really sulky when we leave her. Our poor rat sitter got the brunt of it whenever we went away, the only time I’ve ever known Zhaan (or any of my rats from Brighton Breeder actually) to nip has been when with our Rat Sitter, who is utterly lovely but Zhaan just does not like her. I think it’s more because we’d left her rather than being personal, until the last time in which I think Zhaan knew exactly where she was and apparently made it quite clear that she wasn’t to be disturbed until we got home. Little git. We get a couple of days of attitude and being ignored from her before she lets us start cuddling her again when we get home too! Luckily I don’t think that any more holidays are going to happen whilst Z is still alive, given her age and the fact we don’t want to travel with a small baby!
Aeryn and Zhaan are both quite intelligent girls as well actually. They’re both very quick to pick up new tricks and I regret not starting training properly sooner. We did hints of it on and off but life often got in the way, so they weren’t getting much out of it. We’ve only started regularly training them since July really, and we only really train our girls as the boys weren’t interested in it. Kozu is just not food motivated, Oreo doesn’t really enjoy it and Chiana loves it but is just a bit stupid so it takes her a long time to get a trick down, even then she struggles, bless her. A&Z are naturals at it though and absolutely love it. They’re great for teaching Chi how to do tricks as Chiana will copy anything they do. I do love my big girls!