Springer was a striped roan.
Springer was brought to me by the RSPCA inspectors after he'd been found roaming about outside in the wild!
When they first contacted me, they said he was young. But I didn't expect him to be as young as he was. He was about 7 weeks old, absolutely tiny. He clearly couldn't have been outside long as he would not have survived, and couldn't have even been away from his mum more than a few weeks.
My personal opinion on how he came to be living wild is that he was either a petshop purchase for a child who got bored, and he was thusly released, or he managed to squirm his way out of their hands and escape. He was really not very used to being handled at all when he first arrived.
Springer was quarantined for 2 weeks upon arrival, and treated for mites. During this time, it became clear that he was a very independant rat and also very bold! He never enjoyed being handled, and seemed to consider it a great insult! After his quarantine, he was introduced to my 'baby' group. This is a term I used to refer to my largest cage in which all my youngsters lived. Baby rats do much better when they have rat's of a similar age to play with, so this was the best option for him. His reaction to the other rats, all of whom are gentle non-violent types, suggested he was very unsure of other rats. He'd either been taken from his mother too early, and lived alone since, or he was used to being bullied. He spent the first day huddled under the plastic chinchilla ball, screaming at anyone who came near.
He soon settled in, however, and his true colours began to show.
Springer was an extremely dominant rat. He thought nothing of bullying others, taking their food, and hated it when someone tried to put him in his place. He was showing hormonal fur-fluffing and side-walking towards the other rats at only 9 weeks old. This is behaviour you wouldn't expect to see in a buck until he was at least 4 or 5 months, and even then it would be excessive. Springer had a small notch in one of his ears after getting into a fight with Zep. It healed well, but is a sign of how much of a little bruiser he was!
Springer was eventually moved into Jester's group with Eddie and Zep as he was becoming too rough with the other boys. In this cage, he initially did not show any of the pushy behaviours he used to show in the baby's cage, but slowly, they began to creep back in. In the end, neutering was the only option for Springer. Unlike Grout, he came through the op without any problems and healed up perfectly. Following this, he was placed in with the girls, as he seemed to dislike males. This worked out well, and he spent the rest of his days living with the girls.
Unfortunately, Springer developed kidney failure in his old age, like a lot of elderly male rats. I tried to change his diet to be more kidney friendly, and he was given several supplements to try and slow the progression of the disease, but unfortunately it progressed fairly quickly despite this and he had to be euthanised as he became very weak and anemic and had difficulty eating.
He was a lovely boy in his old age, very gentle and easy going.
Why Springer? After my old roan rescue boy, Jerry, died, I told myself my next roan rat would be called Springer.