Smokey and Ashley (Burbine Family) - "best of two worlds": neutered male and his female companion
Many times people ask: shall I get males or females? As with my children inquiring "Who of us do you like the most", I firmly - and honestly - answer "All".
However, the gentleman rats are distinctly different from the lady-rats.
In a nutshell :), the males are usually bigger and calmer than females. Both genders live well in same-sex groups, and form relationships amongst each other. Although it is true that male rats have slightly stronger odor, the difference is insignificant. I also noticed that my males are more inclined to be litter-trained than my females. On occasion, males start picking on each other. Usually, it's a mere game of dominance, with no harmful consequences. In a case when testosteron-high male starts becoming a danger to his partner, neutering is a cure. In our breeding program such aggression is an exception to the rule: we are trying to "weed out" fighters from further breeding.
So, shall you choose males or females?
As our friend Donna pointed out:
"It's funny because it seems first time rat owners go for the girls because they are smaller, and softer, and don't dribble, not to mention the prominent "boy parts".
But people who have kept rats for a long time seem to have a boy preference, saying they are more affectionate, calmer, and a nice lapful of pet."
Meanwhile, I have found out that in spite to my claim, I spend more time playing with my males!