Use a “Neck Box” with Shy Rats
(For Rats Who Are Not A Flight Risk)
This method should be used only AFTER rats have been taught to use a transport box. View Using a Transport Box with Unsocialized Rats.
If you have shy rats who do not want to be held, and you have helped them use a transport box, this is an intermediate step.
For rats who aren't at risk for leaping off of you, or flying off in fear, set your transport box on your shoulder and walk around.
Shy rats will stay inside the box. The more you do this, the more relaxed they will become, even perhaps venturing out to explore and move around. If it's a little too scary, the box is there for them.
One other use of this method: if your rats are unfamiliar with your face (neck included), this can introduce them to these body parts. Please assess your rat's fear level, because this neck box method may be too much. Please do not try this if your rats are frightened. Other baby steps would be needed before attempting this.
The two rats in these pictures, Pemy and Dicey, were extremely aggressive when I got them. Over time and with careful work, both became friendly, all aggression ceased. Read about Dicey, Aggressive Rat No More.