Buddy went outside of his cage last night on his own because his food block was gone. I gave him four little dabs of the applesauce this morning and he came all the way out of his igloo for the last two!
Early this afternoon I installed a Ka-bob in his cage. I carried all the little pieces over to the door of his cage to put it together and he came out to watch with great interest. He could hardly wait for me to hang it before he started chowing on the birch.
Later this afternoon I took him some homemade vegetable stew and he came all the way out of his igloo for each little dab. When I brought him a second serving later, he came all the way out of the cage to get it. He was waiting for me by the time I got into the room. A third time I put some of the stew on my fingers and let him lick it off. Each time I felt teeth, I squealed. He quickly understood to lick instead of grab, though he was a obviously very hungry.
When his TV time came tonight, all that trust-training paid off because he came out all the way out of his igloo as soon as I called his name. I picked him up and he wiggled a little bit but stopped when I put him against my chest. He ran back and forth on the sofa, clearly a little anxious (he did a lot of pooping), but he did eat the first treat I gave him. When the show ended 22 minutes later though, he was pretty stressed. He squeaked when my husband patted him and he squeaked a lot when I picked him up to put him back.
I rewarded him for his bravery by praising him and giving him a treat in his igloo. He eagerly took that as well as taking his dinner when it was served. Good signs because if he was seriously stressed, he would've gone to the back of his igloo and not come out for anything. I've seen really shy rats do that.