Creating your own rat food

Discussion in 'Diet' started by balladofdusk, Oct 4, 2018.

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  1. Oct 4, 2018 #1

    balladofdusk

    balladofdusk

    balladofdusk

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    Hey everybody. :D

    Has anybody here tried to make their own rat food? I saw on Instagram somebody feeds their rats a mixture of food every day that includes some veggies and meat, and they mix it up every day.

    I've created my own dog food before but I've never tried it with rats. Could anyone tell me the pros/cons of this, if it's worth it, or if it's better to stick to store-bought food?
     
  2. Oct 4, 2018 #2

    jorats

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    I've always bought good quality rat block. It contains everything a rat needs but I think if I were to get more rats, I might try making my own. With rats, make sure you keep their protein under 10% and fat under 5%. I would avoid all meat, dairy and eggs. It's just all so unhealthy. Do whole grains, vegetables and a bit of fruit. You could do some legumes but not much, it's high protein.
     
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  3. Oct 4, 2018 #3

    SQ

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    So far no one has been able to create a homemade diet for rats that meets all of their nutritional needs
    You would need to use a tool like chronometer https://cronometer.com/ and here is some info re their nutritional needs:

    btw, rats need low protien and it is best if it comes from plant sources
    (rats in the wild will eat anything they can get and live very short lives)

    That is why the recommended diet is:
    1. a good quality block available at all times (Oxbow or Harlan Teklad, Oxbow now has a block that does not contain GMOs)
    2. a variety of vegs daily
    3. and healthy treats such as berries, fruit, cooked grains (ex: real oatmeal, quinoa, barley, buckwheat etc), organic seeds such as pumpkin and squash, organic kumut puffs, a couple of cooked kidney beans, a couple of cooked chick peas, etc
    4. avoid feeding highly processed foods or anything containing added sugar (or other sweeteners), added salt or added fats
    The rat block ensures that they will get the nutrients they need

    The forbidden foods list and other important info:
    https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/food-dos-and-donts.22782/#post-343892
     
  4. Oct 4, 2018 #4

    SQ

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    I think you should have a new hobby Jorats - creating a good healthy affordable homemade diet for rats
    Think of how many rats you would help :)
     
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  5. Oct 6, 2018 #5

    jorats

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    It is very hard to find the exact amounts and making sure your rats have all the nutrients they need. I would need a crew of food scientists to help me. lol But when I get rats again, what I will do: mix 1/2 cup cooked broccoli, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup cooked sweet potato, 1/2 cup blueberries and 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses. I would mix that together really well. And feed them 15 grams of this mix daily as well as 1/8 of a tsp of green mush. Any fresh foods not fed within 3 days need to be kept frozen. Try and make your batches to last only 3 days, or less. Fresh is better and organic is better. I would also give them an Oxbow block every couple of days. That's what I would do.
     
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  6. Oct 6, 2018 #6

    SQ

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    per rat?
     
  7. Oct 7, 2018 #7

    jorats

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    Rats should eat about 15 grams of food a day. Some will need more and some will need less. :)
     
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  8. Oct 7, 2018 #8

    SQ

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    What about ground flax seeds and turmeric?
    Is cooked broccoli better then raw?

    Suggestions on washing quinoa as I have heard the outer cover can cause health issues?…… and when I wash it in a sieve I don't think it is removing this.
     
  9. Oct 8, 2018 #9

    Fidget

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    Diet is one of the least agreed-on things in rat care.. So I don't expect everyone will agree with my choices but I think they're pretty healthy.
    I make up my own dry mixes, My kids get half Oxbow Essentials, and half my mixes (mostly the large mix) with a little sprinkle of dog food...
    They get fresh foods at suppertime, mostly raw veggies, but also some pasta or rice or grains, maybe a bit of fruit, sometimes just a bit of meat or egg. If I'm having casserole or pasta or whatever they get a bit, I usually rinse things to lessen the sauces & salt...

    I make my LARGE MIX and SMALL MIX separately, because it's easier to keep them evenly mixed when the smaller seeds & grains aren't sifting thru to the bottom of the mix leaving just the cereals on top. (good idea to stir or shake each mix periodically to keep them well-mixed because the smaller bits will go to the bottom leaving your mix uneven).

    LARGE MIX -
    CORN cereal - corn flakes (try for low sugar brands)
    WHEAT cereal - plain puffed wheat
    RICE cereal - plain puffed rice (mine often don't like it so I use rice crispies)
    OAT cereal - cheerios, muesli or granola (try for no or low sugar types)
    MIXED GRAIN cereal - has lots of vitamins & minerals but go easy, it has a lot of sugar & sodium.
    PASTA - macaroni or whatever - good to help keep teeth worn down.


    SMALL MIX - You can get all this in the bulk food section. To keep the ingredients fresh (sunflower seeds & pumpkin seeds can go rancid very quickly), after making my mix I keep out a small container and put the rest in the freezer..
    OAT - old fashioned oat flakes and/or quaker oats
    MILLET - millet seed and/or organic millet puffs (I buy a bag of Nature's Path organic Millet Puffs in the organic cereal section, it's cheap, non-fattening, a bag lasts a long time and they LOVE it!
    BUCKWHEAT - buckwheat groats (buckwheat is not the same as wheat) (Groats are the hulled grains of cereals, they are whole grains that include the germ and fibre-rich bran as well as the endosperm).
    BARLEY
    ground FLAX SEED - a must! - (must be ground) sprinkle over the rest and mix in
    SOYA NUTS (unsalted) or soy beans (roasted & unsalted)
    SUNFLOWER SEEDS - roasted, unsalted (go easy on these)
    PUMPKIN SEEDS - roasted, unsalted (go easy on these)
    GARBANZO BEANS (CHICK PEAS) - (roasted, unsalted)
    COCONUT - dried unsweetened.
    DRIED CRANBERRIES - good for their urinary tract. You can add other dried fruit but mine get lots of fresh fruit & veggies so I don't.


    DOG FOOD Find a good lower-protein one, avoid corn in it. I use Actrium Holistic Adult Dog Food Small Breed. I like the ingredients, it comes in a 1.8 kg size. Only Walmart sells this one.
     
  10. Oct 8, 2018 #10

    jorats

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    You can add turmeric for sure. As for the flax meal, that would be a good addition as well. Broccoli, cooked or raw is good. As for the quinoa, you mean because of the phytic acid? Rinsing and cooking it should be just fine but if you have a sensitivity, sprouting it is even better.
     
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  11. Oct 8, 2018 #11

    SQ

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    Any suggestions re adding turmeric/feeding turmeric to rats?
    I have read that it needs to be combined with black pepper?
    Any idea on how much turmeric?
     
  12. Oct 8, 2018 #12

    jorats

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    For humans, I believe it's 1 tsp a day with black pepper. So for rats, I would do a pinch only and with some black pepper.
     
  13. Oct 13, 2018 #13

    dan2333

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    My rats eat very tiny bits of meat and egg. Isn't meat and eggs good once in a while? In the wild, don't they eat bugs and worms? Like eggs, I might give them a few specks of hard boiled egg the size of a dime once a week. The meat, I would only give them boiled organic chicken once a day in very tiny amounts. They have been doing fine. Especially Heidi, she is 2 years 5 months is very strong muscular and healthy. But given what we know about meat and what you have said, I will start giving them even less than what I do now. Still, meat contains so many things that vegetables and grains don't.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  14. Oct 13, 2018 #14

    jorats

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    Dr Campbell did a huge study called the China Study and of course, he used rats. He found the optimum protein and fat amounts for rats. As it turns out meat and dairy and eggs are not good...well for anyone. The high cholesterol and saturated fats is harmful to us, unless you are an obligate carnivore. Rats are opportunistic scavengers. A wild rat's average life span is 9 months! We certainly don't want that for our domesticated pets. I would not give anything with high protein or fat and that includes all meat, dairy and eggs.
     
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  15. Oct 13, 2018 #15

    dan2333

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    So what would you replace the meat with? They are used to eating it. Can you give some meat alternative suggestions?
     
  16. Oct 13, 2018 #16

    SQ

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    Do you feed a good quality low protien block like Oxbow or Harlan Teklad 2014?
    Because the block gives more protien then rats need

    All plants contain protien and you can find out amounts of nutrients etc for any food if you use a tool like the free online tool, chronometer https://cronometer.com/

    Foods with higher levels of protien include seeds such as pumpkin, hemp, flax, and chia; cooked lentils; various cooked beans such as pinto, lima, kidney; green peas; cooked chick peas; quinoa, etc
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  17. Oct 14, 2018 #17

    jorats

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    Rats use carbs as their energy source, just like us. Feed them whole grains from whole foods and vegetables, a bit of legumes and fruits.
     
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  18. Oct 15, 2018 #18

    dan2333

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    Yes I give the Oxbow Regal Rat.

    They get whole grains, some seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, etc...), and vegetables in the evening.
     

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