My rats diet

JesusFreeman

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Oct 21, 2019
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Switzerland
After a lot of research and conversations I've had with my vet who also expressed concerns about store bot rat food I decided just to make my own mixtures for them.

My vet said that often the food for rats is improperly stored and can be even bad for them because of this and after looking at the ingredients I have a pretty good idea of what the base is.

I buy various seed/nut mixtures, some dried fruit mixtures and a breakfast mixture of various grains, wheat, oats, barley and spelt, everything obviously unsweetened/unsalted, with no additives and mostly unprocessed(aside from the breakfast mix which is precooked and crushed into flakes). These are products actually intended for humans and apparently they're maintained at a higher standard. The seeds and grains are the main source of dry food and occasionally I'll throw in some of the dried fruits if I haven't bought them any fresh for some reason or am going away for a couple days or something. They seem to like the seeds and nuts which have higher fat content, like cashews and sunflower seeds but they also really like pumpkin seeds. They like fresh grapes but not raisins not that I give them too many since they're just sugar basically.

I also basically give them a bit of whatever I've made for myself, I always add salt later to my portions and I usually don't cook with harmful ingredients aside from maybe spinach which I've read conflicting things about, from what I've been able to tell small amounts of cooked spinach should be alright.

I've never had any dietary problems with my rats and, they're not fat or lethargic, my current ones tend to take all the food and stash it in their preferred house and then will spend the whole time running back and forth stealing each others stash at the same time, squeaking at each other every time. They're still friends though, they will cuddle together in their tunnel and stuff, it's just about the food they argue sometimes, it's funny how they can't seem to resist hoarding, it's not like they don't have enough to eat.
 

Big Schpog

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Jul 8, 2020
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438
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British Columbia
I don't feed my rats rat block either. IMHO, they have taste buds and I'm willing to spend the money to get them fresh, whole foods. We all eat very well together and my girls have things to look forward to, like when I make custard. Big Schpog can smell the opening stages of custard making and she just loves it and comes and begs at my feet.
 

lilspaz68

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As wonderful as it sounds these diets most likely won't actually give your rats alll the nutrients/minerals they need to have long healthy lives. Rats can look healthy on just as seed mix but as we all know its not that good for them. The best thing to do is give them the best quality block you can as a staple, and wonderful supplements to that diet. This gives them the best chance and all the appropriate dietary needs.
My fav lab block (if you can get it) is Teklad Invigo 2014, I found over the years (after using mixes, different blocks, etc, seeing patterns of health) that this is the one rats love the most, and has the best results with preventing tumours, etc. I switched to Mazuri 6F at 16% protein and I noticed an increase in mammary tumours developing. Oxbow Regal Rat (NOT Oxbow Young Rat or Garden Select) is another one that is incredibly healthy for them but some rats aren't as fond of it.
Rats "taste buds" are very different from our own so you really cannot compare them. For eg. if you taste the meds we give them that they take willingly from a syringe they are incredibly bitter! Rats love lab blocks even if you think its boring and when you free feed them they can eat them or not, just make sure they have their staple and their wonderful supplemental food.
 

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