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Rats Storing Too Much

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Midnight

New Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2020
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1
Location
plymouth
hi everyone im a new member here!
i joined because i need help.
i have 3 girls and i feed them 50g of selective rat food per day
it says on the back of the pack that each rat should have around 20-25 kg a day but i put it down to 50 as they are quite small
however recently when i have been cleaning out their cage with a proper clean and take out their house a large pile of food is in there
i know rats are meant to store but this is an ungodly amount - around a whole 7 days worth of food for them at least.
i also feed them a bowl a fresh mixed veg per day but they dont seem to store that too much
i see them eat the pellets when i first give them so they are eating them and they haven't lost any weight its just they only maybe eat about 10- 20 percent of their daily pellets before storing the rest

so what should i do?
am i feeding them too much?
should i cut down their food?
should i feed them every 2 days instead so they eat their stash?
any help would be great thanks :)
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Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Ontario
I would feed them less and only provide more food if you notice their stash is low. Try to find the true normal amount for your rats to eat in a day so you can tell if it suddenly decreases. The rats have to lead this, some rats eat more than others depending on their age and size. As long as they always have food, seem healthy and there are no sudden changes they're fine.
I also found with my boys scatter feeding decreases hoarding behaviours.
 

Dena

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
218
Location
Texas
Some rats just naturally stash food. They will eat what is appropriate for them at the time, and save some for later. I'd do like the other poster said, and feed smaller amounts, and check their stash. Personally, I will put my rats stash back in their bowl each day. Also, how often do you clean their cage? I'd definitely not let it go a full 7 days. I clean up little stuff each day, check sashes, and water bottles and bowls, and pick up stray poops. Every 4 days I do the fleece and litter boxes. 😁
 

Camelidae4

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
14
Location
United States
Pretty much what everyone else said. It's basically an innate behavior and sometimes when it gets really obsessive then it could mean theres a stimulus that is causing them concern. However, majority of the time it's just a normal rat behavior to cache food. I've noticed that the behavior is usually obsessive in animal shelters because the rats are in a new environment surrounded by a ton of different people and animals.

I recommend a snuffle mat or other ways to feed (someone in this thread mentioned scatter feeding which is a great idea too). I'm a strong believer in enrichment and not providing food in a bowl unless the animal is old or sick or its important for me to easily monitor feeding. My male rats loved their snuffle mats that I made out of fleece. Snuffle mats are really common in the dog world so you can look up tutorials that way but make sure that you use 100% safe rat materials (especially the base). It's also easy to just toss into the washing machine if made entirely out of fleece. I actually once in a while use weekly pill cases but again check the type of plastic and monitor any chewing, ingestion, or if your rat has any dental issues. My rats are pretty good at opening them and the pill cases have been used enough that they aren't super tough to open. I always provide food somewhere else in the cage that's easier to access in case the rats struggle to open the cases, but usually the rats prefer to open the case for food instead of the stuff that's easier to get. My rats rarely chew on the plastic because I make sure to provide a ton of other toys specially made for rats to chew on. But remove the cases if you notice any chewing.
 

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