Safe food for rats

Discussion in 'Diet' started by _ratowner, Feb 11, 2019.

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  1. Feb 11, 2019 #1

    _ratowner

    _ratowner

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    I am going shopping for groceries and such and I wanted to get more fresh foods for my rats. I wanted to try other things than what I usually give them. What are some fresh foods that you feed your rats that are proved to be safe for them? I heard that rats can eat kiwi, is that true? I also heard that rats can eat driend bananas, I have a trail mix that has dried bananas in it, can they eat that or would i have to buy a seperate bag or soley dried bananas. I 100% won't do it if it is a risk to them. I don't like dried bananas so it isn't a big deal if they can't have it either. Is it a good idea to give rats mealworms so that they get extra protien? I don't think I will purchase any for them, I am just curious. On some sites i read that walnuts and grapes are safe for rats to eat but on others I read that they are harmful. What is with that? Also, can rats eat tomatoes? like cherry/grape tomatoes? You don't need to respond with a huge list, just do what you want/can.

    Thank you. All replies are appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  2. Feb 11, 2019 #2

    ratface1

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    I've heard that watercress or raspberries tend to be food that rats like to eat and have a lot of health benefits. However, if you give them watercress, only give them one or two leaves every other day.
     
  3. Feb 13, 2019 #3

    ViciousCurse

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    I discovered this site by complete accident one day. http://www.isamurats.co.uk/vegetables-and-fruits.html Gives fantastic advice on fruits and veggies safe for rats.
    Be careful about feeding too many fruits, it can cause diarrhea. Veggies are better for them nutritionally, with the fiber and all.
    My rats LOVE kale, pomegranate seeds, carrots, the extremely occasional dollop of applesauce or yogurt (small amounts, but it's a special treat every so often).
    Make sure you get organic and then make sure to wash them off, just to avoid any germs your rats could come in contact with.

    I've heard good and bad things about cherry tomatoes, but the only bad thing I saw was too much, as with most fruits, equals runny poos. I've seen that grapes are anti-carcinogenic, which means they should help prevent any illnesses. My rats love grapes, although I always forget to get some for them.

    I'm sure if SQ were to chime in, they would recommend the reference thread for safe food items.


    EDIT: removed misinformation about mealworms on my part.
    Also, I've kept reptiles before. I'm not going to go into details of it since it's against the forum rules, but mealworms aren't actually that high in protein. They're very much a junk food. They typically are 10% protein and 13% fat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  4. Feb 13, 2019 #4

    SQ

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    No it is not a good idea to feed rats meal worms
    (IME reptile owners and former reptile owners are behind this offensive behaviour)
    Rats require low protein (10%) and it is best if their protein comes from plant sources
    Research has found that animal protein causes cancer growth in rats (Edit: see the China Study)
    Rats also do not needed added fats EDIT usually there is enough fats in their diet, but if they need good fats people give foods like avocado (they can not be given the parts near the skin or near the pit - see forbidden foods list)

    With respect to diet info, people on the internet have vastly different ideas regarding diet.
    Many of those ideas will cause illness or shorten the lives of pet rats.
    It is a good idea to ask for the peer reviewed reference articles that support what someone is saying
    I had a brief look at the link mentioned above and found that the site has quite a bit of bad info re diet, no idea how good the info is re vegs and fruit

    Rats can have dried fruit, however dried fruit has a higher concentration of sugars so those that do feed dried fruit do only occasionally. Rats do, however, love a piece of ripe banana

    There is info re diet in the Reference Thread, including the forbidden foods list accepted by the very large rat owners community prior to 2004, suggested supplements, the nutritional requirements of rats, the recommended diet for rats, and research based info regarding protein as reported in the China Study

    My rats especially like: mixed greens, baby kale. broccoli, organic carrots (cooked and as thin raw pieces), cooked squash, cooked sweet potato, frozen/thawed peas, cooked organic corn on the cob (GMO corn is designed to kill rats), a couple of cooked chick peas, a couple of cooked kidney beans, cooked whole grains (such as cooked real organic oatmeal or 12 grain cereal with blueberries, cooked organic quinoa, cooked barley), organic pumpkin seeds as a treat, a piece of ripe banana, a piece of apple, blueberries, watermelon, a piece of cantaloupe, and organic kamut puffs (https://www.naturespath.com/en-ca/products/natures-path-foods/kamut-puffs/) as a treat. They also like my homemade lentil & barley & vegetable soup. …………….. They will eat other things as well but these are their favorites.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  5. Feb 13, 2019 #5

    ViciousCurse

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    Thank you for clearing that misinformation up, SQ. Glad I stopped feeding my rats mealworms a while ago. As mentioned, as a reptile owner, I always heard they were good protein sources and then looked it up for myself and opted not to feed any of my animals (scaled or otherwise) mealworms/superworms anymore when I saw it was a terrible source of protein. I wasn't aware they could be carcinogenic to my rats. Again, thank you for clearing that up.
    I actually skipped the diet part of the link above and simply looked at their recommendations with each fruit and veggie.

    SQ, aside from being high in sugar, are dried berries okay? I always see them at Target and I've thought about getting some organic dried berries and whatnot for my rats as another occasional treat.
     
  6. Feb 13, 2019 #6

    SQ

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    I have never given my rats dried fruit and do not know much about it.
    Jorats has given dehydrated fruit to her rats and before she did that I know she would have looked into it and read everything she could find. She would be a good person to ask
     
  7. Feb 13, 2019 #7

    _ratowner

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    Thank you for the replies. I don't feed my rats fruits that much other than apples which I have stopped doing. I mostly feed them vegetables and berries. I started to give them red grapes as I heard that they can help to prevent cancer, but I need to buy more when I can as i have run out. My boys really love f/t peas and f/t corn, and those are usually the first to be eaten when they are given them. I do also give my boys blueberries as I've heard that they are a good source of antioxidants. I always clean the fresh foods that they are given.

    I wasn't going to purchase any mealworms for them, I just read on a website that they were "safe" to give to rats and was curious if that was true.
    Are rats able to consume black watermelon seeds? I am not going to give them to my boys either way, i'm just wondering.

    Thank you. All replies are appreciated.
     
  8. Feb 15, 2019 #8

    jorats

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    I would keep dried fruit to a minimum because of the concentrated sugars but also, commercial dried fruit often have sugar added too. Banana chips were a fav treat for my gang.
     
  9. Feb 15, 2019 #9

    ViciousCurse

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    My rats go nuts for banana chips. But... my rats go nuts for anything, so I don't know that that means much anymore lol!

    If one rat isn't wild about a type of treat, another will.
     

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