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An Easy Homemade Rat Diet for optimum health
Rodent & Small Pet Species in general
Member Name: leanne8686
Rodent & Small Pet Species in general
Date: 15/08/08, updated on 15/08/08 (1065 review reads)
Advantages: Happy, healthy rats! a balanced diet, great value too, longer life expectancy,
Following my review on how great rats are for pets, I am now going to advise the best diet for little ratties!
I hope you can trust me with this as believe me I have researched for days as I love my rats so much and wanted them to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible!
There are a few rat mix foods out there; Reggie Rat, Supa Rat, Pets At Home also do their own version.
None of these mixes are suitable for the sensitive digestive systems of pet rats, I know wild rats can eat anything but that is a totally different thing! The only rat food suitable would be the Pets at home rat nuggets but only as a supplement to the following mix.
~~~First, I will give my recipe for homemade rat mix which provides all the nutrients needed for a balanced rats diet, this may seem like a bit more work than just feeding a shop bought mix but then you shouldn't have any pet unless you are willing to put in effort and care!
****ALWAYS make sure they have plenty of fresh water available as they drink much more than other rodents!
~My Homemade Dry Mix~
***Everything in the mix is available from Supermarkets, Pets At Home or Health food shops so is very easy to find***
In a BIG tupperware box I mix the following (Approximate %):
*30% puffed wheat, not 'sugar puffs' but the version which is just wheat no sugar, salt or additives. This is available from most supermarkets and will be with the health cereals and costs around £1.19 for a big box which will last months.
*20% puffed rice, again not rice crispies but a sugar and salt free version. 'Rude Health' do a good organic puffed rice in a big bag for £2. Available from supermarkets.
*10% Bran sticks (Holland and Barrett or Neals Yard) a 150g bag costs around £1.29. DO NOT use bran flakes as they may be healthy but contain additives.
*10% Pets at Home rat nuggets. £2.09 for a 1kg bag. These contain some vitamins and minerals your rats need.
*15% Mixed Oats, I get a mixed oat mix which includes 3 types of oats, all oats are suitable for rats so don't worry too much which you get I just think a variety is best. Around £1 for 1kg.
*15% Lentil mix, the type you would buy for a soup. Available in Sainsburys for around 69p.
The best ones contain: green split peas, yellow split peas and orange lentils.
If you didn't have time to work out %'s you could mix together the full quantities of each thing you've bought above(you'd need a HUGE tub!) that'll probably be near the right proportions as the things I recommend you have a lower % of are usually in smaller packets anyway.
If you bought everything above it may cost you around £8.50- £10 but will last you 2-3 months for 2 rats.
So *Great Value* too, Some people will think its a lot more expensive to do this homemade diet but now you can see this isn't true.
~~RIGHT so thats the dry mix over with, that should make up about 70% of their daily diet.
The other 30% should be fresh food which you need to feed by hand if you have more than 1 rat so they get equal amounts each.
~A List of Suitable Fresh Foods:
*COOKED WHOLEGRAIN PASTA (cold) about 2 twists per rat a day.
I used to add uncooked pasta to my dry mix as recommended by some rat owners but I had a very upsetting incident where one of my boys (Dale) nearly choked on some as its sharp edges got stuck in his little throat! Had to go to vets where they removed it! :(
Plus they like the cooked pasta more!
These are the best 2 veg for Rats as they contain different vitamins and minerals:
*Raw Carrot, 1 cube daily per rat (about 1cm x 1cm) I peel it too as any pesticides used are concentrated on the skin.
Their favourite treat!!
*Cooked Peas, 3 each daily! Don't give too many greens as they can make your rats tummy poorly!
OR you can replace the above with:
Brocolli: a tiny bit raw,
Mushroom: half a small mushroom; peeled and raw.
Pepper: not the spicy kind, peeled 1cm by 1cm piece.
Cucumber: a tiny piece 0.5cm by 0.5cm as its high in water.
Fruit should only be given as an occasional treat (Max: 3 times a week) as it is high in sugar, only some fruits are suitable which I will list next:
*Red Grapes (green don't contain useful antioxidants) 1 per rat, peeled.
*Apple, a slice or cube 2cm by 2cm per rat.
You don't need to peel the apple but wash the skin, DO NOT include pips or core though.
*Peach, a slice or cube 2cm by 1cm per rat. Peeled please.
*Banana, good for rats but mine don't like it as I think its a bit soft. 1cm by 1cm cube per rat.
You can also feed them a little lean, unfatty cooked meat such as chicken or ham. My two don't like meat though.
***Also once or twice a week soak a 2cm by 1cm piece of brown bread (they prefer crusts!) in a good olive oil, feed one per rat. This will keep their skin healthy and they also love it!!
~~~Now a list of foods not suitable for rats, AVOID:
*Anything Orange based: Gives male rats kidney failure but not good for females either.
*Onion: far too hot for their little tummys.
*Sweetcorn: Can cause cancer in your poor little pets, this includes cooked sweetcorn or dry (Which is in some shop bought rat mixes!)
*Seeds: Some say an occasional seed such as sunflower as a treat is ok but not good for them so I avoid these. They can't digest them properly. (Most shop bought rat mixes are seed based!)
*Nuts: All types of nuts are really bad for their skin and digestive systems. (again nuts are in shop bought rat mixes so you can see how bad these mixes are!)
****This diet = a healthy, happy rat. With great skin and teeth and a shiny, healthy coat! They may also live up to 5 years rather than the 3 years predicted on shop bought mixes.
They love the variety and the fresh foods available to them and will gobble it all up!
I hope this review is really useful for all people who own a rat or are thinking of getting one.
Anyway, I've really enjoyed writing it as its an important subject and I'm hoping it'll make lots of little rats healthy and happy!!
Thanks for reading xx
Summary: A balanced diet = a healthy rat! Don't buy shop 'Rat Mixes'