I am often asked for nice healthy rats which is what I try my best to do. They is only so much I can do for this as part of the huge thing that effects an rat is it’s diet.
Good food = Healthy rats
Bad food = Unhealthy rats, Over weight, and possible early death.
Bad food may not show as effecting an rat early it will take some time but much like humans eating junk food it will be effecting you.
I have to say it makes me very sad when I read someone put but they have such short lives so I treat them all the time. Then show an picture of an very over weight rat who can barely move around. This is not good for an rat and if you want your rat to live longer you must limit it’s food even taking away treats and lowering protein if you see it going over weight.
I make up my own dry food mix using a base of Rabbit Food, protein source normally dog kibble, seeds, herbs and human cereals and various other bits. Read more information on making a mix go here http://www.shunamiterats.co.uk Please note this is an old site and the recommended mix has changed an bit since then.
An good site to get extra help on mixes is the fancy rats forum.
This is a basic dry mix I recommend 15-20 grams per female rat per day and 15-20 grams per male rat per day upping the food in the winter time. You may find that male rats finish they food faster but rats should not have access to non stop food. If they leave some food I recommend you don’t remove it but just top the food up or adjust how much you are feeding.
- Base mix 50-60%: 5-6 scoops/jugs/cups (rabbit food)
- Breakfast cereals 20%: 2 scoops/jugs/cups (make sure they are low in sugar) Cereal list here.
- Protein (Dried Creatures, Soya, Dog kibble or a mix) 5-10%: half a scoop/jug/cup
- Mixed Seeds 5-10% half a scoop/jug/cup
- Dried Herbs and Veg 5-10% half a scoop/jug/cup
You can also add Dried pasta 5%: half a scoop/jug/cup but please check the weight of your rat/rats as it can put an load of weight on an rat and should not be feed to them if they are over weight.
Once you have everything for this you will find out that it in fact works out cheaper than the so called complete mixes from pet shops and it a lot better for them and is a lot more exciting.
I also recommend that Supplements are given the ones I recommend are Dr. Squiggles Daily Essentials 1 and Calcivet in liquid form. Please note these should not be given every day. If you feed an straight based diet you need to give Calcivet more often.
Recommend new owner mix
So an mix sounds pretty scary to do yourself I can totally understand that but there is another mix you can do so your not as worried.
Get an mix from rat rations either no 7 no 11 does not matter if it has garlic in or egg biscuit you decide.
Complete mixes can be found here
Use 50 % of it with 40 % of Harrisons Banana Brunch
Also add Barley Rings about 5% to up the copper levels you can buy them here I recommend you break them up which is easy done with an nut cracker.
and 5% seed mix
Fresh Food 30%
Don’t forget you need to feed fresh veg and fruit as well. A list of suitable veg here
I feed fresh veg 2 or 3 times a week and reduce dry food when feeding fresh veg.
I also give a protein meal once ever 7-10 days.
If you feed an straights based diet liked the ones rat rations do you must also give supplements.
You should give your rats a mixed diet making sure it’s not high in sugar or protein. Although younger rats will need more protein for visit few weeks. Also make sure you give fresh veg and fruit as well.
Added vitamins can be giving in the form of supplements such as Dr. Squiggles Daily Essentials 1 this can be added to water. I would recommend that is not be used daily though I use it twice a week. I also use Calcivet Liquid once or twice a month but this is not essential unless you are feeding a straights based diet like the mixes by Rat Rations.