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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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A good healthy rat diet

I've heard so many people's opinions on a good healthy rat diet, i'm wanting to see everyone heres opinions and suggestions

What do you feed your rats?


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 04:11 PM
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My rats are on a gluten-free diet. I looked up what crops rats actually attack in the wild, and replicate it as much as I can here. Right now they get dog food, but that will be replaced with crickets and other insects and grubs - as natural as possible to replicate their wild ancestor's diet - Brown Rice, some squash seeds, Fresh corn, fresh fruits and vegetables(or baby food if we have no fruits or vegetables in the house), melon, and berries. I also offer grass and clover every so often in case they're having a day where they want to eat it.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 02:56 AM
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I feed my rats a base diet of Harlan Teklad 2018 lab blocks (which I plan to switch down to a lower protein lab block when they get old enough) and I supplement this with small amounts of fruits and veggies, rolled oats, dry non-sweetened cereal (but not with processed corn) dry pasta spirals, wheat bread and things of that nature.


For treats, they like plain Gerber Baby Rice Cereal mixed with warm water, oatmeal and different baby foods, like sweet potato, peas and banana baby food.

I stay completely away from the packaged treats that they sell at pet stores. I also prefer to keep my boys meat free so I do not feed them things like chicken/fish/red meat, but that is just a personal choice.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 06:31 AM
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Depending on availability

Harlan 2014 for the older rats, nakies with higher metabolisms
Mazuri 6F - younger rats to healthy adults
Oxbow - mixed in with both

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlickeringHope View Post
My rats are on a gluten-free diet. I looked up what crops rats actually attack in the wild, and replicate it as much as I can here. Right now they get dog food, but that will be replaced with crickets and other insects and grubs - as natural as possible to replicate their wild ancestor's diet - Brown Rice, some squash seeds, Fresh corn, fresh fruits and vegetables(or baby food if we have no fruits or vegetables in the house), melon, and berries. I also offer grass and clover every so often in case they're having a day where they want to eat it.
I would love to see a long term study on your diet...are you sure it covers all their nutritional requirements? Vitamin K is one that is extremely vital for rats (clotting of blood, etc) and dog food doesn't have it at all.

Wild rats are opportunistic, and eat what's around but is it truly optimal for the longer, healthier life we want our domestics to have. Wild rats rarely live past a year of age.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilspaz68 View Post
I would love to see a long term study on your diet...are you sure it covers all their nutritional requirements? Vitamin K is one that is extremely vital for rats (clotting of blood, etc) and dog food doesn't have it at all.

Wild rats are opportunistic, and eat what's around but is it truly optimal for the longer, healthier life we want our domestics to have. Wild rats rarely live past a year of age.
As I said; dog food is only temporary until we can get out and get insects and grubs.

I don't see the point in feeding them pastas or breads, because they are full of sugar, cooked down nutritionally, and not even good for humans(again, according to my research), nor are they a natural, available food. I don't see the point in feeding lab blocks, because lab rats are not cared for in labs to sustain long life nor reach optimal health..only long enough to survive the trial. And as rats are used in laboratories for their similarities to humans, if humans can get celiac disease, why can't rats? The only thing is, rats can't tell you. Better safe than sorry, as far as I'm concerned..

Nor do I believe diet for anything is scientific. Diet is raw & natural, and what is logical for that particular species. As far as grains go, according to what I've found, corn and rice seem to primarily be what it is sought after by their wild ancestors. There is nothing grains contain that cannot be found elsewhere, especially by rats. And no, I do not feed dried corn, only fresh.

Anyway; my boys are healthy, energetic, their temperaments are excellent. If I see a decline in overall health I will go back and re-evaluate my choices, but for now, they are doing superb.

Last edited by FlickeringHope; 09-19-2012 at 09:18 AM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 10:09 PM
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Harlan for staple diet, supplemented with variety of veggies and the occasional fruit and nut.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 12:13 PM
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I feed all of my rats a mixture of Purina Sow and Pig feed (unusual, yes, but almost identical nutritionally to most rat foods and about 1 fifth the price bought in bulk), and then to that I mix in some cheap dog food, Total Cereal, a couple of little bags of uncooked pasta (not nutritionally necessary but they just love it), and sometimes some cheerios or nuts or something for variety (just a little bit).

To make up for the high need for vitamin K, which this diet is quite lacking in, I grow kale, spinach, and kohlrabi in the garden for them, about the most vitamin K rich veggies I can think of. They love their vegetables.

They also get leftover people food in small amounts to round it off (nothing fatty or salty, except the very occasional very tiny piece of french fry or chocolate now and again). They go bananas over spaghetti. We just carved pumpkins so we they've been making use of a glut of pumpkin seeds recently. They do get meat but only in small amounts and never red meat, only fish or chicken.

All of my rats grow well and are healthy on this diet so far.

Last edited by Hidden Walrus; 11-28-2012 at 12:17 PM.
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