What i would really like advice on is what kind of thing i should get for them, food, treats, bedding and other things.
Yay! Welcome and Congratulations! I'm silly excited for you. There's nothing like your first rat babies.
In answer to your questions,
Avoid: Pine or Ceder. Rats have very fragile respiratory systems and the phenols in these two beddings, which gives them their pleasant smell, irritates ratty lungs. For that matter, avoid any bedding that has high dust or perfume/deodorant content.
Some to Use: Aspin Shavings; Yesterday's News; Carefresh Unscented; Felt or Flannel--fabrics that won't have hanging threads for ratty toes and bodies to get tangled in. Felt/Flannel can be purchased cheaply from JoAnn's Fabric Store remnant bin.
Treats: Many rats like Yogi's yogurt drops, purchased at Petsmart or other pet store. They have high sugar content, so should be given very sparingly. Otherwise, just portion out samples of their daily food supply as a treat. Try different things to see what they really go bonkers over. Just remember portion control. A single cheerio is the equivalent of a large whole bagel for us.
Food: I could write a whole article on what makes a balanced diet, what foods are good to eat, what foods are unsafe or even toxic (oranges cause cancer in boy rats), and what foods are only good occasionally. Instead, I'll cut to the chase and give you the the site I used when I was a newbie rat owner:
The pxrats link suggests Harlin Tekklid as the staple diet. Mazuri is the commercially available version of Harlin and can be found at many petsmart locations. I get mine online Harlin 2014 is for adult rats 6 mos and up, and Harlin 2018 is for growing rat babies:
Rats need 2 cubic feet per rat, lots of climbing opportunities, and plenty of ventilation in an escape proof cage. The cage should be at least 18 inches deep to accommodate easy turn around space for the rats. Wire cages should have 1/2 inch wire spacing. All but the largest rats can squeeze through larger 1 inch or sometime even 3/4 bar spacings.
Most cages offered ready made in pet stores, even if they say they are for rats, are not adequate housing for a happy healthy rat.
Avoid aquarium/glass tanks. They don't provide enough ventilation for ratty's sensitive respiratory systems. You will end up with sicker rats then you would have otherwise.
Galvanized steel wire cages are great, but get powder coated when possible as untreated galvanized steel absorbs urine smells and will become stinky unusable in a short time.
Here's a list of helpful cage options that I listed on my rats' facebook page (yes, my rats have their own facebook page...oy):
Cheap for what you get. We recommend the R-680, R-685, and the R-695 only for 2-3 rats. Spring for the powder coating. Galvanized absorbs urine smells and deteriorates much faster. For 20 dollars more, you get 2 or more years extra of use.
Critter Nation Cages:
The Rolls Royce of rat cages. This cage comes with the escape proof recommended 1/2 inch horizontal bar spacing. It is sturdy and very easy to clean. However, it's large and heavy, making it difficult to move on a non flat surface in spite of the wheeled base. The pans are too shallow for pour in bedding and it can be difficult to find a way to secure flannel/felt lining to them.
Ferret Nation Cages:
Made by the same manufacturers as the Critter Nation but notably cheaper. The bar spacing is 1 inch wide, which makes it unsuitable for juvenile or smaller female rats. Also, the bars are vertically spaced making it difficult to attach hammocks for climbing. It can be modified by hand by wrapping it in hardware cloth. So while not pretty, if money is an issue, this might be a better option than the Critter Nation. Otherwise, identical cleaning and movability issues as the Critter Nation.
Intended more for large scale breeders, but can be purchased for pet owners.
Housing Considerations for Rats:
Cheap Rat Toy Ideas:
Home Made Rat Cage Ideas:
Hardware Cloth (Cheapest):
Hardware Cloth, PVC, and Zip Ties:
DIY Cage Building Accessories:
Calculating Proper Size for Cage:
And a partridge in a pear tree! Pfew. LOL. Have I blown your brain yet?
Hopefully these will be helpful to you.
Please post pics of your babies!!