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My six boys live in the same cage and are fed at the same time. This is problematic for weight management. My two small and svelt nakeds are at the bottom of the social hierarchy and are apt to get their food taken from them. I have to monitor to make sure they get enough.

And then there is Zmei the fatty foodie. He weighs as much as both nakeds together. He is lazy and squshy and built like a flabby tribble. There isn't an ounce of solid anywhere on his person. He also will beat the crap out of his own mother for sole possession of all food. Well, he's a little snobby when it comes to his lab blocks, but anything else I offer he's front and center and swinging his brass knuckles at his cage mates.

How do I get him to exercise? How do I insure the other rats get properly fed?

Rat Pinatas! Genius!

I got some toilet paper rolls and stuffed them full of the veggie/grain/drier fruit portion of their supplemental diet and folded the ends. Then I hung them from the top of the cage just low enough that the rats can get their teeth on the roll if they stood on their hind legs.

I feed them all their lab blocks by hand one by one. While everyone else is nomming their staple diet, Zmei is drawn to the real prize. He will spend 30 minutes tugging, pulling, twisting, cussing, and ratty problem solving to get the pinatas to give up the goods. Then, because he has to climb to awkward locations to get them to let go, by the time he's back down to floor level to retrieve his rewards, the other rats have already made off with their shares first.

Zmei gets exercise, and the others get fed.

:approve:
 

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Ha! GENIUS!
 

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NICE!! If my boys were young I would definitely do that for Stan! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Here you go guys! Pics uploaded and edited.

All the boys begging for daily treats...Zmei has discovered motherlode. Let the fun commence.




This way...


That way...


Woah...!



Grrrrr....



Pullin'...



Scritchity scritchety....



Twistity....!



Tuuuuuug!



Puuuuuush!



At last! Nomnomnom....



Pfeewwww....time to hit the steam room. This rat's done.
 

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Ha ha!! Thanks Story, what a treat (no pun intended) to see the new photos of Zmei's adventures as the Great White NomNom Hunter, so adorable! We LOVE when you put those captions on the pictures..we read them out loud in ratty voices that we imagine the boys have if they were talking and it is hilarious. Now for the question...how do you get those captions put on the pictures? Is it a hard technical process or easy as pie? (Pie? says Zmei.."where is pie? Is mine!")
 

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Hahahaha, I love it!!! They all look so excited for treats, but that Zmei... :heart: What a pudgy boy! Reminds me of Stanley! How much does he weigh now?
 

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Ha ha!! Thanks Story, what a treat (no pun intended) to see the new photos of Zmei's adventures as the Great White NomNom Hunter, so adorable! We LOVE when you put those captions on the pictures..we read them out loud in ratty voices that we imagine the boys have if they were talking and it is hilarious. Now for the question...how do you get those captions put on the pictures? Is it a hard technical process or easy as pie? (Pie? says Zmei.."where is pie? Is mine!")
I'm so glad I'm not the only one who gives them voices. I imagine voices of Rool and Franjean the brownies from the movie Willow myself.

The yellow captions are courtesy of Adobe Photoshop. I use Adobe for my artwork but it's handy photo editing like this too. In short, if you have the right program, it's an easy process. :)
 

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Hahahaha, I love it!!! They all look so excited for treats, but that Zmei... :heart: What a pudgy boy! Reminds me of Stanley! How much does he weigh now?

Oh gosh, I think it's like 785 grams. The funny thing is, he weighs about the same as the big black boys. The only differences are that they are hard muscular blocks of rat. He's a squish ball. So he's bigger than they are.
 

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Only 785? Man, at Stanley's last checkup he was 865! But I think he weighs more than that...my little scale here has him about 20 grams heavier. (But it could be my scale! Let's hope so!)
 

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Holy manrat batman!
 

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Yep Story, the both of us have always "talked" for our babies...our two gerbil boys, **** and Keith, included. So you are not alone! :)

But I know people do that all the time with their furry kids. Dogs, cats, mice and everything in between. :D

BTW, I loved when you called Zmei a flabby Tribble. So funny. He is delictable. I would love to feel that yummy pudginess in my hands! Same with Breyer's two boys. I loves squishies!
 
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