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Hector's food..

2836 Views 19 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Vladina
Hey all...

Question about Hectors food. So one of the things we feed hector is the Mouse & Rat food you buy in the pet store.

Here is a link so you can see what i am talking about.

So my question is.. Hector is kinda picky about what he eats out of that bag of food. Some things he really likes.. the rest he does not. Check out the photo...

So do you think we need to try and get him to eat the things in there that he does not eat? So he gets good nutrition?
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To answer your question, and I am sure you will hear the same thing from other forum members, this kind of food is probably the worst thing you could give him actually, but it is not your fault, it is the fault of the horrid companies that actually have the nerve to call it "rat and mouse" food because it has so much filler junk in it like sunflower seeds and so forth. This is the type of food that would be more fitting for hamsters/gerbils, but rats need to have the lab block type food, like Harlan Teklad or Oxbow Regal Rat lab blocks. If you need something for the time being, while you check out the websites some members gave you for places to order Harlan Teklad, you could try Mazuri brand rat lab blocks which are usually carried by pet store chains. Mazuri is not as good long term as Harlan Teklad or Oxbow for rat blocks, but it is far better than the mixed seed mix. :)
Yes, I agree with Vlad. In the other thread you started about what kinds of food to feed, I know we left some links about the Harlan Teklad blocks, and I listed what I give my boys in their dry mix. You should look at those lists again for some more ideas.

The problem with store-bought "mouse and rat" food, as Vlad says, is that they just basically throw in whatever they want, without truly taking into consideration the dietary needs of either animal. Rats should NOT be fed a seed diet--they are high in fat and low in nutrition, and that is very unhealthy for rats.

As I said in the other thread about food, I recommend just making your own homemade mix, because in the long run it is much cheaper and much, much healthier for your rats. Please let me know if you have any questions about the mix I use (here is the thread where I listed it). I think you'll find this easier and cheaper to do on your own, and you will know for sure what Hector is eating. :)
Hey guys..

Just to let you know.. we are no longer feeding Hector that food. Last night for dinner he had broccoli, carrots, celery, a small cherry tomato and a small scoop of yogurt for desert.. He loved the broccoli.. not so much the carrots. You know what else he does sometimes.. He will take his food back into his lillte House and leave it in there. like he is storing it for later. is that normal? Is he full and just saving it for later?

Again thanks for so much wonderful infor.. Hector thanks you too.. He will be a happy healthy rat cause of your help.
PS about the tomatoes... Are they ok to give him? I know citrus like oranges is bad for boys.. but what about acid tomatoes?
Tomatoes are just fine! In fact, my boys love tomatoes! :D

It is totally normal for rats to hoard food, toys, junk, anything! :lol: That's why we have the expression "pack rat", because they naturally hoard everything they can get their little hands on! hehehe! Also, don't be surprised if Hector doesn't totally gulp down new foods right away--a rat's natural instinct is to just try a tiny bit of a new food and then wait a while before finishing the rest. (That's a defensive mechanism in the wild--that way, if a food is poisonous, they won't have ingested all of it.)
Oh, and one more thing: just make sure that Hector does have access to a grain mix all day long, plus lab blocks. Veggies and a bit of fruit each day are an excellent addition to his diet, but rats also need a dry grain mix 24/7. :)
I agree that tekklab are awesome, but not that easy to obtain sometimes especially in some geographic areas.. Mazuri is a little more attainable and is pretty good, not nearly as good, but okay in a pinch if you can't get the tekklab. Because of the tendency to hide food for later you want to be very careful when giving fresh or cooked perishable foods because they'll store them and then the food will go bad and could make your rat sick. So be sure you always only give them a small amount that they will eat at one time and check their favorite hiding spots often!
Here's where I got my last order of Harlan Tekklad.

Though the shipping is a whole lot, I did the math and it works out to be a little less than what you'd order anywhere else for the same amount. I buy the large containers and freeze what I can't use quickly to retain nutritional value.
Yes, good advice on the lab blocks. I know Harlan Teklad is not always easy to get so Breyer's links for good ordering sources online is a great help. I believe I got my Harlan Teklad lab blocks from the same place...Fancy, yes Breyer? And I agree with LuvBoyRats about Mazuri. If you need rat blocks in a pinch, Mazuri is usually easy to find at pet stores (i.e. PetSmart or Petco) and while not as good as Harlan Teklad, it is actually not too bad, especially compared to those "rat/mouse" seed mixes with all the sunflower seeds, etc.

And yes, rats love to hide food and store it away! Totally normal. I am sure you will find out which veggies and fruits Hector loves and does not love. All rats have their own preferences, just like us humans. My boys loved brocolli too (but I was careful not to give too much as it can cause gas!) but they were never really that fond of carrots. Hmm!
Haha, Vlad, you always think it is FancyRat, but it is actually The Rat Shop. :D I've always ordered my blocks from there, and I've never had a problem. I believe they are based in California.
HA HA! Oh my gosh, you are right Breyer, I DO always say Fancy Rat, too funny! I even went and checked, thinking for sure it was Fancy Rat, but no, you are right., based in California. Hee hee. That is the correct place. Sheesh! Jimmie, if you are reading this, a heads up for you. is a great place to get Harlan Teklad blocks for Hector and your (hopefully) upcoming additions to your ratty family. :)
:lol: It made me laugh when you said that again this time. hehehehehe
Hee hee!! I know, I laughed too. Dang, once you get the wrong name in your head, it just gets stuck there! :lol: Great company for Teklad blocks though, eh?
Cool.. going to check a feed store here in town.. If they dont carri it i am going to order from the ratshop.. thanks guys..
Great! It is a safe site with fast shipping and very reasonable prices for the Harlan Teklad blocks. :)
Oh, and Jimmie--since Hector is a baby still, you'll want to get him the Teklad Global 2018 mix, which is specifically designed for rats 8 months and younger. Once he reaches adulthood, you can switch to the 2014 mix. :)
Ok.. good to know.. thanks breyer!!
Doh, I forgot about that! Good post Breyer! The 2018 has more protein for growing ratties and the lower 2014 has less protein, which is best for adult rats. Adult rats thrive better on less protein. That is what the difference is between 2014 and 2018. So many numbers, eh! :D
Hey Jimmie, guess what? I discovered that the online rat food store I used to buy my Harlan Teklad blocks at is actually The Crafty Rat (link below) and not RatShop. I can't believe it because Breyer and I just had a discussion about how we both got our lab blocks from the same place in California. So I guess there are two different online places with similar names. Go figure! (I wonder if this place goes by two names?)
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