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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With my rabbits, I was really pleased with a feed from ADM alliance that my local livestock feed mill carried. My show and meat rabbits do great on it. Many of you likely have similar places - grain elevators or genuine feed mills - in your area. These places can order almost any kind of feed for you - much cheaper than other sources like pet stores or online ordering which costs a TON.

I did some digging and after a few phone calls and emails to ADM, I was able to find that they did make rodent diets - though they weren't listed on their website. My feed mill ordered me a bag to try.

I got a 50lb bag of 24% protein rodent diet for 20.00. My rats LOVE it and are doing well on it. I don't have the feed tag in front of me, so I can't list any ingredients, but it looked good. I also use Vi-Tal, a vitamin/mineral water supplement for them, because I'm a worry wort about their nutrition. I use it for most critters on the farm, in fact. :)

Also, I found a supplier of paper shavings that work GREAT for rats. At 8.00 or so a bag it's just a couple bucks more than pine shavings. My two huge cages have been changed several times since I've gotten the bag of bedding, and I've gone through only half of a bag. It's great stuff and the rats LOVE it. 99.9% dust free. I'll have to post the brand as I believe it can be found from local suppliers in many areas, and the company can direct you to local suppliers.
 

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Rat Rescuer and Hospice
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The 24% protein is really too high for optimum health, but you can add in lots of daily veggies to bring the overall protein percentage of their diet down.

And pine should never be used for any small domestics, including your rabbits, as its toxic to them with long exposure. I am glad you switched to paper bedding.
 

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Zoo Keeper
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I believe she was saying its just as cheap as pine so why not get something healthy. And yes the protein is a little high but as long as their are no ill affects its ok. I would try to find a feed with a 10-15% protein
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had previously used pine shavings for YEARS for ALL sorts of pets - and never ANY ill effects from it. I just grew up using it, especially back when I 'accidentally' raised hampsters (friend got me a missexed 'female' which I put in with my known females... I was 8 so cut me a break, LOL) I know many rat breeders/owners freak about pine bedding, but I'm not sure my experience of years of use with it is a 'fluke'. I also used it for a couple years when raising mice and rats in my early ownership of them. JUST IMO, not looking to start any arguments. :)

Anywho, since the paper bedding is better because it is dust free AND more economical, I like it a LOT.

http://www.papershavings.com/

Through this main website, you can find a local dealer.

24% protein is higher than maintenance diets, but I do produce a litter here and there. This is just what the mill ordered for me to try but I did see a tag for a 19% which I'd like for maintenance of non breeders and males. I just wanted to try a bag before varying my orders too much. :) Next I plan on getting a bag of 24% and also a bag of the 19%.
 

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laugh often
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I dont think anyone was trying to argue or start an argument. Just people on here try to share information in the better interest of animals in general.

I am glad you shared the information with us and none of your past pets got sick from pine bedding. The reason I myslef and other forum members strongly suggest not using pine or cedar bedding is becuase they contain oils that cause respiratory infections that can become deadly quite fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I found out about the 'dangers' of pine shavings a few years ago, so under pressure of being a 'good' rodent owner I switched. I tried Yesterdays news - expensive, and stained my rats varying degrees of black. It also looked terribly uncomfortable. I tried aspen, which is what I use for my snakes - also expensive though more comfy. I tried fleece for the shelves - they tore it up, wadded it up, and otherwise went through it too fast and it SMELLED. I found small bags of paper shavings but that too went too fast to be affordable. I grew frustrated and switched back to pine shavings - if it ain't broke... :)

Paper shavings make me feel better than having to settle for pine shavings. Though I never had issues, I feel like so many people recommending it can't be WRONG. It makes sense that dust and phenols can irritate respiratory illnesses.

The bedding comes in large bags that are the same size as the large bags of pine shavings you get at like a tractory supply company. Even if you have just a couple critters, this 'bulk' is MUCH cheaper than buying any sort of equipment from almost any pet store, hence my desire to pass it on.
 

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Resident Aquarium Nerd
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I'm surprised aspen shavings are expensive for you, I had no idea that was true anywhere. Aspen is the same exact price as pine here so it was an easy choice for me (when I kept hamsters and spiny mice). Carefresh was always too pricey. Now I just have the rabbits so I can use litter and not messy bedding :lol:.

It's cool that you found a good deal on a safe bedding :). Buying in bulk is always the way to go, I get ridiculous amounts of hay delivered to my house regularly, haha.
 

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Rat Rescuer and Hospice
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I dont think anyone was trying to argue or start an argument. Just people on here try to share information in the better interest of animals in general.

I am glad you shared the information with us and none of your past pets got sick from pine bedding. The reason I myslef and other forum members strongly suggest not using pine or cedar bedding is becuase they contain oils that cause respiratory infections that can become deadly quite fast.
Actually Mousey the reason we don't like using pine or cedar IS the phenols but its not about the sensitive respiratory system but that the long term use actually poisons your rats and can cause organ failure.

http://www.afrma.org/rminfo2.htm
 

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laugh often
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thats very true. :) I knew that, I was really tired and didnt really think before posting. I'm really sorry about that. I did see it and i would've made the correction but you beat me to it. :lol:
 
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