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Old 06-08-2012, 01:08 PM
Kaydee
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Default Am I Overfeeding the Rats?

I'm just curious how much roughly these girls should be eating. There are three of them, Cupcake is the size of a small kitten, Cinnamon is average adult rat size and Blueberry < no, I didn't name them> is smaller about the size of a large hamster.

I feed them about a cup total of diced veggies and rat chow at night. Now I've started giving them about a half cup rat chow snack in the morning. When I go in to wake my daughter they're almost flying through the bars at me. Am I overfeeding them? Do they run to me just cause they want petting or are they hungry? Any ideas???
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:11 PM
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What is rat chow? If it's grain-filled, then it's more of a bad diet then over feeding.

I gave my rat pack of 5 a small jar of babyfood in the morning, and another + frozen veggies at night. They got meat maybe 3 times a week. The two oldest/bossiest girls were a little bigger because they got first dibs, but everyone was pretty slim and happy. They also got a lot of outside time/exercise, though.

I suppose it's like dogs. Good diet and just watch them from there.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:33 PM
Kaydee
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Wow, I didn't know they could have like food food. Rat chow is like green compressed thingies and dried corn and sunflower seeds. Think theres some dried fruit in there too. I didn't know they could have meat either. I guess in a natural enviroment they're total omnivores. Interesting, now I gotta research this some more...these rats eat more nutritionally correct than the rest of the house...I wanna get it right heeheehee
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:54 PM
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Haha. Yeah, you can just feed them scraps laying around the house. That's what we typically did, and it's wayyy better for them than the grain crap. If you look up "homemade rat diet" you'll find a lot.

I never kept it a "recipe", though. Just threw it together, like raw for dogs. There are a lot of no-nos for rats, too, though, so be sure you hang that up somewhere.

My girls that got fed grain the most (before we knew better) ended up with tumors and strokes. I guess that's pretty typical.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:04 PM
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I've always just free fed my rats and it's worked fine. They regulate themselves pretty well, none of mine ever pigged out. I mix together commercial rat pellets (for my new guys I'm using Oxbow Regal Rat) and a grain mix I throw together, which consists of cereals, uncooked pasta, soy nuts, dried fruit...

Generally I've always filled the bowl in the morning, and then in the evening I'll give a little bit of fresh fruits/veggies or whatever else I have available.

Basically I've never been strict about rat feeding.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:46 PM
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I also use Oxbow Regal Rat (i was completely making their food from scratch, then they started throwing it at the walls, that was the end of that, lol), and they get baby food every day and some of whatever we have for dinner. They get pretty much everything that we eat (except stuff that is toxic, obviously).

Out of my three girls one is overweight, but if I try to regulate she just eats ALL the food lol.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:53 PM
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I use a high quality grain inclusive dog food (usually a senior forumula) and then add fresh veggies, fruits, and other scraps together. Sometimes I make my own food too for them.

From my understanding rats do need a fairly constant supply of food...they get hypoglycemic pretty easily.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmagick View Post
I use a high quality grain inclusive dog food (usually a senior forumula) and then add fresh veggies, fruits, and other scraps together. Sometimes I make my own food too for them.

From my understanding rats do need a fairly constant supply of food...they get hypoglycemic pretty easily.
So I've never had rats, but yah, my thought was they probably need a rather steady supply of food. I mean, I'm sure their digestive tract is smaller than ferrets, and with the ferrets they need food offered constantly due to risk of hypoglycemia
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:42 PM
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I just can't imagine rationing their food when there is more than one in a cage. You have no clue who's eating what. And yeah, you don't want them to go long without eating.... there are some vets that think rats need to be fasted before surgery (which they don't), and on the rat forum people are always like NO DON'T DO THAT because it's just way too long for them to go without having food.

Now - most of my rats HAVE had a little extra squish on them... but nothing horrible and nothing I would limit their food over.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:53 AM
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Hmmm, interesting regarding the hypoglycemic bit. So should we be feeding the rats more than twice a day?

Ours get a lab block in the morning and then again at night. If I'm around, I'll also give them half a milk bone in the afternoon. They may or may not get table scraps...depends what we're eating and when we're eating it.

We don't like to give them more than they'll eat in one sitting, because after they stash it they'll fight over each others stash. To avoid squabbles, they get fed the same amount at the same time with no left overs.
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