Good and Bad Food for Rats & Ratty Recipes
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  1. #1

    Default Good and Bad Food for Rats & Ratty Recipes

    What is good for your rats to eat

    Essentially, if it is ok for you to eat, then it is generally ok for the rats to eat. To make a comprehensive list of everything a rat could eat would take forever. So here is a list of particularly healthy things for your rat:

    Fruits

    Apples
    Apricots
    Bananas - but not green bananas
    Blueberries - All around good for rats (Just be careful they don't stain anything you don't want stained with juice) (Submitted by Mana)
    Grapes - purple grapes are believed to help prevent cancer
    Rasberries
    Blackberries
    Boysenberries
    Peaches - without the pit
    Cranberries (and cranberry juice)
    Plums - excluding the stone
    Pomegranates
    Pears
    Kiwi
    Papaya

    Vegetables

    Broccoli
    Carrots
    Cucumbers
    Peas - Especially frozen for those hot summer days (Submitted by Forensic)
    Romaine lettuce - It is recommended to avoid iceberg lettuce as it has little nutritional value
    Kale
    Green beans - cooked
    Corn (on the cob, frozen, or from a can)
    Green, red, or yellow peppers (not spicy!)
    Pumpkin - and the seeds (in moderation)
    Cauliflower
    Butternut Squash - cooked
    cooked mushrooms - in moderation

    Miscellaneous/Treats

    Chicken bones - Make sure these aren't too greasy or fatty
    Crickets - Apparently, rats will eat these? I've never done it, I don't need crickets running around in my room. Good for protein
    Dog biscuits - ratnutrition.com recommends 'Grreat Choice Healthy Treats'
    Hard-boiled eggs - I've heard these are good for pregnant rats who need the extra protein/fat. However, these should not become a regular part of the diet but rather just a treat for regular rats.
    Popcorn - Unsalted and unbuttered
    Yogurt drops - Rats love these. At least, mine do.
    Yogurt - a small amount of probiotic yogurt is good for gut flora
    Cheese - small amount in moderation, preferably soy based


    What your rats should never eat

    Fruit

    Apple seeds - Apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide which could be harmful to your rat. (Original post by Nightfallspy)
    Green bananas - Inhibit starch digestion
    Mango - Contains d-limonene which can cause kidney cancer in male rats (Thank you Darksong17!)
    Oranges - The white part on the peelings and outer layer of a peeled orange is harmful to male rats. It seems to be ok for females, but I just stay away from citrus fruits in general.
    Orange juice - Contains d-limonene which can cause kidney cancer in male rats

    Vegetables

    Raw brussel sprouts - Fine after cooking, though
    Green potato skin and eyes - I will not eat them and I will not eat green potato skin and eyes
    Raw artichokes - Inhibit protein digestion
    Raw onion - Can lead to anemia and an upset stomach
    Raw red cabbage - Fine after cooking
    Raw sweet potato - Once again, fine after cooking
    Rhubarb - High levels of oxalates which bind up calcium

    Miscellaneous

    Blue cheese - Contains a toxic mold
    Cuddle Bones (for Birds) - The general consensus was that these have far too much calcium to be healthy for your rat, steer clear. (Original post by sneakers8
    Licorice - Contains a suspected neurotoxin
    Poppyseeds - One member's rat got into these and then began to act very lethargic. The rat seemed better for a while, but unfortunately the situation deteriorated and the rat had to be put to sleep. (Original post by rainbowstar)
    Rat poison - Believe it or not, this is just not good for rats
    Raw bulk tofu - Packaged tofu is ok for eating
    *Raw* dry beans or peanuts - Peanuts you buy in a store are almost always roasted so they are fine for rats. Beans will need to be cooked first before giving to rats. If you're growing your own peanuts then I would not serve those to your rats.
    Raw hide - Difficult to digest (Original post by hydra)
    Sweet feed (For horses) - There's just too much corn and molasses in this. (Original post by Krickette)
    Wild insects - Well I guess these are ok cooked?

    It is also a good idea to consult the Poisonous Plants for Small Pets list.

    What your rats should eat in moderation or with caution

    All of the following should be given in moderation. Some can be very dangerous to your rat if given too much. Personally, I would recommend just not giving your rat any of these (With the exception of chocolate, which is fine in small amounts).

    Avocados - Very fatty. Also, the pit, rind, skin, and leaves of the avocado are toxic. Avoid any part of the avocado that even touches those parts. Good for sick rats needing to gain weight though
    Bread - Bread can expand in a rat's throat, causing them to choke. If giving your rat bread, toast it first or give them very small amounts at a time.
    Carbonated drinks - Though I doubt your rat will explode, it could give them a stomach ache as they have a hard time getting rid of the carbonation.
    Chocolate - Supposed to help with minor respiratory distress. Too much can be problematic. Avoid milk chocolate but rather go for dark or bittersweet chocolate as milk chocolate contains too much fat and some rats are lactose intolerant (Thanks Mana!)
    Dried corn - Contains fungal contaminates which could lead to liver cancer (Fresh corn is ok)
    Oranges - The white part on the peelings and outer layer of a peeled orange is harmful to male rats. It seems to be ok for females, but I just stay away from citrus fruits in general.
    Peanut butter - Could cause your rat to choke

    Things people have asked if it's ok for your rat to eat

    The following is just a list of some of the strange items people have asked about and whether or not they are ok to eat.

    Fine to eat

    Canned oysters - Canned oysters should be fine and nutritious for your rats (As a treat), but I would recommend steering clear of any other form of oysters. (Original post by rightin2)
    Celery - Fine, but not much nutritional value (Original post by kkdepp)
    Mealworms - Perfectly fine for your rat and good source of protein. Fine alive or dead (Original post by Chthonicfox)
    Meat - Chicken is always best, but they can eat any kind of cooked meat. Try to keep the fat down. (Original post by x.xgemax.x and Sky14)
    Pineapple - Should be fine, in moderation of course. Have you ever eaten too much pineapple? Because I have and it hurts. (Original post by toxic_tears1990)
    Popsicles - These are ok for rats, but watch out for high sugar content. A better idea is to freeze your own ice cubes or low-sugar concoctions to keep your rats cool. (Original post by camel24j)
    Spaghetti - Seems to be ok cooked and uncooked. (Original post by renay)

    Should never eat (Repeated in above section for rat's safety)

    Apple seeds - Apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide which could be harmful to your rat. (Original post by Nightfallspy)
    Cuddle Bones (for Birds) - The general consensus was that these have far too much calcium to be healthy for your rat, steer clear. (Original post by sneakers8
    Poppyseeds - One member's rat got into these and then began to act very lethargic. The rat seemed better for a while, but unfortunately the situation deteriorated and the rat had to be put to sleep. (Original post by rainbowstar)
    Raw hide - Difficult to digest (Original post by hydra)
    Sweet feed (For horses) - There's just too much corn and molasses in this. (Original post by Krickette)

    Undecided (Best to avoid for now)

    Mint/Menthol/Candy Canes - It is currently unknown as to whether or not this may be harmful to your rat. Best to avoid for now. (Original post by zimmyzam)
    Peppers - Though the non-spicy portion of the pepper is fine, you may want to avoid these as you'll never know if some of the spiciness got on the non-spicy portion, which could be very upsetting to a ratty. (Original post by glindella)

    Staple Diet

    MopyDream has made a fantastic post on the top three best hard foods for your rat, and so I will just quote it exactly here.
    Quote from: "MopyDream44"
    Name: Harlan Teklad
    Pros: Harlan Teklad is the top brand that is specifically made for rats. It has the best overall nutrition for your rats.
    Cons: It is not sold in most pet stores, and it has a shelf life of approx. 6 months if frozen.
    Purchase Information: you can buy it directly from teklad.com with a min purchace of 100$. You can buy it in smaller portions at Kim's Ark, theratshop.com, ratzrealm.com, or craftyrat.com

    Name: Nutro Natural Choice Lite
    Pros: It contains similar nutritional values to H. Teklad, and it is easily found in chain pet stores.
    Cons: it is made for dogs rather than rats. It must be fed with a grain mix, which is an additional expense but the ratties love it Wink
    Purchase Information: it is found in pet stores such as Petco and Petsmart

    Name: Mazuri
    Pros: actually made for rodents
    Cons: the protein % is a bit higher than the recommended %
    Purchase Information: found at pet store chains.


    I used to say Harlan Teklad was the best choice for rats, but Darksong17 has turned me around and I now recommend Oxbow Regal Rat if your rats will eat it. Please read more about it in Appendix 1 below.

    If you are unable to get Regal Rat then Harlan Teklad is definitely the best choice, but if you can't get that go for Innova Senior or Nutro Natural Choice Lite.


    cjshrader originally spent a lot of time creating this sticky for us. MODS are currently cleaning up sticky areas and this user has not been active for a few months so it was not possible to repost under his name. We do appreciate this users time and thank you!

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  3. #2
    Administrator Jaguar's Avatar
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    Default Ratty Recipes

    Everyday Diet

    Suebee's Grain Mix
    As a reminder, Suebee's mix is half staple diet and half grain mix. Don't worry if you can't find all of this in the exact sizes, this mix doesn't have to be exact. Also, you may have to substitute some products with others, just try your best and you should get a decent mix. I'm usually able to get all of my stuff at a local supermarket, but if you have a health food store it's probably better to check it out first (Though it will be more expensive). Also keep in mind that this makes A LOT.

    Ingredients:
    1/2 to 1 lb rolled oats - With the oatmeal at the store
    5.3 oz boxed puff wheat cereal - Sugar free! Quaker, Malt-o-Meal, or Kashi. Cheerios could substitute if needed.
    6.4 oz. box puffed rice cereal - Same as above. Quaker is recommended
    12 oz. box Total Cereal
    1/4 to 1/2 lb. roasted, unsalted soy nuts
    1/2 lb dried fruits - Be careful here with fried banana chips and the like. You can get freeze dried ones online, or in the baby food aisle they sometimes have freeze dried fruit, however this is expensive. Fresh fruits could work too
    1/2 lb dry pasta - Elbows or whole-wheat pasta
    1/4 lb sunflower seeds - The black and white unsalted ones that are for birds. I have the hardest time finding these, but good luck!
    Optional - 1/4 lb muesli

    Just mix everything together in a large bowl or multiple large bowls and store in an airtight container. It should last for a long time!

    Shunamite Diet (British Suebee's Mix)
    The Shunamite diet is the British equivalent of Suebee's Mix. You may find it at this site, but the font they use there is horrible and so I will once again summarize the diet here.

    Ingredients:
    45-50% by volume Alpha Herbal Deluxe Rabbit food or substitute
    10% by volume dry (uncooked) pasta spirals
    5-10% by volume Alpha Lite Dog Kibble or substitute
    35-40% by volume mixed human breakfast cereals from below list

    Shunamite also gives alternatives to most of the foods mentioned.

    Substitues for Alpha Herbal Deluxe Rabbit Food
    Harrison's Banana Rabbit Brunch, Thumper's Rabbit, Alpha Rat, Xtra Vital Rat, Burgess Supa Rat, PAH Rat Muesli etc. If using a rat food you don't really need to add the extra dog kibble. Some of the rabbit food can be substituted with PAH Rat Nuggets, Rat ('Lab') Blocks or Nutro Choice Lite Dog Kibble

    (The above list was a direct copy and paste from the website. What I would recommend is using one of the lab blocks suggested in the Suebee's mix and then not using the dog "kibble" at all)

    Substitues for Alpha Lite Dog Kibble
    Nutro Choice Lite, PAH Rat Nuggets, Rat Blocks, Autarky Nature Lite, Burns Dog Kibble

    Cereals list
    Cornflakes, puffed rice, puffed wheat, bran flakes, Weetabix, Shredded Wheat Bitesize, multigrain flakes (Finesse, Special-K), jumbo oats etc. Look for really low sugar varieties (these are usually either the cheapest or the organic ranges).

    Occasionally, you may also add dried bananas, vegetables, broken up cream crackers, and broken up dog biscuits. Also add fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible!

    (This info was taken from another user's post, but their username (cjshrader?) has escaped me... If you know who wrote it, please let me know so I can give them appropriate credit!)


    Treats


    Taken from the old thread and posted here. Enjoy!

    Dried Fruit Balls
    Ingredients:
    1 cup- whole wheat flour
    3/4 cup- yellow cornmeal
    2/3 cup- dried mixed fruit bits
    1 tsp.- oil
    1/2 cup- fruit juice
    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 250 degrees and grease cookie sheets.
    Mix all ingredients with a pastry blender.
    Make 1/2" balls and place on the cookie sheet. (The balls will not spread, so you can put them as close as you wish.)
    Bake for 45 minutes.
    Leave the balls in the oven until it cools. This will cause the balls to dry out and be crunchy.

    My ratties love these things. I make them once every 2 weeks!

    From LiL_RATTiES_07

    Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
    Ingredients:
    2 Walnuts
    1.5-2 t Long Grain Brown Rice
    1.5-2 t Oatmeal
    1 pinch Cinnamon
    Half of 1 Apple, sliced in to many small pieces.

    Boil brown rice with crushed up walnuts until rice is soft. (I just gradually added more water as I needed it/it evaporated out of the pan). Add in pinch of cinnamon, oatmeal and apple slices. Add water as needed (end result should be more of a solid than a liquid so that the rats can grab out tasty slimy pieces).

    Makes enough for 2 small rats for 2-3 days.

    From MadCatter

    Rat Biscuits
    3 cups of wholemeal flour
    1/4 cup of olive oil
    1 beaten egg
    3/4 cup of soya milk
    you can also add for a bit of flavour and variety - replace 1 cup of flour with a cup of oatmeal and a tbsp of honey

    Beat egg then whisk in soya milk and olive oil, stir in flour until you have a firm dough, knead then roll into sheets around 1cm thick. Place on a baking tray and cook in a oven (gas mark 3, 170degree C, 325degree F) for around 50 mins.

    When cooked and hardened allow to cool a little and then cut into small squares which can be stored in an airtight container.

    From flogging_molly

    Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies
    Ingredients:
    1/4 cup peanut butter
    1 banana
    1/4 cup uncooked oats
    1/2 to 1 cup whole wheat flour
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil, spray or coat with butter. Mix the peanut butter and banana (peeled) together (I used a potato masher utensil) until a creamy mixture forms. Add the sugar and cinnamon. Add the oats and mix well. Add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until a tough dough forms. Roll dough out into 'snakes' and cut into 1/2 inch nuggets. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until lightly brown.

    Let cool. Serve to hungry ratties!

    From susb8383 (http://www.ratsrule.com/recipes.html)


    Rest well Matilda, Rufus, Oliver, Sebastian, Miles, Leno, Gabby, Ona, Cami, Luna, Blue boy, Fuzzy boy, Benjamin, and Bernard.


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