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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question. I just got my two rats. They were a little afraid at first, coming into a house full of cats, but they've settled in very nicely. They don't have names yet, but one of them is almost constantly out looking for food, even in the day time. I bought some large sized rat food pellets. It says to give 2-3 a day per rat, and adjust as needed to maintain a healthy weight.

I started off at two per rat. I've since done 3 per rat. The other guy isn't acting hungry all the time (in fact, he sleeps through a lot of the day as I'd have expected), but I also know he isn't eating ALL the food. I've watched this hungry one eat up his fair share. I also give them some seeds and a couple of peanuts as a treat/supplement to the pellets.

I don't want to over feed them, but I don't want to under feed them either. Do rats just act hungry all the time? Or is this a sign that this one in particular just needs some extra to eat? He just waits for me to come over there, and when I put my fingers there, he sniffs ALL over them hoping for more food. Is the food estimation on the bag just way too low?
 

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If you got your rats from a pet store, it's possible that what you are feeding is tastier than what they had there. One of our rats used to take all her favourite stuff out of the bowl almost immediately and go bury it, but she calmed down after a month or so when she realised it would still be there later :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The pellets I'm feeding them are Nutri-Diet. They're fairly large sized. Honestly, even 3 pellets doesn't look like much food to me, but then again, those rats are much smaller than I am. :)

I also have some seeds and nuts I've been giving them... sunflower seeds, peanuts, um, I can't remember what else. But that's more of a treat so not a whole lot of those.

You think those pellets are that tasty? Perhaps so. They just act so hungry! I give them each a pellet and they race off to different corners of the cage to chow down on it like it was a magnificent treat. I know my cats try to play the "I'm starving, you never feed me" card, but I know differently with them. I just wanted to make sure I was not under feeding the new rat friends.
 

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i've heard that rats will usually ration themselves, so it can't hurt to fill their bowl up and let them go crazy. also, the blocks could be lacking in vitamins/minerals that they hadn't been getting, so they will initially chow down like monsters until their nutrient balances are in check. happens a lot on feedlot goats and cattle, etc.
 

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zemiq said:
You think those pellets are that tasty? Perhaps so. They just act so hungry!
You don't know what they were given at the pet store :lol:

Seriously, though, as far as I can see there are a few possibilities -

- He is eating them quick before his cage mate gets them, in which case he should calm down eventually when he realises there's enough for both of them.

- He's not actually eating them all, he's burying quite a bit, too. This is easily checked when you clean out their cage.

- And more seriously, you could have him checked for worms. Is he gaining weight at all? I don't know about rats with worms, but I know if other animals get worms they eat and eat and don't gain weight.

If you are still worried about your rat's behaviour, have him checked over by an "exotics" vet. It can never hurt to have a general health check up for your rats. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am not too worried as of yet. They have been here less than a week, and so I haven't noticed any weight changes. They both just seem to love what I'm giving them. Perhaps they will calm down soon when they realize the good stuff isn't going anywhere and there's plenty for them both. :)

I really just wanted to be sure I wasn't under-feeding. I will have to go look up the vets around me to find out which ones will look at rats. We've got tons of vets, but, I know where I used to live, there weren't any rodent vets. My little brother's guinea pig died a few weeks ago. My dad took her to the vet and he said he didn't normally see those types of animals but that he'd be willing to. But, she didn't make it.
 

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DonnaK said:
If you got your rats from a pet store, it's possible that what you are feeding is tastier than what they had there. One of our rats used to take all her favourite stuff out of the bowl almost immediately and go bury it, but she calmed down after a month or so when she realised it would still be there later :lol:
Similar experience. The baby went nuts with her new food, ate most of it in a day, even the stuff my older rats don't like.
 

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Two or three lab blocks a day for a rat is not enough. I don't know why store-bought lab blocks sometimes say that on the bag, but it's incorrect. Also, Nutri-Diet lab blocks really aren't very good. Moreover, did you get the rats from a pet store? If so, they're more than likely under a year old and need to be fed more to compensate for all the growing they're doing. Rat metabolisms are EXTREMELY fast!

You should look into ordering from Harlan Teklad blocks online. They're the best out there. If you don't like ordering stuff online or can't, Mazuri is the only okay pet store brand of lab blocks. Never feed those seed mixes!

The rats should get unlimited lab blocks. They should also get fresh food everyday consisting of lettuces (not iceberg!), herbs, and fruit. You can also feed cooked whole wheat/vegetable pasta for them, too.
 

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Also depending on how young your little ones are you can make them some scrabbled eggs for protien, or even left over chicken bones!!
 

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Scrambled eggs are fried, I would steer clear of fried foods. Perhaps boiled eggs occasionally. They don't really need too much protein.
 

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I always leave Gus' home well stocked with the "healthy" foods, including the Harlan rat blocks. Neither he, nor my first rat, Gregor, seems to have any desire to overeat. I think it's perfectly safe to leave more healthy food than they need in their home...I doubt that they will overeat, at least as soon as they catch onto the fact that the food will always be available in the food place.

Of course, treats are different. If you leave a whole bunch of non-nutritious but very delicious foods lying around all day and night, your rats will eat their favorite stuff, and totally ignore the healthy stuff.

After all; if my kitchen was stocked with a choice of boiled chicken and rice, OR ice cream and doughnuts, I know what I'd be eating! :lol:
 

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I always fill my rats' bowl and they eat their dry food over the course of about 2 days, they're very good about not overeating. I feed Suebee's and Natural Balance Ultra Premium Low Calorie dog food [16.5% protein]
 

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you should be able to fill her bowl up and they should ration themselves, keep an eye on it tho if they get too out of control and start getting fat/eating too much then reduce the amount a little. both of my rats ration good. i fill their bowls and empty em every 2 days (and theyres always food left over). they could also be hording it, may be check around their cage.
 

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Poppyseed said:
Scrambled eggs are fried, I would steer clear of fried foods. Perhaps boiled eggs occasionally. They don't really need too much protein.
if eggs are scrambled correctly, they are not fried... it is slow cooking of beaten eggs and milk, no frying involved... although my american former in-laws didnt use milk, just eggs...
 
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