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Discussion Starter #1
Hiya im a new rat mum , my rats are 8 weeks old and i got them yesturday lunch time and got the 3rd rat today

stella
celery
ratatoey

I brought them a salt wheelie , its a wheel that attaches to the cage and it gives the rats back the salt and minreals they lose after playing/excersisin

they are on Reggie Rat food and i have given them some raw carrot today..
they have treats which are multi rat vitamians , and its mainly for keepin there coats clean and soft and there teeth healthy , they have a edable bed to help teeth and claws , they have clean water 2wice a day in there water bottle and have a rats ball which can roll about with them in or it goes on a stand like a wheel but there tails cnt get caught
is there anything else i should do to maintain there health ive been told eggs and ham should be givin once a week for protien
Jess x
 

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Welcome to the world of being owned by your rats.

I am sorry to say that it sounds like you listened to a pet shop employee.

Rats do not need mineral or salt licks at all, these come from their proper diet.

Reggie Rat is considered a very poor food, See if you can get some Mazuri lab blocks from Petsmart or Living World Extrusion blocks. If you are able to order online you could get Harlan Teklad lab blocks from somewhere like Craftyrat or Kim's Ark Rescue. Are you in the US or Canada? Lab blocks were formulated especially for rats adn provide the nutrition they require.

There really is no such things as Rat Multivitamins. Rats should get all their vitamins/nutrients from their diet.

Edible bed? Can you explain this one?

What bedding/litter do you have them on? NO pine or cedar.

Fresh water is great, you can just change it once a day if you like :)

Hamster balls or Runabout Balls are not good for rats. They usually hate them, are frightened inside them and I personally think they are horrible for their spines since they are not built like hamsters.
Those balls are awesome for rat beds tho, a lot of people twist tie them into their cages and put scraps of fleece in them for a bed. :)

An actual running wheel (as large as you can get...minimum of 11") is a good purchase. You can get Silent Spinners, Wodent Wheels or the Superpet Mesh wheels. BUT some rats may use them and others may ignore it, its just a chance you take.

Rats can have some proteins, but not too much, as a high protein diet can lead to future health problems and possibly a shorter life.

Veggies are great, some fruit, baby cereal and/or soymilk is a great treat. Stay away from yogies if you can, they are PURE sugar. :roll:

Here is the Forbidden Foods list...
http://www.petratscanada.com/forbidden_foods.htm

Make sure your cage is large enough...just punch in the dimensions of your cage and see how many rats your cage can hold. We all started with too-small cages.
http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/information/guides/cagecalculator/

I hope this helps a little?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank u

yeah i did listen to the pet shop person

i have spent basically hours today readin personal experiances with rats

I have added lettuce and banana to there diet today - is this ok ?
They played in the bath tub together today as it was a safe clean envioroment and they couldnt escape - was this ok , i thought i should do it for excersise and so i could spend time with them ect without worrying one will run off .. thanks for ur advice u will probably have a million questions from me in the next few weeks , im from the U.K England
Jess x
 

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lettuce should never be iceberg since it is mostly water and gives them diarrhea, stick with leaf lettuce, but bananas are fine.

carrots, peas, corn, squash, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli (not too much, makes them gassy..hehe) are all fine foods to supplement with.

Most of us feed high quality lab blocks and supplement with veggies, some fruit and some protein. Live culture yogurt is good for ratties with upset tums as it helps rebuild the good bacteria in their gut.

Not too many dairy products, and definitely no carbonated beverages (rats cannot burp or vomit but they can regurgitate lodged food...this is called choking) or alcohol.

You can let them run on your bed or a couch, or even make them a ratty playpen out of corrugated plastic. :) Some people ratproof a bathroom. Its much more fun to be able to sit with them when they run and explore.
 

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Hello! Welcome to the wonderful world of rat ownership :D

Rats don't need salt licks (as already stated), as too much salt can dehydrate them etc. They should get all the minerals and supplements from the food you feed them (the veggies and fruit and stuff).

Reggie rat is the easiest rat food out there - and is always sold by pet shops - as they use it as their staple diets! (I'm UK based too - I know how hard it is to get good rat food!) Unfortunately, it's pretty much junk food for rats. I use Excel Supa Rat (made by Burgess) which you can buy quite cheap. It's a nugget food which stops selective feeding - I know when I used Reggie Rat they would eat all the lovely colourful bits and leave all the seeds! If you have a local vet, why not ask them how much it costs? In store it's about £4 per bag - but as vets buy direct from suppliers you can often get it much cheaper (for £10 I get 4 bags). You can always try something like a Suebee's diet (which is homemade)

I've never yet found a rat who enjoyed the balls - they freeze up and poop/pee and all that lovely stuff, so the balls get retired after the first couple of trys. You can get some good wheels, if you have a large enough cage. Try avoid the one with metal rungs, but block plastic ones you can buy from places such as Pets at Home are quite good.

I'll ask again, what type of bedding do you have them on? Most of the sawdust bedding sold in petshops over here is no good for the sensitive little lungs of rats. Carefresh is a good bedding, although expensive if bought through stores (again, try your vet and maybe you can get it cheaper) or you can always use regular towels and fleece as bedding. You can rewash it and it is much cheaper. Definately don't use pine or cedar sawdust - it contains oils which will harm your rats lungs if kept on it too long :(

The bathroom is a good place to play, but beds are just as good. Generally they won't just zoom off (unless they are incredibly skittish or something freaks them out) so your bedroom or a couch would be an ideal play area too. I take all 8 of my girls into the bathroom and as we have quite a smalll bathroom every couple of moments there's a new rat jumping on me for a little human jungle-gym action lol

Hope this helps :)
 

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I'm from the UK to.
I feed my girls on Pets At Home rat nuggets and rat museli - I used to feed them Reggie Rat, but have replaced that with the museli. I basically follow the Shunamite Diet... http://www.shunamiterats.co.uk/diet.html
 

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My girls also get Pets at home rat nuggets, but not always. They sometimes have musli from there but its quite high in fat

I sometimes give them some dog mixer biscuits, cereal (rice crispies, shredded wheat or weetabix) some fruit and veg a couple of times a week (check the link above) and some dried echinacea (from pets at home) which they actually like (shocker!) a varied diet generally. They eat bits of what I eat unless they are really salty, really fatty or generally bad for rats.

We used to use recycled paper cat litter as bedding, but now I use old tshirts and pillowcases and they rip them up as they please.

As they are new to you, I agree you should try sitting with them on your bed (so they cant get off) for an hour or so at a time so they get used to you
 

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OOh I almost forgot.

Find a vet - ask around for an exotics vet and find out their opening times and put their number in your phone. It might be worth registering them in advance in case there are any emergencies.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow im learning so much!

I use something called nest nest , its shredding soft cloth like material they also have this fluffy bedding -for rats but i also riped up a old babygrow from a project we done at school , and they love layin on that , i also made a nice hammock out of another fleece babygrow which stella(my climber) likes
So there not likely to climb or jump of the bed of sofa ???
i have varied there food today but there just not intrested , last night night they ate while i slept so maybe they will tonight
i tried banana , tuna , carrots , and my mum made them a mini salad lol ! and then i sprinkled reggie rat food in it ,
can i feed them porride made up with water , i hear this is good for them i may be wrong ??
thanks for ur wonderful awnsers
Jess x
 

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Nest nest? I've not heard of it. Can you possibly post some links/pics? (for my interest only and perhaps for future reference?) :D

Chances are that they won't try to escape. Usually for first time's out I'll make sure the door to the room is closed, and sit down and hold them on my lap - petting stroking etc but encouraging them to stay put. When you're fairly certain they won't bolt, just let them free to explore. It may take them a while to get over the nervousness of such free time, but soon they'll run all over your bed. If you're lucky, they won't discover that mystical world that is known as The Floor. o_O

New rats tend to be very cautious bout anything that's not what they're used to (it's instinct in rats - or wild ones - to avoid eating what they don't know, until they are certain it's safe). So introducing them to different food is good - even if you don't see them eating it, it will get them used to having treats. Be careful with the tuna though - plenty of salt if you get it in brine.

Porridge is good (in responsible quantities). I go to Sainsburys and get a baby porridge with peach in, then mix it with water (I think it's actually meant to be mixed with water) or soy milk - they go potty for it :D I can't think of the name of it off hand (and feel too lazy to go into the kitchen to check lol sorry, but it is a big brand name like Cow & Gate or Heinz)
 

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I would probably not introduce too many foods at once initially, so they dont get upset stomachs. They are quite tiny, so they don't need huge amounts of food, just a steady supply of a general mixer (Change from Reggie as soon as possible) and a little bit of a treat each day.

My girls are getting a treat of babyfood at the moment (fruity musli from a jar) because I am trying to medicate one of them. But they also get bits of cracker, bits of fruit and veg, bits of ham, egg, cooked and dried pasta, and very rarely a tiny bit of cheese or chocolate or a peanut.

Of course they usually steal treats, and Carrot ate a chocolate cherry liquer last week, so she is in the bad books at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for replies

My Lil girl Ratatoey - she ate the smallest nibble of tuna , she stole a petstore rat treat from my hand had a bite and stashed it , i can see tiny nibble marks in some fruit and they liked nimbling on the carrot

im going to try porridge today ... i left the fruit in there all night because they seem to eat more at night but disposed of it first thing when i was up and refilled there bowl with reggie - i got tonisilitus and a bad chest so i cant go outa nd buy any other rat food yet -

How much of a fruit or veg should i get 3 rats at once
how much porridge
whats the genreal portion size of food i should be givin my babies
so far i have cleaned the cage out daily (as there babies ) but on the weekend i want to get them a litter tray - any tips on training??
Jess x
 
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