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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so as some of you know I recently got my first rat. I did my research beforehand and found Suebee's mix; I wasn't aware at the time that it was one of the favourite diets for veteran rat lovers, but it appealed to me because it was so easy to put together.

When I bought Rocket from the pet store, they were feeding him Extrusion Hamster Food by Hagen/Living World. When I asked about purchasing rat food (hoping for lab blocks) that's what they gave me.

Main ingredients include; Corn, wheat, soybean,
dried alfalfa, dried beet pulp
The alfalfa and the corn worried me so I started putting together Suebee's mix. However, I've not been able to find everything on the list (yet). Is that okay? Right now I've got:

1/2 to 1 lb rolled oats
1/2 lb dry pasta (he rarely touches these)
1/4 lb muesli

I can't seem to find sugar free puffed wheat and rice, soy nuts/beans, or unsalted sunflower seeds in small quantities. I'm starting to get frustrated, but I'll keep looking.

Also, I could not for the life of me find a dog kibble with less than 18% protein. It seems grocery stores and department stores around here don't sell senior or lite versions.. Useless. So I gave him a tiny bit of my dog's 21% kibble, just to hold him over. I knew he was probably not getting nearly enough protein from the hamster food, so I thought it was a smart thing to do. Was it?

I finally got to the feed store today and found Nutro Natural Choice Lite. I'm so ecstatic. At least that's -one- thing I could find. So no more worries about the high protein stuff.

I'm weaning him off the hamster crap, although he still seems to favour that stuff.

I guess what I'm looking for is just approval (or disapproval, whichever) and some tips. I want to be sure I'm doing this right and am not giving him too much or not enough.

If I can't find something on the list, is that a big problem?
If so, is there something I can use to substitute it?
Did I read something about sunflower seeds being bad?
And exactly how much am I supposed to be feeding this guy? He's pretty small, I've been filling his dish (hamster dish) up about 1/3 of the way (with 1/2 grain mix, 1/4 kibble and 1/4 hamster stuff). I'm scared of feeding him too much or too little.

Aaaand now you know I'm both paranoid and long-winded.. *lol*
 

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Zhuria said:
Okay, so as some of you know I recently got my first rat. I did my research beforehand and found Suebee's mix; I wasn't aware at the time that it was one of the favourite diets for veteran rat lovers, but it appealed to me because it was so easy to put together.

When I bought Rocket from the pet store, they were feeding him Extrusion Hamster Food by Hagen/Living World. When I asked about purchasing rat food (hoping for lab blocks) that's what they gave me.

Main ingredients include; Corn, wheat, soybean,
dried alfalfa, dried beet pulp
The alfalfa and the corn worried me so I started putting together Suebee's mix. However, I've not been able to find everything on the list (yet). Is that okay? Right now I've got:

1/2 to 1 lb rolled oats
1/2 lb dry pasta (he rarely touches these)
1/4 lb muesli

I can't seem to find sugar free puffed wheat and rice, soy nuts/beans, or unsalted sunflower seeds in small quantities. I'm starting to get frustrated, but I'll keep looking.

Also, I could not for the life of me find a dog kibble with less than 18% protein. It seems grocery stores and department stores around here don't sell senior or lite versions.. Useless. So I gave him a tiny bit of my dog's 21% kibble, just to hold him over. I knew he was probably not getting nearly enough protein from the hamster food, so I thought it was a smart thing to do. Was it?

I finally got to the feed store today and found Nutro Natural Choice Lite. I'm so ecstatic. At least that's -one- thing I could find. So no more worries about the high protein stuff.

I'm weaning him off the hamster crap, although he still seems to favour that stuff.

I guess what I'm looking for is just approval (or disapproval, whichever) and some tips. I want to be sure I'm doing this right and am not giving him too much or not enough.

If I can't find something on the list, is that a big problem?
If so, is there something I can use to substitute it?
Did I read something about sunflower seeds being bad?
And exactly how much am I supposed to be feeding this guy? He's pretty small, I've been filling his dish (hamster dish) up about 1/3 of the way (with 1/2 grain mix, 1/4 kibble and 1/4 hamster stuff). I'm scared of feeding him too much or too little.

Aaaand now you know I'm both paranoid and long-winded.. *lol*

First of all you'll want to go back and get him a male friend. If it hasn't been that long and you get the rat from the same store you can pass up quarantining. If it's been a while and there's likely new rats brought into the store you'll want to quarantine the new rat. Even better than supporting pet stores though would be to either get the other rat from a reputable breeder or a rescue. In this case you'd still have to quarantine.

You do not need the muesli if you are able to find and use rolled oats. You may need to check out some health food stores in order to find some ingredients. One of the other more important ingredients (other than the staple dog food) is the Total Cereal. It's providing many of the vitamins and minerals in the diet and you'll definitely want to find that. People who cannot find it will usually need to use a children's vitamin/mineral tablet in the diet.

Nutro Lite isn't too bad but if you look in pet stores you might find Natural Balance Reduced Calorie Formula or Wellness Weight Management Super5Mix which are higher quality foods. You won't find high quality pet foods in grocery stores.

Sunflower seeds are not bad so much as high in fat and protein and best in moderation. You don't want it to be a large part of the diet. A few in the mix or as an occasional treat would be just fine.

A lot of people will freefeed rats as much as they want since their metabolism is so high. This is not to say that weight problems aren't seen. If he's still young it's probably not a problem and for now at least you can probably freefeed him without issues. Rats can be piggies!

Always remember to feed a good array of fresh foods (fruits and veggies) with any diet as these too add a variety of vitamins and minerals and such to a diet. Here's some suggestions on fresh foods at my website: http://www.petinfopackets.com/rats/ratfeeding.html#fresh
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply!

I do plan to go back and get a second male as soon as I am able. The nearest breeder is 3 hours away so not really an option right now.

The only reason I opted to put the muesli in was because of the dried fruit in it. I can't seem to find any dried fruit that's not in some sort of mix so I went with that. I hadn't thought of checking a health food store! I'll do that next time I'm in town :)

I cannot get Total in Canada; how many vitamin tablets would I need to put in what amount of food?

I'll keep my eyes open for the other brands of dog food, but the Nutro will have to do for now.

Freefeeding is something I hadn't even though of. Thanks for that tip. I'll do that and keep an eye on his tummy size ;p

And he is getting fresh fruits/veggies, no worries there :)
 

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Zhuria said:
Thank you for your reply!

I do plan to go back and get a second male as soon as I am able. The nearest breeder is 3 hours away so not really an option right now.

The only reason I opted to put the muesli in was because of the dried fruit in it. I can't seem to find any dried fruit that's not in some sort of mix so I went with that. I hadn't thought of checking a health food store! I'll do that next time I'm in town :)

I cannot get Total in Canada; how many vitamin tablets would I need to put in what amount of food?

I'll keep my eyes open for the other brands of dog food, but the Nutro will have to do for now.

Freefeeding is something I hadn't even though of. Thanks for that tip. I'll do that and keep an eye on his tummy size ;p

And he is getting fresh fruits/veggies, no worries there :)

You're very welcome!

The dried fruit isn't a hugely necessary part of the diet so I wouldn't be too concerned on it. A lot of people don't even bother with it especially since it can be a little high in sugar.

As far as supplementing children's vitamins in place of Total there was just a post on this so I'll just direct you there: http://www.ratforum.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=4480.html
 

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as for the dried fruits without any added sugar & the nuts with no added salt you can check these pet stores that have various foods in bins where you by it by the pound. If they sell birds they most likely have these products. Also the whole foods or health food stores that promote natural foods will have these items. They tend to be a bit more costly than the same stuff found in the bins at a pet store but you gotta do what you gotta do until you find the economical suppliers.

I have found a great fruit mix sold for parrots & sunflower seeds in 3 different sizes.

Avoid the parrot mix that has the dried hot peppers in it

The Harlan Teklad Lab Block (2014, 2016, 2018) is often the highly recommended lab block but sadly it is also the most difficult to find. Mazuri 6F is another that is often recommended & at least it is easier to locate since their website provides you with a dealer locater. A few people have had a little trouble with using this since their website is a bit busy but it will give you all the contact info for people who sell this in your area. Hopefully you have a shop near you that sells it in bulk or you will need to find a few friends to split a 50 pound bag with.
 

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A1APassion said:
as for the dried fruits without any added sugar & the nuts with no added salt you can check these pet stores that have various foods in bins where you by it by the pound. If they sell birds they most likely have these products. Also the whole foods or health food stores that promote natural foods will have these items. They tend to be a bit more costly than the same stuff found in the bins at a pet store but you gotta do what you gotta do until you find the economical suppliers.

I have found a great fruit mix sold for parrots & sunflower seeds in 3 different sizes.

Avoid the parrot mix that has the dried hot peppers in it

The Harlan Teklad Lab Block (2014, 2016, 2018) is often the highly recommended lab block but sadly it is also the most difficult to find. Mazuri 6F is another that is often recommended & at least it is easier to locate since their website provides you with a dealer locater. A few people have had a little trouble with using this since their website is a bit busy but it will give you all the contact info for people who sell this in your area. Hopefully you have a shop near you that sells it in bulk or you will need to find a few friends to split a 50 pound bag with.


The use of Harlan Teklad 2014 in the place of the dog food as the staple in Suebee's mix is very much acceptable if you can get your hands on it (there are a few places online where you can order it). Unlike the dog food it's nutritionally complete for rats since it's a rat lab block so you could conceivably exclude the Total Cereal if you're using the block. I personally would never recommend Mazuri's rodent/rat lab blocks however because I find the ingredients very subpar.

You can find more information on available rat diets at the diet page of my website: http://www.petinfopackets.com/rats/ratfeeding.html
 

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Mazuri is the second choice (after Harlan) suggested on Rat Guide so I doubt they would list it there if it was sub par

could you please share what it is that is no good

thanks

(just curious)

edited to add: your site does not list the Mazuri product I mentioned. The 6F is only 16% protein. There are several formulas so maybe you have one listed other than the 6F

nice information overall, NICE SITE! ... heading back to look some more

I know there was a letter released recently that a rat owner received when he wrote in inquiring about proteins & such. It seems that the makers of Harlan are researching an even lower protein percentage taking it down to single digits.

There have not been enough long term studies done at this time to confirm nor deny our big question... What is best for us to feed our pets? Heck, professionals can't even decide what is best for humans to eat.

All we can do is try to do our best but sure enough our bests often measure to someone else's worse. Just depends on who you ask or where you ask & who's around to answer.
 

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A1APassion said:
Mazuri is the second choice (after Harlan) suggested on Rat Guide so I doubt they would list it there if it was sub par

could you please share what it is that is no good

thanks

(just curious)

edited to add: your site does not list the Mazuri product I mentioned. The 6F is only 16% protein. There are several formulas so maybe you have one listed other than the 6F

nice information overall, NICE SITE! ... heading back to look some more

I know there was a letter released recently that a rat owner received when he wrote in inquiring about proteins & such. It seems that the makers of Harlan are researching an even lower protein percentage taking it down to single digits.

There have not been enough long term studies done at this time to confirm nor deny our big question... What is best for us to feed our pets? Heck, professionals can't even decide what is best for humans to eat.

All we can do is try to do our best but sure enough our bests often measure to someone else's worse. Just depends on who you ask or where you ask & who's around to answer.

I list the Mazuri rat and mouse food found in Petsmart which is far too high in protein but underneath I do mention that there are other Mazuri rat and mouse/rodent formulas not found in Petsmart that have lower protein levels. It isn't just the protein percentage that concerns me but the ingredients. Honestly, even Harlan Teklad's ingredients are pretty subpar.

Harlan Teklad has a lot of dried corn in it and generally fairly low quality ingredients. It is, however, still nutritionally complete and the best lab block you will find.

Mazuri I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. I explain my reasoning on my website if you'd have a look at the Mazuri write up there. Hope that helps.

And thank you for the website compliment :3
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Again, thank you for the tips!

I found the Quaker puffed wheat and rice today and am adding it to my mix. Rocket seems to really like the wheat! He gets excited every time I give him something new to eat, hehe!

I will keep looking for the other ingredients. My next stop is the health food store. Unfortunately I don't have a pet store with bulk bins, but I sure wish I did *lol*

I found a dried vegetables mix that I thought I could add, but I wanted your opinion first to see if it's okay.

Ingredients: yellow split peas, green split peas, pot barley, rice, alphabet pasta (semolina, ferrous sulphate, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), baby lima beans, red split lentils.
Fat: 1%; Sodium: 10 mg; Fibre: 13 g/52%; Sugars: 4g; Protein: 15 g; Vitamin C: 2%; Calcium: 2%; Iron: 20%
What do you guys think? Good idea or bad? *lol*
 

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If you check the health section of your grocery store you might have some better luck finding ingredients, usually in bulk.
 

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As for dryed fruit, baby food section.
 
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