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Ok, so my rats diets consist or bags of rat food bought at the pet store and water. I see people who add veggies and fruits and meats and lab blocks? I don't know what lab blocks are and Ive never seen them sold in stores before.
Am I under feeding my rats or am I not giving them the nutrition they need? My girls are still young but not THAT young anymore and they kinda stopped growing and they are still small, compared to the females I'm fostering who are less them a year.
They look healthy though, nice coats, clean, ect. Is it genetics?
I still think I'm not giving them all they need food wise.
I just don't know, I'm so used to buying food, putting it in the container, and when their food bowl is running empty, I fill it back up.

:?
 

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hiya, i think your feeding them fine because a rat mix is supposed to be all the nutrients and stuff they need.
however is there certain bits your rats are leaving? it could be they are selective feeding like just eating parts they like.. i feed mine pellets to stop that (all the nutrients in one pellet).
but i also think you could add something new and interesting into their diet.. considering they are scavengers, hiding bits of fresh fruit and vegetables in their cage can give them something fun to do! plus its healthy for them just like it is us!
they like a good treat aswel... it would be like us just having out plain 3 meals a day and no treaty snacks like a chocolate bar or packet of crisps lol. introduce somthing new and see how much they love it!
im not sure what a lab block is.. i have a mineral stone in mine to keep teeth down not sure if this is the same thing? x x
 

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lab blocks are some sort of compressed rat food, that much i know. i give my girls a mix of fresh and frozen veggies (peas, corn, broccoli, cucumber, avocado, tomato, pear, carrot... just about anything but lettuce), cream cheese (plain and flavoured) nuts, banana chips, raw and cooked pasta, and "rat food" that has little nutrient blocks in the mix. i also give them yoghurt, yoggies, dried anchovies (as a treat), cooked chicken, cooked lamb... pretty much whatever i'm having they have too. so far they havent complained, haha!!
 

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crapola said:
lab blocks are some sort of compressed rat food, that much i know. i give my girls a mix of fresh and frozen veggies (peas, corn, broccoli, cucumber, avocado, tomato, pear, carrot... just about anything but lettuce), cream cheese (plain and flavoured) nuts, banana chips, raw and cooked pasta, and "rat food" that has little nutrient blocks in the mix. i also give them yoghurt, yoggies, dried anchovies (as a treat), cooked chicken, cooked lamb... pretty much whatever i'm having they have too. so far they havent complained, haha!!
i bought banana chips for my girls, mixed some in their food, but they were so good i ended up eating the entire bag :( ..... that means theres none left!!!!
 

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I'm going to have to disagree with a bunch of the posts above me, so please forgive me everyone.

First, please check out the post I made on rat diet that is a collection of everything that I've learned on these forums (I'll soon be adding a British Suebee's mix as well, as soon as I can remember the name).

xlil_leax said:
hiya, i think your feeding them fine because a rat mix is supposed to be all the nutrients and stuff they need.
Unfortunately this is just wrong! I've never heard of a single mix that you can buy in a pet store that has everything they need. Actually, most mixes are mostly corn and rats don't even really digest that, so it's just a worthless filler.

xlil_leax said:
im not sure what a lab block is.. i have a mineral stone in mine to keep teeth down not sure if this is the same thing?
I have always assumed what you call a rat pellet we would call a lab block. If that is not the case then you may not be feeding your rats the best they could be fed!

Also, mineral stones are completely unnecessary for rats, and if they are salt chews then they are even bad for them. Rats gnaw down their own teeth.

crapola said:
... just about anything but lettuce
I just wanted to mention Romaine lettuce is fine for them, and the only real problem of iceberg is it has no nutritional value. Everything else you've said sounds great (Though of course never give too much cream cheese. Actually we're not entirely sure about dairy with rats anyway)

rat_ratscal said:
i bought banana chips for my girls
With banana chips you have to be careful. Most that you buy in stores is fried (Just check how much fat the banana chips have, obviously bananas shouldn't have fat). I actually ended up buying a dehydrator and dehydrate my own bananas, but you can also get some freeze dried ones that will last a lot longer from Just Tomatoes.

Fried are probably ok as an occasional treat.

So back to it Hippy, it's always good to throw in some fruit and vegetables! They love them!
 

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if you're going to buy a bag mix, use Vitakraft Rat Menu (it may not be available where you are though, and there may be better foods where you are)...it doesn't have alfalfa or corn kernels (like most bag foods) but always feed them "extras" so they get a good variety!

lab blocks are a good idea - try giving them a mix of lab blocks and bag mix to be sure they get all the nutrients they need
 

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yea wel im a new ratty owner so im learning along the way aswel just tryin to help out.
my rats seem to enjoy there mineral stone and it is recomended to me.
the rat food does contain a lot of vitimins because essentially hippy's rats would be ill.
im just saying a bit of fresh fruit and veg wouldnt be bad.
cj.. i know your very experienced but i think some things you tell me that are bad for my rats and i shouldnt do, i have been recomended by others and they are very healthy. x x
 

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xlil_leax said:
yea wel im a new ratty owner so im learning along the way aswel just tryin to help out.
It's nice of you to try and help, but if you don't know what your are talking about it isn't much help

xlil_leax said:
my rats seem to enjoy there mineral stone and it is recomended to me.
Who recommended it? A lot of people in pet stores dont know a thing about rats, they assume rats are a hamster/gerbil/rabbit combo and advise people as such. If a rat gets the proper nutrition from its diet there is no use for a mineral stone. If they are getting to much of a certain mineral it can be as bad for them as it would be for a human. Rats do not need something to chew to keep their teeth down, they can brux (grind their teeth) to keep them down. The only time a rat should have trouble with its teeth is if they are misaligned.

xlil_leax said:
the rat food does contain a lot of vitamins because essentially hippy's rats would be ill.
not all deficiencies related problems show up immediately

xlil_leax said:
im just saying a bit of fresh fruit and veg wouldnt be bad.
no one said they were, fresh and frozen foods are very good, and in some cases enriching (try giving your rats a frozen strawberry sometime, its funny)

xlil_leax said:
cj.. i know your very experienced but i think some things you tell me that are bad for my rats and i shouldnt do, i have been recomended by others and they are very healthy. x x
How long have you had rats? How long have you researched what they need? How much of your information came from a person who knows nothing about rats?

Based on your 'first rat' post you've had your rats less than a week. How do you know they are healthy? Quarantine period is three weeks for a reason, it can take that long for an illness to show up. Issues from poor diets can take even longer to appear
 

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yea know what ya saying.
my rat bruxs when i hold him and he falls asleep when i tickle him behind his ears. so cute.
they mostly use their mineral stone to climb on and try move it round the cage anyway which is a laugh.
no it was my friend who had a few rats and has got some now who said her rats enjoy a mineral stone and they like to keep their teeth down so would help. they lived to about 2 and a half!
suppose im just using everyones information and im continuing feeding them what they were originaly on unless i gradualy introduce something new.
i researched rats quite a bit before i got them. some people i suppose are absessed with rats more than others! sorry x
 

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I've been trying very hard not to tell you what to do but rather suggest what I think you should do. I can not force you to raise your rats in any way, but as a new rat owner I thought you would appreciate the advice of someone who has made quite a few rat mistakes himself in his day.

I had to pipe in here, however, when you passed on what many, many of us would consider incorrect information. There are honestly no commercial rat mixes that I could recommend to anyone.

The fact of the matter is you can feed your rats absolute junk and they will look healthy for the rest of their life. There are people who can eat fast food every day and never show it. But it doesn't mean they are getting a nutritional meal. There are only a couple of lab blocks that any of us would recommend as a sole diet if a person did not want to make Suebee's.

I hate to tell you this but I think your friend is mistaken about rats.

I would like to know specifically what I said that you think will harm your rats? I would gladly explain why I believe any of my advice should be followed.
 

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I would like to know specifically what I said that you think will harm your rats? I would gladly explain why I believe any of my advice should be followed.
the way she wrote it was hard to read, but i think she means "you (cj) said this was bad for my rats, but someone else said it is okay"

not that what you told her was bad for your rats

maybe...again it is hard to read
 

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xlil_leax said:
some people i suppose are absessed with rats more than others! sorry x
Im confused by this statement, we're obsessed with our rats because we want them to be healthy?
 

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Oh I do believe you are right BlueSkyy! It took a couple more readings, but now I see it.

Unfortunately xlil_leax, many people who think they know rats (Even people who have had rats for years) do not know as much as they think. I also do not claim to be an expert, but I do give the same advice that many people that I do consider experts will give here. I'm just trying to help you give your rats the best life they can have.
 

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noo your not obssesed with your rats because you want them to be healthy, of course i want mine to be healthy.
i just meant your all very knowlegable about rats and have had them some of you all your lives.
ive only just started so im bound to get some things wrong and i appreciate people telling me what im doing wrong.. i was just telling hippy that fresh fruit and vegetables are fine to give them because i know that for a fact (yes you have to be careful of some i know).

and cj you didnt tell me i was doing anything wrong you just sort of said you didnt know if carefresh bedding was suitable for my rats because you lived in the US or not in England where im from.. and i just meant that i know im doing that right from other people and sites saying care fresh was ok! and i needed to check the cage was big enough when i already had! stuff like that lol thanks for your advice though i do appreciate it. im not good when it comes to people telling me im in the wrong. ill listen next time hehe x
 

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Oh, well I apologize, because I wasn't clear enough on a few things.

We have Carefresh here in the US too, and actually I do believe it's ok to use as long as it isn't too dusty. As I don't use it, though, I didn't want to say anything about it because I would only be giving you guesses that could end up being wrong.

Also, I wasn't telling you that you needed to check about your cage. You said it was large so I believed you. I was just letting you know where to find a rat calculator in case you needed in the future (In case you were considering getting more rats). I'm sorry you thought I was implying your cage was too small.

So sorry about being misleading there!
 

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The internet is so hard... communication really isn't the same without body language and tone of voice. :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok, when I came on and saw so many replies to MY question, I thought a lot of people had a lot to say TO ME, about MY situation and it turns out you guys kinda hogged my post away and stuff.

Instead of criticizing peoples replies, can you just tell ME that the rat food from pet stores is not that good and recommend something? I don't have a lot of time to make my own mix so is there some rattie person out there that makes and sells a good rat food mix?

Ok, and yeah.
 

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Hippy, would you rather I'd left information generally believed to be incorrect in this post alone? I don't understand. If you posted "What is 2 + 2?" and someone replied "5," wouldn't you want someone else to come along and say "No, I disagree, it's 4."

And more importantly, someone needs to say something because that's how misinformation spreads. You aren't the only one that reads your post. We all learn from all of the posts, and so once again I didn't want some new person to come by and get incorrect information from this post.

You were given the answer to your question, but I will repeat it. I do not believe there is any commercially available rat mix that will be nutritionally complete for your rats. Suebee's mix is the best way to go. It takes no time at all to make, and you end up making a huge batch that lasts a long long time. Just supplement with some fresh fruits and vegetables and your rats will be good to go.

I did a quick search and I do not believe anyone sells pre-made Suebee's, but like I said it would be cheaper to buy it yourself and very quick to make.
 

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I use the recommended amounts in the Suebee's directions and each time I make a batch it costs about $15 and lasts about 3 months. I take out a little bit at a time and leave the rest in the freezer to stay fresh. It takes about 10 mins to make a batch.

Also, I recommend feeding 1/2 Suebee's and 1/2 High quality lite adult dog food (like Nutro Natural Choice) and fruit and veggies a couple times a week.
 
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