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Hello!
I’ll be bringing home three 2 month old rats next week. I’m trying to give them the best diet I can but I’m having trouble finding information for the nutritional needs of growing rats.
I’m in the US so unfortunately a lot of the quality commercial/homemade diets are not available to me. I picked up a bag of oxbow essentials adult rat food but the protein is pretty low (their young rat food contains high amounts of alfalfa). I also currently have science selective lab blocks and mazuri blocks on hand which I use for my hamsters and mice. I always have lots of fresh vegetables/fruits available so they’ll get a good variety of that. I’m still unclear on if a seed mix should be offered alongside lab blocks or not.
So really my question is, what do you recommend I do? Mazuri is high in protein but I’m not sure if it’s ingredients are nutritionally complete. If I use oxbow adult, what should I supplement to raise the protein/how much? Should I buy a seed mix (or make one myself)?
Any input is appreciated, thanks!!
 

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At 8 weeks, you probably don't need to supplement the Oxbow Adult with extra protein but it's really easy to give them a little bit of extra egg or baked chicken every few days.

The Oxbow Young Rat and Mouse pellets do contain alfalfa meal but it's pretty low on the list of ingredients and alfalfa is not at all harmful to rats, anyway. People get really confused when they hear the word "indigestible fiber" and think that it means that it gets stuck in your digestive tract when that's not actually the case.

I feed my boys about 60-70% Oxbow and 30-40% supplemental stuff like a daily homemade dry mix and veggies several times a week. The more I read about nutrition the less confident I am in making a complete homemade diet but if a complete block makes up a substantial portion of their daily intake yet they're still getting the variety of a mix + veggies, I figure they're getting everything they need as far as nutrition and enrichment are concerned.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
At 8 weeks, you probably don't need to supplement the Oxbow Adult with extra protein but it's really easy to give them a little bit of extra egg or baked chicken every few days.

The Oxbow Young Rat and Mouse pellets do contain alfalfa meal but it's pretty low on the list of ingredients and alfalfa is not at all harmful to rats, anyway. People get really confused when they hear the word "indigestible fiber" and think that it means that it gets stuck in your digestive tract when that's not actually the case.

I feed my boys about 60-70% Oxbow and 30-40% supplemental stuff like a daily homemade dry mix and veggies several times a week. The more I read about nutrition the less confident I am in making a complete homemade diet but if a complete block makes up a substantial portion of their daily intake yet they're still getting the variety of a mix + veggies, I figure they're getting everything they need as far as nutrition and enrichment are concerned.
That’s good to know about the alfalfa, the sources I saw that mentioned it didn’t have much information as to why it’s “bad”. I think I’ll return the adult food and buy the one for young rats instead and switch back to adult once they’re a bit older. Thank you!
 
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