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Discussion Starter #1
I made a simple forage box for one of our ratty groups. We used coconut fiber soil used for terrariums, and "kitty grass" seeds which is I think a mixture of wheat grass and maybe a couple other grasses. We let this grow until it's about 6-8 inches high, and then gave it to the rats tonight after sprinkling in treats like oxbow kibbles, some sunflower seeds, and dried fruit pieces.

One of the girls now is having fun digging up into the soil, and I think she's nibbling on the roots and seeds? She's also getting the soil all over her nose and face and paws. I just wanted to make sure it was safe. I don't have a bad feeling about it, but I'll take it out soon. But I just thought I'd ask to make sure we shouldn't worry if she gets too messy in the dirt and roots.
 

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Sorry I have no answer, but am curious to the replies since I take my rats outside when it is warm, remove the base of their cage, put top on groud and let them dig in grass and soil. If you're using coco peat, at least this is somewhat sterile, unlike the soil in my backyard.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, everyone is still alive and not snuffly or sick acting this morning, so I assume all was well! They definitely had fun demolishing the dig box. Mochi especially, she ripped up half the grass haha.
 

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I used exactly that same coconut fibre soil and wheatgrass, and the ratties loved it. I'm sure all will be well.
 

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I sterilized my own soil. Took about 8 hours and made my kitchen stink to high heaven;burnt dirt, yum. But after it was finished and the cat grass had sprouted mine had a blast at ripping up the roots and flinging dirt all over my carpet.
 

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Anyone know if the reptile peat moss is ok for rats too? I'd like to make some dig boxes with different textures, so I was thinking the coconut soil, moss and maybe assorted beans? They've already got a "ball pit" which they adore. I typically sterilize the moss for my reptiles before using it and would do the same for my rats if no one thinks it's a bad idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I wouldn't use the beans since (I think) uncooked beans have some level of toxicity to them, and it might be even more dangerous for a little ratty. Plus if they get damp, they may start to spoil or rot. You can use small pebbles for similar effect probably? I'm not sure about peat moss safety. I assume as long as it's clean and not used with any chemicals when it was packaged and made, it would be ok? Especially since some reptiles and amphibians are so sensitive and absorb things in their environment through their skin. I kind of went with the thought that if it was safe for an amphibian, it would likely be safe for a ratty.
 

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(Passing on for another member, Finnebon your inbox is now full)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
(Thank you, I just saw and corrected that :) )
 

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Good point finnebon; I asked because I saw it used somewhere for ferrets and wondered. Perhaps dried peas? There are dried peas in the assorted seed mix that I scatter around my office for them but they don't seem to eat them much, but would probably make a decently textured dig box.
 
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