Rat Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure this is the right place but I have 2 questions.

1. My neighbor who has 3 rats say's you're supposed to grab the rat by the scruff of the neck for some reason, but when she did it to my little girl Sweetpea, well she screamed.I will never allow this again but is it really supposed to be ok to do to them?

2. We have frequent disagreements on feeding rats. She says I don't feed Sweetpea right so i'd prefer a broader scope of oppinions.

I feed sweetpea:
guinea pig feed which i've looked has essentially the same things as the rat food.
Salad everyday. either human salad which comes in the bags(iceburg lettuce, carrots and purple cabbage), or dragon salad which is a blend I make for my bearded dragons usually consisting of kale, collard greens, carrots and cucumbers.
Treats every 3 or 4 days and once in awhile human food, pizza, spagetti, turkey lunch meat.

She feeds her 3:
Cooked oatmeal every day.
Canned cat food when she can afford a can.
Baby food when she can afford it.
Rat food or dove bird food.

Sweetpea is slender around her face but has a small rump where as my neighbors rat's are all quite chubby.
My question is, who is feeding a better diet.

Also Sweetpea is sister to 1 of the neighbors boys but shes 1\3 his weight. She is constantly running when she's out while Wolfy is rather lazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
722 Posts
I've never heard about picking them up by the scruff... but I would assume that it's not a good idea if your girl squeaks when you do it.

As far as diet goes, I would recommend looking at the sticky about diet in the rat health section of this forum.

Also, do you have another rat besides Sweetpea?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, I don't, she's always been a single rat and I'd prefer not to over encumber my finances right now trying to have yet another animal. I already have 1 rat, 1 ball python, 4 bearded dragons, 3 anoles, 4 ortamental babboon tarantulas, 4 scorpions(1 is pregnant). More is not an option at the moment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
Scruffing a rat I wouldn't think ought to be done only to correct an issue with their behavior. Otherwise they ought to be picked up with two hands so they feel secure.

Definitely read the diet sticky. Treats occasionally are fine, but they shouldn't compose the majority of a diet. Gerbil food isn't appropriate, neither is dove food, and the suitability of rat food depends on what's in it. (blocks are often much better than mixes, alfalfa is bad, etc). Cat food is very high in protein and really shouldn't be a daily or semi-daily part of a diet. Baby food... that depends which kind.

If your neighbor has boys and you have girls (do you have more than one? Rats do best in same-sex pairs/groups or mixed group where at least one gender is fixed ETA: ah, I see, I was typing as you responded.) then that explains the size difference. Males are much bigger than females and they also tend to be much lazier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just worry about her boys because they jiggle when they walk. Sweetpea tho is slim but not skinny just has a cute lil booty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
Boys can be chubby. But if they've got fat rolls, they're too fat. However, I can't judge that only by your description. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
1: You aren't "supposed" to do this, no. It can be done I suppose but I don't see a reason for it.

2. Honestly, neither of you are feeding them right. Guinea pig food is not nutritionally adequate for rats (though you're doing a good job on giving them lots of fresh foods). Cat food is way too high in protein and shouldn't be given to rats who aren't pregnant or nursing. Dove food is... for doves. Rat food is "okay" but most pet store rat food is pretty crappy too. I recommend checking the diet sticky in the Rat Health section.

I hope that once you are financially stable you will get Sweetpea a friend as it really isn't fair to keep rats alone.

It's normal for female rats to be smaller than the males and it is also normal for them to be more active. It sounds like your neighbors rats are rather overweight, likely because of the fact that she feeds them things that are way too high in protein and fat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I would be really worried about regularly scruffing a rat. It puts a lot of pressure on the spine, and will probably eventually damage it. I work with cats a lot (in my last town was a major volunteer at a shelter with over 400 of them running around free) and always will put my hand under the butt when I scruff them. With cats you should always support the butt; it takes the pressure off the spine, and is a safe way to keep all the pointy bits facing harmlessly the other way. I would assume it would be the same with a rat (other than I don't think it would keep the pointy bits away on a mad rat, but I have no experience with that).

Pink
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
In one of my animal science course, we spent a lab period learning about lab animals and the proper handling and management techniques used with them. I think she may be confused about the scruffing. We were taught to pick them up with two hands. Scruffing is used as a restraint techniques when the rat is sitting on a solid surface (your hand, a table etc).

While I don't really know how nutritionally complete your rat's diet is, it sounds as though it is a far superior diet to hers. The only consistent part of her diet is the oatmeal, which is not nutritionally complete.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
well, ok....i never scruffed them unless i needed to....like if they did something bad, or if i was trying to see something on the under side of them....i only did it to sweet pea to see if she would tolerate it....which she doesnt and i havent done it since. i was feeding them baby oatmeal (the barley kind or the with bananas kind) for breakfast for like a week in a row cuz it was cold. i only fed one canned cat food because he had a teeth issue. i was feeding them kibble too, and then ran out, so for a few days i was feeding them the birds food. i was working on getting them to a healthier diet. i was being a know-it-all and needed taken down a few pegs, so my friend started this thread. i appriciate it, because im trying to stop being like the people in my past were to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
I see no reason to pick up a rat by the scruff of the neck, doesnt seem too friendly to me.
Ive always picked mine up by placing my hand over the shoulders placing thumb and forfinger slightly under the armpit and gently lifting.. never had any probs or ratty objections, the other hand placed snuggly under the bum for bigger ratties is helpful.

Feeding guinea pig food i would not think is a good diet as it contains large amounts of vitamin c as g pigs need extra high doses, and also, well its for g/pigs not rats.

The fresh foods you ar giving all look fine and scrummy.
Try chucking in a whole large raw corn on the cob for them once a week, mine love it.

Chicken, spagetti, boiled rice, little tuna or tinned sardines, the odd nibble of cheese, fresh tomato [not for the boys tho, something to do with acidity, [someone help me out on that one???]] grapes, peas, apple, water cress and a spoon or two of yogurt [any flavor] are all very appreciated.

The odd peice of pizza, not exactly good for rats but not like we all dont do it!.lol.. mine love a sneaky peice but that only like once every 3 weeks or so.

Mine have the fresh stuff and reggie rat mix as well as a large bonio dog biscuit to gnaw on for teeth.

What ever you give.. just remember the salt and sugar content, very little of both is a must. processed foods like luncheon meat, pizzas, gravy, sauces etc contain high amounts of both and are bad bad bad for the ratties.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top