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Hey everyone! I am trying to get some ideas for new foraging boxes and what to put in them. I have a routine now of what I do and I just wanted to see if I could make it better. I start with the coconut fiber bedding then I mix crickets, grasshoppers and mealworms. I also put in some national geographic rat and mouse forage mix and national geographic trail mix. (Is that even "good" for him?) I put in some random cheap seed fruit mix I find at petstores as well. I guess I just want new ideas to help keep him excited about life and foraging. Does anyone use and enclosed foraging box? Pictures would be a plus! Thanks
 

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The national geographic forage mix has several questionable ingredients in it, such as timothy hay and alfalfa. You could buy some cool grain/seed/fruit/veggies to add to your forage box from places like nut.com or even if you see a bag of grains or seeds in stores like Walmart for cheaper than that forage mix. Also, freeze dried fruits and vegetables are usually a hit. Unsalted nuts are awesome too. I bought a thing of unsalted mixed nuts from Costco that my rats love getting as treats. I'd just be really careful with any store bought seed/grain mixes meant for small pets as they tend to have things that aren't really good for rats. That's why I make my own now.

Oh, also, you could try getting oat or millet sprays. I bought an oat spray small pet treat and millet spray for birds from Petco. Not really very high quality, but still kinda a cool thing for the rats to play with and eat. I imagine that would be fun to find in a forage box.

I wanna get a forage box for my rats now! I'll look for coconut fiber bedding next time I'm out. I imagine Pooka would just try to sleep in it, though. XD
 

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Thank you! I am sooo uncreative. I lack a lot of knowledge with what rats should eat. Mostly because I just let them run around so it figure they are eating whatever they find anyway. Haha. So this is good to know. I'll get some mullet/oat spray next time I go to the petstore. The coconut fiber is normally in the reptile section I believe. :D
 

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I believe timothy and alfalfa are fine in small amounts. You just don't want them eating too much of it since they can't digest it (in other words they don't get anything nutritious from it). But I'd assume it would be about like us taking metamucil fiber to keep things moving normally if you give them some in small amounts.
 

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Modt rats don't really eat Hay or if they do is a quick nibble. It makes excellent forage material though as well as a nice bedding occasionally. You may don't want it in thete food as it means that the nutritional balance is off without it and as rats can't really digest it it can cause issues.

If a rat ate a lot it could cause diahorria but a rat would have to be very odd to do that especially during free range or when there's food available.

I'd recommend trying different fillings for your box. alternate it from time. coco fiber bedding is good but so is Hay, aspen, hemp bedding, sand / compost mix, shredded paper etc.

i have used open boxes and ones with a lid on it. i prefer lidded as when they dig it doesn't go everywhere. Mine get there normal mix in their digging box but believe they are starved so are very happy to find it lol
 

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Yeah, the problem with timothy hay and alfalfa in the national geographic food is that it's in pellet form. I used to buy the gerbil version of that food for my gerbils. The pellets are really just annoying and useless. Even my gerbils didn't touch them as far as I could see, which threw off my carefully measured amounts of feeding. I'd also give my rats a taste of same of the gerbils' food since it had lots of cool things in it, but I tried to avoid letting them get a hold of those pellets. They wanted to chew on them but I'd read rats can't digest alfalfa so I was afraid of what it would do to their digestion.

Pumpkin seeds might be a fun thing to throw in the forage box, if you can find some unsalted ones still in their shell. :) Not too many, of course, since seeds are a bit on the fatty side, but not only will rats enjoy finding them, but cracking them open is half the fun. ^_^ I also buy mixed nuts still in their shells to give as treats.
 

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The dust bath houses for chins work awesome! The plastic ones can be washed with vinegar to be reused. And it keeps it contained. Or they have fun taking it where they want it.
 
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