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Hi all. I'm new to the forum but not new to owning rats. I have owned both male and females in the past but had a break for a few years and now I'm ready to own more.

I'm hopefully going to get 2 females soon and am really stoked. Even in the few years break I'm wondering if anything has changed? Knowledge changes so hopefully you guys won't mind answering a few questions and putting my mind at rest.

• I have got some science selective pellets to feed them. I fed this to my previous rats. Is this still considered an ok food?

• I've noticed a lot of people use wheels for their rats. Is this something that is encouraged? I have an 11 inch wheel which was used for my hamster. Would this be ok for young rats? What wheel size is recommended?

• the cage I have is suitable for 4 rats according to several rat cage calculators and my own calculations. I don't know where I got it from or what it's called as it's been so long.

• for substrate I'm using paper. Carefresh and breeders select paper pellets to be precise. Will probably use fitch too.

• I have a scramble net, hammocks, garland chews and hanging chews, litter boxes, bottles, bowls.

• for digging box would sand or Coco coir be better. I currently have sand for my hamsters but if that's not safe I won't add it
 

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I can answer your question about the wheel, most rats that I've had and that I've head of don't use wheels. However some do, you can try it with your rats and if you like it, you can keep it. The best thing to do though is to get a really big wheel, they say 15 inches for a big sized rat. It's not the biggest concern though. as long as you give your rats enough exercise outside of the cage and enrichment inside you won't even have to think about it.
 

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I can answer your question about the wheel, most rats that I've had and that I've head of don't use wheels. However some do, you can try it with your rats and if you like it, you can keep it. The best thing to do though is to get a really big wheel, they say 15 inches for a big sized rat. It's not the biggest concern though. as long as you give your rats enough exercise outside of the cage and enrichment inside you won't even have to think about it.
My last 2 were boys and the one was HUGE. His total length was 2 1/2 ft long he'd fill my sleeve. Before that I had 3 girls who I rescued and we're getting on in years. Wheels were discouraged hence why I asked. Would an 11" wheel be ok for young rats under 6 months?

How can you tell if the wheel is too small? With hamsters it's quite easy as it's just a case of if their back is arched or not. But how would I do it with something that has a tail?
 

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Yes, that's the big debate about wheels, wheel tail is where the tail curls, some say it's painful or harmful others say it's fine. I hear an 11 inch is fine for small rats, and if your rats like using the wheel you can eventually get a bigger one if they grow any more.
 

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Yes, that's the big debate about wheels, wheel tail is where the tail curls, some say it's painful or harmful others say it's fine. I hear an 11 inch is fine for small rats, and if your rats like using the wheel you can eventually get a bigger one if they grow any more.
Ah ok. Thanks
 
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