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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone , I been lurking around here for about a week before I joined . I owned 2 male ratties roughly 20 years ago , that I bought for my children . Back then they didn't have special kind of food . At least not that I seen , I bought a box mix of seeds & pellets with cracked corn . Which I'm sure were alfalfa , cause they were green in color . My ratties lived healthy long lives , except a couple small fatty tumors .
Anyways I have recently gotten myself 2 fancy females roughly 6 weeks of age .
Names are Mz . Pepe & La Pew :)
Every store in my area that sells small rodent , rat mix has alfalfa in them . I've talked to people that have had ratties or have them ,said "They always feed theirs that mix too".
I'm just confused is this something new or am I not understanding what's meant by alfalfa ?
Confused in a small town :(
 

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I am pretty convinced that rats can not digest alfalfa, so maybe the pellets are not designed for rats but for other rodents in general. I can not give you advice about brands because I live in Argentina but I've read around that there some brands that you can buy in bulk online at a fairly reasonable price. If that's not an option (which might actually be an easy one depending on where you live), you can always resort to home made mixes which could be a little confusing at first to balance but you could make a batch of it a week and freeze it!

In the meantime, if I were you I would try to contact the the company (or person) who makes the food and make them tell me the ingredients and the nutritional facts of the food you bought. It is your right to know EXACTLY what you are feeding your ratties and, in my opinion, if they are not willing to give you that information the food is not good and you proabably shouldn't buy it!

Best of luck for you and your critters and I do hope you can figure their diet soon!
 

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Sadly most pet food sold in stores is absolute junk. it is full of cheap ingredients that are not suitable for them or atleast not in the right amounts.

What you will feed, depends on what part of the world you live in as to what you will have access to.

Alfalfa is hay and is useless to rats. It offers them nothing. It is just added to be a filler to bulk up the weight of the food so you are getting 5lb mix too bad the actual nutritional useful bits makes up less than half of that! It is one huge reason that buying "cheaper" food is not really saving you money.
I am also not a fan of mixes because of the reasons said above & because rats will often pick out what they like. Meaning they will not get a balanced diet and wasting food/money. They also are rarely any good nutritional quality.

If u r in the US...

I highly suggest feeding a lab block/kibble type diet. The three brands to look for are- oxbow, mazuri, native earth. Which one you use is personal prefrence. IMO I prefer oxbow. You can order it online. The cheapest place is here, get the 20lb bags.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=16965

They should also get some fresh veggies daily and fruits/treats in moderation!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Moonkiss thank for the link , that's a better price of what my searches have been for Oxbow . I was given a small sample bag of protein blocks when I bought them - called critter chews. I believe it was portioned out from a larger bag. So there isn't a list of ingredients . Have no clue how much protein or if it's for adults or juvies .
No worries lost_whisper I'm supplementing chicken , tuna & egg , plus veg's .w/ a small amount of fruit . Brown rice , also some tiny pieces of my sprouted grain bread :)
I'm in the US small state of Vt.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wanted to post new thread but couldn't , so I will just add to this one I started . Finally received my Oxbow , my juvie girls won't eat it . This is the forth day . I am crushing it up & mixing it in with cream of wheat or oatmeal , so they will get some nutrition . Someone on another site said to get the adult , cause juvies like it better .
I knew I would have to supplement extra protein anyway . My problem is how can I get them to eat the Oxbow without mixing it in something . Another 4-6 months like this is a bit Crazy . Plus I read you shouldn't hold back food for such young rats . Even tried rubbing the blocks with cheese . No Luck :(
Anyone have this problem or have advice - Please Help me !!
 

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Did u get adult oxbow or young adult? Alot of rats do not seem to like the young version.

With a new food I like to treat rats like little children.... they are going to be brats and stomp their feets and say they refuse to eat it. But they are not going to starve. But it also means you can't give in.

I suggest cutting out all treats and other foods. (this is just until they start eating the oxbow) You can mix a very small amount of some food in with the oxbow, nothing too yummy. Like maybe 75% oxbow/25% something else.
Then leave it in the bowl. They will eat the other stuff first but since it is in the same bowl they will go back see it is gone and have to eat the oxbow.

Also the base food (oxbow) should make up 80% of their diet pretty much. Other foods, veggies and treats only make up like 20%. I'd be careful about over feeding them extra stuff. It may lead to overweight or picky rats.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Moonkissed . I didn't see your reply until today . I roam all over on numerous rat sites . That's what I was doing wrong (too worried they would starve) stopped the cereal /grain mix . Finally over night they munched up the oxbow blocks !
As I've heard others say theirs such conflicting info. for a ( some what ) new rat owner . Makes it hard to know specific amounts to add for extra protein , due to being young & on adult blocks.
Some say 1 tea. extra of protein once a day , others say twice . Then I know you have to count veg. protein , like broccoli .
I'll watch to see if they get real itchy or fat LOL
 
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