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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sooo.... all three of my boys seem to be pretty overweight. They eat oxbow adult formula, they get fresh veggies 1-2 times a day, usually a salad in the am and peas in the evening. They also get a few (and i mean literally a few) teddy grahams throughout the day. They don't really eat much junk unless I'm introducing a new kid to them (i run a daycare out of my home). They get to free range CONSTANTLY during the day, their bottom cage door stays open so they have free roam of the house. Can someone help me out with a diet for them? Preferably one that's not too pricey and i don't have to order online (i don't like using my debit card online at all but i will if necessary for my lovies). ANY advice is more than welcome! As a matter of fact its encouraged!! !Oh, one more thing, my boys are about 6 months old. Thank you in advance for your time and help/suggestions!!!!!
 

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Do you know they are overweight (i.e., has a vet told you so?) or do you just suspect it? How much do they weigh and what are their ages? Maybe they're not as fat as you think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, a vet hasn't told me they're overweight i just suspect it. They're 6 months old. I'm not positive of their actual weight as i can't get them to hold still long enough to get an accurate reading. My sketch can't seem to climb AT ALL anymore. He tries but then gives up. These are my first ratties and i love them IMMENSELY. I suppose if i need to i can take them to the vet to check if they're actually overweight but that's a pricey bill and Christmas is so close.... they eat about 1/2 cup of oxbow a day between all three & sometimes there's still some left over the next morning. Their salad is a small handful in the morning & about 1/3 - 1/2cup (not exact) of peas at night. Their salad consists of kale, broccoli, carrots, spinach, romaine & red cabbage.
 

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They don't look overweight to me... Is Sketch the one pictured alone? If he's having trouble climbing, I highly doubt it's due to his weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
They don't look overweight to me... Is Sketch the one pictured alone? If he's having trouble climbing, I highly doubt it's due to his weight.
Sketch is the one I'm holding with his back facing up, i tried getting a picture of his belly but he was not very happy at being held like that. Twitch is the picture of the belly. Like i said, I've never had rats before and everyone here has been extremely helpful with my concerns. Maybe i just think they're overweight cuz they're literally twice the size of their parents AND littermates? All of the rats my breeder has are tiny! I'll try to get over there today to get some pics of parents and littermates.
 

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They look normal to me? Still room to grow I'd imagine, I've seen males bigger. I would stop with the teddy grams, and mix up their night "salad" more then peas every night. But really I wouldn't give them teddy grahms more then a treat once a week at most, or for special occations. An adult rat should eat about a pound a month I've heard, so if you get a 3lb bag and have three rats it should be gone in about a month. Can very some I'd imagine, if they are getting other things as well. Boys can get lazy, and I've seen a lot about how important it is to keep them moving, so he may just be not climbing as a choice? I'd say vet visit, and rearange the cage so he has to climb. Our boys cage only has one ramp that leads between levels. The rest they have to climb or jump. And you'd want to keep food at the top, so he'll have to climb up to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Their food is at the bottom but there's a rope/wood ladder that they have to climb. I've tried to put the food at top but that's where they sleep (i have a 2 story cage). I think they just feel safer sleeping up top as i have other animals tho all my animals get along amazingly! They also have a giant homemade wheel. They really love their nightly peas, what would be a good replacement? Thank you for your advice! I feel more at ease now! I love these little guys to death and just want to do right by them!
 

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Some rats are just larger than others. Males especially tend to be on the large/chunky side. I've seen some wild size differences in the rats I've had, but none were overweight: just built differently. Well, that's kinda a lie... Poor Peachy always looked overweight. She was very wide, but since she didn't eat more than anyone else, it either was a thyroid issue or she wasjust built very wide, lol. Either way, it never stopped her from climbing.

So I'm confused... Is Sketch having trouble climbing or not? If he is, something else could be wrong with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I guess i should have been a little more specific with the "climbing" thing, i apologize. My rats used to climb up my pant legs while I'm lounging around the house or doing dishes to hang out on my shoulder & investigate and twitch can still do so with quite some effort but poor sketch tries & gets about halfway up my calf and then gives up and just sits at my feet or runs around & on them until i pick him up. Stitch is my newest addition I've only had him about 2 months and he's still little independent.
 

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They look to me about the same size as my boys. Well actually they look about the size of my bigger boy who I would say is normal size for a boy and my other boy is probably on the smaller end of average. My bigger boy weighs 450 grams and he looks exactly like your picture of your boy sketch. there's a pretty wide range of average weights for boys. I wouldn't be worried yet about your boys. My bigger boy is definitely built a little bulkier and filled out and he is definitely my lazy one as well, which is typical of boys. He would never be able to climb my pant leg either i don't think and neither of my boys have tried. They just jump at my feet like a child wanting to be picked up. only my girl will climb me like a monkey. Those things are typical of lazy boys. I think you feed them a pretty healthy diet, so i wouldn't be too worried unless you see them putting on more and more weight. Honestly I am guilty of giving my rats too many treats probably and not enough veggies, although I try to use fruits and veggies instead of treats, since they don't know the difference. But since they are 6 months old, that's about when they hit their full grown size. Mine are about 8-9 months and I remember noticing how big they looked around that time and wondering if they were getting fat. It just kind of hits you one day even though you see them every day. But it's probably just the normal growth spurt they went through to reach full size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They look to me about the same size as my boys. Well actually they look about the size of my bigger boy who I would say is normal size for a boy and my other boy is probably on the smaller end of average. My bigger boy weighs 450 grams and he looks exactly like your picture of your boy sketch. there's a pretty wide range of average weights for boys. I wouldn't be worried yet about your boys. My bigger boy is definitely built a little bulkier and filled out and he is definitely my lazy one as well, which is typical of boys. He would never be able to climb my pant leg either i don't think and neither of my boys have tried. They just jump at my feet like a child wanting to be picked up. only my girl will climb me like a monkey. Those things are typical of lazy boys. I think you feed them a pretty healthy diet, so i wouldn't be too worried unless you see them putting on more and more weight. Honestly I am guilty of giving my rats too many treats probably and not enough veggies, although I try to use fruits and veggies instead of treats, since they don't know the difference. But since they are 6 months old, that's about when they hit their full grown size. Mine are about 8-9 months and I remember noticing how big they looked around that time and wondering if they were getting fat. It just kind of hits you one day even though you see them every day. But it's probably just the normal growth spurt they went through to reach full size.
Wow, thank you so much! Thank you all for your help! I was panicking a little lol. I'm thinking of adding a jumbo dumbo in the next few months when my breeder has her litter. i just wanted to make sure i was doing right by them. it's such a relief to know that they aren't noticeably overweight. I'm trying to get their actual weight but they don't like to sit still lol.
 

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They don't look noticeably fat to me, either. At this point, since it doesn't sound like they are being overfed and they are getting plenty of exercise, I wouldn't worry.
 
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