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Discussion Starter #1
I've been feeding my boys a mix of both HT and Oxbow and they enjoy both. The Oxbow for rats however has now become impossible to buy. After months of searching online I finally asked why it's impossible to get hold of it when Oxbow for all other types of animals is always fully stocked. Turns out there is something in the ingredients in the Rat Oxbow which Sweden (all of Europe?) cannot legally import anymore.

So, I finally ran out of the Oxbow I had stocked up and now I've noticed that the poos on one of my rats are much softer than they used to be. I know my boys are missing the Oxbow too as I've had to ration the last bag I had and they'd crazy eating it all up first when it was served.

My question is, can I use a little bit of Oxbow nutritionally designed for other animals, just to compliment the HT and make their food dish a little less boring? I am reluctant to use any other food mix alongside the HT as I love that my boys don't have any nasty odour on the HT and Oxbow (the three boys we adopted a few months ago were on a cheap food mix and stank of barnyard...took a few weeks on the changed diet at our place to get rid of that smell and I don't want to suffer it again!!).

I am sure once I read that Rabbit Oxbow was okay for rats, but I'm not sure. It would only be a small portion in their bowls, HT is their main diet.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I think Rabbit oxbow has alfalfa in it which most believe to be hard to digest for a rat. I wouldnt use it because each animal has a spicific nutrient requirement. As for soft poos they may not be getting enough protein. Rabbits are herbivores and the only protein they get is from plants. I think HT is the same? So they would need to be supplemented with animal protein (which oxbow has) to firm up the poos.
 

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I know Oxbow has something called Carnivore care? It has animal proteins in it, though honestly I don't know much else about it. Most of their other foods don't though, since most of the animals don't need animal protein that oxbow makes food for. I knoe i have seen people say they have fed rabbit food as part of some mix or another but I don't know if it could do much healthwise for them.
 

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Oh and the adult rabbit should be timothy hay based not alfalfa. Alfalfa isn't really recomended for adults, its to high in protein. Same for their guinea pig formula. The guinea pig formula has fortified vitamin c in it. Not sure if that would be good or bad for a rat.
 

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well rats are omnivores so I assume they would need animal protein same as us. There are certain proteins and amino acids you cant get except through animal meat. Not sure if this applies to rats or not but most animals arnt that different from us.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone. I've found a us site which ships internationally so I've just paid $200 for a 40 lb bag to be sent over :-o (maybe i'm too crazy about my rats!!!). I've paid customs costs on advance so hopefully it well get through to me without problem. I'm hoping the restrictions are only on import for comercial sale.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's with the shipping from the states and the taxes and customs. I also buy the harlan teklad from the states, $75 for a 15lb shipment!!! There is only rubbish food available over here for rats. I was determined that if i got rats i'd take care of them to the best of my ability.
 

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Sweden is in the EU I thouggt, why not rat rations?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Uggh! They cancelled the order because of the restrictions regarding whatever ingredient it is which is banned here :-(

Nanashi, I don't really want to go the route of the mixes they sell at Rat Rations. I'm sure they're healthy and nutritious but I don't like that the mixes cause nasty smells. The three adopted boys we took in stank of barnyard for weeks before the HT and Oxbow we fed them put an end to that particular smell. If we deviate even a little from HT and Oxbow they stink to high heavens again. Living in a small apartment with three kids and six rats, I want to feed the boys on a diet which minimises odour. I even had that stuff you can put in the water to minimise odour shipped over from the US...(though we went through it so quickly I can't afford to keep having it shipped over).

I swear these rats are more expensive than my kids!!!
 

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Mixes don't cause bad smells except in quick changes, though. I loved using a mix but it was cost prohibitive. Have you looked into ferret descenting spray?
 

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Mixes don't cause bad smells except in quick changes, though. I loved using a mix but it was cost prohibitive. Have you looked into ferret descenting spray?
I think that was the stuff they were talking about that you put in the water. Said it was to expensive as they went through it fast. So HT isnt banned right? Why not just use it and supplement a bit of egg once in awhile for the animal protein/treat.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I've never had a problem receiving the HT from the States so I assume it's not banned. We've so far done as you suggested Zabora and given them a little extra protein by way of egg/chicken etc.

From what I have figured out I think it is an EU ban on the import of GMO foods which has caused the problem getting hold of Oxbow for rats.
 

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Ah I see. The only problem I have with HT is it has no animal protein. Good luck in your search for rat food that doesnt cost $200 lol
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ah I see. The only problem I have with HT is it has no animal protein. Good luck in your search for rat food that doesnt cost $200 lol
Lol!! You'd think I were rich or something - I'm not!! Just anal lol!! If I'm going to do something I have to do it right and that includes looking after my boys ;D
 

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my cat loves the rat food! :) i have to keep it locked away... it makes good treats! this has nothing to do with this post but i thought it was adorable!
My dogs are the same way, most know the DCN has very shallow sides and food eaisly falls out...my two dogs hunt for Oxbow around the cage, haha.
 

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I would not use rabbit oxbow, they ahve a completely different nutrition requirement, adn the main ingredient is timothy hay which I don't think rats are even able to digest.

I've heard good things about using senior or light formula dog foods. I'm not sure about what brands would best be recommended or what's available in Sweden, but I would look into finding a good dog kibble, and definitely nothing made for herbivores like rabbit food.

I hope you find a good substitute! That's so frustrating about the oxbow!! I'm curious what it is that is banned?
 

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There's also a few good guides for making your own mixes (though I would not follow SueBees recipe). Cagedbirdsinging has her own shop, you might try talking to her and finding out if she's able to ship her formula over to you, or if she'd share the recipe.
 
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