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Discussion Starter #1
I have heard different things about what the best amount of protein in a diet staple is. Generally, I hear 14-18% on this forum, but in other places I've heard/read up to 24% - most memorably to me was when I was looking at Harlan Teklad blocks on Kim's Ark Rescue site, where the 24% protein block is the highly recommended one, and 14% was advised against for healthy rats. I believe that one is also the one the RMCA recommends as well.

Right now my rats are eating a staple of Nutro Natural Choice Lite, which has a crude protein of 14%. This is not all they eat, and they do get protein from other sources, but I'm still wondering if this is too low.

So what is the best percent? Why isn't the best percent agreed upon? There's a big difference between 14% and 24%. It seems most people go with 18% which is a happy medium, but is that best?

People throw numbers around a lot, but I can't recall seeing any solid facts, just sort of a general "low protein is best" so I'm wondering where people are getting their information and what everyone's opinion is on this.
 

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here is a link to a list of the nutritional requirements of a rat

http://ratfanclub.org/nutreq.html

If you look it say 15% for growth and breeding then 5% for maintenance. What i take from that is if you have a normal growing rat that is healthy and prime for "breeding" 15% is all it needs but for maintenance such as pregnant moms, nursing moms, young rats, older rats, sickly rats then to add an additional 5% bringing it to twenty.

I feed my rats 2014 when they are eight months and over and the younger ones i feed 2018

any moms in the rescue get the 2018.

The problem that I have with anything above 18-22% is that rats are very sensitive creatures and if they have too much protien it leads to hair loss and skin problems. Same way if a human has too much beta keratine they turn orange
 

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so the 14% is too low if 15% is the norm. this interests me as well because i'm currently using nutro natrual choice as well.

Is there a better choice?
 

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well 14% and 15% is not a huge difference plus you need to think of all the extra stuff you should feed your rat. Extra fruits and vegies and pastas and sue bee's mix make up for that one percent.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have heard about skin problems with a diet too high in protein, and that's one reason I'm wondering what is "too high"? It seems odd that anyone would recommend a lab block with 24% protein if that is too much for rats.

What are some good foods to supplement protein for young rats? All I really know of is meat and nuts, but I want them to be healthy, not pudgy ^_^
 

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I had a very long talk about this subject on another list & I reputable breeder mentioned that the recommendation for the 8604 (24% stuff) will be written by the RMCA...

let me find that reply but I won't direct quote since I don't have permission to cross post her words--

My comment:
A1APassion wrote:
This is what I find to be the most confusing. The 8604 is endorsed by reputable sources such as the RMCA & used by many reputable breeders & rescues.

The reply I received:

Actually, the RMCA will be changing the endorsement of the 8604 on its website. Those articles are old and the 8604 was intended to be used as only half the diet with a grain mix making up the rest of it (meaning the actual dietary protein was probably closer to the 14% that is recommended by the rodent nutritionists.

The 8604 is TOO HIGH in protein and should NOT be used as a staple diet for rats.
 

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Under 17% seems to be the best. The 8604 should really only be used for nursing mothers. There's no need for the average rat owner to use it.

I believe one of the rescue stores has the information messed up. I think it causes a lot of problem with people buying the wrong type.

According to an HT rep. recently, the BEST choice for *pet* rats is 2014, due to the 14% protein count.
 

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If anyone has a rat with kidney issues of some sort, then low protein is needed. if normall, then 14% is what i hear is best.
 

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Kimmiekins said:
I believe one of the rescue stores has the information messed up. I think it causes a lot of problem with people buying the wrong type.
They do... that is why it is best to do the research & check multiple sources.
 
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