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I had been meaning to share this for a while (mostly with beginners like me)...

I found a good way to get my rats some variety in their fresh foods! Every week, when I go grocery shopping, I also take a trip over to the salad bar and fill up a salad with a variety of fresh fruits and veggies for them! I can put some berries and melon in it, then turkey or ham or chicken if I want, and radishes, cucumbers, 4 or 5 different kinds of lettuce, grape tomatoes, beans, and all sorts of stuff! It's an easy way to give them lots of variety without having to spend a lot, especially if you're like me and you barely get fresh fruits and veggies for yourself. How else can you buy fresh strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce all in the same shopping trip and not have it spoil?

The other I learned from the people who work in the primate lab on campus here, and that's making little ice cubes for them, with stuff in it. I just made some today with peas, carrots, raisins, berries, and cereal in it! Then I mix in the crumbs at the bottom of the cereal bag or the juice from my frozen berries to give the cube itself some more flavor! My rats go nuts over these, but I also find that they fight over them a lot. S o with this batch, I froze some twist-ties in the cubes, too, so that I can later tie them to the bars of their cage to reduce the stealing/fighting.

I also decided that buying the Dole fruit cups with no sugar added is a good way to have fresh fruit (that lasts a long time, too!) for the times when you forgot to buy some, or when you fogot to thaw some frozen berries the night before and are impatient like me.

I'm sure most of you have already thought of this, but for the ones who haven't, I hope this gave you some good ideas!
 

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I love the salad idea! I don't think my local grocery store does that, but I'll have to look into it as even just a mixed greens salad would be good. And frozen treats are always good, especially in the summer! I make a lot of smoothies so I always have frozen fruits on hand, but I'm sure freezing one of my all fruit smoothies would be even better!
 

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That's a great idea! I am so used to taking a small piece of whatever I am eating, and putting it in a little dish in my kitchen. Then, when its time to make their dinner, I pour whatever I have collected into their dishes. Usually it ends up being two small bowls, one with grains (like cereal, bread, crackers) and the other with wet food (like a grape, a tiny bit of cheese, other fruits, and carrots). Freezing things seems like a great idea. I bet just placing things like grapes in the freezer would make a fun snack for ratties.
 

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Those are great ideas! I'm taking 2 of my girls to school with me next week and we have an open salad bar every day. The ice cube trick is really cool too. Thanks for sharing. :)
 

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Great ideas. I'm so going to do that when I get home. I have also found one store that does have a salad bar. Going to stop by there on my way home from work.
 

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Do you guys have any concerns about the fact that some salad bars aren't kept as clean as others? I'm just thinking about the times where I've heard that people got sick because stuff wasn't very fresh or it had been contaminated with E. coli. Maybe I'm being a paranoid worry-wart? :(
 

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U could always check it througherly if ur worried and then wash it again when u get home just to be on the safe side
im lucky my family always have loads of fresh fruit and veg so its easy for me to just nip downstairs for my ratties - it also good because we used to waste a lot of fruit and veg now the rats get rid of it for us before it goes manky lol
Jess x
 

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cool idea! especially the fruit cup one...........
 
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