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hi i posted this on a UK forum but i am from canada so i thought i would post on a forum a little closer to home... or maybe someone has a cage they could lend? ..any ways here it is


a while back i adopted my hairless rats from a woman in my city....the woman had been feeding them
-rat food (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, unknown nuts, something that looks like bird seed, and a few other things)
-lots of yogurt
-vanilla wafer bars
-Granola bars
-Mini marshmellows
- strawberry soy milk
-avacodo
-cucumber
-peas, corn
-a few other things i cant remember
the lady gave my about 10 grocery bags full of this stuff
anyways as i thought people told me many of that was not healthy for my ratties so i changed their diet to just the regular rat food, peas and corn, water and cucumber once in a while....
when i got the ratties they were HUGE i hadnt seen a female rat that big before... here is a pic of the cage they are in (they look small in the pics) NOTE : this is an OLD pic and the cage the inside of the cage is MUCH different now (hammocks and toys and such)



anyways my PROBLEM is that since i stopped feeding the daily yogurt and strawberry soy milk and the other fattening stuff...they have lost about HALF their body weight!! dont worry they look like very healthy ratties now..i believe they are still fairly young so now they look like they are their proper weight for their age....BUT today i went in the room they are in and found them in a box beside the cage!! so apperently they have lost so much weight they can get through the bars!! I dont know what to do because i dont have money to but a cage or chicken wire right now because i am broke from christmas expenses ....what do i do :( i guess there probably isnt much i can do... until i have money
 

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Wow, that lady fed them a LOT of rubbish. Sounds like you did the right thing by changing their diet!

How wide are the gaps between the bars on that cage? The look about 1" from the photo.

If you really can't afford a new cage or chicken wire, the only thing I can suggest as a makeshift idea is safety pinning a large towel or tablecloth around the cage (making sure it is tight). If they are chewers they will get through regardless but it might discourage them. I'd leave the top open for air and stuff, but I would guess they would be less likely to cram themselves throught the top than the bottom.

Saying that, we have to padlock the top of our cage coz one of the boys worked out how to open it!!! :lol:
 

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youcan get free cages if you look around. the buyer flyer and the like. if they're just too young for the cage then getting them temporarily in a hamster cage or tank will work. mind you you'll have to give them a lot more out time if you put them in a small cage like that. but it'll work until they grow a bit bigger. i could give you an approximate age if you can could get me pics of them with reference to hand size and good shot of their face. i'm really good at aging rats having rasied 2 litters myself and studying the facial features. if they're older though then the cage is to blame and you either fatten them up again (not nescessarily healthy) or you'll have to invest in a cage with bar spacing no larger then 1 inch maxium. anything more then that, even a 1/4 inch, and they'll get out of it.

the other lady did have them on a lot of junk but most of that was in the "rat food" rats don't typically do well on seeds.they CAN live off it but to the same extent that a person can live on bread and water. i use president choice 1 small dog dog kibbel as my stapel (stays in the cage at all times) then any leftovers from the house to feed mine and they seem to do well on it. some people say that dog food isn't good for rats but i haven't had any problems with it personally and there are others that swear by it. its up to you really. i use the stapel food because their metabolism is so high that its just easier to leave food with them to eat when they're hungery then to guess and leave them hungry. and they get good leftovers too. if you want to make sure they're getting the right foods a good rule of thumb is whatever is good for you to eaet is good for them. except for oranges for males.
 
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