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Discussion Starter #1
As promised I'll explain the superiority of Regal Rat's ingredients over Harlan Teklad's here :3


First of all, know that low protein and fat has been cited in recent studies as best in a maintenance for adult rats and that Harlan Teklad was designed for laboratory rats and not pet rats. The reason Harlan Teklad's diets are as high in protein and fat as they are is a precautionary measure. It's to ABSOLUTELY ensure that there are no nutritional deficiencies that would skew their test results. A Harlan Teklad nutritionist has stated that the 2014 (14% protein) formula, which has the lowest protein they offer, is the best formula for adult rats kept as pets. Too much protein can do damage to the kidneys over time. The 2018 (18% protein) formula is best for very young rats or pregnant or nursing mothers. The 2016 (18% protein) formula is a good in between for those still wary of feeding a low protein diet.

Regal Rat's protein is 14% and as such it's only suitable as a maintenance diet for adult rats who are not pregnant or nursing.

Both diets are nutritionally adequate for rats.


Now let's compare ingredients.


Harlan Teklad: 2014

Wheat middlings, ground wheat, ground corn, corn gluten meal, calcium carbonate, soybean oil, dicalcium phosphate, iodized salt, L-lysine, DL-methionine, choline chloride, niacin, vitamin A acetate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, calcium pantothenate, ferrous sulfate, magnesium oxide, manganous oxide, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate, chromium potassium sulfate.



Regal Rat:

Whole Brown Rice, Oat Groats, Wheat Bran, Wheat, Soybean Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Soybean Hulls, Monocalcium Phosphate, Flax Seed Meal, (Linseed), Brewers Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Wheat Germ Meal, Methionine DL, Salt, Yeast Culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement (tocopherol), Vitamin C Supplement (Ascorbic Acid), Colloidal Silica, Riboflavin, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Pyrodoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite, Magnesium Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Cobalt Carbonate, Manganese Oxide, Zinc Oxide, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Mineral Oil, Calcium Iodate, Potassium Chloride, Natural Flavorings



It's easy to see the difference if you know what to look for. Harlan Teklad's ingredients are lower quality. For instance, wheat middlings are not nearly as good as full wheat and Regal Rat also includes oats and whole brown rice. Regal Rat has absolutely no corn, while Harlan Teklad has plenty. The problem with the corn is that it is most often dried feed grade corn which can harbor mold and mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are carcinogenic and rats have been shown to be more sensitive to these carcinogens.


This is not to say there are no issues with Regal Rat. First of all some people have problems with unhealthy weight loss and low palatability with this diet. Some rats just don't like the taste and/or loose weight on it. Aside from that the fish meal can be a concern as it might contain ethoxyquin. Both diets utilize a synthetic version of Vitamin K known as menadione sodium bisulfite. This synthetic version of Vitamin K has been linked to possible health concerns and is currently being removed from many dog and cat foods.

The concern with rats is that while their dietary and nutritional needs are very similar to ours there are some vitamins and minerals they need much more of. Vitamin K is one of them.

I am currently emailing back and forth with Oxbow in an attempt to help them ensure that their fish meal is preserved naturally and free of ethoxyquin once shipped to them by their suppliers as well as to help them find an alternative to the synthetic Vitamin K they use in their diet. I have also compiled some opinions and complaints on the Regal Rat diet in general (the weight loss and poor palatability being the common complaints) by asking some questions in a forum and then presenting Oxbow the URL to the post as feedback in the hopes they might look into these two common problems and see that people consider their diet high quality otherwise.


Hope this helps those who were curious!


Edit: More information on rat diets can be found on my diet page - http://www.petinfopackets.com/rats/ratfeeding.html
 

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thank you. i had always thought harlan seemed a little low quality with ingredients and thought it was odd that they used corn, but were considered a good food. i personally would never feed my rats harlan because of all the corn in it and the higher protein in most of the forumulas. i am going to have to look into the regal rat, i haven't heard of that one. knowing my luck i wont be able to find it near me. i have been feeding my rats mainly nutro weight control formula because of the lower protein and higher quality ingredients than a lot of the rat foods i find in the stores near me. thanks for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hjkaga said:
thank you. i had always thought harlan seemed a little low quality with ingredients and thought it was odd that they used corn, but were considered a good food. i personally would never feed my rats harlan because of all the corn in it and the higher protein in most of the forumulas. i am going to have to look into the regal rat, i haven't heard of that one. knowing my luck i wont be able to find it near me. i have been feeding my rats mainly nutro weight control formula because of the lower protein and higher quality ingredients than a lot of the rat foods i find in the stores near me. thanks for the info!

You're welcome! The reason people push Harlan Teklad is because it IS still the best lab block type diet available. Nutro's not bad but I'm currently looking into higher quality dog foods with protein and fat percentages low enough to be acceptable. The chances of finding a dog food in the ranges appropriate for adults rats is unfortunately slim but I'm finding the ones that at least don't go past 18% protein. Mind you no dog food fed alone is nutritionally complete enough for rats and it is important to also feed Suebee's grain mix along with it (especially the Total Cereal in it which contains the vitamins and minerals needed) as well as plenty of fresh foods.
 

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better get your defenses up

people seem to get snippy here if you question the "big two" in rat food...
(Suebee's and HT)

though it is refreshing to see someone suggest something different for a change
 

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I don't think anyone is going to get snippy. I'm a large supporter of Harlan Teklad and I wanted Darksong to post this. I think the only time people get snippy is when someone suggests a mix that can be bought in stores is good for rats.

I have a few questions, though.

1. Where does one find Regal Rat?
(Actually, I see the answer to this on your website. For anyone else, it says to go to Oxbow website and use the store locater. Though it would appear that Regal Rat is a little more than twice as expensive as HT)

2. Do you think that it would be any more unpalatable than HT would be to a rat?

3. This may sound crazy, but have you actually tasted each one? I doubt you have, but wouldn't hurt to ask. (If so, which did you like best?)
 

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The issue of many rats refusing to eat Regal Rat is the reason I've shied away from giving it a whirl. I've heard this from a number of sources, which makes me nervous. It's expensive, and unlike the dog food, nothing else in my house could eat it. :?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
cjshrader said:
I don't think anyone is going to get snippy. I'm a large supporter of Harlan Teklad and I wanted Darksong to post this. I think the only time people get snippy is when someone suggests a mix that can be bought in stores is good for rats.

I have a few questions, though.

1. Where does one find Regal Rat?
(Actually, I see the answer to this on your website. For anyone else, it says to go to Oxbow website and use the store locater. Though it would appear that Regal Rat is a little more than twice as expensive as HT)

2. Do you think that it would be any more unpalatable than HT would be to a rat?

3. This may sound crazy, but have you actually tasted each one? I doubt you have, but wouldn't hurt to ask. (If so, which did you like best?)

1. Yes, use the store locater on Oxbow's website and yes Regal Rat IS a pricey food, I forgot to mention that.

2. I can't say for sure but I think that it is because I haven't really heard much of rats refusing Harlan Teklad while I've heard more about the issue with Regal Rat.

3. I haven't tasted both though I might have given Harlan Teklad a curious nibble way back. If I did I don't remember the taste though XD, sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Forensic said:
The issue of many rats refusing to eat Regal Rat is the reason I've shied away from giving it a whirl. I've heard this from a number of sources, which makes me nervous. It's expensive, and unlike the dog food, nothing else in my house could eat it. :?
It's certainly a very valid concern with the food. I've given Oxbow feedback on these concerns as well.
 

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For Canadians: I did a search on Regal Rat suppliers after reading Darksong's post, and came up with at least one Canadian retailer: http://www.canadianpetconnection.com/ . Their store is in Oakville, so it's a option for the near Toronto based rat lovers, and they sell it online as well.

I'm personally going to be giving Regal Rat a try, (currently my girls are on a lab block from a local pet store... best I could find.) since I've wanted to get better food for a while now but ordering cross border comes with a big set of problems for us Canadians... and for some reason our rat food choices are more limited out here in Vancouver.

So... thank you, I'll update once they've tried it.
 

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Personally, I've never found Regal Rat locally, even at places that carry Oxbow products. Maybe they would special order it if asked, though.

I don't think Regal Rat is too expensive. I bought 40 lbs, and with shipping it only came out to $53. If you buy the smaller bags, it's pricier, but in all honesty, I believe that when it comes to pet food (and a lot of other things), you really get what you pay for. My pets' foods are definitely my largest expense when it comes to taking care of them, and I don't mind that at all. I'd rather pay a higher price for a higher quality food.

A lot of people say their rats don't like Regal Rat, but I've never encountered that. Mine like it the same as anything else they're fed and eat it with vigor. Then again, I also don't free-feed. I don't give them more food until everything else is gone.

I used to feed HT blocks, and my rats were healthy and liked them, but I was never fond of the ingredients. HT puts out the best lab blocks available, that much I admit, but considering what else is out there... that's not saying much at all, unfortunately. Yes, they are nutritionally complete, but then again dog food brands such as Alpo, Ol Roy, Iams, and Purina are apparently "nutritionally complete" also, so that phrase/term holds little ground in my mind considering the fact that they're absolutley terrible foods.
 

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Amen, Night.
 

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When it comes time for me to get some new lab blocks, I'll give Regal Rat a shot if I can find any. Unfortunately I still got about 10 pounds of HT to go through, so I think I'll use that up first.

Edit: Would you mind if I copied and pasted your entire post to put into my food sticky? I was going to link to it, but I now feel it'd be better just to have the entire thing in there. Of course, if anyone would just go to your website it puts my entire sticky to shame.
 

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A long, long time. I've had it for over a month now, and have barely made a dent in it. Then again, I don't free-feed and I also feed dog foods, Suebee's Mix, and lots of fresh foods.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
cjshrader said:
When it comes time for me to get some new lab blocks, I'll give Regal Rat a shot if I can find any. Unfortunately I still got about 10 pounds of HT to go through, so I think I'll use that up first.

Edit: Would you mind if I copied and pasted your entire post to put into my food sticky? I was going to link to it, but I now feel it'd be better just to have the entire thing in there. Of course, if anyone would just go to your website it puts my entire sticky to shame.
I wouldn't mind if you copy pasted it at all. I think your sticky is very helpful for the forum :3
 

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Schmea said:
For Canadians: I did a search on Regal Rat suppliers after reading Darksong's post, and came up with at least one Canadian retailer: http://www.canadianpetconnection.com/ . Their store is in Oakville, so it's a option for the near Toronto based rat lovers, and they sell it online as well.

I'm personally going to be giving Regal Rat a try, (currently my girls are on a lab block from a local pet store... best I could find.) since I've wanted to get better food for a while now but ordering cross border comes with a big set of problems for us Canadians... and for some reason our rat food choices are more limited out here in Vancouver.

So... thank you, I'll update once they've tried it.
I found another great site from Manitoba that offers it at a slightly cheaper price, it's not much but cheaper is cheaper =). They also don't ship to my location because they don't ship to "Maritime" provinces. Which I'm sure they ignorantly include Newfoundland and Labrador. I'm definitely going to give it a try. Just a small bag at first to see if they will take to it.

Think there is another way to possibly give it a better flavor? Like adding something to it yourself?
The website is http://www.chinchilla.ca
 
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