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Discussion Starter #1
I was on the RFC and someone posted about how their rats loved snack shack logs filled with alfalfa-honey stuff. I then brought up that I thought alfalfa was indigestible for rats, and the admin said that it was okay they would just poop it out. Plenty of others said that their rats loved snack shack. Then someone brought up that one of the ingredients in SS is pine shavings. Once again, an admin insisted it was fine in this case. Upon further research I found a lot of conflicting opinions about alfalfa. Personally I wouldn't give my rats anything that contained alfalfa and pine shavings, that just sounds like it would cause digestive discomfort. I'm thinking of making my own treat blocks instead. Thoughts on alfalfa?
 

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Yeah I found a lot of internet sites, some that said the alfalfa indigestible thing was a myth, some saying it's true. I feel like why risk it, I mean I wouldn't feed my rats alfalfa or pine shavings by themselves so why would I feed it to them in a ground up and reformed block?
 

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I wouldnt. Sure, some rats may never appear to have any digestive or health complications from it but you just never know. I think making the safest option for your pet is the responsible thing to do. There are so many healthy treat alternatives, not sure why people still feel the need to test the limits on things that could potentially be harmful. It is why I refuse to join many rat and other animal groups.
 

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i always givr mine snack shack stuff they love it and ive never had a problemwith it i also use alfalfa as a bedding sometimes still no pproblems i just rinse any dust off and let it dry in the oven first
 

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It is literally alfalfa and pine shavings held together with honey. There's nothing healthy about it.
 

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I had no idea what alfalfa was, till I came across threads and posts on this forum. I also researched it and there are so many different opinions on alfalfa. I just thought, why risk it. There are so many other treats we can offer.
 

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Alfalfa is a type of hay, Hedgian. I believe the reason that snack shaks are "okay" is because the rats aren't supposed to eat it, despite the fact that it's the "snack" shack. The ingredients are listed as: Pine wood shaving, cassava starch, alfalfa straw liquid mix (water, sodium alginate, potassium sorbate, propionic acid, honey, glycerin, propylene glycol).

Cassava is yucca. I don't know if this is okay for rats, but I know it's in a lot of other pet foods.

There is proportionately little honey in this. I feel like, maybe, if your rats won't chew and are getting overgrown teeth or such, this could be an excellent way to get them to do so if it's given not 24/7 7 days a week but maybe during free range where they can be monitored doing so. I know my boys refuse to chew wood or anything, really, and although they are on a kibble and get dog bones occasionally I feel like they aren't getting enough to wear out their teeth.

So long as it's not constantly in the cage and is just a little once in awhile treat, it should be okay. Healthy? No. But if a rat needs to chew, it could be a good alternative for them. A once in awhile treat left in the cage for a few hours also won't hurt anything. But it should not be a regular thing.
 

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I had to look it up, because I had no idea what this was.. But if it's a toy that can chewed on, doesn't sound any worse than plastic toys/baskets, fleece or a lot of the toys/decor that is put into their cages. Even the ratties that chew up plastic seem to come away from it all no worse than wear. Now I wouldn't necessarily recommend plastic toys and baskets to rats that chew plastic, but see them recommended all the time in forums. This just looks like a hide, that is made with ingredients that are safer than glue, dye ect.

If someone was using it as their rats diet, ya probably should have a discussion on proper diet. If your rat is eating it like it's dinner, perhaps removing it. Just like you would any other non food item.

For example I had a box of those corn starch peanuts that I thought would be fun for the rats to dig in and use for bedding or whatever. However my little darling, Buttercup decided these were the best treats in the world. So, no more corn starch peanuts for them. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No no it's meant to be ingested, heck the snack part. People buy them for their rats to eat like a treat
 

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Generally a small amount of alfalfa or hay isnt going to hurt a rat. The issues with it are if they eat a lot it can be a lot more fiber than they are used to, its not poisenous to them, just not something they can get any goodness from.

However i think the snack shacks really arent a good idea. Better get an old shoe box and make them a house with many holes to play in. If you want to give them a real treat (and they arent chubby at all) then make up some flour paste (flour and water until its thick and gloopy) and stick bits of whole wheat pasta, grains and seeds (even some of there food), this would make a true snack shack and one thats a lot better for them.
 

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Isamurat didnt you say timothy hay was ok in small doses and at intervals? I grew up in a small sub community named Alfalfa, I am quite familiar with it lol they have to cut it with hay and other foods because its too rich for farm animals. I think its suppost to be good for hamsters. Honestly there is a new study every year that says something different. As for snak shak...I am not getting one for my rats because I dont think they need to ingest pine. I know my boys would chew till they finished the shack andthats just too much. As for the grinding of teeth Isamurat says its a myth that they need to grind them as they brux and that wares them down. I am sure chewing helps...but most rats got it down.
 

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rats won't get much from any kind of Hay in terms of nutrients, they just aren't set up for it physically. Saying that they can very much enjoy it, mine get a handful or two of dust free Hay fairly often to play in and it gites down well. They might chew a few bits but not eat it as such.

chew toys can still be fun for them but your better off with a bone, some rat safe wood or a cuttle bone than an overpriced house made of sweet flavored rubbish.
 
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