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As long as they get ALL their essential amino acids from their vegan diet, your rats will be fine. You will need to add B12 and vitamin D enriched foods or supplement those because those two vitamins are only present in animal foods such as meat or eggs. So unless you know what you are doing, I'd suggest sticking with Oxbow. That being said nany rat blocks such as Mazuri are vegan I believe.
 

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I personally do not feel it is fair to impose moral diets on pets. Rats eat meat, perhaps a bunny is a better choice as a pet?

That being said it isn't impossible for rats but it would take some real effort to create your own diet for them and make sure they have all the right amount of micro nutrients they need. That is why lab blocks are so great because it gives them everything they need. It is very easy to give them too much of X and not enough of Y.

Oxbow does contain fish meal, mazuri has animal fat. I believe harlan may be vegan though the company that makes it is heavily involved in animal testing so morally...

Maybe a vegetarian dog food that is very high quality and low protein?
 

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Oops I thought Mazuri was vegan. My rats didn't like the Mazuri though, that's why I switch to Oxbow. I used Natural Balance Vegan for a few months when I first got my girls. They absolutly LOVED it. It is 18% protein, a bit high in fats (8%). I still have some but I need to throw it away as it has been opened for almost two years and haven't used it in 15 months, lol. I think I will get some again just maybe for 10% of their diet or treats as that is how much they love it. Also I have new rats that could use a little more protein- so far I added some extra chicken breast, egg, shrimp, and liver to their diet a few times/week.
 

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@Moonkissed: not everyone gives main vegan food because of the owner's moral.
On Dutch forums, a lot of experienced people suggest (scientifically proof is not fully given, but they see a difference) that a vegan main diet prevents tumors and kidney problems.
That is the reason why I feed mainly vegetarian.

Rats do need animal proteins for growth (most stop growing when they are 8 months), so I feed them by this schedule:
The first 12 weeks, you give the rats animal proteins daily.
Then until 6 months: 2-3 times per week.
Until 1 year: 1 time per week. If you see they are still really growing after the six months, you could give a little bit more.
After that: only once in a while, but less than once a week.
*Every portion is about a tablespoon big.

N.B.: If a rat has had tumors or kidney diseases, you feed them no animal protein at all.

And I give them good animal proteins, so with the least amount of processing: fish, eggs, cooked chicken, living/frozen insects and high premium cat foods (here almo nature and applaws, which I would actually eat myself no problem if I was starving, because the chicken looks like actual chicken!).
Sometimes I will also give a little bit more processed foods like dried insects.
You could also use a high quality dry dog food, but only the high (so expensive) quality ones. Since I only have 2 (in a week 4) rats, I will not buy the doog food, since you can't really get it in small bags.

So yes, you can feed your rats a mainly vegetarian diet, but only from a specific age.
I myself use Science Selective, but I am not sure you can purchase it in your country.
 

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Yes, as rats are Omnivorous they can be perfectly happy and healthy eating completely vegan! Most rat blocks are vegan anyway, despite what was said above Mazuri is vegan, as well as Native Earth and Harlan Teklad. So if rats can't eat vegan then why are 90% of the good quality blocks animal product free?
Lab blocks contain everything a rat needs so you wouldn't have to feed anything else although I do recommend giving them fruits and/or veggies everyday which you should give a rat anyways regardless of what it's main diet is.

As mentioned above the Natural Balance Vegan dog food can also be given as it has 18% protein and all the amino acids needed for a healthy rat.
I myself feed my rats vegan although I panned to keep them vegetarian, there just really hasn't been any need for dairy in their diet, lol.
This is a fantastic video to watch for more information, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xvq5Qk47S1E
 

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I forgot to add that rats do not need animal protein at all. Think of it like humans, humans and rats are opportunistic omnivorous which means animal protein is not necessary for their health and can actually be bad for their health. Vegan and vegetarian rats are just as (or more) healthy than rats who eat meat.
Good luck with your healthy happy ratties!:D
 

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I don't agree with you anilec. Rats have a really fast metabolism and theredore do need animal amino acids during the first weeks of their growth, because they grow really fast.
That a lot of foods offered are vegetarian, does not mean they are good. When I first started with rats as a child, they only almost had reggie rat as a food, which turns out to be of a really bad quality.
But you fed it, because it was the only food specific for rats and their needs. After that a lot of research improved the food and now we have multiple mixes and lab blocks.

If you want to have a really good food, then you should not buy a commercial one, but mix one yourself. And then still, if you don't know what you are doing, you can do a lot wrong.

So I recommend to feed like the list I give in my previous post with a good vegetarian block as the main food source. Veggies and fruit should always be added to their main diet. I didn't mention that, but it is the case.
 

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That's fine if you don't agree everyone is entitles to their own opinion, but something you may be forgetting is that out of the 22 amino acids 9 are essential and 11 are non-essential, and ALL the essential ones are found in plenty of different fruits and veggies.
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/need-protein-amino-acids-found-abundantly-in-plants/ (list of amino acids)

There is no reason why rats should need animal protein over plant protein, and as I'm sure you know rats actually need very little protein of any kind! There's a reason why most rat blocks and mixes don't contain meat. Haha it's so funny how no one cares about protein until you mention the v-word!;D
 

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It's true that they can, but why should they? They've naturally evolved to be omnivores, I just don't see the point in forcing them to be 'vegan'. There is no proof that it's better for them, so what's the point?
 

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it's better for them since they don't eat the saturated fat and things like that. Also you don't have to mirser animals. :blush:
I think that if they got good animal protein it would be good for them without all the processing. If rats naturally eat animal protein then I believe that they should get what they would naturally eat. Corn snakes eat mice in the wild so people give them mice. Guinea pigs graze in the wild so people give them hay. You can't force people to go vegan so I wouldn't force an animal. I have nothing wrong with vegan but if it isn't the person's/animal's choice than I do not believe in it whatsoever.
 

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There's also no proof that eating meat is better for them, so whats the point of that? Yikes that sounds a little rude, sorry bout that just trying to put my point across! I mean rats can basically eat anything so as long as they are getting all their nutrients why does it matter what diet they are on?
Skipping over meat as that's just the vegetarian portion, I really don't think rats should have dairy products. I personally eat dairy but I wouldn't feed it to my rats as casein, the protein that is found in milk and milk products has been proven to cause tumors.

Side note: I notice you live in Kamloops, that's where my brother lives and I live nearby. Nice to meet another person from BC!
 

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As long as they get ALL the essential amino acids and you would have to do some research to make sure of that; and they get extra vitamin B12 and vitamin D. NOTHING vegan has natural vitamin B12 and vitamin D, except processed enriched vegan products.
 

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it's better for them since they don't eat the saturated fat and things like that. Also you don't have to mirser animals. :blush:
Saturated fats are mainly found in red meats and dairy, which most people recommend you don't feed your rat anyway.

And let's be real. You're probably inadvertently 'murdering' far more animals by encouraging deforestation for growing crops than by eating a chicken. :/ Not to mention the pesticides that are killing literally millions of bees....
 

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There's also no proof that eating meat is better for them, so whats the point of that?

Side note: I notice you live in Kamloops, that's where my brother lives and I live nearby. Nice to meet another person from BC!
Except that wild rats have been omnivores for a very long time, so it's pretty obvious they're doing something right.

The thing that concerns me about feeding an animal a diet it doesn't naturally live on, is that it is incredibly difficult to make sure they're getting the right nutrients in the right amounts. I mean, people go to school for years to understand animal nutrition. It's not as easy as throwing some seeds and veggies together and calling it a complete diet.

Side Note: It's always nice to find rattie people in BC! There aren't many of us. :p
 
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