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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I would like to feed my trio a US version of Isamurat's dry mix. I know I will have to make a straight grain mix myself but am concerned on how to appropriately supplement copper, calcium, and D3. I have been looking at birs and reptile supplements so far as the US does not seem to have a rat rations daily 3 equivalent. How does this supplement look? Also, how would you adjust the dosage for rats? Thanks.

http://m.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=5059+10441+6166&pcatid=6166.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was looking at that one too but couldn't find an ingredient list on the website so I can't tell if it has calcium, d3, and copper. Do you happen to remember what's in it? (I know it's a long shot...)
 

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List of the probiotics in Pro Vital:http://www.provitalhealth.com/pro-vital-probiotics-in-animal-nutrition/

List of the vitamins/minerals:http://www.provitalhealth.com/pro-vital-basic-nutrition-in-animal-husbandry/

From my bag, I can tell you that it lists calcium iodate from the ingredients list but I do not have how much there is in it:(For D3 it says 66,000 IU/kg, and copper 13mg/kg.

It also has 3300 mcg/kg of B12. I mention B12 because it can only be found in animal products and if you feed your rats veggies, fruits, seeds...they will eat less of their pellets and will need extra B12. Getting your rats enough B12 by feeding them chicken for instance will most likely result in way too much protein.
 

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Both those viatmins are very high relatively in vitamin A, which is a problem with a lot of suppliments. Meaning in order to give them enough of the vit D etc you are probably going to get too close to dangerous levels of vitamin A. The 3rd option is the kind of "nice supplement" that's useful to give once a week or so but doesn't look enough on its own.

What I've seen work well in US home made mixes before is targeting the specific needs. So get some vitamin d drops, calcium drops or crushed tablets in a wet meal once a week and feed cooked liver or liver biscuits once a week - fortnight (can give you the recipe, if your feeding dark green leafy veg this isn't a major risk). Remember that animals (and humans) don't need the exact nutrients and vitamins every day, there body can store a certain amount. Hitting there needs over every week - fortnight is pleanty.

another option is to feed 50:50 with oxbow, this reduces the amount of suppliments you need, to the point where you can get away with vit d drops (or cod liver oil with vit a extracted) once a week, cooked bones every week or two (or cuttle fish if your rats will eat those) and dark green leafy veg. Its a softer approach and easier to manage.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Isamurat, thank you for your input. I would like to stay away from feeding oxbow and do a full whole foods diet (or as close as possible). My rats have seemed a lot healthier (shinier, of better weight, etc.) Since moving off oxbow. Right now, about half their diet is solid gold holistique blendz dog food which I could keep if needed.

Oatmeal, Pearled Barley, Peas, Ocean Fish Meal, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Dried Eggs, Flaxseed, Tomato Pomace, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Natural Flavors, Salt, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Salmon Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, L-Carnitine, Carrots, Pumpkin, Apples, Cranberries, Blueberries, Broccoli, Parsley, Spearmint, Almond Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Sesame Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Kelp, Thyme, Lentils, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.

Crude Protein (Min.) 18.0% Taurine (Min.) 0.05%*Crude Fat (Min.) 6.0% L-Carnitine (Min.) 25 mg/kg*Crude Fiber (Max.) 4.0% Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min.) 1.00%*Moisture (Max.) 10.0% Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min.) 0.75%*Zinc (Min.) 200 mg/kg DHA (Doxosahexaenoic Acid) (Min.) 0.05%*Vitamin E (Min.) 250 IU/kg Lactic Acid Bacteria (Min.) 2x105 cfu/g*Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) (Min.) 50 mg/kg* (Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Enterococcus Faecium, Lactobacillus Casei )

Calories Metabolizable Energy (calculated) 3330 kcal/kg 345 kcal/cup
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think I would prefer adding human Vitamins and feeding liver treats to balance Vitamins weekly. Would you mind sharing the recipe?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Alternatively, what about the nupro dog supplement weekly (or that too high in vit. A too?) Thank you again for your experience and advice!

Desiccated liver, Norwegian kelp, amino acids and enzymes, imported yeast cultures, flaxseed, lecithin, garlic concentrate, lactobacillus acidophilus, and calcium citrate.

Guaranteed Analysis Crude Protein (min) 25% Crude Fat (min) 9% Crude Fiber (max) 20% Moisture (max) 11% Vitamins Vitamin A 2635 IU Vitamin D 48 IU Vitamin E .074 IU Vitamin C 100 mg Vitamin K 42 mcg Vitamin B-1 224 mg Vitamin B-2 10 mg Vitamin B-6 2.333 mg Vitamin B-12 114 mg Pantothenic Acid 0.907 mg Folic Acid 275 mcg Paba 25 mg Choline 149 mg Inositol 75 mg Rutin 50 mg Biotin 140 mg Minerals Calcium 330 mg Magnesium 99 mg Phosphorus 274 mg Potassium 422 mg Sodium 215 mg Zinc 4 mg Copper 1.07 mg Manganese 0.4 mg Iodine 300 mcg Sulfhur 248 mg Silica 55 mg Molybdenum 40 mcg Boron 390 mcg Selenium 20 mcg Iron 7 mg Proteins (Amino Acids) Alanine 0.70 mg Arginine 0.33 mg Aspartic Acid 0.94 mg Asparagine 53 mg Cystine 0.05 mg Cysteine 84 mg Glycine 0.49 mg Glutamic Acid 1.37 mg Histidine 0.24 mg Enzymes Amlase 125 mg Trypsin 103 mg Papain 207 mg Lipase 117 mg Protease 125 mg Bromelain 115 mg Pepsin 32 mg Diatase 29 mg Pectase 25 mg Hydroxyproline 27.3 mg Isoleucine 0.20 mg Leucine 0.68 mg Lysine 0.62 mg Methsonine 43.1 mg Valine 0.33 mg Ornithine 8.67 mg Phenylalnine 0.34 mg Proline 0.46 mg Serine 0.52 mg Threonine 0.37 mg Glutamine 137 mg Tyrosine 0.37 mg Taurine .02 mg Essential Fatty Acids Arachidonic Acid 550 mg Linolenic Acid (Omega 3) 1600 mg Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) 675 mg Oleic Acid (Omega 9) 450 mg
 

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I used the vitamins when my rat was sick because otherwise she would eat just the baby foods. They get about 8-12 different veggies, greens, and fruits 4-5 times a week from the salad bar at my grocery store. I just pick up everything that is healthy for them and cut it in tiny pieces so each rat gets some of everything- as opposed of one rat running away with the piece of cucumber, and another with the piece of celery, etc...
 

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To that mix I add some flax seed oil. They LOVE flax seed oil and it is very healthy for them too.

Once a week or so, I add one drop of baby vitamin D to the flax seed oil. I mix them together before mixing everything with their salad.

Once a week I spray some liquid vitamin B12 on their salad too.

This way they have all the vitamins, minerals, anti-oxydants...they need. Providing it this way is better anyway, and will be better absorbed by their bodies than powdered vitamins.
 

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Liver biscuit recipe is

500g of raw liver (I go lamb or beef but in theory should work with chicken too)
1 apple grated
A few cloves of chopped garlic
Some flax / linseed oil (I’d do 2-3 tablespoons for this amount of liver)
Wholemeal flour (can use white if you’ve got oldies)

Anything exciting you might want to add to vary the flavour e.g. some seeds, chopped almonds, herbs, vitamin powders (bearing in mind that most loose roughly 30% of their effectivity on heating)

1, Blend the liver up, this will look and smell gross, hand blenders work fine
2, Mix in the grated apple, garlic, oil and extras
3, Ad a bit of flour at a time stirring it in until it turns into a thick porridgy substance.
4, Line a baking tray (the type with low edges all the way round) with grease proof paper and lightly grease.
5, Poor the nasty looking gloop onto the tray and spread out to about 1cm thick
6, Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg C (sorry I only do UK units off the top of my head) for around 20-30 mins. It will start to smell lovely and savoury and will have a bready texture when done (skewer to come out clean when poked in)
7, Cut into little 1 – 1.5 cm squared pieces. This will do loads so freeze it in 2 week bags as they don’t keep indefinitely. Also make nice presents for fellow rat owners

This is a really adaptable recipie, you can add all sorts to it, as long as its not to dry it sticks together well. Try mushing in some banana say, or a few tiny dried pasta shells as a real treat. You can sprinkle some seeds on top to make it look pretty too. Stick to healthy and beneficial ingredients and not only is it a nice treat it helps there health too.

In terms of a supplement, you want something around the order of Vit A: Vit d 10:1 max , this seems quite hard to find annoyingly. Again the dog one looks interesting and potentially useful but I wouldn’t want to rely on it for vit D as you will overdose the Vit A. To be honest Vit D is the tricky one generally. Its just not easily found in tis complete variation in much other than meat and you shouldn’t over do that either. For example the daily essentials we use over here has a vit a to d ratio of 8:1 . Try checking out some of the reptile / snake supplements as well as the caged bird ones as I know some of them are ok over here. Once you’ve solved this problem by the way it’s a lot easier.

Gribouilli – that looks a lovely salad, top tip is to get stuff in in bulk, mix up bag fulls and then freeze it. That helps cut down on waste and in summer in particular they quite like the bags emptied out straight out of the freezer
 

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Isamurst- yep I thought of that but there are 12 different produce here and I only have 3 rats for now, living in a condo so my freezer isn't that big, lol. I still use those baby freezer containers with a single lid for all of them from time to time- very convenient.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you both for your imput and experience! Sound like human vitamin drops are the way to go. I love the idea of mixing it in the salad too. Your rats are really lucky,that is quite a variety of veggies! I am trying to work out a straights mix next and will be posting on that soon...
 

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Let us know how your rats like those biscuits:)Are those rat liver biscuit supposed to be just a treat or replace some of their other regular healthy foods? Thanks.
 
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