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Hello! I adopted my three little boys two weeks ago from the local shelter and I have some food related questions. I'm not sure what brand of lab blocks I have as the shelter gave me some in a big ziplock bag (don't worry, I know it's rat food, I just don't remember which brand they told me it was). How much should I be feeding them and how often? I've been hiding roughly nine big pellets around their cage twice a day, for a total of six per rat. They're only four months old; should they be getting more until they're fully grown? Should I be supplementing it with meat baby food for extra protein as they're growing? If yes, how long should I do that and how would I know if it's too much?
 

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I keep a dish of Oxbow Regal Rat in the cage. When it runs down, I fill it back up.
I supplement that with all sort of "healthy" treats throughout the day.
I save the "yummy" treats for training.

I have doe this since I got my first girl when she was a month old.
I currently have 3 girls; 1.5 years old; 9 month old & 7 month old.

The oldest girl is a recent addition and in her own cage - she likes to bury her food (and takes great umbrage when I un-bury it to see how much she has - LOL).
My other two share a cage and while they don't bury their dish - they do "hide" some food around their cage. I still go by what's in the dish. I don't worry about the hidden food because it's either going to be eaten or thrown away when the cage is clean.

For treats, I only give them what is going to be eaten at that moment.
I don't leave it in the cage for extended periods. Whatever hasn't been eaten in an hour to two - gets removed from the cage.
The exception to that are things that are meant to chews.
 

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I'm guessing they're larger blocks so maybe [Teklad], [Mazuri], or [Oxbow Young Rat & Mouse]. Odds are you don't need to supplement this food with extra protein-rich foods but giving them some variety in the form of extra veggies, grains/cereals, and tasty bits is very enriching. I make a dry mix loosely based on the Isamu Rat mix to supplement the Oxbow I feed my boys. They get about 60/40 Oxbow + dry mix and then I give them some extra veggies 2 or 3 days a week.

As for portion size, it will vary from rat to rat and it changes over the course of a rat's life. I try to give my boys enough food to last almost until their next feeding. If they run out too soon, I'll try to give them a little more. If there's still food leftover from the last feeding, I'll give them a little less.

Especially for growing rats, you'll want to give them basically as much food as they want.
 

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I just give my rats an unlimited supply and give random treats here and there. If you want to make them work for their food you can get various puzzle toys and trade out which puzzle is in the cage each week.
 
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