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What's changed in the last few years?

2378 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Gigi
Hi, I'm new. My username is actually what my first rat's name was. She lived for over two years with me after I got her from a pet store as a full grown adult. I also had a little brown feeder rat (who got as big as some males I've seen!) as her companion until she died of myco. Then I got back into it with four rats from a breeder, two brothers that were just too cute (rex dumbo) and two females (one was the cousin of the boys) that were so pretty--my girl Jenifry was a platinum standard...gorgeous! She could melt many a rat-phobic heart. And my other girl was a brown rex.
They all passed in 2003 within months of each other, the brothers were put down together because they had never lived a day apart--I couldn't separate them and they were both ready to go.
Since then I haven't had any rats and I'm thinking of getting back into it. I still have my large rat cage (24" x 14" x 36") in the shed and I'm itching to get two baby rats I saw in the store the other night in it. The babies look quite healthy--no signs of porphyrin, sneezing, and they all had bright, alert eyes.
I was just wondering if there are any new products out there that I might not know about. I used Carefresh bedding, the staple of my rats diet was Purina Rat Chow, and I used to give them Yogies are treats. I've noticed during my many trips to Petsmart (I have a dog and a cat and now three goldfish) over the last couple of years that the variety of rat toys, accessories and such have multiplied! There used to be only a few things in the stores when I started that were specifically for rats.
What do you use for bedding now? I know there are more alternatives readily available now that weren't when I first started out (pine and cedar was still used in most pet stores I went to then) and even three years ago. Carefresh would get pretty soggy ... and not that great at odor control.
What about food? Are there any good diets available in the stores now, or are Purina, Harlan Teklad, and Oxbow still the best bet for rat blocks?
If there are any other new (or improved) things I should know about now...let me know!
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no one has mentioned aspen which is great, also kiln dried pine should be fine since the phenols (the stuff that causes problems) have been removed.
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