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The bulk of my rats' diet is made up of shop-bought rat food and salt licks, as my rats grow bigger they are starting to eat A LOT, and its costing me a small fortune. I was thinking I could buy it wholesale so it would be cheaper and I could get it in bulk that way, rather than just buying a couple of packets at a time from the petshop like I do at the moment.
Well, I googled it and I can't find any wholesaler who sells dried rat food - I could ask at the pet shop who their supplier is but I think that might sound a bit cheeky, especially seeing as how I spend so much in their usually on food and bedding.
Has anyone else had this problem? What do people who run ratteries do about this?
 

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Remove the salt licks (not necessary and excessive salt can lead to renal problems).

People who have large amounts of rats often buy quality lab blocks in bulk. Harlan Tekl;ad is sold by some places online (Kim's Ark Rescue or CraftyRat, etc). I get mine in 33 lb bags. Kim's sells for $1 per pound plus shipping. Where do you live?
 

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when Harlan is hard to come by you can often find Mazuri

Harlan just increased their minimum order rate to $1000, should kick in March 1st from what I hear. This is going to cause some small groups to rethink their ordering program & others this will be no big deal... just depends on how many are splitting an order.


Mazuri has a website that will direct you to local suppliers that you can buy single 50 pound bags or buy the pound.. just have to call each retailer & see if they offer open bag or not.
 

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look for a feed barn that is where i get my food cause i can get 50 pound bags for $20 and that lasts me about a month and that is lab blocks
 

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AZratkeeper said:
look for a feed barn that is where i get my food cause i can get 50 pound bags for $20 and that lasts me about a month and that is lab blocks
What kind of lab blocks, might I ask?
 

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The analysis/ingredients of the block would be good.

Though, as far as I'm aware, high fat isn't exactly good for them.
 

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crude protein 24.00%
crude fat 11.00%
crude fiber 5.00%
ash 8.00%
calcium 2.70%
phosphorus [p] 0.90%
sodium 0.30%

it only lists the % that they our 100% sure our currect at least that is what it says
 

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It's way too high in protein for rats. I'm willing to bet the ingredients are pretty crappy too, as is the case with most commercial rat diets. Check out the diet sticky in the Rat Health section for better options :3.
 

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yes i now it is high in protein but it is crude protein
and i have been using this for about 2 years and i have seen healther rats than before
 

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"Crude protein estimates the total protein content of a feed. When measuring crude protein, the nitrogen content of a feed sample is determined . Since proteins contain 16% nitrogen on average, the nitrogen value is multiplied by a factor of 6.25 to calculate the crude protein content of the feed. Since crude protein level includes both true protein (amino acids) and non protein nitrogen, it does not provide information regarding the quality or availability of the protein in a particular feed."

and http://jds.fass.org/cgi/reprint/7/2/154.pdf

It's a bit of a waffle - but I'm sure people here can explain it better
 

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Its also waaay too high in fat.

A good balanced lab block is about 16-18% protein, and 5-6 % fat.

24% protein and 11 % fat sound more like dog kibble levels to me.

High protein/fat diets can lead to future health problems and since our rats live such short lives already we are always trying to figure out ways to keep them healthier longer.
 

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I actually feed dog food with those levels of protein and fat [16-18% and 5-6% respectively], as well as Harlan-Teklad lab blocks and Suebee's. So a switch shouldn't be too hard, but that protein IS way too high.
 

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For my rats and mice, I use a mix.

12 cups (1 bag) Wild Harvest hamster/gerbil mix
2 cups Mazuri pet block
6 cups Nature's Recipe dog food

The mix comes out to be 18% protein and 7% fat. All of the ingredients look fine, no ethoxyquin.

What do you think?
 

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For those who haven't seen it, here's the link to the comprehensive diet discussion on this site. It's full of great ideas and facts, and well worth a read.

http://ratforum.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=3079.html

Based on Darksong's and others recommendation, I've been feeding my rats Regal Rat for about 3-4 months now. I've been very happy with the results; my girls were healthy before, and on a good quality lab block, but they're noticeably healthier now.

That said, I was warned that there is some problem with Regal Rat being rejected after a time. I have had some experience with this, and so have "solved" this by offering both Regal Rat and the lab blocks (I'm ordering some Harlan Teklad to fill this role) at the same time... the Regal Rat in their food bowl, and the lab block in a toy they have that you can put food inside that they have to work to get it out.

What I've found is that they go back and forth every few days, or week or two. The Regal Rat can sit untouched for days, and then all the sudden it's "rediscovered" and they devour it right down, and will eat that exclusively for a few days. So while they DO reject the Regal Rat at times, sometimes for a week or more, it is being eaten consistently over the long term. As I'm very happy with how healthy they are (I thought they were soft before they stated on the better diet... now they're like silk!) I plan on continuing this. Besides, I like the idea of an easy to get food, and another they have to work for a bit as a form of stimulation for them.

Another thing I found is that when I initially moved from store mixes/Reggie Rat type food to a quality lab block type food, I was amazed at how much longer food lasted. While it's slightly more expensive at the store, they get so much more out of it and so in my experience eat less... and my money goes much, much further.

Link to Darksong's Regal Rat thread if you're interested: http://ratforum.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=4334.html
 
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