Extra notes for Rat Lovers!
For those of you who just love the details, get out your fancy drink & find a comfy spot. Here they are, straight from the specialist herself.
Written by Debbie Ducommun, aka “The Rat Lady,” creator of the Rat Fan Club.
I worked hard to formulate this homemade diet which meets the requirements set for rats by the National Research Council. Because my diet contains only fresh foods I feel that it’s the best diet for rats. It takes only a little more time to prepare than the blocks with fresh foods. If you wish you can also feed a mix of my homemade diet and blocks. Even if you don’t want to make the whole diet, it will give you ideas for the best fruits and veggies to supplement your rats’ commercial diet.
All the foods in this diet contain valuable nutrients or cancer-prevention compounds, or both! Each rat has his or her own preferences, and not every rat will like every food in this diet at first. However, you must follow the diet closely for it to be balanced (see menu note). Most rats will eventually come to like most foods if they are given enough time. If your rat doesn’t like raw vegies, you can cook them lightly. The beans and sweet potato must be cooked. Purple grapes have more cancer-prevention phytochemicals than green grapes.
You might have to buy some of the ingredients for the molasses mix at a health food store. You can use any type of cooked dry beans (such as pinto beans) in the diet (canned is fine). Give a variety of different beans to take advantage of their different nutrients. My rats love garbanzo beans.
You can use canned or fresh sweet potato (yams) cooked in the microwave. You can also microwave pre-sliced liver; you don’t need to add oil. Then cut the liver into serving sizes and freeze individually. Or you can offer freeze-dried liver. You can also freeze oysters spread on a cookie sheet, then store in a container. Frozen foods are as nutritious as fresh as long as you use them before they get “freezer burn,” so you can use frozen fruits, beans, vegies, etc.
My homemade diet is not vegetarian, because rats are not naturally vegetarian, and I believe a diet is most healthy when it most closely matches an animal’s natural diet. However, if you feel strongly that you want to feed your rats a vegetarian diet, you must add 5 mg of copper (for example, as copper sulfate) to the molasses mix for adults. For babies, you must add 10 mg of copper.
Serving SizesThe serving sizes are for a 1-lb. rat. If your rat is smaller or larger, you should adjust the portions accordingly. This diet is for adult rats. For babies offer adult portions and let them eat as much as they want. Babies need additional amounts of either liver or oysters, as they have a higher requirement for copper, and these are the main sources. Give them the liver or oysters four times a week until they are 4-6 months old.
Find directions here! and mix up a tasty treat!
My eyes may be red, but they don't hurt. I was born without melanin, the pigment that gives color. My fur is white too because it doesn't have melanin either.
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