VeggieBoards banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I understand that this may need to be moved to another section, but I wasn't sure where.<br><br>
I have 5 pet rats who I rescued from a breeder who had to get rid of all of her rats when a family member became too allergic (I dont see this as a great excuse as I too am severely allergic). I have been owned by several colonies of rats in the past and have always fed them a mix I make. However I have always had rats that were on the heavier side. With these boys, I am trying to keep them from becoming as fat, and have followed my vets advice and gotten a lab block for them. However, it seems like all of the lab block companies (or rather their parent companies) do animal testing of some kind. There is Mazuir who's parent company is purina and there is HT who blatantly posts on their site all of the breeding testing they do. There is one other company that sounds like maybe they dont test, but because they put fish in their blocks, many rats wont eat it. Oh, and also there is Kaytee lab blocks, but I've never heard a good thing about the Kaytee company. What do I do? I want to feed them a good diet, however I dont want to support animal cruelty. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":confused:">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
I've eaten those lab blocks myself. They taste like dirt. They don't taste like any other food pellet, and I don't blame your ratties for not liking them. They also taste like they have too much ash in them.<br><br>
Just like people, exercise is just as important as diet.<br><br>
They make jumbo exercise wheels for guinea pigs and ferrets. Your rats will probably like them. Here is an example, and it even has a rat on it: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=veggieboards.com-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FSuper-Pet-Chinchilla-Run-Around-Exercise%2Fdp%2FB0002AS956%2Fref%3Dsr_1_4%3Fs%3Dhome-garden%26ie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1309213954%26sr%3D1-4" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Super-Pet-Chin...9213954&sr=1-4</a><br><br>
Having them in a multi-level cage may help out, too.<br><br>
You may be able to close off an escape proof room and let them run around. I've used bathrooms and bedrooms. Just check and make sure they can't get out, and always watch them!!!<br><br>
As for diet, I've always given my rats some of the dog food or cat food pellets, and then most of their diet was hamster food from the pet store, along with lost of fresh fruits and veggies. My rats were like little garbage disposals for veggie and fruit leftovers... apple cores, cantaloupe rinds, potato peelings, carrot ends, kale stalks, etc... Every day, I would just break off or bite off whatever fruit or veggies I was eating and share it with them. They love fresh foods!!! Oh... and also they got the ends of the bread loafs, stale bread, crackers, etc...<br><br>
Anyway, regardless of what you feed them, if all they do is lay around their cage all day, they're going to get fat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They love their out time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> I used to let them have free rein of my bedroom, but then they stopped listening to the word "no" when chewing on my bedroom furniture, lol. So now they have a hall way that I then place lots of toys in for them. One of my boys know how to get over the barricade though, so I still keep doors closed so they cant get out. My two boy in one cage hate the wheel. I think it scares them. They have a three level cage and occasionally venture to the bottom level, but do like to lay around most of the time. My other three boys do have a wheel that they used to use fairly often, but now use it more as a perch for eating. Their cage is also mutli level. I was giving them two bowls a day of my mix. Then I switched them to the blocks which I would hand them periodically throughout the day ( as they have a habit of hoarding and stealing from each other). They did lose a little weight this way, and their coats were looking much better in my opinion. I just want to find the least cruel option for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
I like to do a pelleted food with healthy veggies and other foods to supplement.<br><br>
For adult rats I really like the Oxbow Regal Rat. It's a soy based protein source and keeps their kidneys happy. I'm not sure of Oxbow's testing policies but they do make some if the best diets available for small mammals. Their Critical Care is the go to product for syringe feeding sick herbivores and is widely recommended.<br><br>
Their <a href="http:////www.oxbowhay.com" target="_blank">website</a> lists suppliers and any vet clinic should be able to order it in for you.<br><br>
Of course diet is only part of the picture. As has been suggested safe wheels can be well received by some. The bigger the cage the better. Also, plenty of out if cage run around time. If I'm feeling a bit lazy I would take my guys out and sit with them in the rat proofed bathroom giving them free run and me a good relaxing sit down <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Kaleigh</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2925014"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
They love their out time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> I used to let them have free rein of my bedroom, but then they stopped listening to the word "no" when chewing on my bedroom furniture, lol.<br><br>
My two boy in one cage hate the wheel. I think it scares them.<br>
My other three boys do have a wheel that they used to use fairly often, but now use it more as a perch for eating.</div>
</div>
<br>
Taste deterrents may work.<br>
Examples: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=veggieboards.com-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fs%2Fref%3Dnb_sb_noss%3Furl%3Dsearch-alias%253Daps%26field-keywords%3Dbitter%2Bapple%2Bgel%26x%3D0%26y%3D0" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...le+gel&x=0&y=0</a><br>
I use the Bitter Apple Spray to keep my cats and dogs from eating my house.<br><br>
Here's a theory that's worth exploring. Their ears work different from ours, and there may be squeaking in the wheel that they find particularly annoying. I've used natural, or otherwise safe, non-food oils to lubricate the wheel joints and eliminate squeaking while I'm trying to fall asleep. Don't use oils that taste good, like olive oil, vegetable oil, etc... If you have either mineral oil or petroleum jelly, then use that. Both are safe to swallow, as they are the main ingredient in cat's hairball medicines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll look into that spray, thanks! I dont hear the wheel squeaking, but it couldn't hurt to try greasing it.<br><br>
And alibabble, oxbow (or however you spell it) is the one that I heard most rats hate. I belong to a rat forum (goosemoose) and almost none of the rats on that forum will eat it. But I can give it a try. And I do think they dont test, though to be honest I havent researched them as much since I have heard rats dont like them. But I do agree with you that a pellet based diet with supplemental snacks of veg, fruit and "others" is the best diet.<br><br>
Thanks both of you for all of your input <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
It was a bit hit or miss with my guys. So far 2 out of 3 rats have liked it :p Of course, Stuart and Henry were obese before I put them on a diet so they were always thrilled with any food. Morpheus was the pickiest little creature I've ever met. If you're lucky enough to have access to an exotics vet they may be able to give you a small sample to see if your guys will outright reject it or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
It has been several years, and prior to my going vegan, but I always fed my mice and rats the <a href="http://www.ratsrule.com/diet.html" target="_blank">Suebee's mix</a>. I would use Innova senior dog food in the mix and they loved it. I only had two overweight mice, and that was because Goldie was orangeish and carried an obesity gene, and the same with my Lola. Everyone else stayed lean and healthy on this diet.<br><br>
However, now that Proctor & Gamble have purchased Natura (who makes Innova,) I'd obviously not recommend that. I haven't gone through the Suebee's diet since I lived with rodents, but I'm sure you can find some good cruelty-free substitutions for whatever may need substituting! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top