Your rat’s diet should consist of 80% lab blocks and 20% fruits and veggies.
What Should I Feed My Pet Rat?
I personally like using Harlan Teklad 2014 lab blocks because they’re not that much more expensive than the common brand but a little higher in quality. This is only available online or purchasing it through rat rescues.
You can also supplement your diet with a grain mix. There’s a popular mix called “Sues Bees” mix but there isn’t very much nutritional value in that mix. Puffed cereal contains very little nutritional value for the rats. Dog food should not be fed in the quantities listed on the Sues Bees.
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Elena: What do you do if your Rats won’t eat the lab blocks? Mine hate them, (all 15 of them won’t eat the lab blocks) they just take them out of their bowl, and leave them in the litter box.
IF I put 15 blocks in the cage, I will find 15 un-eaten blocks in the litter box, or in hidden their bedding, un-eaten, for days. I usually find the blocks when I am cleaning their cages, and I can tell that the lab blocks haven’t even been nibbled on.
I have even tried letting them go without food for a couple of days, and just giving them lab blocks.
(I have tried almost brand available, and even homemade lab blocks)
Maybe my Rats are too spoiled?
My answer: Do your rats have any other foods on a regular basis? I know you said that you’ve tried giving them just lab blocks.
I find it hard to believe that they’re not eating lab blocks if that’s all they have for days. You’d see some weight loss and changes in their health.
If you feed a lot of other stuff aside from blocks like treats, fruits, veggies, it’s possible that they could just be full. If they run around your home a lot, perhaps they have hidden stashes of food somewhere.
What brand of lab blocks have you tried? I find that Harlan Teklad is most favorable. I’ve been through hundreds of foster rats and I’ve never had a rat just not eat them.
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Gina: Hi. I, too, have tried blocks..Mazuri and the rats won’t eat them. One was nibbled on and the rest stayed in the bowl! They had been on the Sue Bee’s diet. They are back on the Sue Bee’s now, too. I
didn’t understand the nutritional value of the puffs, either. Since my three blue boys are young rats, I am afraid to withhold food for too long and was advised against doing so by anyratrescue.org.
They told me it was cruel. So far, my boys don’t stash their food anywhere. They are four and a half months old. Please advise. Thank you.
My Answer: It is cruel to hold food back from your rats. I do agree and would never try and convey that to my readers. However, contrary to popular beliefs, the Sue Bee’s diet has little to no nutritional benefits from them.
Their diet should be 80% blocks and 20% fresh fruits and veggies. They don’t need the dog food in Sue’s Bees or all the additional sugars.
Try taking away the Sue Bee’s mix and just give them some blocks. If you offer them both, they’re going to go for the ones with plenty of sugar. I’ve foster from babies to adults and have had a ton of different rats. They will all eat the blocks if you don’t give them any other option. If I give my rat the choice between Sue Bee’s and blocks, they will definitely choose the sugars first.
Trust me that you’re not doing them any favorites by providing the sue bee’s mix. You need to get them on a proper diet or else it’ll be just as bad as not giving them food at all because they won’t get the nutrition they need.
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