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A Little about this wonderful pet



Rats are very sociable animals that enjoy the company of people and other rats. They are best kept in groups of two or more, separating the sexes if breeding is not desired. Rats are intelligent animals that are easy to keep and require little maintenance, they can even be litter trained. All that is required to keep your rat comfortable are the following:

A cage of suitable size,
Food (discussed below),
Water - Vaccuum pressure water bottle,
Bedding - Rags or old towels, and
Litter - Wood pellets(not cedar or pine) or newspaper pellets are the most absorbant.

For litter I use Eastern Embers (www.Shawresources.ca) premium wood pellet fuel
Eastern Embers'consistency and high quality are made possible by the extraordinary wood fibre derived from our local species of spruce.

Guaranteed Analysis
Grade..... premium
Material....100% wood
Ash.........less than 0.5%
Fines.......less than 0.5%
Sodium......less than 300ppm

EASTERN EMBERS IS 100% WOOD AND USES NO GLUES OR BINDERS.
There are other wood pellet companies out there that are the same, just make sure that they have no additives.


Rats;
They are playful animals that enjoy attention and the chance to explore their surroundings. If your rat is really enjoying his/herself, they will start to do something called burxing. This happens when their teeth start grinding or 'jittering', and their eyes pop in and out of their socket. So if this happens, don't be alarmed, just think of it as like a cat purring.


FOOD


FOOD

WHAT TO FEED YOUR RATS

Your rats can eat the same food that you eat, anything from scrambled eggs to bread to vegetables. They can also survive nicely on dog food, as long as it is of good quality and not too high in protein. The following is a list of good foods to feed your rat;

*Dry rolled oats
Any type is fine as long as it contains no sugar.

*Puffed wheat cereal
Malt-O-Meal, Quaker or Kashi, which is available in natural food stores. Cheerios are also a viable alternative, nutrios are great that can be found in the baby section at your grocery store.

*Puffed rice cereal
Preferably a type that contains no sugar. Rice Krispies really are not recommended.

*Roasted, unsalted soy nuts
These are somewhat high in protein, but contain valuable cancer-preventing agents, so they are a good addition to the mix. If you can't find them, you can work soy into their diet in other ways, such as soy milk, tofu, soy crumbles and soy yogurt.

*Dried fruits
Bananas, which offer potassium, and cranberries are good for the urinary tract.
Or you can give them fresh fruit that your eating.

*Dry pasta
The tri-colored spirals, with spinach and tomato flavor. Nice and crunchy for the teeth, and a good source of carbohydrates, which helps balance the protein in the soy nuts.

*Sunflower seeds
Unsalted, they can be bought bulk.

*Fresh vegetables

*Chicken bones
The ones left over from supper are a great healthy treat.

Just give them a variety of foods that are good for them, just things that you have in your cupboard, mix them all together and voila, you have rat food. Then make sure they have dog food handy at all times. Some people will just buy a mouse and rodent mix or lab blocks, and add dog food.

*Dog food
Any good quality low protein dog food is good.


WHAT NOT TO FEED YOUR RAT

Generally any food you can eat, you can give it to your rats. However, there are some exceptions as follows:

*Blue cheese - The mold in it is toxic to rats.
*Licorice - Is suspected to cause neurological poisoning in a rat.
*Raw sweet potato - Contains compounds that form cyanide in the stomach.
*Raw dry beans or peanuts - Contains antinutrients that destroy Vitamin A and enzymes needed to digest protein and starches, and causes the red blood cells to clump.
*Raw red cabbage and brussel sprout - Contains antinutrient that destroys thiamin.
*Raw artichokes - Inhibits protein digestion.
Green bananas - Inhibits starch digestion enzymes.
*Green potato skin and eyes - Contain solanine, a toxin.
*Wild insects - Can carry internal parasites and diseases, not worth taking chances.
*Rhubarb - Contains high levels of oxalates.
*Raw bulk tofu - The bulk unpackaged kind contain bacteria. The packaged raw tofu is safe.
*Peanut butter - Has been known to choke a rat. It is very thick and can get caught in your rats throat. Stay away from it just to be on the safe side.
 

Forbidden Foods
Foods to stay away from

Generally any food you can eat, you can give it to your rats. Here are some exceptions, these are foods to avoid;

* Blue cheese - The mold in it is toxic to rats.
* Licorice - Is suspected to cause neurological poisoning in a rat.
* Raw sweet potato - Contains compounds that form cyanide in the stomach.
* Raw dry beans or peanuts - Contains antinutrients that destroy vitimin A and enzymes needed to digest protein and starches, and causes the red blood cells to clump.
* Raw red Cabbage and brussel sprout - Contains antinutrient that destroys thiamin.
* Raw artichokes - Inhibits protein digestion.
* Green bananas - Inhibits starch digestion enzymes.
* Green potato skin and eyes - Contain solanine, a toxin.
* Wild insects - Can carry internal parasites and diseases, not worth taking chances.
* Rhubarb - Contains high levels of oxalates.
* Raw bulk tofu - The bulk unpackaged kind, contain bacteria, the packaged raw tofu is safe.
* Peanut butter - Has been known to choke a rat, it is very thick and can get caught in your rats throut, stay away from it just to be on the safe side.

If I come across any other dangerous foods I'll add them to the list, if you know of any other foods that I'm forgetting let me know.


Bowl of rats.


Dora > My blazed veriegated girl.