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Confused on food NOT to feed

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:24 pm
by christopherjohn

We have two male rats about 1 year old. I have found a few different lists that have all types of foods you should NOT feed to your rat. Some include peanuts or raw beans. Some say not to feed brussel sprouts or citrus fruits.

We tend to feed our boys a large variety of fresh veggies as well as keep lab blocks in their cage.

Is there a definitive list of bad or unwanted foods for rats?


Re: Confused on food NOT to feed

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:05 pm
by cyber ratty
In general, if we can eat something, so can they.

When they say beans should be cooked, they are referring to pulses like kidney beans, but green beans are fine raw.
Citrus should be avoided for bucks.
You mention lab blocks which makes me think you may be in the US, in which case I believe there can be issues with sweetcorn, although I'm not sure what they are.

Btw, a dry mix is far better for rats than a homogenous block, so I would recommend switching to a home made mix (if you are in the UK, you can get good quality ones from Rat Rations).

Re: Confused on food NOT to feed

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:31 pm
by christopherjohn

Thanks for the reply! The main food they eat is Oxbow Essentials Adult Rat Food that come in small pieces. We also get the Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend for Rats. We also buy nuts and seeds in bulk and will give them small bowls of those throughout the day. We do have some dried corn that we have fed them from time to time but I did see people saying not to feed them that. There are just so many places with differing information!

Thank you!


Re: Confused on food NOT to feed

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:02 pm
by tabirat
Hi Christopher, I understand your frustration at the endless, contradictory lists of things you shouldn't feed pet rats. It was that very frustration that mae be go away and research available science to see which were based on truth, which were misunderstood and which foods can be fed but with caution. Turns out there's a lot of myth out there but there are also important "never feed" foods too. One of which is citrus in male rats, which - due to a male specific protein in the rats kidneys - can cause structural damage to the kidneys as they age. The corn thing depends on source - its because some corn - usually where it hasn't been dried and stored well - is contaminated with mould spores.
If you really want the definitive (researched) guide - it does exist (I wrote it!) and it's part of The Scuttling Gourmet Series of ebooks. You can see it here: Rat Diet: Caution! How not to feed your rats?

Hope that helps