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Re: feeding + supplementing

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:56 am
by [cub]
I've never had kittens that young so I'm honestly not sure, and I do know they need more generous feeding when they're still growing very quickly, but if they're actually looking and feeling like tennis balls then maybe they do need a bit less. :lol:

I do normally split my rats' dry mix into two meals, one in the morning, one in the evening. I found that when I was feeding them all at once and then letting them graze on the leftovers during the day, some rats would graze earlier and more often than others, and I ended up with one thin rat and two increasingly fat rats. :P Not all groups will need split meals but my first group did (they actually needed splitting into three meals because their appetites were that mismatched), so it got me into the habit. They get fresh food every day alongside this, but it's usually just vegetables, with egg/fish once a week, and cooked carbs only as a treat really. Mind you, I've only got adults.

15g per rat per day is the average for how much people advise you to feed your rats; if they're getting a full balanced cooked meal on top of that, they may well be getting too much. (Rats do vary a lot in how much they need to eat though; I've had does who needed 8g and bucks who needed 20g, and I've heard of rats who need even more because they live in outbuildings where it's much cooler.)

If they've come from a decent breeder, you could try contacting them, perhaps with some photos attached; the breeder should know how their lines normally develop and what kind of weights and body shapes are normal.

Re: feeding + supplementing

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:31 pm
by cyber ratty
oowie wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:17 am
How much is too much for growing rats? 6 weeks old and 130gr now....
That is really very small to have been homed out, they would have benefitted from being kept for another couple of weeks. You might like to try suggesting that to the breeder - hopefully they will be receptive to making improvements. I bet they are still in fluffy kitten coat?

30g dry mix between them each day should be fine, and they will also need balanced meals most days of a low fat good quality protein, with cooked carbs, and some fresh veg - but for two kittens just a tablespoon in total at most as you don't want them to overeat. However, being boys, they will be going through a massive growth spurt at this stage, so if they seem to have digested their meal for the day and are still ravenous, you can offer them some bread as a bonus.

Once they get past 200g, you can cut the meals down to 2 or 3 times a week, and by about 12 weeks or so reduce to just their dry mix and fresh veg. Keep an eye on their tails though - if they feel a bit square edged, then carry on feeding the extra meals.

Re: feeding + supplementing

Posted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:12 am
by frodo quin
I wouldn’t worry to much about overfeeding them. Babies eat a lot compared to their size and don’t overeat quickly. I have the impression that your fresh food mostly contains of grains and protein. If so, I would feed a bit more vedge and cut down a bit on the grains, fats and protein.

Re: feeding + supplementing

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:49 pm
by oowie
At the moment they are enjoying the RR mix. I feed 20gr in the evening and everything is finished in the morning.
I then feed them some fresh cooked food with DR3 4 times a week.
Problem is they will only eat the cooked carbs from the fresh food. After tgat i feed another spoon RRmix to eat during the day.
The do eat veggies, but only from a skewer. The love it that way and i feed them a different veggie every day, but i cannot get DR3 in them that way, and i dont like feeding cooked carbs daily (they are slim atm and growing fast)
I feed some cooked chicken or egg by hand daily so i know for sure both are getting their part.
In the RRmix i have mixed in the science selective blocks, about 20% of the dryfood.
I worry if they are getting enough vitamins and minerals and also feel better about leaving the SS out completely.
Maybe it is better to use calcivet and daily essentials in the water twice a week?
Do you think they could need this? With supplementing in the water i know for sure that both of them are getting their nutrients.
I dont think thet need the cooked carbs and prefer to only feed the cooked protein by hand and veggies from a skewer
Have tried some babyfood for them, but they do not touch it.

What do you choose and why? DR3 or calcivet and daily essentials?

Re: feeding + supplementing

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:23 am
by cyber ratty
Growing rats need lots of cooked carbs - and protein fed in isolation won't be utilised by the body effectively (hence why the atkins diet works). I would mix the protein in with the carbs. What sort of dishes have you been serving?

Giving supplements in a little bottle (don't add it to their main water) is definitely the easiest way, and is needed if the mix isn't fully based on rabbit food (which already has the supplements added).

SS isn't so bad at their age and at that quantity, so carry on mixing it in if you like, just don't replace it when it's gone.

Re: feeding + supplementing

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:48 pm
by [cub]
I use DR3, with occasional Daily Essentials. DR3 is what I rely on for calcium, vitamin D, and copper (the three micronutrients it provides). Daily Essentials is there just as an all-round top-up for everything else, though it doesn't actually state how much it contains of most of the micronutrients it provides. :roll:

I don't like relying on Calcivet as its calcium level is actually remarkably low. While it is allegedly a more easily absorbed form than the calcium in most other supplements, I have difficulty believing that it's genuinely 1000% more absorbable, which it would have to be.

If the amount of cooked carbs they're getting is a genuine concern, and you want to continue using DR3, there are various approaches you could use. You could just mix the same amount of DR3 in with less carbs. I'm pretty sure I could get a decent dose of DR3 into a very small quantity of mashed potato, for example. If you lightly oil their veg, the DR3 may stick to it well enough for them to have it on a skewer as they prefer and still get their supplements. I'm a bit surprised they're so fussy about food though; they may not have had much exposure to novel foods at the breeder's, I suppose. They may need multiple exposures to a new food before they'll accept it.

If they're still a good size and shape for their age, though, then I wouldn't worry that they're getting too much cooked carbs or SS. Both provide more readily available calories than a less processed dry mix, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if overall calorie control is good.

Re: feeding + supplementing

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:49 pm
by oowie
My 2 boys are terrible about eating fresh meals with DR3. I ordered the liquid calcivet and daily essentials to put in the water.
Also ordered the wet foods from RR. Hope they like that.

How much should i use from the calcivet (in ml and how much drops is that?)and DE (in grams and how much of the measuring spoon is that)in a 150ml water bottle?
How long will this last them and can i leave it in the cage for more then 24hours?
How often should i use these supplements?

I wil have 4 rats in a couple weeks. Should i use a different dosage then?

(I do not mix SS in with their RRmix anymore, so the vitamins and minerals have to comefrom calcivet and DE and the fresh veggies the eat from the skewer)

Re: feeding + supplementing

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:38 am
by cyber ratty
My advice would be...

Give the supplements in a different bottle to their normal water source.
Use as small amount of water as possible - for 4 rats I'd give about 40ml, so for 2 only about 20ml.
Add 1ml of Dr. Squiggles powder per rat, and 1ml of calcivet per rat.
They should finish it within a few hours, but if they don't, it will go off after 24 hours anyway.
For a fully straights based diet, I'd supplement 4 or 5 times a week.

You can also leave a calcium source in the cage such as a cooked bone (often sold for dogs), and/or a cuttlefish bone.

Re: feeding + supplementing

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:49 pm
by Feolthanos
cyber ratty wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:38 am

You can also leave a calcium source in the cage such as a cooked bone (often sold for dogs), and/or a cuttlefish bone.
Interesting you mention cuttlefish. It's something I always have in as I also own terrapins, but heard very mixed things about feeding rats cuttlefish. Everything from it's too low to dangerously high or not absorbed well by the body to it's the best thing ever. Made me very confused at if it was safe, and an effective source of calcium.

Re: feeding + supplementing

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:49 pm
by [cub]
Feolthanos wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:49 pm
Interesting you mention cuttlefish. It's something I always have in as I also own terrapins, but heard very mixed things about feeding rats cuttlefish. Everything from it's too low to dangerously high or not absorbed well by the body to it's the best thing ever. Made me very confused at if it was safe, and an effective source of calcium.
Cuttlebone is apparently mostly a form of calcium carbonate. If I recall correctly, calcium carbonate isn't fantastically well absorbed (by the human body at any rate), but it's not terrible either. It certainly works well enough that it's what most calcium supplements are made of.

As for whether it's too low or high, it really depends how much they eat. I imagine it's probably fine unless they're really going for it, at which point you'd notice and can just ration their access to it.