Filling food bowl with bedding

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domiles
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Filling food bowl with bedding

Post by domiles » Sat May 02, 2015 3:35 pm

Its not really a big problem, I'm just interested in the reason for doing it - and its slightly annoying cos it causes waste! My three ladies use cardboard bedding and they like to fill their food bowls with it, sometimes completely covering the bowl! I guess its behaviour they'd use in the wild, they are simply concealing their food from other animals or from each other?? any ideas? The only problem is that the bedding and litter gets so mixed up in the muesli and other foods I give them that I end up chucking the lot and giving a fresh bowl of food! Does anyone else's rats do this?

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acapae_wolf
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Re: Filling food bowl with bedding

Post by acapae_wolf » Sat May 02, 2015 3:39 pm

Yep you're right, t's stashing - saving it for later. Which probably means that you're giving them too much, especially if you're viewing it as wasteful. Which to be honest I don't really understand - why are you throwing it away? It's still food that's accessible - doesn't matter that it's mixed in with things. Also by doing that, they're being able to pick and chose the best bits and only eating those bits, rather than all of it (since you throw away the rest and give them more for exactly the same to happen). Which isn't a balanced diet as they're only eating the most desirable bits.

I'd try scatter feeding them instead i.e. sprinkling their food around in the substrate, rather than in a bowl. It's healthier both physically and mentally and means you don't even need to think about bowls :) Rats who are given feeding enrichment also tend not to stash their food because if it takes effort to do, they're only going to look for food when they're hungry rather than as something to do. There's also no need to bury it because it's not on display, as it were. Here's an article with more info: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=286 If they're
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domiles
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Re: Filling food bowl with bedding

Post by domiles » Sat May 02, 2015 3:58 pm

Thanks for the reply, I hadn't thought of that. To be honest, I don't really chuck much away, I uncover it and weed out the litter and bedding as I hate to waste food - but I will try everything you have suggested, thanks.

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acapae_wolf
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Re: Filling food bowl with bedding

Post by acapae_wolf » Sat May 02, 2015 4:31 pm

It makes no difference to the rats if their food is mixed up :D Although it is a bit gross when a wet meal is involved :sick:
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Tori30
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Re: Filling food bowl with bedding

Post by Tori30 » Sat May 02, 2015 5:07 pm

Mine only tend to do this when they get fish - I think they're trying to hide the smell! To be fair, spicy tomato mackerel is pretty whiffy!
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Re: Filling food bowl with bedding

Post by Hobbit Stealer » Sat May 02, 2015 6:22 pm

Digging through bedding to find little bits of hidden food is stimulating and enjoyable for rats anyway, because it's natural foraging behaviour. Many of us encourage this by not using food bowls at all. So I wouldn't worry :) There is no reason they shouldn't eat it mixed in with bedding!
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lamb
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Re: Filling food bowl with bedding

Post by lamb » Sat May 02, 2015 7:05 pm

Tori30 wrote:Mine only tend to do this when they get fish - I think they're trying to hide the smell! To be fair, spicy tomato mackerel is pretty whiffy!
:lol: mine do that too.
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Re: Filling food bowl with bedding

Post by Hobbit Stealer » Sat May 02, 2015 8:06 pm

lamb wrote:
Tori30 wrote:Mine only tend to do this when they get fish - I think they're trying to hide the smell! To be fair, spicy tomato mackerel is pretty whiffy!
:lol: mine do that too.
Mine too!
I also had a chap who liked to "bury" the food bowls (when I still used them) by carefully placing one single square of cardboard on it
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lamb
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Re: Filling food bowl with bedding

Post by lamb » Sat May 02, 2015 10:23 pm

Hobbit Stealer wrote: I also had a chap who liked to "bury" the food bowls (when I still used them) by carefully placing one single square of cardboard on it


Awwww that's so adorable :hearts:
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Re: Filling food bowl with bedding

Post by Nicky » Sun May 03, 2015 11:31 am

I have a Jamie Oliver Salt pig in the cage as a dried food container. The girls fill it with paper when it's empty of food.
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