What food to use?

Published January 25, 2013 by Kokomo

I have been experimenting with food for months. Obviously I want to give my babies the best, but they also have to ike to eat it. Otherwise the will only eat the extra’s and well, Koko already is overweight..

I started off with reggie rat, the food I had used previously with my older rats, which they never seem to completely eat. As it is a mixed food, they have a choice what to eat and they did choose. So very often I had to throw out half of the content of their feeding tray, because they simply didn’t like some parts.

The bag

The bag

As you can see, more than enough choice

As you can see, more than enough choice

I also thought the percentage of animal protein quite high in Reggie Rat (total protein 14,7%-looking back, not that much). Baby rats (rittens) need a lot of protein, but when they grow out of puberty they don’t need that much. In female rats, too much animal protein can cause tumors, mostly around the mikglands. Needless to say, I was not happy with this food, so I decided to switch.

I had heard of labfood, which contains all they need, all together mashed into blocks, cubes or whatever. They used these in the Petstore I got them from. This food doesn’t have different things they can choose from, so no selective eating and they will get everything they need. I chose Hope farms Rat/mouse super.

The bag

The bag

Tasty looking eh?

Tasty looking eh?

Not only did the food look disgusting, it smelled awful too. Kind of fishy! No wonder my ladies did NOT like this food. I used this over the summer, when I also went on a trip for 2,5 weeks and during that time they stayed with a friend of mine. I don’t know how she did it but she managed to feed them a bag (750 gr) of this in those 3 weeks. I guess she didn’t give them any extra’s or threw it out every day or maybe fed it to her guinea pig. I never asked because I didn’t want to be rude ;). Something I hadn’t noticed until now actually, the animal protein values in this product are 17,5%, which is even more then Reggie Rat.

Then, I started looking at other options. In the mean time I fed the cat food, wet and dry, some left over Reggie and a generic brand by my petstore, which only contained fibre and vegetables. I came across Beaphare Care+, which is considered a really good brand (and an expensive one). But then when I read more about this, it turns out this is mostly good for animals recovering from birth, bad illness or operations. Rats that need ‘fattening up’.  So no on that for Koko ;). Also total protein percentage is 22,5%. More, more more….

The bag

The bag

Seems to have some variation to choose from...

Seems to have some variation to choose from…

I didn’t give up though! I joined a forum, discussed the food I was currently giving them and learnt I was still feeding way too much animal protein and cat food holds too many salts. So gone with the cat food and I tried mixing the leftovers I had.

Then, when I went to the pet store to get new supplies (see this post), I stumbled across Supreme Science Selective for rats. I had heard about this food on the forum and was a little frightened of the price and the fact that again, they might not eat them, but so many people were positive about them, I decided it was time to try.

The bag

The bag

Again, not very appetizing...

Again, not very appetizing…

A little reluctant, I filled their food tray with these triangles, which, luckily, did NOT smell fishy. And to my surprise, the next day, the tray was almost empty!! Yes, they like this food, I know it’s unbelievable, but true! And a VERY big bonus with this food is that it is vegetarian and therefor does not contain any animal protein. The total protein content is only 14%, yay! So now I decide how much animal protein they get and I only give it as a treat. The blocks stay dry, do not smell and are apparently quite tasty. So call me a happy camper! Now I’ve heard they also have an apple-blue berry flavored one, so I am on the hunt for that one for next time. For now the box is still quite filled as they eat about 30 grams a day in total. I will update if I find the new one!

 

Update: apparently, the one I am feeding them IS the apple-blueberry flavored one xD

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