Color rats are best fed at home with a combination of dry food, fresh food (vegetables and fruit) and smaller portions of animal food. It is important to have a healthy mixture that provides your long tails with all the important nutrients and tastes delicious too.
What do rats eat? Feed mixtures made from pellets or grain feed?
In the pet shop you can find various feed mixtures for rats, which normally have all the important nutrients and vitamins. Common feed mixes consist of either pellets or grain feed. Most rats like grain feed better. Unfortunately, there is a risk here that the rodents will only pick out the tasty or high-fat parts from the feed and so important ingredients will be left behind. If you mainly cover your rats' basic nutrition with mixtures of grains, you should therefore only refill the bowl when it has really been emptied.
Pellets combine all the important ingredients and cannot be selected by the rats. However, the animals often scorn pellets because they are not as tasty as grains - but the rats can get used to the food. Unfortunately, many of the pellets consist of hay, which rats do not need. Before you buy, take a look at the list of ingredients and pay attention to high-quality feed without unnecessary ingredients.
As a basic food, you can occasionally serve unsweetened nut or fruit muesli, oatmeal or unsweetened cornflakes for a change. However, make sure that such extras are not always on the menu. Nuts, for example, contain a lot of fat, which is not good for the rat body in the long run.
Rat nutrition: components and amounts
When buying dry food, make sure that the crude protein content is around 12 percent - rats need high-quality proteins in sufficient quantities. On the other hand, crude fat should not be present in the feed in quantities above five percent. Most basic feed mixtures consist mainly of barley, wheat, linseed, oats, spelled, corn or hemp. If in doubt, rely on branded products and inform yourself in the pet store about the quality of the respective feed.
Regarding the need per rat, it must be said that the amount of feed required can vary depending on health, age and physical activity. The daily requirement of a rat is around 15 to 25 grams or around five grams of food per 100 grams of body weight. Go for a varied diet and be economical with fat snacks such as nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
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Fresh feed and animal protein for rats
In addition to the basic food, you should offer your color rats fresh fruit and vegetables every day. Small portions of fresh food not only provide a welcome change that every rat is happy about, they are also healthy. Give washed and chopped fruits and vegetables about once a day in a small amount (which the rats can't hoard). You can feed most types of fruits and vegetables with ease - dangerous exceptions that do not belong on the rat menu can be found in our listing below.
Rats are not pure vegetarians and therefore occasionally need protein of animal origin. Feed unsweetened milk products such as yogurt or low-fat curd cheese two to three times a week. Low-fat cheese is also eaten in small quantities. You can also give your rodents a hard-boiled egg with a shell. A little pasta or rice in cooked form is also possible.
Nutrition: rats must not eat this!
Do not feed leftovers, spiced or sugared foods to rats. Due to the hydrocyanic acid contained in the kernels, you should also avoid stone fruit such as peaches or cherries and also acidic citrus fruits. Salads are better served only in very small quantities and only in season, because salads are usually very nitrate-rich, which is not good for rodents. You must not feed: eggplants, raw potatoes, most types of cabbage, radishes, radishes, papaya, rhubarb, avocado as well as legumes and onion plants such as leek, garlic or onions - these foods harm rats. If you have further questions about the nutrition of rats, you should talk to your veterinarian about the right food for your rodent.