Rats love new food options as well as new and interesting things to play with. You should offer a variety of foods and treats. You can make your own food and your own treats for even more variety. Just make sure that you are aiming for a variety of foods because rats are omnivores. You also want to offer them a diet that is low in fat for the best results. Here are some great recipes that will let you make your own foods and treats for your fun loving little ratties.
Fresh foods are a great way to offer a variety. You can choose raw options such as many fruits and vegetables. You can also offer cooked foods such as beans, sweet potatoes, and cooked pasta. Many different fresh foods are great ways to add to your rats basic diets. For more on feeding rats fresh foods check out that article Rats: Feeding a Great Diet.
Many people head to the grocery store to mix up a basic batch of food for their rats. You can choose how much you should add to make a mix of food for your rats. Here are some options to add into your basic foods.
- Add grains. You want to add a variety of grains. Rolled oats, puffed wheat, puffed rice, barley, and toasted buckwheat are all great options. Small amounts of flaxseeds are also good.
- Add protein. You need to add a good protein source as well. You want to find a low fat protein source as your main source and then add a small amount of other options. Roasted, unsalted soy nuts is a great protein source. You can add small amounts of roasted and unsalted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- Cereal. Many cereals offer a wide variety of nutrients and choosing whole grain varieties will offer a great food option for your rats. Choose medium amounts of cereal for whole nutrition. Good options are Total cereal, whole wheat flakes, and Cheerios are good options.
- Dried Fruit. You can also add small amounts of dried fruit. You shouldn't add a lot of these to the staple diet and you should always choose fruits that are not sweetened. You want to make sure that sugar was never added to the drying process.
- Dry Pasta. Pasta can offer good nutrition and is crunchy which is good for their teeth. Tri-colored pasta flavored with tomatoes and spinach are a good option. The other option is whole wheat pasta which also has good nutrition. Mixing the two is your final option.
You can choose what items you use and at what ration. As a rule of thumb you should mix about 3 1/2 pounds of grains, pastas, and cereals with 3/4 to 1 pound of seeds or nuts. You should add about 1/2 pound of dried fruits.
Crunchy Fruit Balls.
You make crunchy fruit balls by mixing 1/2 cup of juice (not orange juice which can cause illness) and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. To that you should add 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup of dried fruit. Finish by adding dry whole grain flours to make a dough that can be rolled into balls. This should be about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of grains. Whole wheat flour, cornmeal, oatmeal flour, or rice flour are all good options. By adding cornmeal you will have a deliciously crunchy fruit ball. Once the dough is thick you should roll them into small balls. Place a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet, put your fruit balls on the wax paper and place in a warm oven until they get dry and crunchy. You can make seed balls with beef brother instead of juice and seed mix instead of fruit.
Store these in a zipper sealed bag for freshness and put them in the fridge for freshness. While you can give these to your rats you need to remember that all treats should be given in moderation.
Mix frozen vegetables together and microwave them until soft, but not mushy. Then add in a bit of tofu to make a nice delicious sauce. Cool to room temperature and then feed to your rats. You can then store the vegetables for up to two days.
Take a ripe banana and smash it thoroughly. You will then want to add wheat germ to it until the banana is thick. You can then serve that.
Yogurt and Baby Food.
Rats love great foods. Yogurt and baby food can both be great foods for your rats. You will want to choose a yogurt that doesn't have any artificial sweeteners. Then mix in enough baby cereal (such as oatmeal) into it to make it nice and thick.
To make rat cookies you will need 1/4 ripe banana mushed smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of wheat germ, 2 tablespoons of vanilla pudding, and 1/4 cup of crushed cereal. You should mix everything together. Put your dough in the fridge for at least an hour. Pinch off a small amount of dough and flatten it into a cookie. Feed no more than one cookie per day. Store in the fridge for a couple of days.
Toys That Can Be Eaten.
You can also give your rat toys that they can eat. This can make for an exciting and fun treat for your rats.
- Wood chews. You can cut small pieces of wood and soak them in juice (everything but orange juice). Then let them dry. Your rats will love them.
- PiÃ±atas. There are a number of different ways you can make a pinata type toy for your rats. Find a great treat that your rats like. Put them in a toilet paper roll, a wicker ball, or you can fill a sock. Tie or fold the ends in a way that your rats have to dig and chew their way to the treats.
Your rats will love it if you get involved in their foods because they will enjoy all the great food you will offer them. You should try new things, check out more recipes, and have a lot of fun making toys that your rats can eat.