New rat - won't eat much!

Discussions relating to feeding rats, types of food, supplements, and problems relating to eating.
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New rat - won't eat much!

Post by hannahbear » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:35 pm

On Sunday I adopted a new rat - yet to be named - who seems to have zero interest in food, unless it's brown bread. He has maybe 2 or 3 nibbles of anything then will put it down and won't eat it again... he's quite skinny, weighs 299g. Tried him on carrots, sprouts, mashed potato, beans with sauce, kale, brown bread (which he wolfed down) and some ratrations soft food mash no. 10 :roll:

Does anyone have any suggestions or tips/tricks?
I've never had a picky rat - I'm used to breeder boys who wolf anything down!
Samson, Ralph, Kit, Jeffrey, Benny and Sherlock :hearts:
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Re: New rat - won't eat much!

Post by Jemma » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:42 pm

The big difference here is your breeder boys have had variety from day one, they are used to trying everything as it might be there new fave food. Rats from a limited background such as petshop or rescue, often are fed on very dull diets like pelleted food, or even inappropriate long term diets like jsut bread or left overs. These havent had the chance or breeding to overcome a rats natural distrust of new foods. This is a real lifesaver in the wild, and not at all helpful in pets. How it works though is that a rat will try small amounts of a new foodstuff, (literally a nibble here or there) and then see how they feel over the next few days. If he feels sick or unwell at all he decides that food is poisen, if not then he decides it might be safe afterall. He's also unlikley to try everything in one go. They do also get some data from there cagemates (hence why rats scentmarking there food is a good thing) picking up smells of healthy rats urine on the food as well as observing the rats eating food and so deciding it might be safe. I expect now he's part of the group he will pick up eating the varied diet you feed in the next few weeks, slowly getting better at eating. He will also figure out scatter feeding and such gradually as well. Its just a real change for the poor lad.

For now i would offer him variations on his safe food as daily extras. Maybe try microwaving some beaten egg in the brown bread, or dunking it in some baby food. The idea is to encourage him to try new foods gradually. You could also see if the former owner fed him on a particular brand of food like niggets and maybe offer him a small amount daily whilst he's learning what real food is.


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