I feed my rats a variety of foods. Below I had added a list of the foods I use here at GBR.
I avoid foods with any corn products and soy/soya bean products.
High quality dry dog kibble
Raw performance turkey and salmon raw ground dog food
Chicken eggs hard boiled and scrambled
Raw quail eggs
Chicken bones (cooked)
Peas frozen thawed raw and cooked
Sunflower seeds (without shells/unsalted)
Pastas dry and cooked
Oatmeal cooked and uncooked
Natural baby foods
Cooked sweet potatoes
Broccoli raw and cooked
Carrots cooked and raw
Most left overs from the dinner plates.
During winter months and times of stress, I also add braggs apple cider vinegar to their water daily to help boost their immune systems
I use aspen bedding for my rats. I recommend using the same, if you decide to go with a bedding product. Fleece can also be used with dwarfs, as they are not as messy as standard sized rats. I recommend staying away from paper product beddings, as they often irritate the eyes and respiratory system.
My rats are treated with revolution or ivermectin on a routine basis, to keep parasites away. Wood bedding has a down side, as it’s possible that parasites can travel in on the bedding. All babies are treated with a preventative before leaving. I boost their immune systems for 10 days prior, as I do not like using chemicals, however it is a must at times.
My females are housed in a double critter nation, and my males in a single critter nation. Pregnant females are moved to nursey bins, before birthing and remain there until their litters are about 14 days of age. Then they move to extra large custom bins I have built, where they get hammocks, running wheels and toys. All of my cages are outfitted with extra large running wheels, hammocks, baskets, hideouts and toys. The rats have their own bedroom within my home.
My females typically have 2 litters in their lifetime, some top producing females may have 3. After they retire they are placed with families at no cost. Some of my girls stay with me for their retirement. Unfortunately as I can only keep a small number of rats, retirement into family homes works best for the rats and myself.
In 2017 there was a discovered serious issue of Seoul virus (hantavirus) in pet rats within North America. Canadian and American breeders were affected. Many American breeders euthanized all of their rats and some were unfortunately forced to do so, by the CDC. It was a very traumatic time for many. At the time I was a very small rattery, with about 12 rats. I was lucky and had the help of my local health unit and was able to test all of the breeding rats. Thankfully my rats were all negative and I continued my lines from there
Rat bite fever is caused by a bacteria animals can carry without showing any signs of, Rodents being the most common carrier. The bacteria is called streptobacillus moniliformis. It was discovered in 2021 that this was something breeders can now test for and unfortunately just about every breeder who has tested has both negatives and positives. Some breeders have chosen to selectively breed to achieve a completely negative rattery, something I myself am doing as I believe it’s important for pets.
There are a couple more diseases rats can carry that affect humans. Thankfully all can be tested for using serology testing. All of the rats in my home and breeding program are negative of these diseases. On the rare occasion I bring in a new rat, I have them fully serology tested before they come to my home. As the safety of my rats, clients and program are top priority.