Our rats live in Savic Royal Suites, which are fantastic ratty palaces with excellent access. The cages are filled with a variety of different styles of hammocks, cardboard boxes and plastic igloos and sputniks, so there are plenty of places for them to sleep, play and hide. We add in ropes and ladders for them to climb on, and give them a selection of nesting materials, such as shredded paper, torn strips of newspaper, boxes of tissues and shopping receipts. We use cardboard squares as substrate, and Back 2 Nature in the litter trays. They are fully cleaned out once weekly, and we perform spot cleans throughout the week.
Expectant mums are moved to a Ferplast Mary or Savic Ruffy in late pregnancy to allow them to prepare for the birth. They will raise their litter in this cage until the babies are climbing, and then moved to a Jenny.
Here is our updated basic care sheet, as our website host is playing up and won't let us edit the information sheet page!
Our rats are fed a mixture of dry and fresh food. They receive their fresh food at breakfast time, and this is generally vegetables such as curly kale, carrots, Chinese leaf cabbage or sprouted seeds. They sometimes get fruit, for example blueberries, grapes or chopped apple, and occasionally a fresh protein meal like liver, prawns or high quality dog or cat food. Occasionally they receive chicken bones or a carbohydrate-based meal, such as couscous or porridge.
Pregnant and nursing does and young kittens receive extra protein to meet their growth-related nutritional requirements. As well as the above-mentioned sources of protein, they receive EMP, Lactol, tinned sardines etc.
We base our dry mix, which they are fed in the evening after freeranging, on rabbit food (a mix NOT a pelleted brand). To this is added a variety of grains, cereals, dried vegetables, garlic (powdered or dried), seaweed powder, seeds, nuts, dog kibble, dried fish/insects and whatever else catches our eye to make it interesting and nutritious for them.
Supplement-wise, we give our rats Dr Squiggles Daily Essentials, although not every day. Linseed oil is added to some of their fresh meals. Nursing does also get Calcivet.
Again, here is our updated feeding sheet.