Melissa’s Rat Mix (revised 4/05)
Innova Senior Dog Food OR Wellness Lite Dog Food (this should comprise approx. 1/5 of the TOTAL mix)
Dry pasta – BOTH tricolor and whole wheat (I avoid spirals)
Grape Nut Flakes
Various Organic Cereals (Multigrain, Amaranth, Bran, etc – look for sodium <100mg, sugars no more than 6g)
Puffed Kamut or Puffed Wheat, Puffed Millet
Low fat bulk soy granola AND organic low fat fruit granola (usually raspberry)
Organic rye and wheat flakes (I sometimes substitute Organic kamut or barley oats)
Just Tomatoes brand freeze dried bananas
Dried fruit/veggies (I use Just Tomatoes freeze-dried corn, peas, tomatoes, bell peppers, mango, and occasionally add UNSULPHURED dried papaya or apple)
In small amounts: Special K Cereal, Zupreem Bird food
Other things I add on a rotating basis:
Puffed Corn (best to limit dried corn intake)
Toasted Wheat germ
Pirate’s Booty Organic Cheese Puffs
Flavored Flat Breads, broken into pieces
Low Sodium Baked Pita Chips
Yogurt drops from Sweetmeadow Farms
This is their staple DRY diet, but I also give fresh fruit and vegetables daily (cantaloupe, banana, seedless watermelon, , cooked green beans, and frozen peas are favorites). Do NOT give orange juice or oranges containing the white skin-like coating to male rats – it contains d-limonene, which has been proven to cause kidney cancer in male rats.
I add one grain daily – I alternate brown rice, organic grits, couscous with olive oil and garlic (1/2 seasoning packet), baked potato or yams or white sweet potatoes, organic tri-color orzo, and wheat flour tortillas.
I add protein (from as pure a source as possible) 1-2 times a week: scrambled eggs, cooked beef liver, cooked low fat ground turkey, soy tempeh, cooked tofu, cooked fresh fish (look for low sodium), or cooked chicken.
This will not be anything near exact, but the container I use is a Sterlite “Show Offs.” It does not say how many gallons it is…sorry. It measures 10.5″tall by 12.5″ wide by 7.75″ deep.
The dog food comprises about 1/5 of the container (I use equal parts Wellnes and Innova)
I use 3/4 lb. of wheat pasta, and 1/2 lb. tri-color pasta
If adding Zupreem, I use about 3/4 cup
The puffed kamut I buy is organic and comes in a bag; I use 3/4 of a bag
I also add either puffed millet or puffed corn (organic), also in bags. I use 1/4 bag
I add 2 cups rolled rye oats (organic – we have them bulk at the health store)
The lowfat soy granola I add 2 cups, and the raspberry granola just 1 cup
I add a total of 1-1.5 cups of just tomatoes – I mix corn, peas, and tomato bits (all organic)
I also add 1/2-3/4 cup just bananas, broken into pieces – ***Note – banana chips are deep fried***
I add the cereals to fill
I use 1/2 large box of Grape Nut Flakes and have AT LEAST three other cereals to use (all organic). I use Barbara’s, Arrowhead Mills, and Health Valley cereals, but WATCH THE SODIUM!! I use cereals with <100mg per serving. The sugars should also be below 6mg for the most part (a couple of mgs higher is okay as just ONE part). Also watch the protein on many of the new cereals like Kashi (though I do recommend the Kashi Heart to Heart) – you do not want protein exceeding 6g with this mix unless you cut the protein in other areas (soy granola or dog food) to compensate.
Thanks go out to Melissa for letting us share her rat diet and recipes.