Apr. 6th, 2010

thesoupfairy: (Default)
We're having leftovers for dinner tonight since it's just my husband and me tonight and I made plenty of pasta last night.

But it was time for me to make rat food. Yes, my family has pet rats. Several of you have heard me mention that I make their food, and have asked for more details.

First of all, the reason I make their food. Rats have incredibly short lifespans. The average pet rat has a lifespan of just 2-3 years. They are delightful little furry people, with very distinct personalities, and we want to feed them as well as possible so they spend more time healthy and so we get to enjoy them as long as we can.

Okay, so. This recipe makes enough food for 2 weeks for my 4 young adult rats. I freeze 3/4 of the recipe and thaw as needed. Store the part you'll use within a few days in the fridge in an airtight container. You'll have to experiment with your ratties to figure out how much they need. I feed twice a day, morning and evening, and I try to feed just the right amount so that everything gets eaten before the next feeding.

Please note that the original post on which I based this recipe is here. All I've really done is customize this to my own little ratties, and develop a way of making it that is easy for me.

This takes a while. Expect to spend at least an hour making it. I find it quite meditative. Even when I'm not feeling like cooking, I can get into making this! It's pretty mindless, so I can let my mind go blank and just chop and mix.

Happy Rattie Food

  • 32 blueberries

  • 8 kale leaves, finely chopped

  • 1/2 container sprouts, chopped

  • 1 can beans (pinto, red, black, garbanzo, etc.), rinsed and drained

  • 1 banana, finely chopped

  • 2 broccoli crowns, stems and florets, chopped

  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, baked (microwave 6 minutes) and diced

  • 8 grapes, chopped or 1/4 cup raisins

  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups chopped bok choy or Napa cabbage

  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley

  • 2 tablespoons corn kernels

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh apple

  • 2 slices beef liver, cooked and chopped finely

  • 1 summer squash (6-8" long), finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup green peas

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or 1/2 cup fresh or frozen)

  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped


When you start, put the liver on to boil, and put the sweet potatoes in the microwave.

How you put this together depends on your rats. Some rats will decide they don't like certain fruits or veggies and will just pick and choose which bits to eat. (One of my rats refused to eat the liver pieces.) For those rats, you may find it works best to put all of your fruits, veggies, and liver through a food processor and then mix the resultant paste with the second bunch of ingredients (see below). For rats who are less picky, try just chopping the items above as indicated and then mixing them with the ones below.

  • 1-1/2 cups Total breakfast cereal, crushed

  • 2 lbs soft tofu, crumbled

  • 3000 mg calcium

  • 4000 mcg chromium picolinate

  • 500 mcg vitamin B-12

  • 80 mg manganese

  • 3 tablespoons raw shelled sunflower seeds

  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds

  • 9 tablespoons oats

  • 3 tablespoons pearled barley

  • 3 tablespoons millet

  • 6 tablespoons cooked brown rice

  • 8 tablespoons wheat germ

  • 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 4 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

Combine all ingredients, mixing very well. If any of your vitamins/supplements are in tablet form, you can drop them in with your rice while it's cooking to help dissolve them. Capsules should be opened and the powder added to the mixture. Discard the empty capsules.

Once this mixture is done and the fruit/veggie mixture is done, combine the two and store.

Good snacks for your ratties, all chosen for specific rat health benefits, in addition to this diet (be sure that you don't feed them extras until after they've eaten their meal/s for the day):

  • celery

  • avocado

  • prunes

  • peeled and rinsed oranges VERY IMPORTANT! An oil on the outside of citrus fruits is correlated to cancer in male rats

  • garlic

  • raspberries

  • onions

  • strawberries

  • dates

  • ginger

  • popcorn (popped but unsalted/unbuttered)

  • dark chocolate

  • pasta
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