Housing & Play
The Brattys are pampered in large cages lined with fleece. I am currently using the Double Critter Nation as well as a 6' tall HQ bird flight cage. Nursing moms go in smaller wire cages with solid bottoms. Recently I have taken the middle section out of the cages and filled it with more toys, ladders and hammocks. This method seems to stimulate them and encourage them to be more active. I prefer to use fleece over traditional bedding as it is not dusty and it's more comfortable for the rats. I like to provide them with additional material for them to sleep in to prevent them from digging up their fleece. The cages are decorated with hammocks, hides, ladders, wheels, ropes, doll houses and other various toys to keep them happy. Rats are given free range play of the room which they love! Of course, they also get daily attention, from scritching or tickling to playing games! I love to play games with them such peek-a-boo, chase and om nom nom the rattie!
Diet & Treats
I strive to give my Brattys the best diet I can! I believe all animals benefit most from a natural diet. Man-made diets are made with cheap, low quality ingredients that are genetically modified. Small amounts of dangerous substances are added to these diets. While blocks are nutritionally complete with nutrients added, nothing beats whole foods that are naturally packed with nutrients. I also believe the bigger the variety, the healthier. I make my ow mix using mostly organic items. I don't just add a few basic things. Mostly lots of good for you foods! It includes a wide variety of grains, fruits, seeds and nuts. I give my rats supplements to ensure I am providing them a nutritionally complete diet. I do add a very small amount of natural dog food to it, although I do not recommend it in large amounts. Along with the mix, I give them a fresh diet everyday using freeze dried ingredients which I soak in warm water. It consists of multiple grains, veggies, egg, turkey and some fruit and nuts. They love it! I will also add some yogurt, honey, supplements and fresh fruits or veggies (Or give them that on the side). Fresh fruits and veggies are a must in a rattie's diet! It seems like the fruits and veggies that are not readily available are the most nutritious, so I am always trying new things to give to my rats. I especially love giving them exotic fruits. I also find that it is important to provide them with dark leafy greens which they love! In the summer they get fresh vegetable from the garden. I also like to buy frozen fruit pulp to make healthy smoothies to share with them! I buy the Goya brand as it offers a wide variety of exotic fruits that are not available fresh in stores. As far as treats go, I always make sure I choose something healthy as well. Sugars, salts and processed foods are not good for a ratties body!