It can be a great deal if you are welcoming a rat baby into your family. Rats are sharp, intelligent, curious, and loyal little creatures. Being a pet parent means taking responsibility for their food, health, and development.
The early stages of baby rats are delicate, and you need to be careful about what you are feeding them.
If you want to know things about rat food, you are at the right place. In this article, we will elaborate on when you can feed baby rats with solid food and the benefits of feeding solid food to baby rats?
The weaning process usually starts after one month in rats. Weaning is the process of shifting from mother’s milk to solid food for the nutrition of baby rats.
You can start from moistened oatmeal and other grains (with yogurt) or soft foods like fruits and veggies and then shift to other solid foods with time.
When can baby rats eat solid food?
You can start giving solid food to your rat after one month of age. Baby rats need to be fed only on their mother’s milk for the first 4 to 5 weeks. Young rats are sensitive, so you should choose carefully what you are giving them to eat.
Is it safe for baby rats to eat solid food?
It is not safe for baby rats to start eating solid food right after their birth. Like humans, rat babies need some months before they can feed on solid food. It is safe for rats to eat solid food under your supervision after a month.
If the baby rat is an orphan, you can give soy formula or diluted kitten or puppy formula for 2-3 weeks. When they open their eyes completely, you can start feeding them solid food but in moistened form.
Rats will learn more about foods with time, and then they can eat whatever they want.
Avoid feeding toxic foods to your rat. Here are some foods that can be toxic for your baby rat; chocolate, raw beans, sweetened treats, and caffeinated or carbonated drink.
What kind of solid foods can baby rats eat?
You should feed cooked food to your rats when they are growing up. For instance, you can give moistened hamster solid food. Little rats also enjoy cooked vegetables like carrots or peas.
If you are buying commercial foods, you need to be careful about the ingredients; too much sweetener or salt can be harmful to rats. It can also cause obesity.
It is not recommended to shift them to commercially prepared food in the first two months. After two to three months, you can start giving them pellet diets as vets commonly recommend them.
It would be best if you always chose low fats and low-calorie diets to avoid obesity and other health risks that come with it. Cooked green beans are a great choice for baby rats as they are very nourishing.
Here is the list of some solid foods that you can give to a baby rat.
- Boiled corn
- Kale leaves
- Mixed seeds
Baby rats like mixed seeds, and they contain healthy nutrients. Mixed seeds include pumpkin seeds, rice grains, watermelon seeds, and sunflower seeds (be careful about sunflower seeds as they are high in fats).
Right quantity of these mixed seeds is important for a balanced diet.
What are the benefits of a baby rat eating solid foods?
During the first few weeks of development, baby rats only need mothers’ milk for their development. When they enter their next level of growth after one month, they need solid food for their growth.
As they grow older, they require a variety of food sources to fulfill their increased nutritional requirements. Their energy and dietary requirements can be met through solid foods.
Solid food strengthens the muscles of the baby rat. Protein and other healthful nutrients present in solid food strengthen the immune system.
Solid foods contain extra nutritional values like providing zinc, potassium to their body.
Shifting your baby rat from mother milk to foods like yogurt, cheese, homemade bread, cooked rice, and boiled chicken pieces will boost their health and immune system with the extra nutrition coming from these foods.
The answer to the frequently asked question “when can baby rats eat solid food” is that; they can start eating solid food after 4-5 weeks of age. Solid foods help them fulfill their nutritional values and gain strength to survive further.