Example of a Commonly Used Purified Diet (AIN-76A) for Rats.

In pregnant rats the concentration of plasma thiamin remained constant throughout the first 18 days of gestation, while erythrocyte thiamin reached a maximum at day 11 and then declined (Chen et al., 1984). Urinary excretion of thiamin in pregnant rats fed diets containing 2, 4, 6, or 8 mg/kg were stable up to day 16 of gestation and then decreased until parturition (Leclerc, 1991). Pregnant rats fed diets containing 0, 0.8, 1.7, 3.3, 6.7, 13.3, 20, 26.7, 100, 1,000, and 10,000 mg/kg were evaluated for organ thiamin retention (Roth-Maier et al., 1990). The amount of thiamin retained by the liver, muscle, brain, and whole carcass increased with each increase in dietary thiamin. Pregnant rats were fed diets that contained either 4 or 100 mg thiamin/kg. The hepatic stores of thiamin were higher at weaning in the offspring of dams fed the higher concentration, but growth was not affected (Schumacher et al., 1965). The requirement for pregnancy and lactation is 4 mg thiamin-HCl/kg diet.

Kaytee Forti Diet Pro Health Rat Mouse & Hamster - Protein 20% / Fat 4%

Additions of insoluble, undegradable sources of fiber such as cellulose, oat hulls, wheat bran, and corn bran to rat diets at concentrations up to 20 percent do not affect growth. Because these nonfermentable fiber sources dilute the nutrient density of the diet, feed intake increases and gain:feed decreases as these fiber sources are added to the diet (Schneeman and Gallaher, 1980; Fleming and Lee, 1983; Lopez-Guisa et al., 1988; Nishina et al., 1991). At high concentrations, viscous polysaccharides such as pectin, guar, and carboxymethylcellulose may decrease weight gain. When added at high concentrations, feed intake may decrease, especially during initial adaptation (Davies et al., 1991). The effects of pectin in particular are difficult to assess because its properties can vary greatly among sources depending on molecular weight and degree of esterification. The more viscous pectins (high molecular weight and degree of esterification) tend to cause greater decreases in feed intake than less viscous pectins (Atallah and Melnik, 1982). Delorme and Gordon (1983) observed a 30 percent decrease in growth of rats when 4.8 percent pectin was added to diets and a 50 percent mortality when 28.6 percent pectin was added. Fleming and Lee (1983) observed a 35 percent decrease in weight gain when 10 percent pectin was added to the diet, but Nishina et al. (1991), Thomsen et al. (1983), and Track et al. (1982) found no differences in growth when 5 to 8 percent pectin was added to purified fiber-free diets. Guar added to diets at 5 percent of dry matter had no effect on body weight (Ikegami et al., 1990), but 8 percent guar depressed gain (Cannon et al., 1980; Track et al., 1982).

Healthy Rat Diet | Rattitude – Where Rats Rule!

For more in-depth information on pet rat diets, click on the links below: These studies suggest that dietary concentrations of calcium and phosphorus at 3.5 and 3.0 g/kg, respectively, with a molar ratio 0.9, would be sufficient. However, other studies have shown that a larger Ca:P ratio is required to prevent specific abnormalities in Sprague-Dawley rats. Draper et al. (1972), for example, showed that a molar ratio of 1.5 was better than 0.8 for the prevention of osteoporosis.

A proper diet is essential for your rat's good health

Variations in calcium and phosphorus intake have been associated with soft tissue calcification, especially nephrocalcinosis, in rats. However, a variety of other dietary factors can influence the development of nephrocalcinosis.

Rat Diet: What Do Rats Eat? - Orkin