I finally got my first breeding group of african soft-fur rats, and I'm really excited about it. Thing is, I'm not sure what to actually feed them.
First off, I do not have access to lab blocks right now, so that is not an option, and this is the most common suggestion I see when I try to find info about rat/mouse diets.
Right now I simply made a dry mix of wild bird seeds (mostly grains, some sunflower seeds), oats, and dog kibble. The kibble I use is low quality stuff, but I added it just to have an easy source of animal protein. The high grain content shouldn't be that much of an issue for rats, right? I also feed them fresh vegetables almost every day.
Of course, I'm not that comfortable with feeding processed foods, and besides, the rats do not seem very interested in the kibble. I've been thinking about perhaps using insects instead, but I'm not interested in breeding feeder insects to feed my feeders, haha. Freeze-dried insects could be an option. Thing is though, keeping costs down is pretty important, since I do not want this to be a too expensive project.
I also want to make sure that the rats have a decent amount of omega 3 in them, that way I might not have to supplement my cats with fish oil. How do I do this? My first idea was flaxseeds, but it seems like those are toxic if fed too much. Just feeding the oil would be messy...
Any ideas, suggestions and experiences are appreciated.