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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - What is a rat’s natural diet?

What is a rat’s natural diet?

Both black and Norway diet prefer natural diets to special formulas. Pet rats may be fed a well-balanced diet while wild rats may develop nutritional deficiency problems, depending on their habitat as well as the availability of food in such area. Most wild rats are not picky when it comes to diet, however they consume mostly fruits, seeds, nuts and grains. Rats are opportunistic eaters, regardless of whether they are Black or Norway species. Rats may also feed on seeds, when they eat randomly, or invade silos and barns where they can get access to stored grains and cereals.

Roof rats may consume human food such as meat and fish, and this is where they get most of their fat and protein from. Though, rats may prefer to eat whatever they can find, but they hunt for food occasionally and mostly in the night, when human activities have greatly reduced. Occasionally, rats can catch smaller animals such as bugs, and insects, the wild rat species that live in the cities will prefer to invade trash cans and garbage containers to eat remnants of human foods, and these may include vegetables, and cooked meals.

Urban and wild rats are omnivores, and they are mostly food hoarders and that means they hold unto more food that they can eat, thus they can return to the food at later date. Many rats may also feed on part of what they find and keep the rest close to where they nest. Wild rats may eat from their own fecal droppings occasionally when they are hungry and can’t find food. In order to avoid foods that can make them go sick, rats often sample foods by feeding on them erratically, and they wouldn’t return to such foods until they have properly digest the bits they eat.

The rat’s natural diet may provide essential nutrients such as Folic acid, Vitamin K, and biotin when they consume a mixture of seeds with human waste foods. The fact that their bodies don’t absorb some nutrients readily means they have to consume such foods erratically or slowly. Norway rats will prefer high protein foods such as meat and fish scraps, from pet food bowls or garbage cans that can be found outside. Rats often smell foods before they decide whether to feast on them and the more they grow the more their diet changes rapidly. Rats may eat clay when they feel sick; they do this because clay may dilute the toxic effect of ingesting poisonous food.

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