Yes – rats do eat acorns. Together with deer and field mice, rats have a special taste for acorns (from live oak trees). Rats and mice are both in love with greenbelt areas that have lots of seeds, water, nearby food sources, and lush vegetation. They consume vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, worms, lizards, and bugs of various species like spiders and cockroaches. When all these food sources are absent, rats will opt for paper or even candle wax. Mice and rats mostly visit areas that have many pecan trees.
When the summer comes, roof rats usually find their food in leafy green spaces, gardens, homes, and pet food bowls. Rats prefer living in homes instead of outside. However, they usually pinpoint or create openings in your home’s roof, in areas such as the fascia and soffits. Then, they can nest in your attic and walls.
When a roof rat finds even the littlest of holes (the size of a quarter), they will make their way inside. Your home attic will become a comfortable place for them to stay protected. Then, they will mate, reproduce, and increase in number within a short period. Rats are social animals and prefer staying together and traveling in families. Since they can have up to 60 babies a year, you should be worried if two of them get into your home, especially if they are of opposite genders.
From this point onwards, you will be guided on what rats eat. Many questions (that you may probably have) on rats and their eating habit will be responded to satisfactorily – promise! Read on.
Rats And Eating: The Guide
So, what exactly do rats eat? Well, the best answer in this: ANYTHING. Rats will eat anything that is provided to them. The only time they become picky about food is when they are spoilt for choice. If there is nothing available for eating, they will munch on anything that the garbage pile holds. Sometimes, they even eat on their own fecal matter, but that does not come first in their priority list.
As mentioned in the start, rats prefer grains, fruits, vegetables, and seeds in their natural habitat. Once in a blue moon, you will see them engaged in eating wild insects. Like most rodent pests, mice and rats are usually pursuing three things: shelter, water, and food. If you provide all the following items for them, they will not leave your place. Of the three things, the one that the rats are most attracted to is – yes, you go it right – FOOD!
The main reason rats invade homes is that we ignore food droppings and leftover. In fact, being careless and carefree with handling our food invites the rodents to come and join in on the feasting. The main things that the rats will be attracted to are cheese, meat, seeds or grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruit skins. These options are just on the hot list consisting of what attracts rats. However, you should remember that rats are very adaptive. This means that they will quickly gravitate towards many other foodstuffs as well.
Rat Food Facts
Naturally, rats are two things: nocturnal and omnivorous. This means that they will pounce on anything edible that is within reach. Actually, they love testing new food that they are given. They first take a bite and much on it to see if they will feel any harm. If it proves to be harmless, they will go ahead and finish it up. If the rats are petted, they always trust what their owner brings. Here is a tabulation of some interesting facts about the rodents and their feeding:
|Ratty Facts on Feeding|
|Rats are incredibly social. They live enjoying the company of fellow rats. Also, they love sharing meals.Rats have very powerful memories. Once they learn a route to food, it will be hard for them to forget it.When rats are eating, they get very joyful and make very cheerful sounds like human laughs.|
What A Pet Rat Should Be Fed
Since they are omnivores, they should be fed both plant and animal content. Also, they should get a variety of foods that provide lots of nutrients. This will help in their growth and will also ensure that they have proper health. Here is the basic routine for feeding rats:
1. The food routine of rats should comprise of a mixture of fresh vegetables and fruits. Also, you can get some rat food that is available in the market.
2. Some healthy fruits and veggies for rats are apples, melons and their seeds, citrus fruits, and broccoli.
3. Do not feed rats any grains or seeds that have a lot of sugar. The reason is that your pet rat may gain weight. If they are not watched closely and carefully, they can develop obesity-related diseases.
4. The only sweet foods that can be offered but in little amounts are cooked pasta, biscuits, bread, and rice.
Is There A List Of Foods That Are Either Safe Or Dangerous For Pet Rats?
The pet food marketplace is crowded with a lot of options that are okay to give rats. However, you might run out of rat food and choose to try something organic. For that reason, therefore, you need to know what is good or not for your ratty friend.
First, you can start with the family food. If people at a meal at the table were okay with it, you could store some for the rat. What you need to do is secure the leftovers from the table. Also and while cooking, you can keep the vegetable peels and use them later as foods. If it is a hot day in the summer times, an excellent option to consider would be frozen foods.
Since they are intelligent creatures, rats will test new foods first before they start partaking in them. They will take a tiny bite and then rush away. Another mark of their intelligence is that they can drag a burrito or a slice of pizza. Any rodents (including rats) require a balanced diet to ensure that they keep growing. The best foods for your pet are those with no preservatives and no artificial colors.
Naturally, rats are more attracted to foods that have high levels of fats and high-calorie counts. To prevent feeding them too much of those foods, you need to ensure that you maintain a calorie check.
Also, ensure that the rat engages in many physical activities to avoid gaining lots of weight.
When you are browsing shelves to pick out the food for your pet rat, you need to ensure that it fulfills all the nutritional requirements. This means that both the macro and micronutrients that are required by the rat should be present in the food you choose. For starters, the macronutrients that should be present include fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Experts advise that you need to make sure that 80% of the nutrients required by the pet are fulfilled by the food you choose to feed your pet. Also, it would be best if you consulted experts to rate the available pet foods.
Rats And Eating Dry Foods
As it has been mentioned elsewhere in this article, the diet you provide your rat plays an essential role in ensuring that the mood, happiness, overall growth, and health of rodents are maintained. The best way to fulfill this excellent purpose is by providing rats with healthy and dry food.
Keep this in mind: whenever you feed a rat something and take a bite, discard it, and you shouldn’t think that the rat is done with the food. What the rodent basically does is test if the food will kill it or not. If not, the rat will jump in and continue eating.
The essential things to consider while feeding dry fruits to the rats include brand, flavor, texture, scent, nutritional content, and rat age. Here is a list of over 100 foods that attract the most rodent members. The information has been tabulated for your convenience:
|Foods That Attract Rodents|
|Dog treats||Dry bananas||Grapes||Green beans||Peppers||Ham|
|Pumpkins||Raspberries||Red peppers||Squash||Strawberries||Sunflower seeds|
|Turkey||Watermelons||Yellow peppers||Yogurt||Chocolate||Dried corn|
|Soda||Caffeine foods||Beetroot tops||Green bananas||Hamster Food||Licorice|
|Mango||Spinach||Tofu||Wild Insects||Peanut butter||Avocado skin|
Bonus Section: Other Rodents That Enjoy Acorns
In the previous sections, we have been focusing on rats. We have extensively explored details on their eating. At this point, you should indeed consider yourself a master of rat feeding.
That aside – you should know that each rodent has a set of amazingly efficient teeth and works on sharpening itself. Over 200 rodent species exist, meaning that they are many untold rodent numbers that gnaw on food with their finely-honed teeth. When rats and other rodents dine on acorns and other foods that have hard surfaces, their incisors grind together to ensure that their enamels are sharp enough to gnaw again and again. Here are four other rodents, apart from rats, that eat acorns.
1. The Eastern Chipmunk
The movable feast of the eastern chipmunks frequently includes acorns. However, these rodents also consume berries, corn, seeds, and fruits. If the chipmunk finds a young mouse, a snail, or a bird’s egg, it eats those too. These rodents spend lots of their time hoarding and gathering food to eat during wintertime. Although a chipmunk spends time in its comfortable nest during the winter’s cold, the rodent wakes up from time to time to take nibbles at the food in its stores.
2. A Gray Squirrel
Gray squirrels are notorious for consuming acorns. Apart from acorns, they will also chow down on fruits and wild berries. When summer is ending, the rodents usually feed on acorns (from white oak trees), cones (from the tulip poplar), and beechnuts. These squirrels also search for food during wintertime. During these searches, they sometimes find nuts that they buried during fall. Since squirrels do not remember where they stored their food for winter, a visiting squirrel with a powerful sense of smell might be lucky enough to discover the hidden treasure.
3. A Deer Mouse
The minuscule size of this mouse makes it possible for him to squeeze through tight holes and into your home’s exterior. More often than not, he usually brings his food, busting beech nuts, carting acorns, and dragging pinecone scales into your home. Although the tiny mouse does not take a lot of space, you may be piqued by his gnawing and scratching sounds effects. If he dies between your wall, you will pick out the unpleasant odor of its carcass.
4. The Woodland Vole
These rodents spend a lot of time in their cozy underground burrows. Grass clumps and leaf piles usually camouflage the entryways of these burrows. These tiny voles often move into the nests of other small mammals, and the nests provide escape routes to the earth’s surface. The voles usually transport nuts, acorns, and tuberous grassroots into their underground burrows. They then eat foods while lying down. The rodents spread the food they bring in on the floor and gorge it at their convenience.