Exercise.

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ratty lover0099
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Exercise.

Post by ratty lover0099 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:43 pm

Apologies if this is in the wrong place!

I have a typical 20 month old lazy boy here, he moves to eat and wash and that's about it! :rollred:

He's a little (quite abit) on the large side, and when I have him out, he hides in a corner, washes for England, and then falls asleep. The rats have their own room, so he has the run of a rat proofed room, I get out all the toys etc, but he, without fail, finds a corner, washes and sleeps. How do you get very lazy rats to move?!! I've tried chasing him with my hand, and getting him to chase mine, but he isn't a playful rat, he just wants to sleep (Not that I can blame him!)

I've tried limiting his space, and had him out with me on the sofa, he waddled over to the end, washed himself and curled up for a sleep :sleepy:
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Re: Exercise.

Post by RetroLemons » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:53 pm

Does he go mad for treats? Or any type of food?

I used to break yogurt drops into quarters and tempt Kenco to run up and down the stairs! It worked to get her running, although she never lost any wait :lol: Have you tried restricting his diet?
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Re: Exercise.

Post by jluna23 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:30 pm

I'd appricate some ideas too. Both my boys are exactly the same! :roll:

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Re: Exercise.

Post by RetroLemons » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:35 pm

jluna23 wrote:I'd appricate some ideas too. Both my boys are exactly the same! :roll:
Are they food oreintated? I'd suggest having a tasty treat that they can't resist but make them chase after it for awhile before they get at it. Scatter feed them if you dont already so that they have to work for their food. What are you feeding them? Put food in egg boxes etc. Basically make them burn some of those calories before they eat any food! :D
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Re: Exercise.

Post by jluna23 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:45 pm

RetroLemons wrote:
jluna23 wrote:I'd appricate some ideas too. Both my boys are exactly the same! :roll:
Are they food oreintated? I'd suggest having a tasty treat that they can't resist but make them chase after it for awhile before they get at it. Scatter feed them if you dont already so that they have to work for their food. What are you feeding them? Put food in egg boxes etc. Basically make them burn some of those calories before they eat any food! :D
My boys are very food orintated!! I've attempted to get them to chase the treat I have in my hand (they go mad for rich tea biscuits and spready cheese!) but they decide since it's moving they shouldn't bother chasing it :rollred:
I already scatter feed them in their cage, it seems to help stop the hoarding in the litter tray. I feel Excel rat pellets, I think thats what its called and fresh food daily :D
I've never tried the egg boxes, I'll give that a go!
And once my boys are out, free range, they just like to hide under their cage and wardrobe :roll: (they have the entire passage as a free range area) maybe I need to make the place more interesting?! They don't really bother with toys though :-|

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Re: Exercise.

Post by RetroLemons » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:51 pm

jluna23 wrote:
RetroLemons wrote:
jluna23 wrote:I'd appricate some ideas too. Both my boys are exactly the same! :roll:
Are they food oreintated? I'd suggest having a tasty treat that they can't resist but make them chase after it for awhile before they get at it. Scatter feed them if you dont already so that they have to work for their food. What are you feeding them? Put food in egg boxes etc. Basically make them burn some of those calories before they eat any food! :D
My boys are very food orintated!! I've attempted to get them to chase the treat I have in my hand (they go mad for rich tea biscuits and spready cheese!) but they decide since it's moving they shouldn't bother chasing it :rollred:
I already scatter feed them in their cage, it seems to help stop the hoarding in the litter tray. I feel Excel rat pellets, I think thats what its called and fresh food daily :D
I've never tried the egg boxes, I'll give that a go!
And once my boys are out, free range, they just like to hide under their cage and wardrobe :roll: (they have the entire passage as a free range area) maybe I need to make the place more interesting?! They don't really bother with toys though :-|
You could try making a box mansion? With lots of different boxes fixed together etc which they can clamber though? Put soft tissue in, paper etc in different places. Also try hiding food in it! That could get them more interested 8)

I dont want to beat a dead horse in case you already know :lol: but have you heard of the shunamite diet? It means you have more control over what they are eating, and it could help with their largeness :luck:
From Rowan and the Fuzzlets! Miss you Kenco, Salt, Pretzel, Delilah, Moony & Bailey :( x
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Re: Exercise.

Post by jluna23 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:58 pm

I think I might well build a box mansion. There's plenty of old boxes lying around 8)

:lol: Yes Ive heard of the shutamite diet. When my sister had rats, she fed her on it :)
I'd love the feed them it, but at the moment, not very finanically available! (I'm only 16, get £30 EMA and the spare money that I don't use (on bus fares etc!!), usually goes to the food, treats, toys and whatever else I want to get them! That's the thing with saying i'll be fully responsible for them! :roll: :lol: ) I know it probably doesn't cost much more, but if I cant make up a new batch one time, I'm a bit stuffed :lol:

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Re: Exercise.

Post by RetroLemons » Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:58 pm

jluna23 wrote:I think I might well build a box mansion. There's plenty of old boxes lying around 8)

:lol: Yes Ive heard of the shutamite diet. When my sister had rats, she fed her on it :)
I'd love the feed them it, but at the moment, not very finanically available! (I'm only 16, get £30 EMA and the spare money that I don't use (on bus fares etc!!), usually goes to the food, treats, toys and whatever else I want to get them! That's the thing with saying i'll be fully responsible for them! :roll: :lol: ) I know it probably doesn't cost much more, but if I cant make up a new batch one time, I'm a bit stuffed :lol:
Same here :wink: It was just a thought, but i too am on EMA and i havent had a problem yet. (: I actually find the SD mix to be cheaper as it lasts longer, but its up to you :D
From Rowan and the Fuzzlets! Miss you Kenco, Salt, Pretzel, Delilah, Moony & Bailey :( x
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Re: Exercise.

Post by jluna23 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:55 pm

Maybe I could make it work then :lol: I just always thought it was expensive!

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Re: Exercise.

Post by ratty lover0099 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:51 pm

Thanks for all the replies :)

My boys are fed the shunamite diet, so I know exactly what he's eating that way, and isn't given any treats (yoggies etc)

I've got no stairs here, I live in a flat but I've tired to get him to chase yummy smelling foods, he gives up pretty quickly when he realises he isn't getting any. :roll: Although I guess this means he's fine in the brain department 8)
Karen.
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Re: Exercise.

Post by sat » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 am

Karen - it may be that the whole related family could have a tendency to be on the podgy side. Artemis is like a little round barrel and I know Becky said that some of her girls were as well. I think your lad is just following the family tradition. Mine only get the basic shunamite diet and no treats and Artemis likes to sleep a lot as well. :lol:

Sylvia x
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Re: Exercise.

Post by CatherineP » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:47 pm

My Ozzy was "big boned" and I found wrapping his treats in greaseproof paper and throwing them made him run, mainly to get them before Lemmy did. Might work for you. He liked to fetch his parcel and make a bundle of them under the sideboard. I would then collect them and play again, making sure he did a bit of exercise.
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Re: Exercise.

Post by Jemma » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:57 pm

I tend to go for a multi pronged attack when dealing with weight (makes it sound like world war 3 lol, but it is hard work to shift whats already there). I basically go through the following

1, Increasing exercise - as you've mentioned he's not happy to move around, however all bucks will, they just need the right motivation. Firstly assuming you haven't already done this remove any ramps or ladders in the cage, make them use the bars and jump or climb on ropes to get around.

Be mean with where you place things, put the food at the opposite part of the cage to where they sleep (if the sleep at the top, then scatter feed at the bottom, if it's the other way around invest in a cheap cat litter tray to scatter feed at the top). The water should also go in a different area of the cage, so if he decides to go sleep near the food he'll have to get up and move around to get a drink. You can also take him out when you first feed and not put him back into the cage with the food until he's either run up the cage front or the stairs, it can take a little bribery the first few times but once theyv'e sussed they get to go back to the cage for food when they have run they will do it very quickly.

A great treat to encourage them to play when out is getting a bag of large nuts in there shells. This only works well with stashers but you can sometimes trigger the behaviour. Offer him a nut when out of the cage and watch as he takes it somewhere, immediatly offer him another one, drawing it away so he follows you and keep on offering him them further away until he builds a nice pile in his corner, then rob the corner to continue the game, when he's worn out give him a healthy treat such as a bit of rice cracker as a reward, and maybe once a month let him eat one of the nuts, this can also work with shredded paper if he's a nest builder, more common in girls but worth a shot. Also if he won't chase a feather try a paint brush or blowing through a drinking straw.

2, Reduce the amount of available nutrients - basically feed him less rich food, such as high fat or high protien food, cut his treats down to virtually nothing and whn you do treat him offer only very healthy treats, my rats go nuts for a tortilla wrap dried out and snapped into small ratty chunks, or rice cakes, also broken up, herbs are also a good one. I work of the principle i won't treat them with anythign i wouldn't happily add to there dry mix.

You also should try cutting down the quantity you feed everyone (i tend to chop it by 1/3 and then see how the others do), and ideally scatter feed it too, this generally suits the rats that eat less often as they are better at searching for food. If your not keen on scatter feeding everything think about scattering part of there dry mix when there out for play time, use a big fleece throw or similar and make them explore to find all the bits. you should also take him out when you first feed the others, they will have first go at the food that way whilst he can be exercising with you, when he gets back the best (and most fatty) bits will be gone and he will be left with the bits that are better for him.

Look at what you feed, rats in middle age do very well on mostly minimally processed grains, these mean the rats have to work harder to get the nutrients out of the food and so they eat overall less (nutrients wise) even if they may spend longer eating. if your not already feeding a straights based mix have a look into it, it works very well in these situations, it's why i originally switched to straights around 2 years ago.

You can also introduce a lean day, this works well with scatter feeding as the rats find those final last few bits on the day when they are not fed as normal, it can also help improve longevity of all your rats.

There are a lot more little bits and bobs but those are the ones that come to mind first, lots of little changes make a bigger impact than just doing one big thing.
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Re: Exercise.

Post by ratty lover0099 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:11 pm

I do think your right Sylvia, in that it's genetics as opposed to over-feeding, but he is large! Weighed in yesterday at 940g :oops: I would be very interested in the weights of his family members though, I know his mum and aunty at Becky's were small, what sort of weight is Artemis, Sylvia?

Jemma, some fab ideas there. He doesn't horde food atall, he will literally sit by the food bowl, and eat it there and then :roll: He's not even bothered that his brother's are around him, stashing all the good bits of food. The food bowl is also on a shelf, so he has to get to the food bowl from the bottom of th cage, whch involves abit of work.

I managed to get him to run yesterday, he must of smelt home or something, he ran from my living room, into the hallway, and then into the rat room.....if I could guess what caused it, I'd do it more often :lol: He's never done it before.

I also tried making him chase a bonio, he loves bonio's, but within seconds he knew he wasn't getting it so gave up...I don't think it's that he eats alot, as I say, his brothers grab the best bits from the bowl, whilst he sits there nibbling away on whatever they haven't grabbed, he doesn't seem overly food-orientated...

Will keep at it though, as was said, a few little changes is better than one big change :D
Karen.
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:rainbow:Splodge, Hodgheg, Tia, Spot, Orchid, Domino, Rico, Lily, Fern, Dotty, Savannah, Ebony, Eclipse, Vixen, Gem, Sapphire, Aura, Bracken, Willow, Eira, Addison, Echo, Wispa, Gilbert, Albert and Herbert.

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Re: Exercise.

Post by sat » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:58 am

Not sure what Artemis weighs at present Karen as she is currently being fostered by Laura, along with her cage mates, due to my having fallen down the stairs at home 3 weeks ago and unable to put any weight on the broken ankle for at least another 3 weeks. Laura is kindly helping me out by looking after some of my ratties until I am fit again. Plus, she had a lump removed just over a week ago. But she was a really tiny little girl when small but has become more and more like a barrel as the months have passed. She even uses the wheel when she is in the aviary so I know it isn't a question of lack of exercise and we have already discussed diet. But 940g - that's a hefty size but as long as he is healthy and his unusual turn of speed the other day didn't seem to leave him out of breath or anything else untoward, it may well be something that is just him.

Sylvia x
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