Originally Answered: Rat Diet Questions, More Questions Inside.?
Adult rats should have no more than 15% protein and 5% fat in their diet. Pregnant, nursing and growing rats require about 20% protein. The following links, Pet Info Packets Rats Feeding, the Nutritional Requirements of Rats, Nutrition for Rats, Commercial Rat Food Diet Chart and Types of Diets and Information, may help you decide the best diet as will the links in the Conclusion section of the first link:
Regarding lab blocks, those by Mazuri and Kaytee are not recommended. These lab blocks are poor quality and fail to meet the dietary needs of your rat. Regal Rat or Native Earth are much better choices for lab block available in pet stores. Harlan Teklad lab block is the ideal food source for meeting the dietary requirements of a rat, and is highly recommended by the Rat and Mouse Club of America. Unfortunately, it is only available on-line. "Harlan Teklad lab block (rodent diet #2014) has the lowest percentage of protein (14%) in a lab block rat diet. Other acceptable Harlan Teklad lab blocks are the rat diet #2016 and the #2018 with 16% and 18% protein, respectively.
Sue Bee's Rat Diet" is a popular home-made mix often suggested on rat forums as a viable alternative; however, it has recently come under fire as not being a nutritionally complete diet for rats. Debbie “The Rat Lady” Ducommun (The Rat Fan Club) offers an alternative dietary regime formulated to meet all of the National Research Council requirements for rats. The new diet is as follows:
I also use a rat nutrition site with tons of links to rat pages with diet information. You will find the answer to question 1 and 2 amongst those links and the ones I gave previously. There are links with forbidden food outlined, links for feeding ill rats, links for good treats to offer and so forth. You will find out how much to feed your rat per day based on age and gender amongst other pertinent data. It is quite a bit of reading, but well worth it. The site is as follows:
As for questions 3 and 4, never heard of LM Animal Farms Mouse & Rat Food so unfair of me to critique it. Also, rats have a tendency to knock their bowls over constantly, at least all our does do, so a twist-and-lock type bowl makes good sense.
I hope you can convince your mom to let you get those rats. I am a mom, and I had no problem letting my daughter get rats. (All the mice are mine.) They are quite the social critters, and oh-so lovable.