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Why Rats Need Chicken Bones to Stay Healthy


Rats are quite curious eaters, and like most animals, they need a well-balanced diet. As omnivores, protein, and calcium are a big part of their health and well-being.

While you might not think that chicken bones would be on the list of things that rats need, they actually provide a good source of both protein and calcium. And yes, Rats can have chicken bones!

Why chicken bones are a good source of protein and calcium for rats

Chicken bones are an excellent source of nutrition for rats. They are high in protein and calcium, two essential nutrients for rodents.

Chicken bones also contain a good amount of phosphorus, which helps to keep rats’ teeth and bones healthy. In addition, the marrow in chicken bones is a good source of fat, which helps to keep rats’ fur soft and lustrous.

Chewing on chicken bones also helps to keep rats’ teeth clean and sharp. As a result, chicken bones are an excellent way to provide your pet rat with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and thrive and make a good addition to its overall diet.

There’s an added benefit of extra protein if you leave a bit of meat on the bone for your furry friend.

Preparing chicken bones for your pet rat and things to avoid

First, we need to discuss the elephant in the room, Can rats have raw chicken bones? Yes! But a few caveats. The meat should be high quality and fresh, and unseasoned.

A rat’s digestive system is fantastically built for raw meats just like chicken, and while they will make us sick, Your rat is ok to eat them as long as they are of good quality.

You should avoid using seasonings on any meat prepared for your rat, this includes the bones. Most leftover bones don’t have any seasoning on them, but if they do, just pick the batter off. Never feed your rats spicy wings or bones! If there was spice on the chicken at any point, discard it instead.

Always rinse the bones before giving them to the rat. This removes any traces of spices and seasonings as well as excess fat.

That’s basically all there is to it. Go ahead and give your rats your table scrap bones, they’ll love them.

How long can I leave bones in the cage?

The answer varies from person to person, but you don’t want to keep it in so long that it begins to rot and stink up the house. Rotting meat isn’t very good for a rat anyway, especially when there’s fresh meat available. 24 hours should be max.

What about chicken skin, Can a rat eat chicken skin safely?

Yes, they can, so long as it’s not seasoned or cooked with any spices. Chicken skin is a good source of fat for your rat in moderation.

Chicken skin fat is a double-edged sword where it’s a good part of a balanced diet but too much of a good thing can make your rat obese and sluggish.

So chicken skin is best used as an occasional treat or snack, and not something you want to feed your rat every single day.

What about other types of bones, like steak and pork bones?

Pork bones, pork ribs, steak bones, t-bones, turkey bones, rib bones, and ham bones are all a great treat for your rat. Just like chicken bones, they should be unseasoned, raw or cooked, and rinsed before giving to your rat.

You may be worried about bone splintering, And that’s always a cause for concern in animals like dogs and cats, But rats chew their food very effectively, gnawing away rather than breaking the bone up.

They also have a small skin flap in the back of their mouth that prevents things they are gnawing on from being swallowed.

So unlike dogs and cats, there is very little danger to your rat if they were to eat a bone.

So, With all that said,

Rats love most meat bones, and they make a fantastic healthy part of their diet. Just be sure to avoid any that are seasoned or have spices on them, and always rinse the bones before giving them to your rat.