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FunTex
10-23-2005, 12:05 AM
Any real difference in nutritional value?
Rats are easier to work with, so i would like to know

Thank you

punky
10-23-2005, 04:04 AM
rats that are still drinking milk from their mothers are better than adult mice. more nutritional value

alex
10-23-2005, 02:47 PM
Anything that is still drinking milk is going to actually have a somewhat lowered nutritional value that what is measured (total energy isn't equivalent to digestible energy), because the lactose is going to be difficult to digest (thereby removing the milk's contribution to digestible energy) and the entire animal is going to move through the gut a little more quickly 'cause the milk gets fermented by bacteria, thereby removing some of the time to absorb nutrients from it. I don't know how much calcium they can actually get out of the milk (it is somewhat chelated in milk, despite what dairy boards tell you) Young animals are often somewhat anemic as well, as they are growing so rapidly they often have difficulty getting enough dietary iron to keep up.

Generally, anything over a few days old will be more nutritious than newborns, because they have bones with a higher calcium content, which is useful for the tegu (ditto with chicks - avoid day olds in favour of 3 days and up, so you get calcified bones). Other than that, a small newly weaned rat is more healthy for your tegu to eat than an equivalent large adult mouse, because the mouse has a higher % bodyfat. Watch out for large rats for the same reason, they're incredably fatty. Animals that actually have plant-based gut contents will also slow digestion time, increasing the time in the gut for the tegu to extract nutrients, and altering the protein to calcium ratio slightly in favour of absorbing calcium. The practice some have of putting a veggie babyfood on or in a prekilled mouse/rat is NOT particularly equivalent, as there's very little fibre in babyfood and it's quite high in easily fermented carbohydrate sources.