Alfalfa is a good source of protein, calcium and vitamins. Alfalfa is also high in indigestible fiber called cellulose. But don’t worry, indigestible fiber does not mean it will block your rats digestive system (in moderation). Cellulose just doesn’t fully breakdown during digestion. Fiber is actually beneficial for your rats digestion, making bowel movements easier.
Types of Alfalfa for Rats
Alfalfa is available in a variety of forms, these include but are not limited to; sprouts, hay or pellets.
Alfalfa sprouts are like the name suggests the sprouted seeds of the Alfalfa plant. The sprouts are commonly eaten by humans for their low calories and high nutritional content. They contain Vitamins A, K & C, Iron, Calcium and Magnesium.
Rats can eat Alfalfa sprouts. They make an excellent addition within a balanced diet for your rat. Sprouts should be washed prior to feeding and can be feed whole. Your rat should nibble on the sprouts similar to eating cooked pasta.
This is the mature form of the alfalfa plant, it is also commonly known as lucerne. It is used most commonly as a commercial feed for horses and within rabbit food mixes.
While technically safe for rats, the dry, fibrous hay makes better bedding than it does meal. It can be used in your rats cage as a great way to encourage natural nesting and foraging behaviors. This is a great activity for your rats and can help fight boredom and obesity. It’s also fun to watch your rat making their own little nests.
While typically made for rabbits, alfalfa pellets can be supplemented within your pet rats diet. Although we don’t recommended this as rabbit food is specifically made for rabbits and tailored for their needs. Rats can also be picky and choose to avoid eating alfalfa hay in term wasting money. If opting for pellet for your rats be sure to choose a rat specific feed mix.