Thursday, September 11, 2014
First of all you may be asking yourself, what is a digging box? Well that's easy, a digging box is a box filled with sterile potting soil that you let your rat dig in. You can plant grass and let them eat it, or just leave it as soil and hide treats in the soil for your rats to dig and find.
You may never have heard of giving your rat a box of soil to dig in, but wild rats dig and forage for food. Giving them a box full of soil is a great way to let them indulge in a behavior they will find quite natural.
So how do you create a digging box? It's very easy, just get a plastic box, such as a Tupperware or kitty litter box and fill it half way to the top with a bag of sterile potting soil. It is very important to make sure the soil you use has no additives or fertilizers as this may make your rat sick. You can add grass seed to grow grass or grow oat grass, wheat grass or just add bird seed as a treat. Adding a handful of rat food into the soil will be fun to watch your rat digging to find the food as well you may see some of the seeds sprouting, making a little ratty garden for your pet to devour.
Water the soil just enough to grow your grass, but don't let the soil grow mold or fungus. This will harm your rat. You can partially bury plastic tubing large enough for your rat to crawl through into the soil, as well as burying assorted rocks, treats, and toys.
You may want to put a smooth rock on top of the soil for the rats to sit on at first if they don't seem to like the soil, this will also give them a starting point to start their digging as rats like to dig underneath things.
The digging box should not be used to house your rat, you will need to have a rat cage to let them sleep and live, but having a digging box will be a fun thing for your rat to look forward to. If you make a digging box and your rat is scared being in it, don't force the issue. The best thing to do is to leave it out where they can get to it themselves while they are playing on the couch or floor. Leaving it up to them to find the box and find out it can be fun may take time but its well worth the effort.
Posted by Mary Kirkland at 12:00 AM