Idea for Keeping Ratties Busy August 09, 2006 10:23 AM
Here's an idea to try for all you creative types!
Apple Knot Rope
I haven't tried this yet, but I thought it out in my head...let me know if you try it and how it works! You'll have to play with the measurements and materials to fit your own ratty's cage, the cut of your apples, the size of your knots, etc., but here is the idea.
- Length of cotton rope about 3/8" to 1/4" in width, cut to the length of your rats' cage (from top to bottom) plus an additional 10"-12".
- Something to hang the rope from the top inside of the cage - a metal shower curtain hook is fine, or a large keychain ring that opens and closes easily.
- 1-2 apples peeled and cored (make sure the size of the hole of the core is no bigger than 3/4" or so) - pick a variety of apple your rats will eat
- 1 Tablespoon peanut butter, yogurt, or other rat-friendly spreadable treat CAUTION: if you use peanut butter, use it sparingly - it can get caught in their mouths or throats and they can choke to death.
- Tie 2, 3, or ? simple knots along the length of the rope, including one at the top and bottom. Don't place them right next to each other. You want your rats to climb up and down the rope or jump to the apples from different ledges.
- Slice the apples into thick slices (3/4") horizontally so you end up with 2-3 slices per apple.
- Cut a small wedge (1/2") out of the side of each apple slice.
- Spread a thin layer of your choice of spreadable treat on top of each apple slice.
- Put one apple slice on top of each knot by pushing the rope through the wedge opening in the apple.
- Attach the Apple Rope to the inside top of the cage with the shower hook, in a location where it can dangle to the bottom of the cage.
The idea is for the rats to smell the peanut butter or whatever on the apple and figure out how to get to the top of the apple to get to the good stuff. Eating the apple is just a nutritious way to get there.
You could also put a yogie drop or two on top of the top apple for the rat who gets there first!
I'd love to know if anyone tries this and if it works or if it's worth the effort.
Let me know if you have any questions or if I've left anything out.
Cindy in Colorado
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