Feeder rodent food sources

We breed feeder rodents on a small scale. Just enough to feed my own reptiles and have enough left over to sell to cover the costs of food and bedding.
We had our best luck feeding Mazuri 6F mixed with Doggy Bag from Tractor Supply. Recently Tractor Supply stopped carrying both of these foods. We can find the Mazuri online, but for twice the cost we were paying. Not sure what to replace the Doggy Bag with. We also supplement with milk bone treats, freeze dried bugs and liver, assorted seeds for the asf and mice.
We found Kalmbach rodent feed for a decent price ($65 for 100lbs) but now we need to replace the Doggy Bag.
Does anyone have any suggestions for a different food that won’t break the bank?

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I’ve tried Alpo on a temporary basis before when Tractor Supply was out of Doggy Bag. It has a similar composition with 18% protein. I used to pick up small boxes at the nearest dollar store, but it looks like a 50lb bag will run you $22-28 depending on where you get it.

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Find a local feed store that sells Mazuri products and they can add it on to their order without additional cost. I’ve been buying from the same place for years and even with the recent price increase I’m still paying a smidge under $30/bag.

OH Kruse is another feed store brand that makes a high quality rodent lab block.

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In PA our Tractor Supply stopped carrying it here too. The solution for me is our local pet & farm center where I get my extra rats (when my home-bred supply is too low). They have decent pricing for the Mazuri 6F at about $30 a bag (give or take a couple $), My dog food supplement for when they’re out of Mazuri, is PurinaOne Lamb & Rice w/ 26g protein and they go absolutely nuts for it! Also happens to be the food that works best for my labraheeler so I always buy a few of the 40# bags when they’re on sale ($40-$45) to keep handy. Average price just went up to approx. $50 for a 40# bag, but most places run decent sales often enough.

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The problem with dog food is maz 6f is 18% protein dog food tends to way be more that. A steady diet of dog food you will end up with rats that get fat tumors. You want to get as close to 18% protein as you can 26% is way to high to feed rats imo.


The Doggy Bag food sits at 18% protein. I think I’m going to try a new rodent food and just add more treats.

Why not just feed straight rodent block if they have some available? Any money you save feeding dog food you will lose it in production and health of your colony. Straight rodent block by itself is designed to be the perfect diet by itself.

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Don’t know from rats or mice, but we raise asf and 18% is too low for them. You will lose babies to cannibalism.

We just use small kibble dog food, the stuff for small adult dogs, running at about 21%, and supplement with mixed bsf and mealworm flock party. Our best price is to get the dog food at walmart and the flock party at tsc.

Again, we don’t raise rats or mice, so I don’t know if the nutrition requirements are radically different or how the health of the rodents would be affected. However, when we first started with the asf, we tried the lower protein foods and it was a real battle to get the moms to raise a full litter. Since we switched to at least 20% for the base, we’ve been much more successful. That said, 26% as your base seems high. Certainly it would cost more. There is just no need to go that high for the base. The flock party dried insects are 45% and work well as a supplement, the asf eat them with gusto.

Fresh veggies and a little hay with the weekly bedding change, and the occasional live crickets for an enrichment treat also go over really well. Not sure about domesticated lab mice and rats, but the asf are definitely insectivorous and active hunters.

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Totally different if you go to high in the protein level with rats they will develop fatty tumors and just be generally more unhealthy. I have had a rat colony for a long time and tried every diet and straight lab block is the way to go. Dog food is formulated for dogs lab block is formulated for rats. Only way I ever would feed a rat dog food would be if I have zero access to lab block. And definitely wouldn’t ever feed it full time.


I’m sorry, I should’ve phrased my post differently, I’ve never completely ran out of Mazuri (the store’s had it on backorder is what I meant), I’d only supplement a handful here and there to make what I had stretch out. (Only a time or two a year) - and I agree, there’s absolutely no way I would feed dog food as the only food source.

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