This article is from the Winter 2003 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
By Cindy Stratton
I was recently given a small sample of Zeigler Lab Animal Diet Rodent RQ18-6 laboratory blocks to try. I fed this food to 4 female rats ranging in age from 4 months to 18 months for about 2 weeks. The rats approached these lab blocks with the same enthusiasm that they do the Teklad lab blocks, which is their normal diet.
The Zeigler Lab Animal Diet Rodent RQ18-6 formula guarantees crude protein of 18.0%; crude fat of 6.0%; and crude fiber of 4.0%. In comparison, the Teklad formula guarantees crude protein of 24.0%; crude fat of 4.0%; and crude fiber of 4.5%. The Zeigler diet offers less protein and higher fat content with roughly the same amount of fiber. Without doing a longer feeding trial of the Zeigler diet I can’t make any other comments as to long term results of feeding these blocks to rats.
I’ve been feeding the foods for 7 months now. I had a litter in February in which I started the kittens on Zeigler food at 6 weeks of age. A cage of males (also included older male rats not from the February litter) are on the longevity diet; a cage of females (also included older females rats not from the February litter) are on the regular diet. The growth rates of the kittens were about the same as kittens I’ve raised on other foods. In May, 2 males rats from my February litter were returned to me. I was able to compare the size of the kittens I had kept to the ones who just returned. Of course the female was smaller, but my male was of comparable size and just a bit smaller than the other 2 males. These 2 males are still here and I have been feeding them the regular Zeigler diet—both have become a bit overweight, which surprised me some. The male on the longevity diet is still of proper weight. I did have one of my older male rats who was eating the longevity diet die at 8 months of age. However, I think it was a fluke thing and NOT related to the diet. His condition was very good and he died suddenly. He was super sweet, so I think it was Murphy’s Law that he died so young.
NOTE: The Zeigler Lab Animal Diet is made by Zeigler Bros, Inc., P.O. Box 95, Gardners, PA 17324. Their web site is www.zeiglerfeed.com.