Digging is one natural behaviour that rats need to have the opportunity to engage in to live happy, fulfilled lives. This activity keeps them mentally and physically fit. Some will even dig full-on tunnel systems with dens! Scatter-feeding in the dig area is extra fun, and helps meet their needs for foraging as well. You can get creative and alternate what else is in the dig box to up the challenge level. Some great additions include rat-safe leaves, branches, moss, coco husk, and various types of paper.
We recommend a deep base in your cage, or one with at least a few inches to hold in substrate and allow them to rummage through it. For the famous Critter Nations, buy a metal pan from small business www.chinchilla.ca, or grab a cheap concrete mixing tub from Home Depot or Lowe's, which fit perfectly! For any cage, you can create your own scatter guards using currogated plastic, or build a deep, sturdy base using acryclic sheets.
If you go with a shallower base, it's wise to supply a deeper box/bin/bucket/flower pot for them to satisfy their digging urges! For substrate, we suggest using either hemp, aspen, paper-based substrate, or coco coir paired with a clean-up crew (CUC) of springtails and/or isopods (bugs). The first three options will need be replaced on a weekly basis, while the coco coir + CUC is easier to upkeep (but we get that bugs aren't for everyone!)
We sell semi-Bioactive dig boxes (**coming soon!) in our store to make this easy for you - and to raise money for our efforts. Please let us know if you have any questions at all in regards to meeting the digging needs of your rat-buddies! We know of other resources that will be posted here soon, and can offer one-on-one guidance in putting this together. Have fun watching them in all their glory!
The Dig Box
An overview of what is in our semi-Bioactive Dig Boxes! You can also purchase these through our online store *coming soon!
Dig Box Care Guide
Our Dig Box Care Guide tells you what you need to know to get started on keeping a semi-Bioactive Dig Box!
Dig Box Fun!
A compilation of past dig boxes, and our wonderful foster rats enjoying the soil!