This is a great toy for rats that will amuse them, give them exercise, help them wear down their teeth, and feed them all at the same time. And it's easy and very cheap to make!
Step 1: Materials
The materials are simple:
-1 small cardboard tube, such as one from a toilet paper roll (I prefer the ones from fax paper rolls as they are good and thick
-nuts and/or dried fruit
Step 2: Making the Toy
Stuff a sheet of paper towel tightly into one end of the tube. You want to stuff it in pretty tightly, so it can't be pulled out too easily. Then on the open end, pour a small quantity of nuts and dried fruit. Then just stop up the other end of the tube with another sheet of paper towel, again fairly tightly.
Step 3: Give to Your Rats!
Put the tube in your rat's cage and watch them have fun! They will gnaw the tube and paper towel plugs to get at the treats within. The paper and cardboard are non-toxic and the rats can use the shreds as nesting material afterwards as well. It takes my rats about 5-10 minutes to access the treats. It encourages teamwork as well, as they will quickly discover that they can open the tube faster while working on it together than they can from repeatedly stealing it from each other. :) Enjoy!