Eating Rats for Dinner

eating rats


06.27.2007 - One of the perks of my job as a rodent removal specialist is that my work yields me free dinner. Some days I don't eat well, but tonight it's a feast! I caught eight plump and juicy rats today, so I'm in for a hearty meal.

Many people ask me how I prepare the rats for eating. Most people seem to think that I skin them, butcher them, and sauté the succulent rat meat in a garlic butter fry. Some have suggested that I probably stuff the rats, put a grape in their mouth, and bake like a turkey. When I caught rats in the Chinatown section, it was implied that I'd stir-fry the rats with vegetables. Other people assume that I simply put the rats on a rotating spit and have a barbeque.

These all seem like reasonable suggestions, but the truth is that I keep it very simple. I like my rats au natural. Just a little A-1 sauce for flavor, but a whole rat is so good as it is, why mess with the original formula? Snakes, cats, owls, and all sorts of animals eat rats in the raw, so why should I be any different? Well, all of this talk is making my mouth water, so I'm going to stop writing right now and go enjoy myself a sumptuous supper.  Bon appetit!

- - - - - - * UPDATE * - - - - - - -

A woman sent me the below email today:

Hi David,
I am a researcher for a new animal documentary series and I came across your wildlife removal site. I would love to speak to you about your knowledge and techniques. It seems like you are very respected in the wildlife removal industry and many people go to you for advice. We are looking for people who have unique relationship with animals, whether it is a pet or a relocating them. I really enjoyed reading your many blog posts and am interested in one particular blog where you mentioned about eating the mice. Eating mice or rats is very popular all around the world, but in western countries they see it as taboo. It would be great to speak to you about your perspective on what America thinks as pests are and what food is. Do you believe that people are limiting themselves with various forms of protein and if they embrace it, can fight a lot of the hunger problems the nation is facing? I hope to speak to you soon as I believe you are a very knowledgeable person on this misunderstood subject. Thank you.

I wrote back with the following:

I don't eat too many mice any more, but they are fine eatin' when I can get them. However, I have found that lower income people are FAR more adverse to unusual foods than wealthy people. My wealthy friends will try any kind of exotic food, sushi of all kinds, alligator, even insects. I myself am well-educated, and I eat rodents. But this past weekend, my very poor aunt came to visit, and she wouldn't eat any of the excellent food in my house. She wouldn't eat grilled wild salmon for example, because fish is icky, and she wouldn't eat chicken salad, because it contained celery bits. We had to take her to Arby's before she would eat. So you're probably barking up the wrong tree - only rich people will eat rats and mice. The poorer and less educated you are, the less adventurous you'll be in your diet. David

And then she wrote back a couple of emails, hoping to get content for her TV show:

Hi David, Thank you for responding so quickly, from your answer I would definitely love to speak to you more closely about your appetite for what is considered unusual. Are you available tomorrow for a quick phone call? I can give you a call or you can contact me at my number below. Thank you and I hope to speak to you soon.

Hi David, I hope you're doing well. We exchanged some emails yesterday about rodent meat. I was wondering I could give you a call. I think that it's really great that you don't waste food like rodents and utilize the food in your environment. I had called your wildlife removal company in Florida and left a message, it would be great to hear back from you today. But you can also call me at the number below as I will be at the office all day. I hope to speak to you soon.

I then politely declined. The television producer / casting agent couldn't tell that the above post was a joke. As if I'd eat a dead rat whole, au natural as posted above! In a land with subsidized crops and food that is basically free, if you want it. During my first year as a wildlife operator, I was so poor that I only bought food that cost less than one cent per calorie - thus, based on a 2000 calorie per day diet, I was able to eat for less than $2.00 per day. No one in America will eat rats unless they want to, for the exotic fun of it. Anyway, my experiences with TV agents, and the experiences of my peers, have been very bad. There's a whole subset of reality TV in which the nuisance wildlife operator is made out to be a redneck yokel, and I feel pretty sure that's what the above woman wanted. It's amazing how TV editing can take a normal, educated person, and splice him into an idiot. These producers think that's the formula - make guys like me look like hillbillies. The truth is that I'm really more of a knucklehead than a hillbilly, so I don't think I'm right for her show. All of this writing is making me hungry. I'm going to ignore Chipotle down the street, with their fresh rice, bean, and veggie tacos, and go eat me a rat, tail, fur, and all.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Rats page for tips and advice.
Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of wildlife removal experts.

For more wildlife stories, click my Wildlife Blog or click my below banner to hire a local trapper.

Rats are often seen as unhygienic rodents that disrupt the human lifestyle and cause a lot of problems. The opinion about them, however, differs around the world. In parts of the world, rats are eaten by people in different ways. This might come as a shock to you but it is quite common. Their nutritional value is surprisingly better than what you might think. Here in the table below, the nutritional value of both rats and lambs is given.
Rat (300gm)
Lamb (300gm)
Calories: 648
Calories: 412
Protein: 63g
Protein: 61g
Fat: 33g
Fat: 16g

Rats are a common part of some people's diets. People in parts of Asia are quite fond of eating rats and making it an essential part of their daily diet. If you are planning to have a taste of rat meat on your own, there are a few things you should know beforehand as this will make your experience much better. Firstly, when buying rat meat from the market you ought to be careful because different types of rats are sold and the taste and health benefits or disadvantages differ accordingly. Some sellers will tell you honestly if the rat they are selling is a wild healthy one or if it is the one brought up in the sewers. It is also advised to take someone with you who buys and consumes rat meat to get an idea regarding your meat purchases. Once you have bought the rat meat, the next step is to cook it into a nice and decent meal. There are many ways to cook a rat but some of the easiest and common ones are mentioned below. The first one is a simple recipe for beginners.
Step 1: Clean the rat
Step 2: Skin it
Step 3: Smoke it
Step 4: Keep smoking it with hickory until the desired level of smoke flavor is achieved
Step 5: Put this on an open fire
Step 6: Wait for it to get crispy and then remove it from the fire
Step 7: Eat it hot or wait for it to cool down before digging in

Another recipe is of Rat Jerky which is quite famous.
Rats required: 15
Step 1: Clean the rat
Step 2: Skin it
Step 3: Use a smoker gun to smoke it
Step 4: Keep smoking it with hickory until the desired level of smoke flavor is achieved
Step 5: Season it with salt and pepper.
Step 6: Line them and place them on a tray with a sheet under it.
Step 7: Set the temperature on the oven to 536 Fahrenheit or 280 Celsius.
Step 8: Take the tray and put it in the oven and let it bake for 3 hours.
Note: You can also check if they are done by seeing if they are crispy.
Step 9: Take the tray out when it is down and let it cool.
Step 10: Serve the rat meat as it is or cut the meat and then plate it.

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