Message Number: YG1624 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-03-23 09:42:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Digest Number 81/cat foods &
Lipinski's remarks

Adequate levels of animal proteins means that a ferret food for all
stages should have at least 90% coming from animal sources. Quality
sources of animal origin include egg, egg product, casein, chicken
by product
meal, chicken by products, liver meal, fish meal, chicken (muscle
turkey by product meal, turkey by products, pork by product meal,
pork meal
(if it does not come from the skin), and beef by product meal.
These are
listed pretty much in order of quality and nutrient availability.
Most premium cat foods contain less than 75% animal protein and many
of the
economy brands contain less than 50%. Many of the economy or less
ferret foods on the market are no better than the cat foods
regarding the
animal protein sources. Knowing the manufacturer or calling them is
one way
to find out what or how much animal protein is in their food. Also,
the food has been tested and feed to ferrets in long term studies.
There is as much misinformation as there is lack of information
regarding the
ingredients in pet foods. Mr. Lipinski reflects this in his
sardonic remarks regarding the disastrous problems facing the
European Union.
As with any industry, quality can vary dramatically, depending on
supplier. Selecting a qulity supplier requires first hand knowlege
of the
human food industry as well as the animal food industry. I have
hundreds of processing plants in the US, Canada, Brazil, Chile,
France, and Japan. The US, by far has the best human and animal
processors in the world. However, they vary in expertise,
knowledge, equipment and commitment to over all quality. There are
two major
factors which effect the quality of an animal ingredient any given
or processor produces. First is the source of the raw material the
ingredient manufacturer uses. Our company buys from the largest
processor of
chickens in the world. They have committed to producing a value
product to the pet food industry not a waste product as some may.
They use
only live killed chickens and nothing else. Secondly, is the
technology they use to handle the raw material. Our supplier keeps
the raw
material cool to minmizes the bacterial breakdown, then ships it to
rendering plant. There the raw material is cooked at lowered
to prevent the destruction of the protein while separating the
protein from
the fat and moisture which is a natural part of the by products. By
the way
these chicken by products include mainly the digestive tract, the
spleens, lungs, gizzards of the chicken and muscle meat. In a
supplier, there are no heads, feet, feathers, blood or DOA birds.
After, the
cooking is completed the fat is separated from the cooked material,
craux, and is centrifuged to remove any foreign material and
moisture. The
craux is ground finely and taken to the pet food manufacturer for
into the pet foods.
How can you tell if your ferret food manufacture follows these
steps? Call
and ask them. Yes, they may not tell you the truth but if you doubt
them it
might be the indication you need not to feed their food.
The reason animal protein is best for ferrets is the amino acid (AA)
of them. Plant proteins such as corn gluten meal or soy flour have
AA and are not as efficiently metabolized as the meat proteins.
Taurine is
not a protein but an amino acid and in fact is not a true AA. It is
essential in ferrets and cats because they cannot synthesize it in
quantities to meet their bodes needs. Further, taurine is only
found in
animal tissue, not in plants.
Over all the true test in feeding any animal, including humans, any
food is
how well the animal performs. Not price, convince, package, rumor,
something your read but the performance of the food in the animal.
If it
does not meet the individuals nutritional needs then you must
DR Tom Willard