Message Number: YG3234 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Pam Sessoms
Date: 2001-05-04 14:10:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Re: Food for Sick Ferret

OK, lemme take another stab at this. Others jump in.

Preliminary thought: This whole thing used to really bend my noodle.
Fun experiments in the kitchen help... One thing that really helped me
was seeing how much water kibble sucks up. So, look at a little teaspoon
full of high-protein dry kibble. Grind it to a dust and start adding
water - it's amazing how much water it sucks up to make a soup (it'll
thicken gradually). You now have FAR more than a teaspoon of food, but
you still have the same amount of protein there, because you have only
added water. So your protein percent might have started at, say, 38% with
the dry kibble. 38% of the "stuff" in your dry kibble is protein. When
you turned it into soup, you might have taken it down to about 7% protein
by volume. That is, now 7% of the "stuff" in your kibble soup is protein.
The ferret could either eat the little handful of kibble, or he could suck
down all that soup. He'd get the same amount of protein, but he'd
probably wind up drinking less of his regular water from his bowl if he
drank the soup.

Does that help at all?

On deciphering labels. Here is how I convert a percent protein from an
"as is" basis (as listed on the label) to a "dry matter" basis. Let's use
the a/d example. I wish I had a can of k/d here!

Selected items from the label:

Crude protein min 8.5%
Crude fat min 5.25%
Moisture max 78%

We know that the total volume of something is 100%, and we want to get rid
of the water, so that we can figure out what percent of the solids are
protein. So, to figure out how much "dry stuff" is in the can, we
subtract the percent moisture from 100%.

100% - 78% = 22%

So, 22% of what's in a can of a/d is *not* water - it's the dry matter.
Of that 22%, 8.5% is protein. We need to figure out what percent 8.5 is
of 22.

8.5/22 = 0.386 (38.6%)

What about fat? 5.5/22 = 0.25 (25%)

I guess a concise version of that would be: To calculate the "dry
matter" percentage protein, subtract the percent moisture from 100% to
obtain the percent dry matter. Divide the percent protein given on the
label by the result (the percent dry matter).

Kibble does have moisture in it as well, so to be a purist, one could do
the same thing with it. But it won't make such a dramatic difference
because the percent moisture is a lot smaller (such as 10%).

If anyone has a can of k/d handy, post the numbers so we can play with
them. Hill's might have the info on their website at:

I can't tell for sure because at home I'm currently limited to a
text-based web browser (lynx), and it does very very odd things with the
crucial table of numbers. I think they might already have this worked out
there, in fact! Maybe someone with graphical access can post the numbers,
or I can take a look tomorrow from wy work computer.

I hope that helps and that I haven't only succeeded in confusing things


-Pam S.