Message Number: YG3925 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Jacqueline Snyder
Date: 2001-05-23 15:38:00 UTC
Subject: What Bob C said about corn

If corn depletes iron, which is what Bob appears to be saying, in humans
who live mainly on corn, does it do the same thing in other mammals?

One of my shelter adopteees, Mr. Hogley, has an iron deficiency that
doesn't seem to be caused by an underlying disease. (however this ferret
has been suspected of having lymphoma, insulinoma and other
problems--something ain't quite right--but nothing clear ever shows up on
tests.) We know he was fed poorly for the first four years of his life. So
I am wondering whether his anemia is due to a heavy corn diet, from low
quality cat chow. (But wouldn't such an anemia gradually be corrected,
after the diet improved?)

I recently found I'm allergic to corn, wheat, milk, and eggs--the staples
of the American diet. Cutting that out of my diet (a pain in the fanny, for
sure), has done two amazing things--no more hay fever/sinus problems, which
have been horrible for most of my life, and no more of the awful finger
joint pain--my doctor said I had rheumatoid arthritis. Again, humans aren't
ferrets, but if a large, long-lived animal (me) can be so strongly affected
by diet, it seems to me that the effects of diet on small, short-lived
animals must be even more extreme. So I almost think I should raise mice
and bugs to feed my ferrets. (I won't. Bob's chicken gravy makes them
pretty happy and I'd feel bad about feeder mice.)

There have been quite a few discussions on the FHL of ferret nutrition, but
I'd like to know what folks who study this stuff would feed their ferrets
in lieu of ferret chow. If you go with fresh foods, like Bob's Chicken
Gravy, then spoilage becomes a problem, as does obesity if you're not
careful. (I'm not careful. I have pudgy ferrets.) And one of the arguments
in human nutrition these days is the need for greater diversity--how
diverse would the diet of an animal that imprints at a young age on food
be? What variety of prey would a wild European polecat eat? (assuming
that's the closest analog)