Message Number: YG534 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Brett Middleton
Date: 2001-03-02 10:30:00 UTC
Subject: Re: topic - vitamin/mineral content of food

maikeru207@y... wrote:
> The main reason I became interested in this is because certain
> companies claim that their food is the best for ferrets because the
> vit/min content (as well as other reasons) is adjusted specifically
> for ferrets. However, this information is not readily available to
> the public.

I'm not sure the information would do you much good anyway, because you
have nothing to compare it against except the company's claim that what
they provide is "right". The real secret they're keeping in this case
is the list of ferret nutrient requirements on which they base their
formulations, which each company develops for itself and considers

Things are a little different in the livestock world. The kind of
information you're looking for *is* readily available, but so are the
standards against which it can be judged. For example, if I want to
feed a young pig, I can pick up a handy little booklet published by the
National Research Council titled "Nutrient Requirements of Swine". The
table for growing swine tells me that pigs weighing 20-30 kg require a
diet that contains 0.65% calcium, 0.50% phosphorus, etc. There are
similar NRC booklets for beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats,
horses, poultry, rabbits, fish, mink and foxes, nonhuman primates,
dogs, cats and laboratory animals (covering rats, mice, guinea pigs,
hamsters, gerbils, and voles). No ferret book.

The pet food industry, while not as evil as some make it out to be, has
a pretty good thing going, and they aren't likely to spoil it any time
soon by letting us in on the secrets. B-)


*SLMW 1.0* "Your species is insufficiently paranoid, Louis Wu."