Date: 2004-04-02 02:06:57 UTC
Subject: RE: Carbs and wild mustelids
> almost always left the stomach and intestines of
> the mice uneaten (she ate the bone, fur and flesh).
This, of course, is a good point, and it has not really been brought up in all this carb discussion.
Small rodents may have up to 5% carbs(gi tract included), but the fact is, that not even all of that is consumed. Mostly it's left behind, and when *some* of it is consumed, it is on rare occasions. Threfore, I am convinced that wild ferrets/polecats, by nature do not consume carbohydrates on a daily basis, as is the case with the domesticated ferret, which has no choice by to take in carbohydrates, on a much larger scale, many times a day - day in, day out.
Furthermore, another important point that has not been taken into account, but which you all, I'm sure, are aware of... the carbs consumed by wild ferrets are very much different than that which is packaged in kibble. Also, the carbs are processed differently.
The wild prey that ferrets mainly consume, feed on mostly grasses, not grains. The food is *already predigested* by the microflora in the gut of these animals, and that's how carnivores can obtain nutrients from this matter (the little amount that they eat on occasion). I suspect this contains some of the trace amounts of vitamins and minerals that they would otherwise not get anywhere else. Otherwise, they would always completely omit this matter.
The carbs in kibble are complex carbohydrates; by-products of the grain industry; rice, corn, wheat, etc. It cannot, by any measure, be compared to the carbs found in the gut of wild prey.