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MissOMalley

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness? - Thursday, December 03, 2009 2:04 AM
I'm really confused about ferret nutrition. Some say cat food is ok, and others say no. I do know that they need high protein and low carb. What are the pros and cons of cat food, and does BB Wilderness have all the nutrients that the fuzzies need or things in it that are bad? Miley and Fez are eating Mazuri right now. I plan on switching them to Zupreem. I'd like to mix a second food in but I'm not sure what to get. I want to get the healthiest food that I can afford, but I really hate shopping online for food. I work at a pet store and really prefer to just buy the food when I'm there. Would Zupreem and BB Wilderness mix be good? Thanks!

CCretarolo

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Re:Blue Buffalo Wilderness? - Thursday, December 03, 2009 2:51 AM
BB Wilderness isn't a horrible food but I personally wouldn't feed it because there are a LOT of fruits and veggies in the ingredient list. Then again, I don't like BB all that much since they advertise (and price) as a premium line even though the majority of their products are on the lower end of middle of the line.

I personally found that my boy Mogli did pretty well on both EVO cat/kitten and Wellness CORE when I was feeding him kibble.

Now... The concerns that most ferret parents have about cat food is that supposedly cat food is formulated to be digested at a slower rate then ferret food is. I personally don't know what to think about that since at the premium level, ferret and cat foods are very similar (check out the EVO ferret food vs. their cat/kitten food). I have also found no research to support that conclusion outside of findings from pet food companies and the opinions of veterinarians. While I do feed raw, I figure that if a cat kibble lists at least 4 of the first 6 ingredients as meat products and has the proper fat and protein percentages, it should be fine for long term consumption for a ferret. I was actually feeding Mogli cat kibbles during his switch to raw simply because I could not find a single ferret kibble besides EVO that met my standards for a carnivore's diet (more then 40% protein, 15% fat, first 4 out of 6 first ingredients being meat based, and less then 10% carbohydrates).
Snapper13

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Re:Blue Buffalo Wilderness? - Thursday, December 03, 2009 3:53 PM
I'm one of those who do not condone the feeding of cat foods.  Cat foods are formulated to be digested by a cat's digestive system which is 6-8 hours long, as opposed to 3-4 hours.  Cat have larger and harder teeth, therefore the kibbles could be larger and harder, and damage a ferret's teeth.  Even though the ingredients may be similar between high level cat foods and some ferret foods, you don't know what percent of eachis put into them, how they are produced, and what the differences are.  Why add a cat food whn there are plenty of good ferret kibbles on the market which you know to be formulated to be digested by a ferret, and eaten by a ferret?  But that's my view.
 
If you feel that Blue Wilderness is thebest you can do for yoru feret, based on availability, though, then I have Blue Wilderness as the highest ranking cat kibble.  It's tied with Origen, actually.  Those two kibbles are 1/2 point higher than Innova, Innova EVO, and Horizon legacy.
 
Be cognizant that sometimes fish products in ferret foods lead to stinky poops. 
kt

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Re:Blue Buffalo Wilderness? - Friday, December 04, 2009 3:01 PM
Snapper, my initial thought was that you give food manufacturers way too much credit! After all, if a lot of them care so little about nutrition as to make corn/grains a main ingredient in a kibble, why would they give a second thought to how quickly it would be digested by one animal versus another? And kibble is horrible for every carnivore's teeth anyway -- over a lifetime, I'm not sure the size/shape matters.

So I brought it up to a vet who has worked with food manufacturing. What she told me was that there's really nothing they can add or take away from a kibble in the manufacturing process to make it digest at a different rate. They can use different carbs to make a pellet keep its shape, but it's not going to change the basics. Her opinion was that ingredients and analysis matter more than the picture on the bag (Judith Bell has said the same thing, I believe).

I just figured a company wouldn't care. What surprised me was the idea that they couldn't change much about the digestibility rate even if they wanted to. I'm no fan of kibble, but I personally would rather feed a fuzzy something like EVO cat food over something like Zupreem ferret food.

Even better, follow Snapper's signature link and start your fuzzy on commercial raw!


MissOMalley

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Re:Blue Buffalo Wilderness? - Friday, December 04, 2009 7:59 PM
Thanks everyone. I'm definitely thinking twice about feeding them any kibble.  I'm  interested in the raw food from caseys hidden pantry. I'm not sure what products to get, and how much. I'm feeding two slightly picky kits. I've tried giving them turkey pieces (organs and meat) and they wanted nothing to do with it. One thing I have been looking for on caseys hidden pantry is where the meat comes from. It says that it's natural but that doesn't exactly mean that there isn't steroids or hormones in it , or that the farmers aren't associated with mass manufacturing (poor health conditions). All of those reasons are why I personally don't eat meat, especially not regular store/ non organic meat. Which of the raw products do you recommend? Any suggestions?

CCretarolo

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Re:Blue Buffalo Wilderness? - Friday, December 04, 2009 9:00 PM
You could try emailing the manufacturers whose products you're interested in to see what they know.

I get some of your concerns but I've decided that raw is a better option for my fuzzies since the meat I can get from the grocery store goes through less processing then anything that goes into a kibble. I tend to buy meat from ethnic markets and check for saline solutions simply because I know my babies don't need that crap in their systems. Whether it's organic or not doesn't really matter to me since in the end, it's all meat and as long as there are no chemicals (antibiotics, growth hormones) in the meat it's really not going to make a huge difference.

Of course, everyone has their opinion on the matter and I know that mine is different from yours.

Note: Have you tried giving them a raw meat mush? That's how I started both of my guys out and they are both bona fide carnivores now. The type of meat that works best for the mush is heart since it has a very low fat content. I started out with chicken, duck, and turkey hearts.
Snapper13

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Re:Blue Buffalo Wilderness? - Saturday, December 05, 2009 10:31 AM
KT:  although I'm not a nutritionist nor DVM, I can theoretically figure out why some foods would be harder to digest than others.  Since by products (which includes organs, hearts, fur, hooves, etc) are harder to digest than muscle meat, if there are larger portions of these products in a food, it would take longer to digest than muscle meat and fat.
 
Poor quality manufacturerss will include more grains and fillers into their foods, and the price point will show it.  The better a food manufacturer is, the better the ingredients and the higher the price.
 
MissOMally, the manufacturer's websites mention where the food is from, with Stella and Chewy's specifically saying organic, free range, and no hormones and no antibiotics.  And AFS says the same thing:  http://www.animalfood.com/.  As does ZiwiPeak.  Wysong says their food items are organic, but doesn't explain.  You'd have to call them.
 
Mine never liked the chicken or turkey pieces directly given to them, although they wouod probably take them now.  However, they took to raw soupies easily.  Take your kibble, and soak over night.  Add some warm water the next day and serve.  Once they take to that, add 1/4 of a Stella and Chewy's patty to the soaking kibble the night before.  They shuld take to that easily.  Then increase the amount of S&C in the soup, decreasing the amount  of kibble.  In about 2-3 weeks, they wil be eating raw soupies, and what a healthy, fully, 100% nutritional meal!

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