Post by LilyandDaisy on Jul 12, 2021 8:40:43 GMT -8
I always thought the recommendation against corn-based foods was because corn is cheap, so it tends to be overused in cheap (low-quality) diets, and can be a marker of a low-quality food. The same for wheat, sunflower seeds and peanuts which are all perfectly nutritious and valuable ingredients in moderation. I don't think corn is most nutritious grain out there, and my gerbils don't really like eating whole, dried corn, so I probably wouldn't use it (in whole form at least) in a mix but I don't think it's the terrible ingredient it's sometimes made out to be.
I also read that is is cheap yes - but so is wheat like you say. It is just that in my food experiments I am paying a bit more attention to things and I am noticing that younger animals are eating less of the chipped corn - but happy with the cornflakes. Then I realised that the food I am feeding actually has two different forms of corn in the top 5 and I was thinking - just because it is a different shape it still has the same nutrients, right?
It might be easier/more difficult to eat - but if they aren't eating it - the nutrients don't matter anyway?
And possibly, they digest these at a different rate which COULD be important (1 type for carbs, one for fibre?).
The younger animals also aren't really eating all of the first ingredient, the 5th ingredient or the 7th.
So I am thinking - perhaps I need to change foods for the younger ones anyway - corn or not?
Post by LilyandDaisy on Jul 12, 2021 15:23:48 GMT -8
Mine are fine with cornflakes too. Whole corn or chipped corn is quite hard so I can see it might not be as easy to eat, especially for smaller gerbils. Cornflakes are very easy for them to hold and bite. Perhaps the younger gerbils would get on better with smaller grains, such as millets, oats, barley etc? Whole barley is particularly popular with my gerbils.
Cornflakes are higher in sugar and lower in fibre than whole or chipped whole corn so would be digested faster and more easily. However they're also much lower in B vitamins because these are concentrated in outer shell of grains, which is lost during processing and milling, although with human cereals, fortification more than makes up for this.
I'm working on a database + calculator of gerbil food ingredients with their micro- and macronutrients and it's been very enlightening. If I ever finish it I'll post it here.
I do feed them all sorts of smaller seeds - but still offer the base at all times - so I have been looking at an entirely different base mix that will eliminate the parts they aren't eating anyway.
Why am I buying a mix they aren't eating half of and then buy another load of stuff on top? Derr.
I am going to be trialling them with a bag of Little One I forgot I had in the garage. All parts look smaller in the first place - so I will be loading their experiemtn bowls up with that tomorrow and se what happens...
And I haven't ever added whole barley - so will look that up. They don't eat all of the whole husked naked oats though - even though flaked oats are a sure winner all round.
Post by LilyandDaisy on Jul 12, 2021 16:32:16 GMT -8
Be careful with the Little One! I bought a bag, opened it and stored it properly in an airtight tin, and a few weeks later the seeds had gone rancid. It smelt awful. It was a nice mix with lots of small seeds but now I can't bring myself to buy it again. I've never had any other seed mix go rancid. I think perhaps it wasn't stored properly before I bought it.
Oh no - thanks for the heads up - that is bad luck. Like you said - pre-storage can some times be an issue. Perhaps it wasn't airtight before you got it - the chemicals they seal in the bags are very important for preservation.
I got mine at show - it is air tight and defo in date - but I will keep an eye - thanks.