Author Topic: Random thoughts on the nutrition of prey (and other) animals  (Read 2331 times)

Offline Pookie

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Sometimes I think I just need to turn my brain off.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure that’s possible.    :)  I got to thinking about one of the posts that mentioned cats aren’t allergic to, say, chicken, but what the chicken was fed.  Which got me to wondering, what would they normally eat?  Long before factory farming, hundreds of years ago, what did they naturally eat, and are they now being fed too many things like corn and other grains?  So I checked Wikipedia:

Chickens are omnivores.[11] In the wild, they often scratch at the soil to search for seeds, insects and even larger animals such as lizards or young mice.[12]

So this tells me that unless the chicken is free-range, it’s probably not getting the insects, etc. that it normally would.  Which makes me wonder what the impact of the chicken’s diet is on it’s health, which then impacts the health of those who eat it.  I’m not even talking about steroids/horomones/antibiotics, just the impact of the diet itself.  Then there’s another question:  how much of the corn, grain, etc. that they’re being fed is GMO or has been sprayed with pesticides/herbicides?  And how does that impact the chicken and those who eat it?

Some other diets of what we may be feeding (I’m also keeping in mind Dr. Pierson’s statement of “think fur and feathers, not hooves and horns”):

Wild turkeys are omnivorous, foraging on the ground or climbing shrubs and small trees to feed. They prefer eating hard mast such as acorns, nuts, and various trees, including hazel, chestnut, hickory, and pinyon pine as well as various seeds, berries such as juniper and bearberry, roots and insects. Turkeys also occasionally consume amphibians and small reptiles such as lizards and snakes. Poults have been observed eating insects, berries, and seeds. Wild turkeys often feed in cow pastures, sometimes visit back yard bird feeders, and favor croplands after harvest to scavenge seed on the ground. Turkeys are also known to eat a wide variety of grasses.

Ducks exploit a variety of food sources such as grasses, aquatic plants, fish, insects, small amphibians,[3] worms, and small molluscs.

Rabbits are herbivores that feed by grazing on grass, forbs, and leafy weeds. In consequence, their diet contains large amounts of cellulose, which is hard to digest. Rabbits solve this problem by passing two distinct types of feces: hard droppings and soft black viscous pellets, the latter of which are immediately eaten. Rabbits reingest their own droppings (rather than chewing the cud as do cows and many other herbivores) to digest their food further and extract sufficient nutrients.[16]

Cattle are ruminants, meaning that they have a digestive system that allows use of otherwise indigestible foods by regurgitating and rechewing them as "cud". The cud is then reswallowed and further digested by specialised microorganisms in the rumen. These microbes are primarily responsible for decomposing cellulose and other carbohydrates into volatile fatty acids that cattle use as their primary metabolic fuel. The microbes inside the rumen are also able to synthesize amino acids from non-protein nitrogenous sources, such as urea and ammonia. As these microbes reproduce in the rumen, older generations die and their carcasses continue on through the digestive tract. These carcasses are then partially digested by the cattle, allowing them to gain a high quality protein source. These features allow cattle to thrive on grasses and other vegetation.

Sheep are exclusively herbivorous mammals. Most breeds prefer to graze on grass and other short roughage, avoiding the taller woody parts of plants that goats readily consume.[31] Both sheep and goats use their lips and tongues to select parts of the plant that are easier to digest or higher in nutrition.[31] Sheep, however, graze well in monoculture pastures where most goats fare poorly.[31] Like all ruminants, sheep have a complex digestive system composed of four chambers, allowing them to break down cellulose from stems, leaves, and seed hulls into simpler carbohydrates. When sheep graze, vegetation is chewed into a mass called a bolus, which is then passed into the rumen, via the reticulum. The rumen is a 19 to 38-liter (5 to 10 gal) organ in which feed is fermented.[32] The fermenting organisms include bacteria, fungi, and protozoa.[33] (Other important rumen organisms include some archaea, which produce methane from carbon dioxide.[34]) The bolus is periodically regurgitated back to the mouth as cud for additional chewing and salivation.[32] Cud chewing is an adaptation allowing ruminants to graze more quickly in the morning, and then fully chew and digest feed later in the day.[35] This is safer than grazing, which requires lowering the head thus leaving the animal vulnerable to predators, while cud chewing does not.[12]


Note that several of them, esp. the birds, are omnivores and will also eat meat (insects, lizards, fish, etc.).  I don’t know if cattle are fed corn, but I suspect they do get some and that it’s not really a normal part of their diet.

I know the Native Americans used corn a lot in their diet, but then I realized, it wasn’t sprayed with anything and wasn’t GMO.  So how safe is the corn being fed to animals raised for food (in factory farming)?

These are just random thoughts and speculations.  But it makes me think that we as a species should look more closely at the natural diet of the things we eat in order to protect the food supply, our health, and the health of our pets and other life on this planet.  Because from what I can tell, it seems like we’re slowly poisoning ourselves and everything else.   :(

Ok, I need to really shut my mind off because I’m depressing myself . . .  Sorry if I’ve depressed you, too.
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Offline CarnivorousCritter

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Re: Random thoughts on the nutrition of prey (and other) animals
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2012, 04:56:48 PM »
Sometimes I think I just need to turn my brain off.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure that’s possible.    :)  I got to thinking about one of the posts that mentioned cats aren’t allergic to, say, chicken, but what the chicken was fed.  Which got me to wondering, what would they normally eat?  Long before factory farming, hundreds of years ago, what did they naturally eat, and are they now being fed too many things like corn and other grains?  So I checked Wikipedia:...
Some other diets of what we may be feeding (I’m also keeping in mind Dr. Pierson’s statement of “think fur and feathers, not hooves and horns”):...


Ok, I need to really shut my mind off because I’m depressing myself . . .  Sorry if I’ve depressed you, too.


NOOOO!!  Quite the opposite!!   Your post = absolutely EPIC!!    DrLisaPiersonWorthy DrLisaPiersonWorthy DrLisaPiersonWorthy DrLisaPiersonWorthy

Please don't shut your mind off  HeadButt :-*    People may either choose to keep their heads firmly entrenched in sand wondering why the same old, same old (and new!) health issues pop up, or wake up and face the facts.   But people would rather wait for the TV to tell them what to think, because the TV's always selling something .... whether processed, artificial, chemically treated and/ or fast food...   :(

 DrLisaPiersonWorthy DrLisaPiersonWorthy DrLisaPiersonWorthy DrLisaPiersonWorthy DrLisaPiersonWorthy DrLisaPiersonWorthy

Offline Pookie

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Re: Random thoughts on the nutrition of prey (and other) animals
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2012, 05:02:01 PM »
  :-[  Thanks, CC!
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Offline FurMonster Mom

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Re: Random thoughts on the nutrition of prey (and other) animals
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 07:05:55 PM »
I've mentioned this before, in relation to the diets that feeder mice are fed. 
Mice naturally eat a variety of grains, fruits, and even bugs... they are omnivorous.
BUT most feeder mice are fed a commercially produced pellet food that is no better than crappy kibble. 
No joke, I looked up the ingredients of some of the so called "premium" mouse food, and was amazed that they were almost the same as kibble (including menadione, synthetic vit. K).

I wondered the same thing... if the mice are being fed kibble, how healthy are they really, and how could that affect my carnivores?
meow meow meow meow meow meow? -woof!
Translation: "I can has my raw food? -please!"

Offline DeeDee

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Re: Random thoughts on the nutrition of prey (and other) animals
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 09:36:42 PM »

I know the Native Americans used corn a lot in their diet, but then I realized, it wasn’t sprayed with anything and wasn’t GMO.  So how safe is the corn being fed to animals raised for food (in factory farming)?



Simple answer...it's not. The only safe foods for us now are organically raised animals--cattle that are grass/hay fed, free-range poultry, etc. Guess who is one of the biggest manufacturer of cattle feed for cattle that doesn't have enough grass around to eat? http://cattle.purinamills.com/ This story will shed some light on what's in horse feed--very much like cattle feed when it comes down to it: http://www.justgrain.com/Articles/good_bad_ugly.html

Often, farmers can't get any seed from anywhere else BUT Monsanto--and dairy cattle are often given a hormone that's made BY Monsanto too: http://www.naturalhealthchiropractic.com/know_that.html (see paragraph 4 of the Genetic Engineering section) Severe ailments are being linked to "growth hormones, used to increase feed efficiency and promote rapid growth, may contribute to increased rates of cancer, antibiotic resistance, and early onset puberty in humans." (page 2 of http://www.psr.org/chapters/oregon/safe-food/csf-meat-brochure.pdf )

Now if it can do that to human children, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will do it to baby animals too. We truly are "damned if we do, and damned if we don't" in today's world. I've got a LOT more links like those that will scare you to death--or into being a vegetarian who eats nothing but "grow your own" foods. Just don't buy any animal manure to fertilize with unless you get it from your own animals that are fed a healthy diet--animal manure sold is usually from large farms where all of those bad foods/drugs and more are given. Their manure contains everything that was ever put into their bodies. In the past even wheat has been tainted with pathogens that caused food poisoning illness because it was fertilized with manure. Many times these food recalls are for pathogens that are of the super-bug variety that there isn't any antibiotics for to kill it.

Unlike you, Pookie, I don't wonder. I've already found the answers and didn't like them one, single, little bit.
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"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Pookie

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Re: Random thoughts on the nutrition of prey (and other) animals
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2012, 12:10:12 PM »
 :'( :'( :'( :'(  Thanks, I think.   Bumpurr1

That's part of what prompted me to post what I did.  I stopped at a Farmer's Market this weekend, and one of the farmers selling meat had a flyer.  Since I toy with going all raw for Pookie and am looking for places where I could get quality meat and organs (it's the organs I'm having trouble finding, esp. since Pookie doesn't always handle chicken liver very well, and I don't feed it to him anymore), I took a flyer.  It explains what they feed their cattle, etc., and darned if they don't give their cattle grains in the last 2 weeks to help "marbelize" the meat.   bangshead bangshead  Not that I really plan on feeding beef, but I think the chickens and turkeys also got corn.   bangshead bangshead bangshead

Is there a farmer anywhere in this country that does NOT feed some sort of corn to their poultry?!?!  GAH!   pullingouthair
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Offline DeeDee

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Re: Random thoughts on the nutrition of prey (and other) animals
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012, 12:39:16 PM »

Is there a farmer anywhere in this country that does NOT feed some sort of corn to their poultry?!?!  GAH!   pullingouthair

http://jdcountrymilk.com/ Is the milk we drink now. A produce supplier in town that grows his own vegetables for many of us actually drives up into KY and brings it back. All those issues is one reason we started drinking it instead of what's in the groceries. The hardest thing I found about that was remembering to hold on tight to the top and shaking it before pouring since it's pasteurized but not homogenized. Of course, if you don't mind getting a big glop of cream (even in the 2%) you can skip the shaking.

My father-in-law died last year, but he had a big farm and raised cattle. Feeding corn to the ones that were about to be slaughtered was common for us too, but guess what? Along with the alfalfa for winter hay, he grew his own corn for feeding the slaughter-intended--and that corn came from seed that had been harvested for ages before GMOs came along by saving seed every year. He said it was silly to pay for something a person already had. The vegetable garden wasn't sprayed with pesticides either. He'd order lady bugs and preying mantis every year. All of us are missing him and his farm--mainly the traditions of everyone getting together at certain times to work together.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

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