What shouldn’t be in wet food is cellulose, sugar, caramel, propylene glycol (the animal doesn’t need to absorb sweeteners). Artificial dye E127 is a provocateur of oncological diseases. There are usually a lot of offal in wet food, and they are not always attractive: it can be beef skin, for example. If there is a decoding of “meat”, it is better than a generalization.
Let us analyze such a composition using the example of the most popular economy class products. Usually, the packaging of such feed contains beef, lamb or chicken, but not more than 7%. Seven percent protein for a carnivore. do you think it is enough? Rather, in such a food, the meat serves as a flavoring agent that attracts the animal to food, but certainly not a protein source. But by-products in this feed are about 60%. There are very few vitamins and minerals in it, but fats are present.
Additives that compensate for the composition of micro- and macroelements, about 5%. About the same as meat, and often more. About 25% of the composition of cheap dry food is cereals. This is source of carbohydrates for your cat. The composition is nutritious, but far from the most useful for the animal. A young cat can cope with it, but a sick, old animal cannot.
Dry premium food inspires more hope for a healthy diet for a cat, but there is also a nuance here. Many ingredients from such feeds lead to rapid obesity of the cat, and if you do not organize frequent games and walks for him, the animal will get fat very quickly.
In the composition of dry food of the highest grade, there are virtually no offal. The natural formula of these compounds helps the cat to remain healthy, vigorous, playful for as long as possible.
Of course, the manufacturer wants, first of all, to earn money, and not to feed many cats. Its task is to attract the animal to the bowl. And this can be done with the help of flavors. So the feed contains extracts of chamomile, ginger, rosemary, fennel. And so that the food has an attractive appearance and crispy crackers look beautiful in a cat’s bowl, emulsifiers and thickeners are added to the recipe.
But there are some really good inclusions among the additional ingredients. For example, components that bind bile acids: statins, sequestrants.
They do not allow feed to become source of pure cholesterol, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The main components of modern feed
The cat is a predator, carnivore. Its digestive tract is little adapted to digest food from a person’s table. If you feed her salty, smoked, fried, spicy, the animal will quickly acquire diseases that will shorten its life.
Cat nutritionists insist on the following points.
- Quality products of animal origin are the basis of cat food. Animal nutrition consists mainly of meat and by-products, valuable for their proteins and essential amino acids. A pet definitely needs polyunsaturated fatty acids, which cannot be obtained without meat and fish food.
- Vegetables, grains, vegetable oils are also important. Retinol and niacin are those components without which a kitty cannot grow and develop normally, look healthy. And if you feed the animal from the “human table”, it is very difficult to track how vitaminized its nutrition is.
In Russia, strict veterinary and sanitary standards are put forward for the composition of animal feed. It is allowed to produce cat food only from farm animals, from meat that is suitable for human consumption. Legislatively, not only the quality of the base is controlled, but also the organoleptic, biological indicators of the feed. It is very important what texture, smell, color it has. such an analysis is required.
Consider the main ingredients of the feed.
- Meat. The producer has the right to call meat veal, beef, pork, lamb, goat meat. It’s good if the pack specifies what kind of meat is present in the composition. But not all manufacturers do this. If there is a rabbit in the feed, you should read this word on the package. But poultry (chicken) and fish cannot be called meat. It should be written this way: fish, chicken, turkey, etc.
- Bird. The skin and bones of a bird are called so. If a manufacturer grinds chicken bones together with meat, he is not a scammer. on the contrary, for a pet it is a good source of calcium. Therefore, if you read the inscription “bird” on a pack of food, keep in mind that in addition to the muscle part, there may also be bone fragments, which are qualitatively ground.
- Meat by-products. These are the edible components of mammals that are not muscle. Kidneys or liver, for example. The udder and lungs, as you know, a person does not eat, but for domestic cats, these components are acceptable.
- Meat flour. This is the name of the raw material that is made from mammalian tissue. Meat flour can contain both meat and offal. The law did not decide to oblige the manufacturer to indicate what exactly is in this flour and whose meat is used. If bones are added to this composition, “meat and bone meal” is written. There are also such options: “meal from animal by-products”, “meal from poultry” or “meal from poultry by-products”.
- Fats and oils. Animal and vegetable fats are used to make food more attractive, so that its energy value increases.
- Vegetable components. As a rule, barley, corn, peas, rice, potatoes are added to the feed. They serve as a link for other ingredients, only secondarily can they be called source of carbohydrates.
- Vitamins and minerals. The manufacturer can describe the minerals contained in the feed as follows: a simple listing or enumeration of specific substances with m minerals. Minerals are always synthetic additives, vitamins are also artificial substances.
- Taurine. This is one of the substances that can be called laboratory-synthesized amino acids. The body of a cat must synthesize this element itself, but in domestic animals this valuable substance is always in short supply. Cats that hunt rats and mice do not lack taurine. The rest must necessarily receive it in the form of additives or, which is even simpler, as part of the feed.
Taurine strengthens the immune system, improves the functioning of the cat’s liver and kidneys, normalizes blood glucose levels, has a good effect on the stomach, improves the condition of the coat, strengthens eyesight, and also provides the cat with healthy offspring.
- Ash. Almost all cat owners who buy food for the first time believe that ash is an alimentary supplement. But in fact, this is the name for the measure of the content of minerals in cat food. According to this indicator, it is assessed whether the amount of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and other minerals is balanced at the root. For example, there is more ash in the muscle tissues of an animal (that is, in meat) than in bones.
I must say that the law does not regulate the description of the ash content of the product. the manufacturer may not indicate the ash on the package.
A huge portion of the feed comes from the United States. The CVM (veterinary medicine center) is responsible for the control of products for pets. But the main concern of the center is tracking the quality of food additives and medicated feed for livestock. The most negative point: before entering the market, the feed manufacturer does not need to receive a permit. It is enough to meet the requirements of the state where the feed is produced.
What cat food is made of and which composition is better?
Have you ever thought about what to feed your pet? It’s not about the brand of products and not about the form, but about what composition should ideally be in food for a cat. Probably, not everyone had this thought: most of the owners of cats completely trust the manufacturers of food. Not everyone reads the composition of the product, but in vain. Animal feed is a business where many manufacturers are trying to save money by investing less and getting more. Therefore, the good fellow is the owner who always reads the composition on the package, and knows which words on this list should please, and which ones should force you to switch to another pack.
Dry food for animals, according to many, appeared recently, literally thirty years ago. In the post-Soviet reality, the flow of fodder burst, in fact, not so long ago. in the 90s of the last century. But the same dry animal feed has been produced for 150 years! The cunning American James Spratt was the first to put this business on stream, although England, not the States, became the homeland of such a business. The composition of animal food could be regarded as rather primitive: flour, ground meat, beef blood and some vegetables. It was all transformed into a bone cookie.
Interestingly, dogs immediately liked such a product (yes, the first food was made not for cats, but for dogs). Experts were skeptical about such nutrition, but the mechanism of fast food for animals, and they sometimes called it that way, had already been launched.
The next stage is the 30s and 40s of the XX century. We can say that the era of dry food began at this time. In those years, there were only two dry product options: granules and balls. The granules were ready-made crackers or crumbs, and the balls were the ingredients that the breeder had to soak by hand. But it cannot be said that large companies supplying these products to the market made an industrial breakthrough for the benefit of our smaller brothers. Alas, the manufacturer just got rid of the production products very profitably.
At that time, despite the assurances of advertising, which was already spinning the flywheel of trade with all its might, dry food was not balanced, and such food could not be called useful for animals.
And then the story turned even more interesting: Purina’s company began using extrusion in the 50s, and Mark Morris invented veterinary nutrition. He managed to develop a medicinal food, which, at first, he twisted with his own hand into canned food with a special machine. Finally, Paul Yams made a huge breakthrough. he laid down the philosophy of balanced feeding of cats and dogs. Thanks to him, the truth was established: dogs and cats are carnivores, and their food should be based on high-quality high-quality protein.
Closer to the 80s, a clear gradation appears on the feed market: economy and premium feed, super-premium and veterinary diets are on sale. But there was sometimes more marketing in this division: not all cat food corresponded to what was stated on the package. In the 90s, the holistic fashion came along. the idea of healthy nutrition for animals began to deepen. High-quality nutrients, eco-products have become the basis of feed, instead of grains, vegetables, herbs and berries are used more in the non-protein (meaning animal protein) part of the feed.
Now the market for animal feed is, in a sense, overcrowded. The buyer, as statistics show, follows a choice based on advertising, price and visual appeal of the package.
And you must always read the composition, and know for sure what should be there and what should not.
There are canned food that a cat can eat every day, and there are those that are intended only for occasional meals. Toddlers love mousses and pâtés, and adult cats love canned food with pieces of meat. The composition of this type of food is close to the composition of wet food. If you combine dry food and canned food in your pet’s diet, it is desirable that they are from the same product line.
Let’s see what the experts say about this.
- About a third of a cat’s diet should be wet or canned food, the rest should be dry food. Better natural food made from meat or fish, there is no and cannot be.
- A dry product is always a plentiful drink for a cat. If she lives on dry food, and she does not have enough drink, health problems will manifest very quickly. For the same reason, feed your pet wet food or canned food several times a week.
- Holistic food is a top product for cats. The composition is balanced, there are no preservatives and dyes, no allergens. But the cost of such a product is very high, and it is also not easy to find it on free sale.
The best feeds are premium, premium, holistic formulations. Remember that if you buy an economy class product, even the most advertised brand does not improve its quality. Everything is trite: cheap food cannot be good. Therefore, having a pet is a responsible business, and first make sure that you are fully prepared for this.
For information on how to choose the best dry food, see the next video.
What fish feed is made of
The carp’s appetite depends primarily on the temperature of the water. When decreasing
temperature, the chemical processes in the fish body slow down, as a result of which the fish’s appetite decreases, which completely disappears at 8 ° C. However, if the carp receives full-fledged dry food, then the appetite persists even at low temperatures. Thus, underyearlings of carp feed on granules at 3 ° C, two-year-olds eat similar food at 6 ° C. With a decrease in appetite, the respiration rate of fish changes. In winter, carp breathes 4-5 times a minute, and in summer. 60-70 times.
At elevated temperatures, the appetite increases. It reaches its apogee at 24 ° C. Therefore, carp grows best in July and August. But if these months are cool, and the autumn is warm, then the carp continues to grow: in the fall.
Larger carp eat what they find easily. The hatched larvae first feed on the yolk sac, then eat small crustaceans and worms, but soon switch to larger food. Already at a length of 2 cm in carp, daphnia and chironomids can be found in the stomach.
Natural food changes, as already mentioned, depending on the season. Carp eats abundant food organisms with pleasure. In addition, in each period it feeds on certain food organisms: red turtle larvae as benthic food, water donkey, insect larvae, beetles, mayflies, in well-fertilized ponds. zooplankton. He does not eat bedbugs, dragonfly larvae, leeches and ticks very willingly. There is an assumption that carp also eats fry of other carps during the period of hunger.
In permanent ponds, the maximum number of red turtle larvae is observed from February to April. Then, when the ponds are stocked with fish, this food almost disappears. After draining, the maximum amount of natural food is from May to June. Then the carp planted in the pond finds a “richly served table”.
Plankton development is maximal in the first half of summer. Since the second half of August, the number of food organisms has been greatly reduced. This deficiency cannot be covered even by feeding with grain, soybean meal, etc. Thus, there is a nutritional deficiency in the ponds.
With animal food, carp receives essential amino acids that the body needs. Plant foods also contain important amino acids, but they are of lower quality than amino acids of animal origin. Therefore, when there is a shortage of zooplankton, the lack of amino acids cannot be fully compensated for with only plant feeding. This leads to the fact that with prolonged deficiency of amino acids in the feed, the condition of the fish deteriorates, and the resistance to parasites and pathogens decreases.
Essential amino acids include: aspartic acid, threonine, serine, glutamic acid, proline, glycine, alanine, valine, methionine, isoleucine, tyrosine and phenylalanine. The ratio of these amino acids is not the same in all animal proteins. For example, in daphnia and cyclops taken from the same lake, the amino acid ratio is different and varies depending on the season. Winter plankton contains significantly less essential amino acids than spring and summer.
The fish begin to feed at a temperature of 20-22 ° C at the age of about 4 days, when the swim bladder is already filled with air. The food first is ciliates obtained from hay infusion, and microplankton, which is passed through a mixer as a precaution. Then they give larger plankton and, finally, dry food of the finest granulation. Especially good results are obtained when feeding with brine shrimp salina. With plentiful food, the fish reach a length of about 10 mm in 12 days, and 12-15 mm after 15 days. With this length, they can be planted in fry ponds.
In order to satisfy the need for essential amino acids, feed with animal protein, which is found in pelleted feed. This feed is not given for feeding all year round, but periodically when there is a deficiency of essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. In other cases, feed of plant origin is given: rye, barley, wheat, corn, lupine, soybean meal, potatoes, brewer’s grains. Other agricultural feeds can also be given as top dressing. Top dressing makes it possible to obtain the highest fish productivity from the useful areas. However, herbal supplements alone, even in large doses, can hardly be considered a complete food. Therefore, in order to make these feeds of high quality, it is necessary to add to them about 50% of the components of animal origin (meat, blood, fish meal).
Feed ratio. Each type of feed has its own feed ratio. This is a number indicating how many feed units should be given to obtain a unit of fish weight gain.
Thus, the grain fodder ratio is 4-5, ie, in order to obtain 1 kg of an increase in the carp mass, it is necessary to feed it 4-5 kg of grain. The fodder coefficients of corn, lupine, soybean meal are 4, potatoes. 7-9, and brewer’s grains. 20-25. But the feed ratio does not give a complete picture of the value of this component. For example, brewer’s grains, which have insignificant nutritional qualities, are more advantageous for carp than other types of feed. With its help, carp can be lured to any feeding place.
The feed ratio numbers are absolute numbers and represent the gain resulting from feeding. The amount of growth depends not only on the received top dressing, but on the natural fish productivity, which can be doubled with fertilization. This gain is called fertilizer gain.
Growth through feeding. When feeding in optimal conditions, the total growth consists of natural growth, growth due to fertilization and feeding (7s each).
In order to plan feed growth and to save feed, it is necessary to know the natural growth in each pond. However, this increase is not always known. Average data can be obtained only after many years of operation of the pond without fertilizers. Therefore, it is difficult to get an idea of the profitability of feeding with the help of the absolute feed ratio. For this reason, they use not an absolute, but a relative feed ratio, which is based on the total increase and is calculated according to the amount of feed used. Accordingly, under optimal conditions, it is 7s of the absolute coefficient. Thus, an absolute coefficient of 4.5 corresponds to a relative coefficient of 1.5. With this value, it can be assumed that the optimal amount of feed has been fed under optimal conditions. If the relative grain ratio is 2, then the proposed one was used incorrectly, that is, either a lot of feed was fed, or, since the fertilizer had not yet been applied in full, the feed base in the pond was insufficient. For lupine, corn and soybean meal, the ratio should be 1.3.
Just like natural productivity, the feed ratio is not constant. Natural growth can be increased by tillage, and the feed ratio changes depending on the development of the natural feed base and fish stocking density. With the usual cultural and technical measures taken at the present time, the optimal planting should be equal to 600 two-year-old carp (each weighing 250 g) per 1 hectare of the pond area. Under these conditions, the absolute feed ratio for grain is no longer 4.5, but about 3.2-3.3. In practice, this means that when receiving 1 kg of growth, about 1 kg of additional fertilizing was saved, as well as the fact that the relative feed coefficient of grain is 1.1.
Time and place of feeding. The feed intake by carps and its assimilation depend on the water temperature. It is advisable to start feeding at a water temperature of 16 ° C, although sometimes carp does not stop feeding even at 12 ° C. Feed rations at the beginning, when the water is still cool (in June), should be small. With increasing temperature, they increase. Therefore, the main half of the feed is planned for the hottest months. July and August. In September, the diet should be reduced again. This is a general guideline.
In reality, the amount of feed required is determined according to the weather conditions in the given season. So, if May and June fall very warm and the water warms up well enough, feed rations are increased, and in cool July and August, they are reduced. If September turns out to be warm, then, by increasing the feeding, they will catch up with what was missed in the growth during the cool summer. Even in October, if it is warm, with appropriate feeding, you can get an increase in fish.
In order to determine the eatability of the feed in the feeding places, constant monitoring is carried out. Feeding places are marked with certain marks, for example, they clog up posts around which feed is poured. Feed is reintroduced only when no reserves are found at the feed site. Samples at the feeding site are carefully taken with a shovel or a strongly curved metal plate. In addition, feeding tables are erected, which are platforms made of boards, the edges of which are limited by bars 5 cm high so that the food does not roll off. With a simple lifting device, the tables are either raised to the surface or immersed as needed (68).
The feed will be used better if it is applied frequently and in small portions. Daily feeding therefore has an advantage over weekly feeding; multiple daily feeding is better than single feeding. Naturally, all this requires a significant investment of time, therefore, feeding machines are used.
IN carp ponds automatic machines of 3 types are used: “Kalkwelle”, “Karpomat” and “Oberpfalz”, which operate without an electric drive or fuel. The fish “serve” the Calquelle machine by themselves, hitting a stick hanging in the water, which is motionlessly connected to a horizontal plate. This plate covers the feed tank. The shutter is lifted when the fish hits the stick and the food falls out. The fish instantly grabs him. The stick is often too thin, and the carp, striking it hard, breaks it. Therefore, the end of the stick is covered with a piece of polystyrene, from which it becomes rougher and it becomes easier to hit it.
The Karpomat feed unit (69) was first used in pond farms in Hungary. Its device is as follows. One cone is in another truncated cone. The distance between them is made sufficient so that the feed in the tank (the machine is in the water to the bottom edge) falls onto the feed table under the pressure of the swollen mass of grain. As the food is eaten from the table, a new portion comes down from the vending machine.
Feeding machine Oberpfalz (70) is based on a principle developed at the Federal Institute for Water and Fisheries Research in Scharfling-Mondsee. It is a flat box, the bottom of which serves as a conveyor, which is driven by a clock mechanism and works continuously for 12 hours. When the conveyor belt moves, the feed falls into the water. The box can be mounted on racks or floats. “Oberpfalz” is suitable only for the introduction of small portions of feed.
While briquetted feed can also be fed with the Kalkvelle and Oberpfalz machines, the Karpomat is not suitable for this, since the briquettes disintegrate in the water and clog the holes, and, in addition, many valuable soluble substances are lost in the water.
If you do not use feeding machines, then the question arises: in what form should feed be given. crushed, crushed, dry or pre-soaked? The smaller the fish, the finer the food should be. Young fish receive finely crushed food, and larger fish are given crushed granules. Two-year-old carp are already eating whole grain. Lupine must be crushed in all cases.
With their pharyngeal teeth, carps, if necessary, grind coarse grains into small pieces. Sick, but able to actively eat fish receive crushed and, if possible, moistened pellets. But also healthy and older fish prefer soft food. Solid food is more often swallowed, but also more often spit out.
The recipe for the production of pelleted feed is not uniform. Thus, dry mixed feed A consists of 25% soybean meal, 15% mill products, 13.5% alfalfa grass meal, 13% crushed feed grain, 12% fish meal, 10% meat meal, 5% evaporated fish juice obtained by pressing, 3% dried pulp waste, 2% mineral mixture, 1% feed salt, 0.4% AD2E B vitamins in a mixture based on wheat feed flour and 0.1% methionine.
Feed B contains 35% of extracted soybean meal, 26% of crushed barley, 12% of animal meal, 10.4% of wheat bran, 7% of cassava starch, 5% of blood meal, 2% of pressing by-products, 2% of a mixture of minerals with trace elements, 1% carbonic lime, 0.5%) feed salt and 0.1% vitamin mixture for fish. This dry blended food contains only 17% animal protein, no fishmeal and only 0.1% vitamin mixture. This feed is commercially available under the name Mixed Carp Feed.
Both feed samples are not identical. In order to eliminate the disadvantages of a monotonous plant food poor in proteins, use mixture A, although this food is more expensive than food B. Food B is fed to fish if there is a good food base in the pond.
The use of pelleted feed. It is advisable to use feed A from mid-August, when there is no sufficient food supply in the ponds, until the autumn harvest in order to prepare the fish for the upcoming stress during fishing. It is recommended to continue feeding with this food during the winter. Carp underyearlings also eat pelleted feed at a temperature of 3 ° C (see p. 72). After the postponed wintering, a feeding period of 14 days is recommended before the spring harvest. If this condition is met, losses in spring are minimal.
Dosage. The dosage of feed is determined by the oxygen regime, water temperature and fish weight. If the oxygen content is low, you should refuse any feeding, since in this case the fish do not take food. With a sufficient oxygen content and high temperature, about 4% of the weight of the fish in the pond is given daily, and at low temperatures, that is, during wintering, the food ration should not exceed 0.5-1% of the weight of the fish. When feeding, you should monitor the oxygen regime and water temperature, and weigh the fish during control catches. To determine the mass, it is necessary that the sample contains as many fish as possible.
Large amounts of feed should not be given immediately, as the carp grabs the falling pieces, not paying attention to the mushy mass of decayed pelleted feed. In this case, the feeding places are covered with a thick layer of decaying mass. Therefore, it is best to feed in small portions several times a day.
The production costs for feed are very high. So, with a one-time feeding of large amounts of feed, a relative feed ratio of 20 is obtained, which means that in order to get 1 kg of fish weight, 20 kg of pelleted feed is required.
Floating feed. In order to reduce the unnecessary consumption of pelleted feed, floating pellets are used. This protects the feed from rapid breakdown in water. Such food is moistened only from the surface, and this layer is eaten by fish. Fodder ratio of floating dry mixed fodder 1.24-1.44.
Waterfowl willingly eats floating food. Therefore, the feeding places are protected with a wooden fence. It can be a 2X2 m wooden frame, which serves as a kind of float. It contains a 60 cm high structure covered with a net, which is submerged in the inlet 40 cm below the float level. This part is also closed so that waterfowl cannot penetrate to the stern from below.
The main food for these fish. in spring and early summer. young shoots of reeds (Typha) and some other aquatic plants, as well as eggs of early spawning fish in ponds and
Like all other fish, the pond carp, like the river carp, does not disdain its own and other people’s juveniles.
However, crucians, following the example of carps and all fish in general
Most of the three-year-old crucian carp, as you know, is usually much less than 200 g. The normal size of a two-year-old carp is 4 cm, but with an abundant food, if you throw food to the crucian carp.
He summoned all the fish living in the pond and asked them to transport him. But only one carp volunteered to help the elder.
They say that only carp fish can cross the boundaries of time and tell about Qin Gao’s travels and his discoveries.
Karp is a foreign name, and Karpia is converted into Russian.
Probably other fish can be taught to do the same. there are still people who remember this trick in Neskuchny Garden, when it belonged to Prince Shakhovsky.
Fish in the pond, especially goldfish, devastate the eggs and larvae of amphibians and aquatic insects and thus upset the biological balance. In addition, the water is fertilized above the norm with fish food and droppings.
Of course, any feed contains substances that ensure long-term storage of the product. Possible preservatives include:
- vitamin C;
- benzoic acid,
- butylated hydroxyl anisole (BHA),
- butylated hydroxyl toluene (BHT),
- calcium ascorbate,
- lemon acid,
- potassium sorbate,
- sodium bisulfate,
How to make fish feed ? Part 1
It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to indicate the preservative used.
History of appearance
Prepared animal feed began to be produced in the 1860s. English electrician James Spratt invented the “dog biscuit”, which included beef blood, wheat and vegetables. These were the first croutons for pets, and soon many businessmen took up the idea and began to produce similar products. In the 1890s, the know-how migrated to the USA.
In the early 20th century, ready-to-eat pet foods became popular, with the first canned cat food introduced in the 1930s by Gaines Food.
In the 1940s, dry food also appeared. Since the metal was used to meet the needs of the front, canned food for animals was not produced. But the manufacturers did not want to give up a profitable business, and therefore switched to dry products.
At that time, there were two types of them: granules (sold ready-made) and balls (they had to be kneaded by hand).
After the war, the well-being of people increased, and they could already afford to purchase food for four-legged animals. Many companies have added this item to their product manufacturing. These were Mars, Lipton, Quaker Oats, Post, Carnation, etc. Most of the canned food was then fish.
A new milestone in animal feed history was the introduction of new technology in the 1950s by Purina. It was using extrusion. the process of making feed by pushing it through an extruder. As a result of such processing, the finished product appeared to be swollen, increased in volume, after which it was baked. Manufacturers used the new technology as a marketing ploy, offering more feed for the same money, but the benefits of such products were questionable. Firstly, the croutons were sprinkled with flavorings, and secondly, a large amount of starch was added to the extrusion mixture. mainly corn.
Premium food. It contains corn gluten, egg powder, fish and wheat flour, flour from poultry by-products, liver, animal fat, biotin, minerals and vitamins. Disadvantages include a small amount of meat, the presence of soy, wheat flour, gluten and taurine.
What is cat food made of? Cat food review and composition comparison
What is cat food made of? Every owner of pet four-legged friends probably asked a similar question. An article is devoted to the answer to it, as well as an overview of the most popular cat foods.
Vitamins and minerals
The processed raw materials from which the cat food is made is source of proteins and carbohydrates. Vitamins and minerals are not preserved after processing, so they are added artificially. The manufacturer describes them:
Sources of minerals are synthetic additives: iron amino acid complex, zinc polysaccharide complex. Minerals are believed to be better absorbed from such compounds.
Vitamins are also added as artificial substances: cholecalciferol (vitamin D from animal sources), ergocalciferol (vitamin D from plants), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin A, vitamin E, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), vitamin B6.
So, behind the complex chemical names are artificial analogs of natural components, which disappeared from the feed during processing. Amino acids are also replaced (DL-methionine, L-lysine, DL-tryptophan).
Animal and vegetable fats and oils are used in the feed. They give the product an attractive taste and increase its energy value.
Plant-based ingredients. corn, rice, barley, peas, potatoes. help hold the ingredients together into chunks and are also source of carbohydrates. In addition to them, beet pulp, cellulose, chicory, as well as inulin, fructooligoscharide can be used.
This component is often present in economy and premium feed. Its presence in high-quality feed is not welcome, since there are not so many vitamins in cereals, and they are quite capable of causing the development of allergies. Corn and wheat are the most dangerous in this regard. In cats, this can result in unreasonable itching and hair loss.
Royal Canin Adult British Shorthair
Belongs to the premium class. The composition of the Royal Canin dry food for cats contains an isolate of plant proteins and dehydrated proteins of animal origin (poultry), there is also a hydrolyzate of animal proteins and a natural aromatic additive. In addition, rice, wheat and cereal flour are used as carbohydrates. As fat. animal, fish oil and soybean oil. Vegetable fiber is used. There is a mineral supplement, yeast, fructooligosaccharides.
Vitamins and minerals
For the production of dry food, special standards have been developed, and all industrial rations for dogs and cats must contain a certain amount of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. As you know, the latter are very sensitive to high temperatures, therefore, most often the vitamin-mineral premix (as it is usually indicated on the label) is sprayed onto the granules from above after extrusion.
The main criterion by which feeds differ from each other is the quality of the raw materials, first of all, the sources of animal protein. Quality feed uses meat and meat by-products (for example, liver or kidneys. what is called “offal” in cooking).
Fiber is a hard shell of a plant cell, which is not digested in the body, but improves intestinal motility, serves as a breeding ground for the reproduction of friendly microflora. Beets are most often used as source of fiber in feed, but this is not the same beet that we add to borscht or vinaigrette. We are talking about the pulp of sugar beet left over from the production of sugar, on the label this product is indicated as beet pulp.
There is practically no sugar left in the pulp, but it contains a lot of fiber, which improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Many manufacturers add a variety of vegetables and fruits to their products, and they can also serve as an additional source of fiber, however, beet pulp is in no way inferior in its properties.
Animal fats are another essential nutrient. They are not only sources of energy, but also necessary for the functioning of the cardiovascular and reproductive systems, help the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K, and contribute to the shine of the coat.
Fish and chicken oils are commonly used in dog and cat foods. However, sometimes animal fat is replaced with vegetable fat, and this is bad, because plant oils do not contain many essential substances.
Sources of carbohydrates
Unfortunately, it is impossible to make dry food from pure meat without additives. In order for the components to bind together, carbohydrate sources are needed. At the dawn of dry food production, almost exclusively wheat or corn was used, but later other sources of carbohydrates appeared in the composition of dry food. rice, barley, potatoes or legumes.
How It’s Made. Fish Food
Cereals are source of carbohydrates and vegetable protein and, in some cases, when it comes to whole grains such as brown rice, also fiber. Most often, cereals are added to feed in the form of flour.
The use of potatoes and legumes is a relatively recent trend, with a shift in nutritional orientations as gluten-free foods and the elimination of grains are becoming more popular. According to some experts, grain-free foods are no better than regular foods, but if your pet is allergic to wheat or corn, they can be a good substitute.
However, according to scientists, the risk of developing allergies to cereals is lower than to dairy and meat products. According to research, the most common allergens for dogs are beef, dairy, chicken, and wheat. For cats, this is beef, fish and chicken.
Why do you need dehydrates?
The extrusion process imposes a number of restrictions on the use of fresh or raw meat in dry feed. If there is too much of it, then it will not be possible to achieve the desired temperature and high protein content, because fresh raw materials contain a lot of water.
Therefore, in dry food, dehydrated, dried meat is also used, from which water and part of animal fats have been removed, as a result of which a product with a high m of protein is obtained. Close to it in its properties and such a common ingredient as meat flour. dried meat, ground into powder.
The most common type of meat for dry food production is chicken, an inexpensive and complete source of animal protein. However, manufacturers now offer a wide selection of feeds based on turkey, lamb, pork, fish, as well as rations with the addition of meat from such “exotic” species of animals and birds as ostrich, deer or wild boar.
What dry food is made of?
The idea to make a special product for dogs first came to businessman James Spratt in the 1860s in England, when he noticed that sailors were feeding the dogs with dry pieces of biscuit left on the ship. The first mixture Spratt developed contained wheat flour, vegetables, and beef blood.
The product proved to be popular, and soon manufacturers began to develop other, better recipes for nutrition of dogs and cats, taking into account the need for vitamins and nutrients depending on the age and activity of the animals.
For several decades, the basic composition of dry food has remained unchanged: meat, cereals or other sources of carbohydrates, vegetables, animal fats, vitamins and minerals, preservatives.
Features of dry food production
An important step in the production of dry food was the widespread use of such a technical innovation as the extruder. In fact, the principle of extrusion has been known for a very long time, and its simplest version is an ordinary household meat grinder. But naturally, modern extruders used in the food industry are a complex multifunctional machine.
In the production of dry food, the feed mixture in the form of minced meat is heated to a temperature of 90–150 ° C and is passed through the forming holes under high pressure. The resulting bundles are the same as you see when you pass the meat through a meat grinder.
Then these ropes are cut, molded and dried. this is how the familiar light granules are obtained, usually in the form of balls. True, sometimes they are given an attractive color or a funny shape, but this is done solely for the joy of the owners. the animals do not care at all how what they eat looks like.
The main role for them is the smell, and above all the aroma of meat, because let’s not forget that cats and dogs are predators, and domestication did not change this fact in any way.
Articles and recommendations
What animal feed is made of
A wide variety of animal waste (heads, hooves, horns, beaks, esophagus, intestines, lungs, kidneys, spleen, blood, subcutaneous fat, tendons, etc.), as well as parts of carcasses that were not used in production ” human “food” (sites of administration of hormones and antibiotics, areas of damage, tumors, including malignant, etc.). The corpses of the fallen, knocked down on the roads and euthanized pets. the San Francisco Chronicle wrote about this, the feed manufacturers angrily denied this fact, and the American Veterinary Medicine Association confirmed it. Expired meat products from supermarkets. Since most of the firms that produce feed are subsidiaries of the giants of the food industry, by processing the by-products of the main production in this way, they practically achieve zero waste.
Some of the animal proteins are replaced by vegetable ones, obtained, in particular, from soybeans, often causing flatulence, corn. but not grains, but cobs, cake, moldy peanut shells containing aflatoxins secreted by the fungus. the last component in one of the feed names 15%, etc.).
This practice is especially noted: ingredients originating from one source are divided into groups and listed in this order on the packaging, as a result of which, in terms of percentage composition, they occupy, for example, 2nd and 3rd places, although they are should come first. In addition, it is allowed to preserve the composition of the feed prescribed on the packaging for six months, even if it has actually undergone changes. And for feeds with the so-called open formula, this is the rule, despite the fact that their composition is constantly changing depending on the market value of the components.
Fats. a mixture of spoiled and rancid fats of a wide variety of origins.
Sodium nitrite is often used as a colorant (especially in red foods) and as a stabilizer. in interaction with gastric juice and food components, it is a powerful carcinogen.
Synthetic preservatives and antioxidants. Some supplements. BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), which are used in the “human” food industry and have long been suspected of carcinogenicity, as well as ethoxyquin and propyl gallate. increase the toxicity of other chemicals, mutagenic activity, sensitivity of the body to radiation and the effect of chemical carcinogens. According to John Cargill, there is no doubt that in a certain amount, synthetic antioxidants provoke or promote the growth of neoplasms. For dogs, this amount is not defined, the problem has never been properly investigated.
Ethoxycine (effective as an insecticide and pesticide, used as a stabilizer in rubber production, has much in common with Agent Orange) is banned in human nutrition and has been declared poisonous by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In small doses, it was once allowed as a preservative in the production of feed from alfalfa and clover for farm animals. It is found in pet food in much higher doses. Its use in animals results in immunodeficiency syndrome, liver and stomach cancer; from people who have been in contact with him at work. liver and kidney damage, skin cancer, baldness, blindness, leukemia, congenital malformations and chronic diarrhea. The listed diseases can also occur in animals. It is used because it is the cheapest and most effective preservative known. Worst of all, it is impossible to detect its presence in the finished feed, which means that it is impossible to catch the manufacturer of violating the law.
The temperatures and pressures at which food is made destroy or deprive the natural properties of vitamins, many probiotics, some proteins, such as taurine, which cats need, as well as enzymes that the body must produce as a result, which leads to hypertrophy of the pancreas. In addition, new toxic compounds are formed during the production process under the influence of high temperature and pressure.
The main advantage, which manufacturers and feed lovers assert. their perfect balance. However, it cannot be ideal for all, without exception, specific animals, since they are not average, they have different ages, sex, breed, energy costs. In addition, there are individual differences in needs between animals of the same sex, age, and breed. So this merit also seems to be very dubious. And more about the notorious balance: they say that a veterinarian easily made something identical to the widespread industrial feed in terms of the ratio of these components from an old leather shoe (proteins), waste machine oil (fats) and sawdust (carbohydrates).
Diseases that can result from eating industrial feed
Kidney disease (among the three most common causes of death in pets), allergies, cancer, arthritis, obesity, heart disease, and dental problems. Accordingly, life expectancy is reduced.
What the owner can do (from worst to best)
Continue to feed only industrial feed. In this case, you should make sure that the feed you buy meets the standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), however, it must be admitted that this reputable organization (goal. Development of uniform rules for the labeling of feeds). and the FDA and government regulatory agencies tolerate the questionable labeling practices described above. Make sure that the selected feed has passed chemical analysis (which, however, is not entirely informative, which is again illustrated by the story of the “feed” of shoe, crankcase oil and sawdust). Therefore, it is better if the feed has passed long-term testing. But since all this nevertheless does not guarantee its quality, it is necessary to change the brand of feed at least every six months.
Diversify your diet. Raw vegetables, fruits and meats can be added to commercial feed. It is advised to give chopped parsley and alfalfa stalks, finely grated sputum and zucchini from raw vegetables. Boiled. carrots, corn, green peas and green beans, broccoli.
Prepare food yourself. Since you know exactly what you put there, this seems to be the best option.
Who produces what and how much does it earn
Heinz. 9-Lives, Amore, Gravy Train, Kibbles’ n Bits, Meaty Bones, Recipe, Vets. Turnover in the USA. 1.2 billion
Mars. Kal Kan, Mealtime, Pedigree, Sheba, Whiskas. Turnover in the USA. 678 million.
Nestle. Alpo, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Mighty Dog. Turnover in the USA. 1.4 billion.