Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

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Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 12:14 am

Soooo... I kind of got tired of having to keep ordering the little 2 pound bags of food because they just go so fast with my hungry mice that it gets hard to keep buying them. I don't have any store that sells that kind of pet food in my town (it's all cheap, Walmart-style food). So I just went ahead and bought a 25 pound bulk bag of Sunseed Parakeet mix. I thought it was the same thing as the normal mix, but I was very wrong. While I am happy with how "clean" this product is, as in no dust or bugs or anything, it has no variety. THREE foods, that's it Sad  I already started feeding it to them so I can't return it and have to use it. It has 12% protein, 4% fat, and 12% fiber. The ingredients are white millet, oat groats, and  canary grass seed. I would like to maybe add some things I have around the house or can find at the grocery store to add variety, but don't want to change the GA too much, I know the fat needs to come up a bit and the fiber needs to come down.

Here's what I have at home that I can add:

Flax seeds
Chia seeds
Pasta
Oats
Golden millet sprays

Ideas of things I can maybe get at the grocery store to add:
Dried fruits
Dried vegetables? Not sure if those exist in the grocery store.
Cereal
Mealworms? Lol not sure if they have those at the grocery store, maybe by the wild bird seed.

I would be adding these to 2 pounds of the mix at a time, so any measurements would need to be for 2 pounds of that mix.





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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 5:52 am

I'm not a person who knows about mixing food -- my favorite sandwich is peanut butter and marmalade on rye bread, which most people I've known seem to think is ultra-weird. And in my youth, I loved to eat carob ice cream with slices of salami for Saturday breakfast!

But a couple of ideas occurred to me that you can evaluate.

First, if you're only looking in the grocery store, check out Bob's Red Mill products for some of the "super grains", such as amaranth, quinoa, spelt. April loved to share my buckwheat groats when I'd make some for lunch at work. I don't know that their nutritional profile differs much from other grains, but their taste is quite a change-up.

As for mealworms in the market, maybe you could find dried or freeze-dried shrimps instead. Shrimps add fat without adding fiber. Try the "oriental foods" section. Also check the pet aisle for little packets of freeze-dried shrimps or tiny fish cubes sold as treats for cats or ferrets.

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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by CallaLily on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 1:24 pm

I know it’s on a hamster forum but this guide really helped me. http://hamsterhideout.com/forum/topic/102287-hamster-nutrition-iii-calculating-the-guaranteed-analysis-of-a-mixed-diet/page-1
It even links to a calculator where you can easily play around with what foods at what amounts to get what you’re looking for.

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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 5:02 pm

Thank you MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop! Next time I am at the grocery store I will check out the things you mentioned. And thank you CallaLily, that is a very helpful calculator.

Any suggestions of low fiber foods? This is what I have so far...

Everything is within the recommended range except the fiber, I'm not sure how to get that down. I have everything listed except the banana chips, I have to buy some next time I'm at the grocery store. The rest I can add to the mix right away though.

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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by CallaLily on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 5:33 pm

I wouldn’t worry overly much about the fiber being just a little bit high.

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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 5:40 pm

I pretty much agree.  It shouldn't hurt them.  If the mousies started having problems, then you could adjust.

But I was actually thinking in the direction of low fiber = white rice, and remembered that April always enjoyed the puffed rice in the Kashi cereal I used to treat her from. I'm not sure how they would work in an everyday mouse chow mix.

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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by chiroptera on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 1:11 pm

I don't have a whole lot of experience myself in making the mix, but I was thinking of re-doing my own mix because of being annoyed by the price of the smaller bags... and that big bag, although it doesn't have as much variety, really appeals to me as a possible base alongside my lab blocks! Would you be able to link me to where you bought that big bag? Smile

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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 8:20 pm

@chiroptera wrote:I don't have a whole lot of experience myself in making the mix, but I was thinking of re-doing my own mix because of being annoyed by the price of the smaller bags... and that big bag, although it doesn't have as much variety, really appeals to me as a possible base alongside my lab blocks! Would you be able to link me to where you bought that big bag? Smile

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Sure! I know what you mean. I had never ordered from this company before so I was wondering how good they were - I was pleased. I got it from "1800 Pet Supplies", here is the link: https://www.petsupplies.com/item/vitakraft-economy-parakeet-food-25lb/403271/

With tax and shipping I got it for around $30, so not a bad deal.


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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by chiroptera on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 10:44 pm

Thanks so much for the link! Absolutely going to check them out. Smile

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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Fri 28 Sep 2018, 6:24 pm

For anyone who is wondering by the way, here is what the food looks like with all the stuff added, much better Smile


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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by Teramis on Sun 30 Sep 2018, 7:05 am

@CallaLily wrote:I know it’s on a hamster forum but this guide really helped me.

Hey, thanks a lot for posting that, CallaLily! I remembered seeing a nutrition calculator and related info somewhere, but couldn't remember where. That's the one. Most helpful!

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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by Teramis on Sun 30 Sep 2018, 7:38 am

For health purposes, I recommend you add two things to the mix.
Hemp seed has a nice nutty flavor they seem to really like, and it is packed full of essential amino acids and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids that really boost the immune system and help ensure good health. This seed also has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce the incidence of tumor growth and other health problems.
Historically this seed and its oil have long been used for preventative and holistic medicine (not to be confused with marijuana; although the plant is related, hemp does not contain high levels of THC but rather canabinoids, which have significant curative properties).

The other thing to add are nuts that have anti-cancer and other health-boosting properties. As you may know, mice--especially pet shop mice--are infamously prone to growing tumors. I think anything we can do to minimize this risk for our little ones is a good idea, and adjusting the diet to include cashews and walnuts is a big step in this direction. Give them not just as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of their feed mix. (I find them more likely to consume the nuts if they're chopped up, since they like to run off with a little bite in their mouth to eat in some far corner, as opposed to wrangling an entire whole nut).

Both walnuts and cashews slow the growth of tumors; cashews in particular actually kill cancer cells and have been shown in medical studies to reduce certain kinds of tumors in size. They also have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation plays a role in tumor growth, and also provokes many illnesses. It also adds to the severity of upper respiratory infections (the other bane of pet shoppers' existences, in particular). So anything that is anti-inflammatory in nature helps make them more likely to stay healthy, or be less sick, over the long run.

All three of these items contain lineolic acid; of the nuts, walnuts have the highest amount. Lineolic acid reduces arterial plaque and helps prevent heart disease. Sadly, a number of mice suffer heart problems. Many die from congestive heart failure; they can even have heart attacks and strokes. Lineolic acid helps guard against these health outcomes.

Making these three things part of the regular diet helps provide the ounce of prevention that can save the pound of illness treatment later.  If you only want to do one nut, do the cashew (it offers the greater anti-cancer benefits, and more mice suffer from cancer than from heart disease; cashews are better for the former than the latter). Unless it turns out your squeakers don't really care for cashews, in which case try the walnuts. (Some mice are picky eaters!). But if possible, it's a good idea to offer both in addition to the hemp seed.

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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Sun 30 Sep 2018, 4:06 pm

Wow, thank you so much for all of the info, Teramis! I actually have hemp seeds and I feed them to my mice occasionally. What drew me into getting them for the mice is that I heard hemp oil helped dogs and some people with cancer, so I figured it couldn't hurt to try the seeds with mice after I found some at a pet store. I only have a small bag though, not enough to add to their mix, where would I be able to buy a large bag?

I'll see if I can get cashews, thanks for the ideas! I am definitely interested in adding these things to the mix, as I have had lots of trouble with tumors popping up lately Sad

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Re: Argh, I need help from someone who knows a lot about mixing food

Post by Teramis on Sun 30 Sep 2018, 10:30 pm

I'm glad you found that helpful. Smile

Re sources: I generally buy all my stuff from nuts.com online; they sell in various quantities and many of their products are organic as well. Their prices are reasonable, relatively speaking -- I've done a lot of price comparison with similar products through Amazon and ebay.

If you don't find the volume you are looking for, I suggest seeing what's available on ebay. That's a good alternative for variety, although the pricing can vary wildly from way good deal to ridiculously overpriced.

Re tumors: yeah, they are a persistent problem. And distressing. I'm dealing with that right now with my girl Dottie.

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