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Hi guys,

I was in the range yesterday and noticed the Gerri Gerbil food had new packaging and when i checked the ingredients list and compared it to the one bag of the old food they had left the ingredients and composition values have changed too. After asking my good friend "google" it turns out that they have also changed the Reggie rat mix too.

I know Reggie Rat isnt considered to be a good complete food but what about the new recipe? is this any better? It looks like they have taken out the corn which i understand was one of the problems with the old mix but it still contains alfalfa (although in unsure of theres any difference between "lucerne meal" and "dehydrated alfalfa pellets")

Im useless when it comes to nutrition so do you guys think this mix is better? worse? or just as bad?

New
Wheat, maize, flaked maize, flaked peas, oats, soya flakes, lucerne meal (alfalfa), soya oil, extruded locust beans, banana, minerals, salt, colourants.
Protein 14.0%, Crude fibre 4.0%, Fat content 4.0%, Inorganic matter 5.0%, Calcium 0.6%, Phosphorus 0.4%.

Old
Ground wheat, toasted wheat, corn, flaked corn, whole oats, dehydrated alfalfa pellets, flaked field peas, flaked beans, dehulled soybean meal, straw pellets, oat middlings, soybean oil.
Crude Protein (minimum) - 12.5%
Crude Fat (minimum) - 3.0%
Crude Fiber (minimum) - 6.0%
Crude Fiber (maximum) - 8.0%
Calcium (minimum) - 0.3%
Calcium (maximum) - 1.0%
Phosphorus(minimum) - 0.3%

Thanks

Amy
 

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I've been keeping and breeding tropical fish since I was a kid, a very long time ago. And my experience with fish foods, at least, is that they usually start out pretty good... they hire experts to formulate a pretty healthy diet. But as time goes on marketing people and bean counters come in and take over.... The products get cheapened and the nutrition numbers get massaged. Protein content can be inexpensively maintained or increased by substituting eggs for shrimp for example. And if you really want to see a product go down hill fast, watch what happens when a pet food company gets bought out by a marketing company. The package gets nicer, the nutrition numbers artificially go up, but the actual ingredient list becomes twice as short. Always beware of 'new and improved'.

And even without 'new and improved' keep an eye on the label for subtle changes.

Now just in case you are wondering... no one buys a pet food company with a bad reputation, it's cheaper to start a new brand. Pet food companies get acquired for their brand loyal customers and reputation. And no one buys a company to make less profit. So always watch for the premium brands to get targeted and degraded. Yes over time the brand will lose value, but there will be a wonderful bonanza to the shareholder when they can charge premium dollars for a standard or even substandard product.

And by the way, if the price of corn goes up, expect to find more wheat or oats or something else in the mix... someone is counting every penny and some companies are literally tweaking the mix on the fly from one batch to another... A 5 cent savings on a half million bags amounts to a lot of money.
 

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Oh wonderful. They added colorants. That is certainly something animals need in their diet. /sarcasm

This is why I make my own mix. That food doesn't even look nutritionally complete at all. So few ingredients, no source of animal protein, and just... Ew. I wouldn't even touch the stuff, so why make my babies eat it? -avoids going into a long rant about commercial small pet foods-

I keep day dreaming about someday starting a small pet food company, selling real high quality food for hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats. If anyone wants in on it with me, let me know lol.
 

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This is why I make my own mix. That food doesn't even look nutritionally complete at all. So few ingredients, no source of animal protein, and just... Ew. I wouldn't even touch the stuff, so why make my babies eat it? -avoids going into a long rant about commercial small pet foods-

I keep day dreaming about someday starting a small pet food company, selling real high quality food for hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats. If anyone wants in on it with me, let me know lol.
They do the same thing with larger animal food which is why my dogs get a homemade raw diet. Mr. Shadow, my Senior Dachshund, is now 17.25 years old -- the best in his bloodline have only made it to 15.

I don't YET have my rats (it'll be about two weeks before they're ready to come home! Critter Nation Double gets set up this weekend!), but I'd be interested in knowing what your mix consists of.
 

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I'm far from some high end purist when it comes to rat diets... Our rats eat all kinds of things... mostly human foods, some that aren't always good for them... Still they get a mix of stuff. Pre-made diets need to be better because someone is going to feed it exclusively... so it does have to be complete.

I've seen so many new high end animal foods come out over the past decades and then one by one, they fell into the hands of bean counters and marketing "scientists" I think the cause is hopeless, it's just human nature to make more money at the expense of animals.

And yes colorants are important... it makes the product more attractive to the human consumer, and that's who's carrying the money into the store.... Like MSG in baby food makes the baby food taste better to mom, even if it might cause brain damage in infants. And better yet... once the baby food industry got caught red handed... they upped sales again by adding a label that said "NO MSG".

It's all about packaging and branding... no one seems to care about the ingredient list or quality anymore.
 

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Wow, that's awesome! It's amazing what a good diet can do for pets and humans. I wish I could get my family's dogs on a homemade diet, but when my mom tried, they just threw everything up or had problems on... the other end, lol. They've always had extremely sensitive stomachs...

I have the old recipe I used on the website in my signature, but I've made changes to it that I haven't reflected on my website yet. I really should do that, lol. You can PM me for details. :) My rats and gerbil (and now mice) are thriving on the new diet. My old girl, who has since passed, had very course fur until the diet change, but it became so soft and smooth afterwards. All of my rats are a healthy weight, have lots (too much lol) of energy. Plus, they LOVE their food. In addition to my dry mix, they get salad with veggies (and sometimes fruit) every day and chicken once to twice a week. Plus any other food I can find to add for them. Everything is still being perfected, but in the meantime, I have six happy and healthy rats who never have to eat the gunk sold at petstores again. (not meaning to bash anyone who does feed their rats store bought food: I am allergic to all food marketed for small pets, so I was forced to create my own small pet diet.)
 
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