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Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:25 pm
by dmarksvr
Well all but the Evo and Instinct kibbles arrived and we did a taste test...

Absolutely rabbit patties, Grasshoppers, crickets, meal worms, and the river shrimp ...She ate them all dried, so I made her up a bowl with some of the Zupreem she's been eating and added some warm water to moisten it all up a little... She didn't like that and lost interest, but She fasted yesterday in anticipation of new food so I suspect it will all be gone by tomorrow. IF not I'll make her up a new bowl and let her have it dry.

I was kinda surprised she ate the absolutely rabbit dry. It had kinda funky sponge texture so I didn't know if she'd go for it, but she did. For some reason I expected it to be hard to break up, but it wasn't. I think the river shrimp might add a decent amount of phosphorous. I couldn't find info on river shrimp specifically but did find some info on shrimp/shellfish in general- ... e&dbid=122 AND... ... cts/4172/2 ...That's for people, but shows a Phos/calcium ratio over 3:1 in both sources and Low Vit A. I'm assuming the river shrimp will be in the same ballpark at least. The only thing i wonder about is if it would be necessary to add a calcium powder to the insects/shrimp since they don't have as good a ratio as the kibble and rabbit???

Ya the Vet is the one that suggested the dry food for that reason and I never really bothered to fact check them till recently... I can't imagine trying to brush Echo's teeth. She's friendly but I have a feeling I'd need kevlar gloves or some of those chainmail anti shark gloves to pull that off If I even managed to keep her from wriggling away.

I try to talk to Echo like a fox... When she's doing something she shouldn't or being kinda pissy I try to make that combination Bark/growl/squeal sound they make when they're pissed off, and that usually gets her attention. I've also found that on the rare occasions she's gotten nippy or really tore into me it's been when I was standing, and those times were either over food, the vacuum cleaner (which she hates), or when I was sick or working over time and she hadn't gotten a lot of attention that week. A couple good long play sessions gets her back to her old self though. I don't think there has been a single time when I've been down on the ground with her that things have gotten that out of hand, and the one time she got kinda mean with a guest they were standing too. She just seems a lot more on guard if you're above her. Even if she's in a bad mood if I lay down she'll come over to me for attention. One of her hobbies is listening to my stomach make sounds... then trying to dig through my shirt and skin to get at whatever is in there making that rumbling noise ...She's trying to exercise my demons or something :)

I'll have to look into curcumin and extract of turmeric. I know those have become a big deal in the human supplement market the last few years it seems. I might also look into a taurine powder and one of the lowest Vit A iu/kg kibbles, but I think this new diet will be a major improvement over the old one. My biggest concern is whether she gets to fat on it, but everything in it is so high protein and should have enough vitamins/minerals in it that I can cut her portions down if I need to.

You've convinced me retinol amounts in an all or mostly kibble diet are just to risky, and at the very least a fox just doesn't require these high amounts of Vit A, so why risk it??? ...So I'm feeling a lot better about this new diet. It's not much more work either especially since Echo seems to prefer the insects and rabbit dry. So what I'll probably do is buy sealed container and mix all the dehydrated insects and shrimp in that with a scoop, a container for her kibble with a scoop, and then break up part of a rabbit pattie over that, and she'll still get the occasional raw veggies. Probably will add barely a minute of extra effort and be much better for her.

Anyways all this is a good example of why it's not a bad idea to periodically update yourself on what current thinking/research is on your exotic pet instead of just assuming you figured it all out years ago :happyfox:

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:04 pm
by TamanduaGirl
Though my experience with the freeze dried food is limited to dogs I have also found they like it dry but not moistened though I've not tried that brand yet. Funny that you see suggestions to moisten food to make it more palatable, they seem to always hate that. I suppose I also don't keep my critters hungry enough.

Generally insect heavy diets are higher in phos than others so I think there is some leeway there, as their wild diet is insect heavy so likely is higher in phos that red fox, though with her being older it might be better to try and avoid that going up. While adding calcium can help the ratio that, if the phos is too high, that would just make them both to high and the kidneys still have to work more.

Calcium recomended to be 0.5-0.6 of the red fox diet and a ratio of 1-1 to 1.7-1 so 0.6%-0.6% to 0.6%-0.35%. And I figured they eat roughly 3/4 pound so .34kg a day so aiming for a max of 0.6% phos is 2G to 1G per day phos. Feel free to check my math it's not my strong suit :D

I talk to the anteaters in anteater speak too. Pua learned my hiss isn't backed up by claws though so doesn't heed it as a no. Cute about her digging at your tummy rumbles.

I always look up the studies into a supplement on google scholar so I know I'm getting real facts. I miss typed before though curcumin is the extract of tumeric so you'd use one of the other. The curcumin really helped with Hyzzie's kidney and liver and it helped with bringing Pua's blood sugar down too though in her case it turned her yellow so I'm trying to figure out a combo that works without it. That's not normally an issue for most species though.

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:45 am
by dmarksvr
Echo is loving the bugs and river shrimp... The issue I'm starting to see though is by rough volume they don't appear to be as filling. A food dish of her new diet vs the old diet that looks to be the same amount of food seems to have her hungry again sooner. Probably because the kibble is likely much denser then the insects and absolutely rabbit patties. We'll have to see how much and how fast she puts on weight with all these insects too. Also I'm trying to feed very little kibble for the next 2 weeks in the hopes the mostly insect and absolutely rabbit diet gives her kidneys a break before I start her on the low retinol instinct kibble as roughly 1/3-1/4 of her total diet, so when I do add the planned portion of kibble she should stay full a little longer. I had trouble finding a big bag of freeze dried crickets so fattier meal worms are making up the bulk of the insect portion, but I'm hoping to change that.

I mentioned adding a calcium d3 powder, and a discussion was started in this other thread... viewtopic.php?f=111&t=13671&p=130354#p130354 ...About UVB so I put my thoughts there: but In short my thinking is using a phosphorous free Calcium D3 powder like repcal would replace any calcium lost from decreasing her portion of vitamin fortified kibble. So by supplementing the insects with repcal I think we'd probably see it balance out to not being any worse then the calcium content of the kibble, keeping the calc/phos ratio in the same ballpark, but we'd still be lowering retinol significantly and making sure D3 was in the diet, (Which should pretty much negate the need for a UVB light source (More in the other thread)).

They should teach kids about google scholar in grade school and vetting your sources in general. To many people are just horrible at determining whether a source deserves to be trusted or don't even bother to try. A lot of the sites dealing with supplements either have a vested interest in trying to sell you something and/or they are pushing beliefs that aren't backed by actual science. If you go to the New age church of supplement worshipers and puppy kickers website; you'll likely find news stories and articles that are biased towards talking up supplements as miracle cures for everything and espouse the joys of puppy kicking without good science or a discussion of the ethics involved to back it all up. (Same goes for getting your news/info from many political, religious, or fringe/new age sites in general). And on a side note they should start logic and philosophy classes in grade school so kids can learn how to think instead of just what to think/memorize and regurgitate IMHO ;)

I thought the Curcumin/turmeric might be the same but I was to lazy to check ;) ...The repashy calcium plus with D3 I mention in the other thread has some in there and might serve well as a general supplement to add to the insect portion of a Fennec diet, (Since retinol is an issue in herps, and repashy has done a lot of research on their formulations I think most of the Vit A if not all of it is beta Carotene, but best to verify that. Repcal cal/d3 might be better just in case).

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:44 am
by TamanduaGirl
So was toying with the idea of paying my cousins husband to get me nutria but then got scared maybe if people farm the field there they might poison them so if I did would have to have him get them out in wild somewhere but he's a hunter and he claims they are super abundant so could be cheap food. But I may be to scared to do that now and stick with domestic bunnies. I'll have to ruminate on that. Judging by guinea pigs they would be pretty good nutrition and did find nutritional content of nutria meat but not whole nutria.

But that's a big animal so the head wouldn't get fed to I got to wondering about brains as there'd be no way to feed that head to a fennec while places will grind up the whole rabbit for pets including the head.

For every 100 grams of brain there are 78 grams of water, 10 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein, and 1 gram of carbohydrate, which equates to about 143 calories. The average adult human brain is around 1,350 grams so one entire brain would be about 1,930 calories.

Okay maybe I should have specified a species on my google search for nutritional content of brains, lol. Now google thinks I'm a zombie on a diet.

Well, hmm.. ... nd-rabbit/ Maybe look for fine ground rabbit, that costs more of course. But a grinder that can grind a whole rabbit would be super pricey.

The one breeder I might get one from includes day old chicks in the diet. That might be good for the chewing-teeth cleaning portion of the diet. I didn't find retinol content of chicks but as a general rule the younger the animal the less retinol it has stored up, or could again gut the wee things first. If gutting could do feeder rodents too. Just want it to have some chewing for teeth but will get a bit more complex to be ordering some whole ground rabbit but then feeding some of it as chunks of meat and trying to keep it balanced to whole prey standards.

Then not sure how to do whole prey properly and feed most without liver. The darn retinol issue is messing with my rabbit plans. I wonder if I could find a place that will let me special order ground rabbit with without guts but with bone. It seems you can only buy the whole thing ground with current online options. Edit: I found one that's just meat and bones and only 3.17 a pound(Free shipping, faked the check out to double check).

Getting jumbo rats would be similar in price to rabbit working it out by pound and chicks similar per pound but chicks would be a a bit low in the calcium but good for sometimes and rats very high in retinol, even if gutted, see below.

It has been estimated that for healthy, well-nourished individuals, approximately 70% of the retinoid present in the body will be stored in the liver. Other tissues, including the eyes, lungs, adipose tissue, skin, testes, and spleen, have the capacity to store retinoid, albeit at a lesser concentration than liver. it was estimated that adipose tissue may account for as much as 15–20% of the total retinoid present in the body of a healthy, well-nourished rat maintained on a control chow diet.

So adult rat has 151,389IU/kg so removing the liver would leave 45,416IU/KG, skin it too(which removes most fat) and that leaves 15,138IU/KG, okay that's not great but totally gutting it would remove most of the rest.

Rabbit then 6,200IU/kg total. Minus liver: 1,860iu/kg Skinned too: 620 that's better. But totally gutting would be even better.

Really interesting run down on nutrition of giant African rats!!
Breaks it up even by ski, meat, liver and brain! The cal to phos is low but this is for human so not counting bone, does not include retinol though

Another thing I learned tonight is most of the retinol stored in the liver is stored in the fatty parts of the liver. So that most likely means excess retinol causes excess fat in the liver to store the retinol so leads to fatty liver. And now we have a good reason why excess retinol can lead to liver disease.

UGH too much thinking tonight.

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:10 pm
by TamanduaGirl

So this says day old chicks are 1.35/1 cal/phos though their graph seems to say different and confuse me. Another one I saw showed similar so that would actually make them good on that level. ... ive_snakes

I found one paper that shows their retinol is at it's lowest when 3 days old as they have it in their yolk in egg so it starts going down once born till they start eating a good portion then it goes up again.

Okay so this says your average chick is less than 2migrograms of retinol per gram of liver at 1 day old
so 2K micrograms per kg. Now 1 IU of retinol is equivalent to approximately 0.3 micrograms so 6,666IU/KG retinol in chicks liver. Evil baby chickens, lol. Wait actually that's per gram of liver though so per gram of chick there would be hardly any, oops. And there is 82mcg in the yolk of a day old chick but let's just de-yolk them like most bird of prey owners do, yolks of day old chicks weigh about 5g.

Okay 2 day old chicken liver close enough, was 2 grams liver and the chick weighed 45g. Oh god more math... ... rs&f=false

so 4micrograms per chick. so 1k/40 25 chicks makes 1kg. So 100 micrograms retinol per 1k chicks. So 333IU/kg de-yolked chicks. Not bad at all really. Actually that's really good.

So all that info makes them look pretty nutritious but I don't have info on their taurine levels.

So would make good chewing teeth cleaning food stuffs.

Feeder insect info I stumbled on looking for chick info ... .21246/pdf
I only just scanned that a bit but shows low retinol in insects. I know from past anteater research crickets are high in iron so that's good but they are low in CA so may need dusted or gut loaded if not getting CA into the diet other ways.

Edit: "simply by tearing open the abdominal flesh of the chick and rolling the entire carcass in bone meal. The calcium content and phosphorus content are then increased to 2.9 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, on a dry matter basis, and the Ca:P ratio is little altered. " ... p00049.pdf ... onal-value

More on feeding chicks to birds of prey

More nutrition info on day old chicks though some things are off from other places as they turned the chicks into a meal(dried ground powder) first ... 0782900300 The high levels of zinc reported here were not shown in other sources that reported zinc.

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:22 am
by TamanduaGirl
Oh I've been miss quoting the fennec in Japan first presented with spinal changes at 6 when x-rayed, not nine.


She had been switched to hypo-allergenic cat/dog food of raw kangaroo meat after she started leg chewing.
"Api, eating meals from the market food hood (allergy prescription food) from center, Kangaroo meat · vegetables · natto · yoghurt etc."
She had kibble diet prior to that with veggie and fruit treats.



Liver values were a bit high but supplements and they went down again.

Says in the fall due to weight issues the kangaroo meat based food is stopped and it was then given monkey chow, or my just be a bad translation but it some sort of kibble.

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:24 am
by Ash
Is kangaroo meat good for them? It's not a meat I would have ever thought to try, but I doubt it's available here.

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:15 pm
by minervasden
Ash wrote:Is kangaroo meat good for them? It's not a meat I would have ever thought to try, but I doubt it's available here.

Kangaroo is available in the US. Both for humans and in pet foods. Here is a randomly chosen dog food with 'roo

Unless you live in an area with exotic meat specialty markets you'd probably need to order the meat online. It's a lean red meat but I haven't looked up the nutritional values myself.

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:46 pm
by TamanduaGirl
I had trouble finding info but one site showed it to have lots of B vitamins and iron. It is probably low in retinol long as it's just meat. But as a pet food mix maybe not.

This one doesn't add retinol but has liver
The packages they had looked like that but with a fancy pet food design on top of dogs, cats and ferrets.

Roo meat though its low in fat so should be low in retinol

And info from a study on nutrition of the meat

Oh here we go kangaroo meat is low in retinol as crocs fed a diet of 75% meat and 25% chicken heads(the total of the diet having 125iu/kg{probably mostly from the heads}) had retinol deficiency. ... er&f=false

But if you fed a kangaroo diet that either has liver or adds retinol it could still easy go over what a fennec needs.

I found no info on the content in roo liver or nutrition fed as a whole prey mix.

Roo meat with occasional bits of something for the retinol within ranges could be a good diet. But a food mix likely has too much retinol just going by the fact pet food mixes almost always do.

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:08 pm
by TamanduaGirl
I got the Instinct Grain-Free Ultimate Protein Kibble for Dogs - Chicken Formula today. Figure may as well have something safe in Beaker's bowl for when the fennec steals it. Beaker was on the weight control chicken instinct so should be an easy switch. He was very excited about it smelling the package and then the foo but took one piece and went to sleep as he'd just been to the park.

They are the tiniest kibbles I've ever seen.


The photo still makes them look bigger than they are since they are kinda flat. They are smaller than peas.

What he was on before was small too but these are really tiny.

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:55 pm
by TamanduaGirl
The taurine level in our Instinct Ultimate Protein Canine Chicken Kibble is 0.15%

So 100g of food would have 150mg of taurine(or 1,500mg/kg of food). Having just weighed the kibble 1.5 cups is 187 grams, so 280.5mg per daily ration of 187grams of kibble.

Red foxes suggested getting 500-1000mg per day but they weigh 15 pounds. Fennecs weigh 1/5th of that. 1/5th of red fox requirements is 100-200mg per day. Also 500mg/kg food prevented problems in red foxes( ... 039190724V) which would leave fennecs only needing 94mg a day minimum based on the amount they eat.

So the food is good.

So dog better than cat as lower retinol, plenty of taurine and still tiny bites.

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:27 pm
by TamanduaGirl
Okay since D has come up here and I'm working on a website and need to iron out my D info.

"Recommended dietary allowances of red fox" says red fox only need 0.82IU per gram of food or 22IU per 100kcal. Other nutrients are more normally listed per KG so 820IU/kg of food or 82IU per 100g of food since most D info is on human site and they do 100g. That much prevented rickets in growing kits but more did not add more benefit.

Crickets, mealworms, waxworms and superworms do not have enough vitamin D naturally

Cockroaches don't either but have more than the others naturally

Okay if you want to feed them their D naturally you can feed about 25g of herring a day.

Dried herring is sold salted so no good but Stella and chewies has a freeze dried herring based food ... acats.html

Didn't write out all the math here but assuming the herring is about half the fish content you'd feed about 56g of this food a day added to the rest of the diet, which is roughly 1/6th of a 12oz package.

You could use the vital essential fish topper similarly since it has herring oil but there's no % of the ingredients like the stella's but you'd probably give about the same amount or a little less, don't like guessing though and not sure how much herring oil is in there.

Or you could use a D3 reptile supplement as mentioned. So about 301IU per day based on 13oz of food. Ideally weigh your daily ration and make it 82IU per 100g.

1.5 cups of food, if meat is about 13oz=368g=.368kg

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:55 pm
by TamanduaGirl
oh for the love of Peat I messed up and none of you caught it either but the retinol amounts from the whole prey chart are Dry Matter basis so not the same fed on a as is whole fresh basis, argh that messes everything up.

Okay so starting over we have these amounts on a DM basis
Rabbit, domestic - 6,200IU/kg Retinol
Lizard, anolis - 4,880IU/kg
Rat Neonatal, <10 g - 21,333 iu/kg
Rat Adult or >50g - 151,389IU/kg
pinky rat- 21,333
Chicken - 35,600IU/kg
Adult Mouse Mouse, domestic 578,272IU/kg
From here - ... ed_in_Zoos

Moisture content;2-D/abstract
Rats 65%
Mice 67%

However that study also shows mouse retinol content can be up to 1,759,122IU if fed rodent chow and closer to the other value above if fed lab chow.

580,510 IU/KG fresh value if fed rodent chow and 190,829IU/kg if we use the value above but most are probably fed rodent chow rather than lab chow and the value from the original is closer to labchow values. So this didn't really change anything for mice it's still 200k-580k so 20-58K more than recommended RDA of 100IU/kg of food.

Pinky Mouse - 11,725IU/kg

Adult rat 154,756(labchow, highest at study above) dry matter so 54,165IU/kg fresh to lowest 34,922(rat chow) so 12,223iu/kg fresh. Original value we had was about the same as the labchow rats on this one so is 52,986IU/kg fresh
Pinky rat 7,467IU/KG fresh

Whole carcass of rabbit(does include guts and bone but should still be close to what that would be 71% moisture

So using the above value is 1,798iu/KG whole fresh rabbit

Whole chicken is about 65% moisture so 12,416IU/KG

Anoles, could not find moisture content but I'll assume similar to mice and rats and go 65% - 1,708 fresh

So neater retinol content in whole fresh/wet prey
Rabbit - 1,798IU/KG
Anoles - 1,708IU/KG
Mouse, Adult 200,000-580,000IU/KG
Mouse Pinky - 11,725IU/KG
Rat Adult - 12,223IU/KG
Rat Pinky - 7,467IU/KG
Whole chicken - 12,416IU/KG

YAY now I've got to figure out how much rabbit to feed and or how many to gut all over again. I just used human values before for an average, rough estimates that way instead of finding weights and values for livers and such like I did chicks.

70% retinol in liver 15–20% in the fatty tissue so the final 10% in a combination of eyes, lungs, testes, brain, marrow and spleen, generally when you but rabbit it's been skinned so remove liver and skin(where most of the fat is) together will remove about 85% of the retinol.

Rabbit skinned and liver removed: 180IU/KG

Totally gutted will leave eyes, marrow and brain so lets say it removes all but 5% : 90IU/kg

Now if you're buying it they probably removed the head so minus more than half since marrow wont have much make it 2% retinol left: 36IU/KG

We are looking for 367IU/kg food for a fennec that would be 1 whole with organs and skin and 4 without.

Though the nutrition book also says 2440iu/kg(DM) which works out 900iu/kg wet food so roughly 261 DM ! so within the range of 25-100IU/kg body weight but we aimed for 100IU/kg body weight so a bit higher than the amount from their table.

Skinned and gutted chicken minus head: 365IU/kg

Skinned and gutted adult rat 611 iu/kg

pinky rat gutted and skinned 363IU/KG

skinned and gutted adult mouse 10-29K

Next to edit my caresheet and diet page, oh boy.

Edit: one thing one of the studies noted was in mice testies had about the same retinol per gram as the liver but they are a fairly small part of the body. ... ne.0099435

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:26 pm
by TamanduaGirl
Okay after much research and lots of math(not my strong suit) and some input from you guys and others here's accumulation of it all, in my diet page

Re: Nutrition - I think I want a Fennec Fox

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:04 am
by TamanduaGirl
TamanduaGirl wrote:That 12yr old fennec in Japan

I just read she died 8 weeks ago so she would have been almost 13, just a week shy of it.


Been having a little debate with someone who didn't think my limiting 2 mice a year(I don't actually give any though just if people wanted to I'd use that as a max) was sound since wild fox eat 2-3 a day so I did the math up on it.

Deer mice about 2 grams average weight each. That makes them about 11.8IU/gram wet value.
3 a day 365 days is 12,921IU per year in just mice for wild fox. They eat other sources of meat to round things out plus carotenes.

Domestic pet mouse about 45 grams (roughly going by weights I saw pet mice breeders stating, some were way more). I got values in a range for domestic mice IU because I got values from more than one study but lets go with the low of 200,000IU/kg so that's 20,000 per gram. So 3 per day times 365 is 21.9 million IU per year in just mice if feed 3 per day.

2 per year 40,000iu that's 1/3 of the whole years allotted amount for retinol in just two mice.

We want 100iu per kg of fox per day or even a bit less so a total of 225,500iu per year total from all sources. Just 6.3 mice a year would give them all the retinol they'd need for the whole year.