Oxbow vs. Martins - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-11-2009, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Oxbow vs. Martins

Im not inclined to rely on the internet for pet supplies so I havent been ordering Oxbow. I read everywhere thats the BEST one and all this stuff but because of living on an island and I'd rather not have to wait in the mail in the middle of winter for a shipment I began buying Martins from Petcity. Its about 11 $ a bag which lasts me about 2-3 weeks. (Used to last longer but because of reduced income, I cant get their veggie every single night )..
Im rambling here,
Went to buy my Martins last night and Petcity had their shelves stocked to the brim with Oxbow!! I actually intended on asking them about it and I might hve at one point but dont remember, but ofr the same size bag of Oxbow its like 21.99!!! Schooooaah!! Mighty expensive food! Whats the difference in the quality though? My small animal rescue here recomends Martins Little Friends, too.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 04:07 AM
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The main difference is in the fiber content and the fat content. The Oxbow pellets are pretty significantly higher in fiber (22-25% for Oxbow compared to 18-22% for Martin's timothy based pellet), and the Oxbow has 1% less fat. The other thing that would concern me is that the Martin's has over double the calcium that the Oxbow pellets have (.8 as opposed to .35), so if you've got a bunny who's prone to bladder or kidney stones, it's going to increase the likelihood of that happening.

I don't think that Martin's is a terrible food, but I do think that Oxbow is a superior one.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:24 AM
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Id hate to know how bad the rabbit food I feed is.
i get it at walmart, and its not timothy based either.


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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:29 AM
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All of the animal food sold at Walmart is junk, but to give a more specific analysis I'd have to know the brand so I could look at the ingredients.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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I used to buy mine at Walmart too- There was colorful bits thrown in and seeds then I switched to the bag of plain pellets from there-Akina's coat was so glossy but I researched the different kinds and contents and realised that this was probably a bad thing. So I looked up Oxbow and it was only available through online. Martins is readily available, (now both are)
I agree Walmart arent experts in pet food and alot of their toys and accessories are harmful to various animals. Dont get me wrong, I love shopping there and even when I need turtle food they sell Reptomin cheaper than Petcity. But you should switch the food from Walmart!!
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 02:55 PM
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hey, I hate to thread jack, but can someone give me reasons that this food is not healthy for my buns?
it has corn, veggies, colorful bits, and alfalfa pellets.

Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Ground Corn, Heat Processed Soybeans, Whole Corn, Oat Groats, Barley, Sunflower Seed, Soybean Meal, Timothy Hay, Wheat Middlings, Soybean Hulls, Carrot Slices, Green Split Peas, Feeding Oatmeal, Yellow Split Peas, Diced Apples, Diced Pineapple, Cane Molasses, Salt, Diced Carrots, Diced Potatoes, Minced Onions, Parsley Flakes, Celery Flakes, Diced Red Peppers, Diced Green Peppers, Cabbage Flakes, Leek Flakes, Diced Zucchini, Tomato Flakes, Spinach Flakes, Ground Limestone, Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Activated Animal Sterol (Source of Vitamin D3), Dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Niacin, Riboflavin, Ppyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin Bb12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K), Folic Acid, Biotin, Magnesium Oxide, Ferrous Carbonate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate, Color Added (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1).


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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 03:06 PM
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Corn is bad due to its aflatoxins. And food coloring is also bad - they're chemicals.

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex is bad - it's synthetic Vitamin K that's potentially REALLY dangerous(pet food companies don't seem to realize there's natural vitamin k in kelp, alfalfa, and even spinach). Rabbits should also not be eating Sunflower seeds. And their cabbage should be limited to very minimal, it's not something they should be eating every day. .....I'm also not entirely sure they should be eating minced onion, either....

In my opinion, that's pretty bad food. I feed my rabbits Zupreem specifically because it doesn't contain Menadione Sodium Bisulfite(it contains spinach as it's source of Vitamin K), however, it does contain corn gluten, and ground corn. I can't win no matter what I do. :/ Pet food companies usually have either one or the other. That's also why I won't feed Oxbow, because Oxbow contains Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, and I'm not going to risk my rabbit and guinea pig's health by feeding them that crap. Oxbow also contains Cane Molasses, which is also a sugar. Another reason I won't feed my pets Oxbow.

Oh, also, rabbits shouldn't be consuming "animal sterol" either. Here's a link that specifies ingredients to avoid in dog food, but it gives the roundabout reason why the ingredients are bad.. Look for Menadione Sodium Bisulfite(it's listed at the very bottom), and also look for why Corn is bad, and it also lists why food dye coloring in pet food in bad as well.

http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index....badingredients

That said, the only rabbit food I've been able to find that hasn't set me off thus far is:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=12682

..Well, that is besides the "Dehydrated Corn Distiller's Grains", which, if you click on the link I posted about ingredients to avoid, Corn Distiller's Grains are simply a filler. Once again, I repeat: there's no rabbit food out on the market that doesn't have at least one concerning ingredient. Their nutritional health just hasn't been as severely studied as say....cat's or dog's have.

..Although, apparently Peter Rabbit's Growth formula(it's their Maintenance formula which has the corn distiller grains), their Growth formula doesn't appear to contain any fillers. ..No, wait, nevermind, I have no idea what the heck "Dried Bakery Product" is..that's probably a filler, too.

Peter Rabbit also doesn't contain Vitamin K through either a synthetic, or natural, source. Vitamin K is important. Nor does it contain "Cobalt" which I believe is a necessary mineral in their kidneys running smoothly.

I'd switch my rabbit over to Peter Rabbit's pellets if my spinach plant would start growing, >.< And if I also had means to supply her with the mineral Cobalt.

Last edited by FlickeringHope; 10-12-2009 at 03:32 PM.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 04:53 PM
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thanks for the info


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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 04:57 PM
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The minimal amount of cane molasses in Oxbow is really only for flavoring, and Ii'd certainly rather deal with that than the absolutely huge amount of corn in Zupreem. They've also played the splitting game (listing corn and corn gluten meal), I'd be willing to be the real first ingredient is corn, not timothy.

Zupreem's fat content is ok, but they do not list a minimum fiber amount, choosing instead to list the maxiumum fiber amount. That's useless, since you really can't have too much fiber in a pellet, but it's quite easy to have too little. They've also got a pretty high protein content -- house rabbits really only need 12-14%, and theirs is a minimum of 18%. Again, they're playing a tricky game here, because that means it could literally be as high as 100%, but they've covered their butts becuase they've guaranteed the minimum.

The Marshall's that you linked to has a ridiculously low minimum fiber content as well, and the fat is a minimum of 2%, which is high by itself, but it could be higher in that package. The protein in is in a much better than the Zupreem, though.

A good rabbit pellet for an adult rabbit should have a lowish protein (a MAXIMUM of 12-14%) that comes from NON-animal derived sources (some of them do use animal fat), a high fiber content (a MINIMUM of 20%, and higher is better), and low fat (2% max, and I would consider that pretty friggin high). You should avoid carbs like corn and oats (which can upset the GI tract), and alfalfa based pellets (too high in calcium for an adult rabbit) and cheap fillers like beat pulp. Also no seeds or colored bits -- they're fatty and useless and contain dyes typically.

So when you look at the three compared, here's how they break down:

Oxbow:

* Crude Protein min 14.00% (no max listed, bad Oxbow)
* Crude Fat min 1.50% (<2%, no max listed)
* Crude Fiber min 25.00% (very ideal, way over 20%, MIN is listed))
* Crude Fiber max 29.00%
* Moisture max 10.00%
* Calcium min 0.35% (under threshold which may contribute to bladder/kidney stones)
* Phosphorus min 0.25% (correctly proportionate to Ca)
* Salt min 0.50%
* Salt max 1.00%
* Vitamin A IU/KG 20,000
* Vitamin D IU/KG 880
* Vitamin E IU/KG 140
* Copper mg/kg 20

Zupreem:

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 18.0% min (no max listed)
Crude Fat 1.0% min (no max listed)
Crude Fiber 22.0% max (no min listed)
Moisture 12.0% max

No calcium or salt listed, or other vitamin breakdowns. Also only have one forumla for rabbits -- big no-no, growing rabbits have different dietary needs than adult rabbits. They're either really messing somebody up, or kind of half-assing both age requirements.

Marshall Peter's:

Maintenance Formula

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 14.0% min (no max listed)
Crude Fat 2.0% min (no max listed)
Crude Fiber 16.0% min
Crude Fiber 21.0% max (both listed, but min is too low)
Moisture 12.0% max
Calcium 0.5% min
Calcium 1.0% max (ideally .5% or less of their daily diet)
Phosphorus 0.35% min (disproportionate to calcium. This is a problem because phosphorus is required to adequately process calcium)
Salt 0.25% min
Salt 0.75% max
Vitamin A 2,500 IU/lb min

None are perfect, but Oxbow has the highest fiber which I find most important, and has taken the time to balance out the Ca ratio correctly and sets their protein fairly low, even though it is a min. I'm also a little biased because I have talked to actual vets on their staff who participate in development of their products, and I know they listen to fancier's and rescue's when they give feedback. (The local Potbellied Pig rescue told me they were working with them to develop a pig food at one point.)

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 04:58 PM
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do you know if Angoras have special needs such as more protein more fiber?


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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 05:18 PM
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If they're being harvested for wool (ie, you're going to spin it) more protein will make their fur much nicer. However, in the long run, too much protein can contribute to kidney problems in rabbits. Wool harvesters don't generally care about this, since they have to slaughter the rabbits long before they reach old age (as younger animals produce more wool). So in general, I'd say if you're keeping a pet, then no, you'd want them at a normal protein level so you can have them much longer.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 06:48 PM
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I never said Zupreem was the greatest; but I'm not worried about the protein content, as my rabbit gets fed so little pellets - her hay and roughage makes up the majority of her diet.

In fact, when my plants are grown enough to harvest, she'll be fed only a minimal amount of pellets maybe 2-3 times a week, max.

Besides, fiber content in pellets can be more than made up with providing hay, which is the most important part of their diet as is.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 06:53 PM
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Definitely, hay is always the most important part of the diet, and vegetables quite important. I'm just always hesitant about putting that much corn into a rabbit's diet. You referenced the dog food info, which is correct in that it's very indigestible to dogs, but the problem with rabbits is that the sugar content is enough to cause overgrowth of bad bacteria in the GI tract.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:04 PM
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I feed my guinea pigs Martin's because until now,Oxbow was not available here as Amanda said.I have NEVER had issues on it.Plus they get their hay and veggies.




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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:11 PM
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I can't really refute that without being kind of mean. Needless to say, the problems that poor quality foods cause are sometimes very subtle. For example, a guinea pig could die hours after being fine if a corn based food caused a quick bout of GI stasis (due to a spike in gas production by bad gut bacteria), leaving the owner wondering why their animal passed away so quickly when they were fine hours ago.

Sometimes these problems don't occur until much later in life in old age. I use McDonald's as an apt comparison -- I don't know of anybody that's eaten McDonald's and fallen over dead within two weeks, but it's pretty well documented that it's not very healthy food and can cause a variety of health problems such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

The majority of the problems caused by poor quality pellets are not simple black and white problems. They don't simply eat bad pellets and keel over, but they can significantly shorten their life span by contributing to chronic conditions like kidney and bladder stones, making them more prone to kidney failure, contributing to heart disease, etc, just like poor quality foods cause problems in humans.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Last edited by Jennicat; 10-12-2009 at 07:20 PM.
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