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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of mine was talking to me about genetically engineered soy, and, apparently, how it could cause infertility of rodents by the third generation if fed.

From what I understand, a lot of lab blocks have this soy (and caused some problems in a lab when a strain of rats went sterile from being fed these lab blocks), among other things.

What are some alternative diets to feed mice that could make for superb show animals, that wouldn't involve as many fillers?
 

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I'm not sure whereabouts you live in relation to 'feed stores' (we call them farm shops generally speaking) but breeders here buy large (20kg) sacks of straights for horses (oats, barley etc), bird seed, complete dog food, dog biscuits etc and mix together. Easy to do and cheap as well in relation to commercial mixes, with no rubbish in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How do you deal with possible by-products in the dog food, I was wanting to use cat food as a protein supplement, and ended up with only 2 options that did not contain soy.

I appreciate your input, I am wanting to make my own mix after receiving this information.
 

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I feed primarily Mazuri lab blocks (which contain soy), and Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul (which may contain soy and/or byproducts, I don't know for sure off-hand. Barb at TFM first recommended it to me). Of hundreds of mice, only one has ever been completely infertile. My hunch is that it was not related to her diet.

I have a close friend who feeds only wild bird seeds (the kind you buy for songbirds like cardinals), grains (such as wheat, rye, and amaranth) and bugs (such as mealworms, crickets, wax worms, and roaches) and his mice are extremely healthy, too. They've never had a lab block or other prepared rodent food, so much so that when he gave his mice to me he cautioned that they may not figure out how to eat lab blocks for the first few days (they learned how to, quickly).

Mice, being opportunistic omnivores like people, are able to eat a wide range of things (within reason) and still do very well. In general, the higher-quality foods you feed, the more it costs. It's not unreasonable to spend $50-$100 or more a month on mouse food for a small stud.

Kadee is something of an expert on dog foods, having studied them for years and being a very careful (vegetarian) eater herself. She used to have a website with reviews on the various kinds of high-quality dog food available, but I forget where it is located. She's hard to get a hold of lately, but if you can catch her online, ask her what kinds of dog foods she recommends. She'll be sure to talk for hours. :p
 

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I dont feed lab blocks or prepared rodent food, and my mice are all healthy.
But I do spend ALOT of time looking into what I feed.

Mice will eat just about anything you put in front of them,which isnt always a good thing.
 

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I'll be honest, soy is not something I have ever checked for in my dog food, and my mice are all happily producing litters. Next time I buy a bag I'll have a look at the ingredients and see if there's any soy. Can I just ask, if it causes fertility problems why it is allowed for human consumption? Bearing in mind that they test it first on animals like mice...
 

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I never know quite what to believe about soy. It's very often people/organisations from industries which have a vested intrest in putting people off soy products who fund the studies that reflect badly on it. The soy industry is no better though - they tend to put an overly positive spin on everything they can.

In this case, I'd hazard a guess that it has something to do with isoflavanes - they're phytoestrogens which are like a weaker form of estrogen. Whether these are good or bad for you depends on your circumstance, how much you're exposed to and what research you're reading. From what I've read, it often seems to be the case that a massive amount of soy will have a negative effect (more so on embryos than adults) but, unless you plan to make soy products the bulk of your diet, you should be fine.

If you're worried about soy or would jsut rather avoid it, check out "posher" dog/cat foods. Soy's often used sort of like a filler because it's cheap. High quality pet foods tend not to include it. :)
 

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Yeah, soy in particular is both lauded and condemned, sometimes in the same breath. You have people who say it's the worst thing since unsliced bread, and people who say it's a wonderfood. I think the truth is somewhere inbetween: that if all you ate was soy, you'd be in trouble but that it can make up a good part of a balanced diet if used in moderation (like almost anything, really).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It is not the soy that causes infertility. Using organic soy has no ill side effects, it is the genetically engineered soy (among other genetically engineered foods like corn) that cause the problems.

This is a newer additive, and according to the studies it may cause infertility in humans as well. Thats why they are researching it now with rats and hamsters.

http://www.newswithviews.com/Smith/jeffrey8.htm

http://www.care2.com/causes/real-food/blog/genetically-modified-corn-and-soy-make-superweeds/

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/utility/showArticle/?objectID=4888

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/utility/showArticle/?objectID=4888
 

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Theres also been some research done that says its not the soy & corn themselves, its the amount the mouse eats. A small amount everyday is actually helpful (the body learns to fight off bad stuff) but when corn/soy is used as the main diet then it can cause problems.
Now I have to go and see if I can find that article again. I just read it, but clicked off without saving it,lol.
 
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