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I took some time last night to read moutress's journal, and while reading through it noted that she picks out the corn in her mouse food. Also, when I asked the question of what everyone else feeds their mice, the response had NO corn in it. The food that I currently feed my mice has whole corn kernels in it, and the first thing they pick out is the corn, eat the very tip of it, and let the rest sit, to be cleaned out with their cage cleaning. So, is corn no good for them, or does no one use it because it is a waste of money, when all they eat is the "heart" of the kernel?
 

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I will field this question since I was the one who raised it most recently.

Now, bear in mind that I keep a large mousery, occasionally with a couple of dozen dozen mousies at one time, so my story is a little more significant than for someone who keeps only ten meeces.

I've been breeding meeces for about 12 years now. I began to go to a feed mill quite early on in order to save money and buy from open bins, picking out how much of what I wanted. I suplemented the grains and seeds with dry catfood, the same stuff I fed my kitties. they absolutely lived the kitty kibble, which contained corn, as does most dry animal food. They would usually leave the corn pretty much untouched, so I stopped buying it. I noticed about a few months later that I was having less of a problem with tumors, and I wondered about that. I decided to stop using the dry cat food on them, and within about a year, I had no incidence of cancerous tumors, not a single one, among the meeces born since I removed the corn from the diet.

Some breeders will tell you that most of the show typey meeces have had the tendency for cancerous tumors bred out their gene pools. I think that's wonderful! Here in Mineapolis, Minnesota I'd have to travel 500 miles to get a hold of that kind of show stock; wither that or have some flown in from the East Coast or the West Coast. I did that once, and that's another story for another time.

Over the fall and early winter this year I had a handful of tumors show up in my mousery once again. I decided to look more closely at the grain I was getting in 50 lb. bags. I was used to seeing an occasional kernel of corn show up, and I'd pick it out and trash it, or feed it to the squirrels in our yard. when I started sifting through the grain, I found many smaller pieces of corn that I hadn't noticed, especially in a couple of the bags. I returned them for cleaner grain. 'since then, I hand sort all my grain in order to remove every paritcle of corn and any other junk that might show up. My mousery is once again completely corn-free and tumor free.

Other high fat seeds, notably sunflower seeds and peanuts can also cause tumors and other health problems. I have stopped using them as rodent food. Instead, I use safflower seeds and millet in very small quantities. Of course, I also give my darlings all kinds of other things from time to time, as they enjoy variety in their diet much as we do.

Almost every dry animal chow produced contains corn and corn by products. It's gotten easier in the last five years or so to get corn free chow, and I get puppy chow (Professional Brand). It's pricey, but a five pound bag lasts for about a half a year as it's only used as a supplement, one chunk per mouse several times a week, and one chunk every day to breeding mousies and nuring mother, and very young meeces. Their diet is about 80% whole wheat and oats.

I'm not sure if cooking removes the risk, or if other colors of corn are better. The explanation of how it works is that yellow corn combines with digestive juices to form a carcinogenic substance. (I think it's nitrosamines) I cannot find the site I read this on 8 or 9 years ago, but I have had confirmation from other breeders.

Wouldn't it be nice if we all could buy our meeces from show breeders and have them flown in safety and comfort? I tried that, and it was an unqualified nightmare. any meeces I've gotten since then have been hand delivered by a relay of several breeders who went to a show a thousand miles away. I drove 600 miles roundtrip from Minneapolis to Janesville to get my tris, and I considered that well worth the cost.
I can only tell you what I see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That makes a lot of sense to me. I had a bunny, my first of hundreds, that I didn't know alot about, and thinking I was doing her a favor, I bought her the food that has corn and nuts and seeds in it. She ended up with a tumor behind her left front leg. I also had a turkey that developed fat lumps, so severe she couldn't walk for several weeks, because of corn. I raised the question of what everyone else feeds their mice, because I am trying to find a less expensive ( i pay $5.00 for 3 pounds) way to feed them. I currently have about 58 mice, so bulk quantites would be much better for me. Most of them are still babies or young adults at this time, and most will be fed off soon, but I have about 27 that will be kept. Thank you for your input, I will have to change what I feed them. :D
 

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I'm not sure if corn does the same thing with rabbits. It's just that so many animals have problems digesting it properly. We had a family dog, a boxer named Bubba, and he had the most awful gas whenever we tried feeding him dogfood with corn in it. Of course, it's commonly used to fatten up swine and other animals, and those kinds of livestock are not destined to survive long at all. It's true, however, that corn has been implicated indirectly in causing human health to suffer, specifically corn based sweeteners. From my study of anthropology and archaeolgy, I know that reliance on corn as the major source of nutritition is suspected to be the cause of the failure and collapse of the mid-American native culture an about 800 to 900 AD.

I wonder about my heavy popcorn habit...I could live on the stuff...*sigh*
 

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I've had two hamsters, the first didnt eat corn the second did and he had to be put down due to a massive tumor.

Kinda makes sense that it wouldnt be good for them to eat as humans struggle to digest corn as it is and our stomachs are massive in comparrison
 

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Has there been any proper research conducted on this? I searched online and I couldn't see anything, though I'm not exactly the academic type and it might have been staring me in the face :lol: So I had a quick check and it seems like the popular lab blocks tend to contain ground corn. I'd have thought scientists would be the first group of people to ditch an ingredient if there was a chance it might have a negative effect and skew their results?

I make my own mouse food up from straights so it'd be easy to cut maize from their mix but they do seem to like it. They go daft for the endy bits of our corn-on-the-cob too.
 

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Yep - I eat corn on the cob without any butter or seasoning so I let the mice pick it clean, once I'm done with it. Usually there isn't much left by the time they get it but it's something novel for them anyway :] Now I'm in two minds about sharing though!
 

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The majority of foods an american eats in the united states, have corn in them.

Bread, candy, soda, baked goods, cereals, chips, nearly ALL meats, corn products (of course!), ice cream, pasta, sauces (ketchup too!), and not to mention anything fried in corn oil. :p

just a fun fact... xP
 

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Well, that's overstating things, I think. Many foods use corn sweeteners or modified corn starch. Meat is often from corn fed sources, but the meat itself does not contain corn. Neither does pasta which is made of wheat. All the foods you mention can be found in many brands and one can always find brands that don't contain corn products. Cereals and chips rarely have corn unless they are corn chips or cereal. Most baked goods do not. Ice cream rarely does. The more processed the food is the more likely it is to contain corn products.

So, bread, candy, soda (an especially troublesome example). yes they often do, but the rest not so much. And many folks use canola oil, peanut oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil for cooking. Fast food doesn't use corn oil beause it breaks down too quickly at high temps.

In any case, I'm not sure we're talking about corn sweetener or corn oil as a culprit. For all I know, it sould be some other part of the kernel that contains the carcinogenic component. I'd look to the least digestible portions like the hull of the kernel, or the germ.

You do realize that we are talking about maize, not all types of grain, right? And not cooked? Cooking may change the chemistry in such a way as to reduce or eliminate whatever component might cause the carcinogenic reaction. Like I said before, I sure hope cooking does it for humans, because I absolutely adore popcorn. (I make the best kettle corn in the known universe.)
 

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I did a bit more digging and it seems that corn can be contaminated with mycotoxins, which are what's carcinogenic.

Rats are so sensitive to it that the levels deemed acceptable in human and pet grade food (the acceptable limit in livestock food is much, much higher) could potentially still be dangerous to them. I don't know if that's based on an unrealistic situation where rats are fed only corn or if the damage is cumulative... or something else completely. Enough of it can cause kidney, liver and colon cancer in both rats and humans. I'm kicking myself for not remembering this because I read a lot about aflatoxin contamination in peanuts, for my own sake, not too long ago!

The other problem one is fumonisin, which causes liver cancer in rats. Because scientists apparently aren't sure whether it's carcinogenic in humans, it's not regulated, although there are guidelines as to how much is acceptable.

So there you go! The information I read is American and rat related so I don't know exactly how relevant it is to British mouse fanciers. I didn't bother checking because I couldn't find information on how sensitive mice are to it, so there didn't seem much point. Maybe someone who's more sciencey-minded could look in to it.
 

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I guess that means that as long as your sensible with it theres no real risks.

TBH it wouldnt surprise me if most foods where like this for mice as their rather small and a tad delicate in the food area.

I wont be giving them the hard stuff you get in some dry mix but they can share the occasional cooked bit with me
 

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Peanuts are notorious for contamination with various mycoplamas, aflatoxin in one of them. And the bird seed mix some folks like to use on their rodents is really pretty awful. Some of the ingredients give up their moisture to the peanuts and sunflower seeds, which become soft and then rancid with mold and what have you. The standards for pet foods are too low in many cases, and I refuse to give my mousies something that I wouldn't eat my self. Musty, moldy smelling grain does not meet my standards, so I open the bag at the feed mill to get a good whiff, since it's a bit of a drive (60 mi. each way) and I buy about 500-600 lbs. total each trip I make. I no longer by mixed seed and grain at all. Just 10 pound bags of safflower and millet, and occasionally I get organic sunflowers or peanuts as a special treat which is given as an inducement to come into The Hand. Though dried bread seems to work equally well for that. I think Mus mus domesticus evolved as it did because of humans inventing bread, I mean, who can resist the aroma of fresh bread!? Meeces would live quite well, for the most part, on a diet of nothing but bread and the occasional cricket or other bug.
 

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I've been reading on what's good and bad for feeding mice and come across this corn thing a few times- are you saying maize is ok? The food that I have for my does is a mixed bag and the ingredients include flaked maize. If there are things that can be removed to prolong their health I will do that. Although from having a read I think once I've used this bag up I may try making my own mix as you can really make sure no nasty components.
 

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I prefer to not use corn in my feed for 2 reasons.
1: Studies showing links between GMO corn (90% of the US corn supply) and sterility, and tumor growth in mice.
2: Dried corn can often contain a mold which is deadly to mice if eaten.
 

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As an aside, we're a combination of American and European breeders, largely, and there's a linguistic distinction between the two. "Corn" can mean either maize or wheat. In some places, they even use the word for barley or oats. We mean maize. The yellow stuff that's eaten on a cob. Wheat is totally a good thing, and entirely appropriate for mouse diets, as are barley and oats.
 
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