D-activated animal sterol?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by rabbitgal, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Time to read feed labels! I've been looking at the label on my current brand of rabbit feed and it contains an ingredient called D-activated animal sterol (a source of vitamin D). The "animal" part caught my eye, since I'm not sure if herbivores should be eating animal protein, so I decided to see what I could find out about it. Apparently the "animal sterol" part is a substance found in fat and skin and "D-activated" means the animal sterol was treated with ultraviolet irradiation to form vitamin D. So basically scientists created a sustance in the laboratory that duplicates the end product of what happens when people or animals go outside on a sunny day and their skin synthesizes vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. (http://www.beyonddiscovery.org/content/view.page.asp?I=434 has a fairly indepth article describing the discovery of the mechanism behind vitamin D in relation to human rickets.) So what's worse: sythetic chemical vitamins or more "natural" supplements formed from animal protein? Does anyone know more about this and does an animal that gets adequate exposure to sunlight even need this supplement? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
     
  2. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    Since we are "Raising Rabbits for Profit", I'm going to respond with:

    The majority of commercial breeders do not allow rabbits to have adequate exposure to sunlight. Most of the breeding stock is in sheltered barns/rabbitries.
    *Bright* light would not translate to *adequate exposure". Or am I
    not understanding your question?

    Linda Welch
    http://www.texasrabbitconnection.com
     

  3. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Oh, that's understandable: I wouldn't want to leave valuable animals out in the sun to overheat. My question is probably more of a theoretical one than anything else. If a rabbit could be out in the sun long enough for its body to manufacture vitamin D without overheating, would it's feed need to be supplemented with D-activated animal sterol? I may not be understanding this correctly, but isn't rabbit feed supplemented with D-activated animal sterol as a source of vitamin D because (a) the feed ingredients do not contain enough vitamin D to meet the animal's needs, and (b) the rabbit is not exposed to enough sunlight for its body to "create" vitamin D on it's own?

    After the mad cow scare several years ago, I know some concerns were raised about herbivores/ruminants eating animal protein, so I'm just trying to find out if there's an alternative. LOL, besides, with the markets I'm considering, people would freak out if they think, "the rabbits are eating other animals". :haha: This is such a big learning curve.

    Thanks, Linda, for taking the time to answer.
    rabbitgal