Jett, I'm confident that subsequent versions of the analysis will satisfy you once your assumptions are plugged in. Please note that I have made no judgements or conclusions in this post regarding the efficacy of the diet.
Incidentally, I got no response from Healesville on my direct and indirect communications. I have sent emails myself and Karen M. has also sent them in my behalf to a Healesville vet and others and all have gone unanswered. These were simple, respectfully worded questions to clarify ingredients. There is also the possibility that the emails bounced or were caught in a spam filter.
Regardless, I am humble enough to realize that as an amatuer, my inquiries carry little weight and I'm sure they have more pressing duties to attend to.
Ko made a comment several weeks ago that Healesville would not be compelled to prove anything to me or anyone else by publishing a nutritive analyis on the glider diet. That they had no incentive to do so. That comment was helpful in correctly modeling my expectations.
Nonetheless, in taking an "unauthorized" whack at this, I thought it prudent to detail my assumptions and try to triangulate from other sources. So, I asked others in our community what they knew about the ingredients. I even posted here an open question about the dog chow two weeks ago and no one replied. Undaunted, I sought additional sources.
I was also informed by Karen M. after her discussions with Healesville vets over the years, that the dog chow is Eukanuba Adult. I learned from Pet Health Food that ecopet is used in the supplements (one cube out of their rolled product), etc. etc. So I don't know if you are using whatever you are using because you are accustomed to doing so or by dint of what Healeville explicitly says to you but does not put in writing. The glider diet sheet seems hardly explicit to me and therefore open to interpretation. Of course, more explicit clarifications would be helpful in future analyses if you could share them.
I also contacted vendors who supply zoos with some of the ingredients including suppliers of feeder insects, etc. The Soluvet and Calcivet were easy enough to work up numbers for because they are published by their makers.
Regarding the pollen, I finally deferred to what Ko said - and in absence of anyone else's arguments on the subject. So when you say "the diet calls for 5 grains of pollen and does not mention granuels like you have assumed" I now refer you to what Ko told me, and she was adamant and authoritative in her delivery - so the assumption you attribute to me is actually not mine at all - although out of respect for Ko's apparent authority on the subject, I ultimatlely deferred to her guidance. Ironically, even though I had doubts in the end I took her guidance.
In fact, I first assumed "grains" as in the unit of measurement called "grains" (that is 1 grain = 0.06479891 grams). After all that is the actual word in the diet sheet. And secondly, I assumed "grams" like the other possum diet sheets adjacent to the glider sheet say - in the same big document. "Wrong" said Ko to both of my assumptions. She went on to give the guidance that it was the actual little tiny weenie granuels. In fact I asked her if she knew how many granuels it took to fill a tablespoon and she said no she had never counted that many. So that dialog serves to demonstrate that I understood the meaning of her guidance on the subject. I then went on to measuring out an entire pound of Jarrah pollen into cups and then counted the number of granuels per tablespoon to calculate the difference between volume and mass correctly. It took hours to count those stupid things, so I surely hope Ko's guidance was correct.
So as you can see, I decided it would be better to simply calculate the pollen based on what Ko said. I thought it would be ill-advised to dismiss her guidance and I certainly did not want such dismissal to cast a pall on the research. So my current calculations on the pollen are indeed based on counting out five grains (read granuels) which is the meaning I very clearly dervied from what Ko said. Now with your comment we have come full circle it appears....
Maybe the two of you can agree on this and tell me what you both agree to or perhaps even better - as you suggest - get it from Healesville. Believe me, I was still shaking my head after doing the analysis on 5 tiny weenie granuels, because the nutritive values are so low as to be trace. It was counter-intuitive (to this amatuer anyway) that a nutritionist would deem it necessary to prescribe such a small amount. Is it possible that one of my original assumptions (grains as in the unit of measurement or the more controversial grams/misprint idea) are not too far-fetched after all?
To avoid doubt on other ingredients, I have listed my chief assumptions here in this post, so if you are using different ingredients and would like a second analysis done based on what you are using that's fine. My first chief assumption is that I am referring to page 22 of the big 178 page document dated August of 2006 including the "nectar" ingredients referred to in the appendix of that same document. If you are referring to an older, or newer document, then I can see how there may be a difference.
At any rate all you have to do is ask if I could substitute X for Y in a second analysis. No big deal. I'd be happy to do that. Alternately, since I sent you all of my source spreadsheets, you are free to do another analysis based on your own assumptions and modifications.
This reminds me of an old saying a wise person once said:
"Ain't nuthin happens til somebody does sumpthin'."
Thanks for your input and further guidance. Cheers, Ed
[Edit 9/25/07 10:49 AM - Jett has kindly offered to share the ingredients from the labels of the cereal and chow that she is using. We should be able to re-cast a new version in a few weeks after some other priorities are attended to. If anyone else is using this diet and would like an analysis based on different ingredients, please let me know]