Black Hawk had a very loyal following being a home-grown Australian brand, but having made the mainstream were bought up by New Zealand’s Masterpet. At the time the company said the food wouldn’t change, but once the talk died down they changed the formulas. The protein dropped slightly and the carbs went up slightly, and instead of sweet potato they opted for potato and tapioca as cheaper inclusions.
Compared to other cat food brands it still reads pretty well from the ingredients and analysis. Chicken Meal and Turkey Meal make up the first two ingredients which is really good to see, and what your cat will benefit the most from.
Potato and tapioca are used to bulk up and bind the food, but as cats are carnivores it’s not a necessary part of the diet. It also keeps the cost of production down, but this is something you’ll find with all dry foods.
Field peas are common in grain free foods as they’re high in protein and fibre. They bulk up the protein in the food which, despite being better than carbs, still isn’t as good as meat proteins. They also add vegetable protein and mung beans which again aren’t an ideal substitute for meat proteins. Still, compared to other cheaper dry foods these are better inclusions than many.
I’ll write some further interesting analysis of the food, but before I do so I’ll rate the food as 8 out of 10. It’s much better than most.
Black Hawk offers us some slightly misleading information about the food. They state 56% is Meat, Legumes, and Pulses and 44% Vegetables, fruit, and oils. This is designed to make the food sound really good, but let’s consider these interesting classifications a bit further…
Given cats are carnivores it would be better to see Meat as its own classification, but the reality is the percentage wouldn’t look appealing. They’ve included field peas and mung beans in this category. Let’s say the top five ingredients are equal distributions of 18%. That would make the meat content approximately 36%, so only a third of the food – not so appealing (but a more realistic reality).
With the 44% vegetables, fruit, and oils, most of this will be the potato and tapioca. The fruits and oils are all in very small amounts further down the ingredients.
So there you go, there’s some labelling trickery for you. All manufacturers do it, so it’s not something bad about Black Hawk par se.
Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potato, Tapioca, Field Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols [source of Vitamin E], Rosemary Extract and Citric Acid), Vegetable Protein, Mung Beans, Beet Pulp, Canola Oil, Pumpkin Seed Powder, Eggs, Flaxseed, Cranberries, Pineapple Pulp, Chicory Root, Kelp, Salt, Alfalfa, Lecithin, Yucca Schidigera, Brewers Yeast, Whey Powder, Fish Oil, Probiotic (Bacillus Coagulant), Natural Antioxidants, Coconut Oil, Tomato Powder, Cinnamon, Yoghurt Powder, Carrot, Emu Oil, Essential Vitamins and Minerals.
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- Good meat content
- No nasties
- Less meat than you would think