Post by Forum Administrator on Jul 12, 2008 20:08:29 GMT -5
Its not uncommon in a business with 2 or more ferrets to have one (or more) that jumps right on the natural feeding "bandwagon" and then to have one (or more) that says "heck no Im not gunna eat that!" Its easy to get discouraged, but I applaud you for sticking with it. It takes determination and its not always easy, so good for you!
Keep encouraging Sam to eat new foods. Be prepared for some slight GI upset (like diarheaa or different colored poopies). You can offer pedialyte if sam gets diarehha pretty badly. If you can get just one of your babies switched, it will only get easier to switch the second. Sometimes a ferret will switch all by itself if it sees its cagemate eating something new That is how fire7chix's Xander started to eat mice.
Keep with it, keep us posted, and keep on truckin'!
Post by mustelidmusk on Jul 14, 2008 8:54:02 GMT -5
You may want to read Toby's thread - Toby has been a very stubborn little boy, He even hissed at his mom over food, but he is progressiing. In fact, he recently just started eating food that initially hissed at!
When you get really picky ferrets, the bets thing to do is put all kinds of different smells and tastess in front of your ferret. Mix a few stary treats such as Totally ferret chicken bits along with a few pieces of odd kibbke types (get those free kibble samples that are available at the more expensive pet stores.
You really want to keep a constant team of different food smalls in front of your ferrets's oses. The picky eater will become more accustomed to the different smells, and the food bowl will become a source of entertainment - they'll be looking forward to seeing hat's in their bowl - evenif they think they hate it.
Eventually, the'll start to try some of the new foods.
Enrichmemt is critcal to helping the stubborn babies switch! Again Toby's thread is pretty intereting and it's not that lengthy. Itwill give you a better idea on how the enrichment hrough exposure cn work since you can see Toby's progress (Plus, the thread isn't too terribly long!
I am making progress with one of them. I just received the freeze-dried chicken and beef, along with daily dream treats in chicken flavor. I have been putting this one as a treat in their cage for the night when I put them to bed. The good news is that ONE of them is eating it. The only thing is, I don't know which one is doing it. I just put a plate out with the treats on it so I can watch it all day and find out which one is doing it. I think it is Mr B but not positive. He is the only one that eats treats, aside from Sam with egg.
I just put out chicken pieces soaked in egg for Sam. I will let you know how it goes. So far she is just smelling it briefly.
I also have an assortment of smells for them. I put out the freeze-dried chicken on the same plate with the treats. Mr B and Sam are investigating all of it. I know that is a good start.
Post by mustelidmusk on Jul 16, 2008 9:12:54 GMT -5
YAY!!! GREAT NEWS!!!
This is a good progress! I think your kids won't be the fastest switchers, but they're showing all the right signs of being able to make a successful switch with a little patience!
Here are some other things to try....
* Mix some of dry crumbs from the WYsong's into the drykibble. After doing this for a few days, put some kibble-sized (or smaller) bits of the Wysong into the kibble as well. Start slow and change the proportion of kibble/Wysong over time.
* Cut up pieces of chicken into small bits and coat them with kibble crumbs.
* try moistened kibble (using water). Gradually ad water until the mix is more like a thick soup. Then start adding small bits of chicken.
* coat some well-moistened (but not completely soaked) kibble with some egg yolk. evenually add the yolk-covered and or kibble coated chicken bits to the kibble. Mix this together really well.
* try the baby fod with soe water added - use just enogh to get rid of of he sticky, peanut buttery texture - my kids like baby food, but if it's too thck, they don't want to eat s since it sticks in the mouth - they can't bite into it, and they can't jut lick it
* Play with your kids using food as a toy! cut a long strip of chicken. Get yor ferets all riled up in play mode (tugging on toys, owel, etc.) The sneak in that strip of raw chicken and play tug-of-war with it! You may want to do this in a location that can be wiped down (bathroom, kitchen, bathtub, a big open plastic tub while playing with the chicken, etc.
Continue exposing your ferets to new smells - even let them sniff your dinner!!!! They start looking forward to these enrichments, and they start getting more adventurous.
Remeber, that the key here is to have fun expoing your ferrets to new things. Keep initial food offerings small to avoid wastng food . Plus, a small tidbit is more lkely to be"tested" by a ferret than a lrge, overwhelming bowel of some unidentified stinky goo!!!
Keep us posted on your progress. We're alway anxious to hearhow things are going! -jennifer
Post by Forum Administrator on Jul 17, 2008 2:21:38 GMT -5
Excellent Diane! I think I will have mustelidmusk keep an eye on you and your babies. She has a nack for helping "hard to switch" ferrets and I think she'd be a good "mentor match" for you! Keep posting your updates here, and I will have her guide you with tips and suggestions. She's a wonderful mentor and Im sure she'll help you out. She makes the diet switch fun! Many people have benefitted from her amazing approach!
Would the freeze-dried food cause bigger poops? If so then it is Mr B that is eating it. They still won't eat it in front of me but I noticed a bigger and much thicker poop. Mr B size not Sam size. I know this is a weird conversation but just needed to know. Mr B is also finally eating the two kinds of kibble. Could this have something to do with it?
Last Edit: Jul 18, 2008 18:35:21 GMT -5 by mdcichy
Post by mustelidmusk on Jul 19, 2008 0:08:59 GMT -5
It's possible that the larger, firrmer stools poops indicate that your boy is eating all the freeze-dried raw. Although it's really difficult to tell. If your girl is eating kibble only, then you've probably seen no changes in her poops at all.
I'm exhausted from working late tonight, so I'll e posting some ideas for you tomorow morning (mountain time!. Itried to post earlier toda, bu the computer ate it (the broer crashed and wiped out my entir post befor I coul send it Anyway , you'll definitely hear from me tomorrow! -jennifer
Sam is staying on the kibble. Aside from the egg and two different kinds of kibble I can't get her to try anything else. So maybe SHE is going to be the difficult one.
I did the egg and chicken with Sam and she kind of stuck her nose up at it. That sounds funny but that is exactly what it looked like she did. Should I just keep trying this? Or just do it like once a week?
I've seen Mr B eat the freeze-dried treats but he won't move on to the freeze-dried chicken itself. I am still putting it on the plate though hoping he will try it. It makes me feel better knowing it may be the treats that is doing this to him.
If you don't get back to me until tomorrow that is fine. I will be out of town for the day. Relax and enjoy your day.
Post by mustelidmusk on Jul 19, 2008 13:27:12 GMT -5
OK, I'm back!
I have ome thngs you can try to help work on Sam (and Mr. B too)
Since the smell thing is really driving identifier for recognizing food,we need to continue offering various smells for Sam. So, here are some options.....
* For their reguarbowl of kibble, break some of the freeze-drid food into kibble sized pieces. Take alittle less than the normal amoun of kibble offered. place it in a zip-lock plastic bag along with the freeze-dried piecees and crumbs/shredded meat. Start out with about 25% meat, 75% kibble. The mells will mix together. Keep in mind that the meat pieces need to be kible sized ir even smaller, and the shredded meats/ crumbs will make it a LOT more difficult for sam to avoid eating some meat. I'd start sering your kibble this way. Once Sam seems to accept this mix. change the mix to cra the amount of meat relative to kibble in the mix. The % meat to start with may be toomuch meat for some ferrets to deal with, so you may wan to star with less meat. If Sam is ot eating the mix, decrease the amount of die meat. The key here is to make it pretty much ipossible for Sam to pick out the kibble and leave the meat.
Continue to offer some meat treats in addition to the kibble.
You can also offer a small bowel of water with a couple drops of salmon/fish oil in it and/or a small amount of chicken or turkey baby food as an enrichment. Some picky ferrets like the fish oil immediately since many have been fed the Marshall farms food s a baby. Youmay want to off the this bowl during play time. But if you do, you'll want to put the smaller bowl in a low . flat pan, plastic tub, or carboard box if you ave carpeting....many ferrets like to play in their water dishes!
Th Dream trats can be made into great toys... just use a needle and thick, sturdy trhead/string to strng and tie the treat onto the threat. Start teasing your ferrets (epecially Sam) with their nre toy. Thetoy is even morintesting if you attach multipe treats in diferrent places in the string!
One of the things I noticed about frets is hat smaller food offerings are more likly to be sampled than lager helpings. They're also more likely to try soething from a finger tip or flat plate than from a bowl, which is deeper. I think the smell can be overwhelming when a newer food is offered in large quanitily, epecially if serve in a deep bowl. The odors proabably get overwhelming!
You can also offer the egg yolk with finely ground bit of meat . add a small amont of water to the yolk so it won't get too sticky. Keep those chicken bit minced for the initial feeings, and make sure the mixure is motly yolk to start with. Slit this between you 2 kids, and feed no more than 1 yolk per week to BOTh of your ferrets (To lariy , no more than 1/2 yolk per ferret per week!
Have fun, and let me know how things are going! Thanks!
Mr B won't eat yolk. Already tried that and he had to have a bath afterwards (none of it in his mouth) . But I will mix some of the freezed-dried chicken and kibble in a bag. That sounds like a great idea. I will also try the baby food and fish oil. I think I am going to try a little baby food with their kibble and see how that works since the water is not working. I think someone mentioned that before and I never went out to get the food (have to go shopping tonight so I will remember it this time). I will do it a couple of days one way and then add the other.
How much fish oil do I use and can I put it in their regular water bowl that is out all day long for them? This way they can get used to it.
I put the freezed-dried stuff on a plate not in a bowl. I want to get them used to the plate for when they actually switch over.
I have another question, I went and bought the majestic sprinkles from stinkweasels and I don't remember what I am supposed to do with it. Do I add water to it and turn it into a soup or paste or just mix it in their food bowl solid?
Last Edit: Jul 21, 2008 15:24:12 GMT -5 by mdcichy
Post by mustelidmusk on Jul 22, 2008 9:30:29 GMT -5
Fr the fish oil, I would not put it in their water all day long since they may avoid drinking the water and get dehydrated. Ferrets get dehydrated so easily. And if they're slightly dehydrated to begin with and they just happen to get sick, they'll already be dehydrated to begin with. Ferrets can be sensitive!
But you can leave some soup out or moistened kibble, etc. It's nt like leaving fish meat out, and it takes quite a while for the oil to get rancid.
I'd try offering a drop on your finger tip, then put some on their noe - just to see if they like it. Then, I'd mix about 2 drops per ferret 2 times per day (or 4 drops per ferret once a day) into baby food, soup , or moistened kibble.
A lot of people just get fish oil soft capsules from the supplements section at the grocery store and poke a whole on the capsule with a pin. STore any broken capsules (or bottles of liquid fish oil in the fridge.
With the egg youlk, I'd feed no more than 1 yolk for 2 ferrets each week. Short tern, a little more probably won't hurt, longer term , you don't want to overdo it. Same with the fish oil - if they really like it, a little extra short term as an enticement to try something new won't hurt. (but don't start soaking everything down!)
Have fun, and let me know how things are going. -jennifer
I will just leave everything the way I am going right now. I just bought the baby food so will try that for a little while then do the sprinkle soup for a little while and so forth. I'll let you know how they are doing. Talk to you in about a week and let you know how things are going. Have a great week!