Post by mustelidmusk on Aug 13, 2008 19:37:24 GMT -5
See how the cooked chicken goes with Sam.. Make the pieces about the size of kibble. If she refuses them, try rolling them in egg. serve some with egg on them only, and some with egg and then coat them with crushed kibble. You may also want to roll some with baby food and/or babyfood with crushed kibble. (I recall that the baby food was working for a while.)
put only a few pieces on the plate maybe 3 of each type. Use a flat saucer, and spread the pieces out.
How are your kids' weights doing??? If they're maintaining some weight, you may want to reduce the amount of kibble offered - especially at night. It would e great if that kibble bowl were empty in the morning with appetites readdy for some breakfast. Offering small amounts of kibble will give them something so they don't have to go 12 hours without food, but a little hunger will probably be required to get Sam going!
Also, I have another trick up my sleeve if this does not work..it's switching through freeze-dried foods. It's an easier switch, but its tougher on the check book for a while.
Another option is see how things go once the new boys arrive
I put a little bit of cooked chicken (6 or 7 pieces) on Mr B's treat tray last night and when I woke up this morning they were gone. So I put a hand full of the chicken on his tray again this morning. Sam smells it but that is it as far as she goes. I wish I could see if both of them are eating it. I have put no other treats on his tray so that he would eat this.
Mr B has lost alot of weight since starting this whole thing. I quit using the baby food just so he would eat. That is why I am pretty sure it is him eating it. The chicken I mean. He loves his chicken flavored treats. I will cook up some more tonight for him so he has a steady supply.
Sam is maintaining her weight so I am not worried about her. I will use the egg on a couple of pieces for her and see how that goes and also the crushed kibble pieces. I also bought some Kiwipeak so I could mix that in with their regular kibble so Sam gets used to more smells and texture. From what I have been told it is a soft food. Now they will be on the Wellness Core and Ziwipeak. I am done with the kitten food finally.
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that I put in their food bowl some Stage 3 baby food meat and Mr B ate it. I did not see it but it was always gone when I would look a couple of hours later. I know it was not Sam because I was watching her eat and she would eat around it. It looks like Sam will be the hard one to switch. Something will work though.
Post by mustelidmusk on Aug 14, 2008 19:00:38 GMT -5
Are you feeding dark chicken meat? It's much more nutritious than breast meat. Thighs have a lot of fat. If Mr B eats soup, heavy cream is good for adding weight , and most ferrets like it. A bout 1/4 - 1/2 tablespoon per ferrts is a good way to start. Yes, cream is dairy - but it has a whole lot less lactose than milk.
Since Mr B likes cooked food for now, he might like some Pingford's Porridge - it's cooked, and it mixes into a soup or can be sprinled on kibble. It's very fattening
I'll be curious about the ZiwiPeak, I've been meaning to try it. The Wysong's Archetypal I isn't hard like kibble either. It's more like peat moss with shredded bits and chunks that can be easily broken up.
I'n hoping Sam gets into the ZiwiPeak mixed with kibble - if it's freeze-dried, she may readily accept it.
I have given him the white meat. I will buy some thighs and wings and also some cream for both of them. I'll let you know how it all goes. Also with the Ziwipeak. I won't be getting to the store til Monday so I will get back to you next week. Have a great weekend, and again, thank you for all your help. You have no idea how much it means to have someone out there helping me with this.
Oh yeah, I tried the soupie mix and neither would touch it. Sam will if I spoon feed her, but I don't have the time to do that. If worse comes to worse I will somehow make the time.
Last Edit: Aug 15, 2008 15:20:57 GMT -5 by mdcichy
Post by mustelidmusk on Aug 15, 2008 20:41:35 GMT -5
Yoru're more than welcome for the help -I love to help people switch - it's fun to hear all the silly antics ferrets will pull on their owners They're so smart - they really know how to manipulate us
My kids went through a hand-feeding stage too. Eventually, they got away from that and wanted to eat like big boys and girls. The feeding dens really helped them become more independent with their eating habbits.
You have no idea how much it means to have someone out there helping me with this.
Oh Im sure she does Alot of the mentors on this board (myself included) really didnt have the one-on-one assistance when we were switching to raw that the HF newbies have today. We wanted to make sure others had an easier time switching to raw then we did. Hence the purpose of this section of the forum
Post by mustelidmusk on Aug 21, 2008 9:42:45 GMT -5
Good luck with the cooked chicken and other goodies. I'll be curious to see how things go with the addition of some new things to their diet. It's interesting that raw and cooked foods are mutually exclusive in terms of acceptance. It would be very convenient if the dried and cooked foods offer another option for transitioning to raw...the more avenues taken, the better. This is why the enrichment and introduction to new smellls (even non-food smells) is imprortanat. It trains ferrets to be more flexible and accepting of new things (food and other enrichments as well).
My husband is making me stop. He says it is too expensive to feed four. I have tried to tell him all the benefits to raw but he wants me to stop. Just as I was getting Mr B and Toby or Max, can't tell which one it is, to eat the cooked chicken. Mr B loves it.
Post by mustelidmusk on Aug 27, 2008 16:20:29 GMT -5
I'm sorry to hear this...but you can still save scraps from your meals - trimmed bits of chicken with cartilage skin and fat...giblets and neck if you buy a turkey, etc. Chop the tips off wings you eat for dinner- people don't eat those pointy wing tips anyway! If you have a good friend,, she may be willing to collect scraps in the freezer for you too.
You can also save eggshells and grind them very finely. Save up various tidbits and unspiced/unsalted meat juices, collect them into a cottage cheese container along with the meat scraps in the freezer. Then you can make some soup as a treat!
The longer your ferrets are exposed to meat, the more readily they will eat it. The transition period can be the most expensive since we often try all kinds of extra goodies to entice our ferrets to eat. But once they start to enjoy the meat, you don't need a lot of extras. It's possible to work up to a reasonable balance of kibble and scrap meats that won't even affect the household budget (in fact, you'll save on kibble plus wear and tear on the garbage disposal! Even one meaty meal per week is worth while. Both you and your ferrets will enjoy the enrichments and benefits.
You can also stay on this thread and drop in with questions any time. All diets we feed are compromises, and we all have constraints. So, rather than giving up completely, go for the scrap meats!
I'll do that. I like the scraps idea. At least I still get to give them some meat. I normally cut off the fat, now I won't. Thanks for the idea. I have no intentions of leaving the site. I will still check in to see whats going on with everyone. I will definitely ask questions if I have any. Talk to you later.
I decided to make the raw a supplemental choice. This way they still get their cooked meat and fat. Like I told Guili, I thought this was an all or nothing deal. I am glad to know I can go this way and hopefully slowly ease my husband into it.
Can I give them seasoned chicken or this a bad idea? What about food that has BBQ sauce? Like chicken and possibly burgers and pork chops? My husband cooks on the grill alot and this would be a good thing to know. Or should I clean it of as much BBQ sauce as I can? I don't want them to be hurt in any way.
Post by Forum Administrator on Sept 1, 2008 15:48:55 GMT -5
No seasoned foods. No BBQ. Just stick with plain, raw meaty items. You can give cooked but they are far less nutritious then raw (cooking destroys ALOT of nutrients). Just cut off the bits of food you plan to feed them BEFORE you cook the food