All three quite enjoy the soupy. Its a real soupy with egg shell powder, chicken hearts and gizzards, chicken meat, and a small cube of beef. I also added a squirt of ferretone. All three are currently eating it upstairs.
The cats got a few cubes of raw beef. Ramman was all over it. Tyran and Miki were not as impressed. So, if I want to switch them to raw completely, should I stop feeding them kibble? I have a few pouches of wet food I can give them. I currently just keep their bowl full. Whenever its empty I fill it.
Post by Forum Administrator on Oct 11, 2008 22:15:24 GMT -5
With ferrets (that are non-insulinomic and healthy) you can afford to withold their food for about 24 hours. However, with cats you should *never* withold food because they can sucumb to hepatic lipidosis. For your stubborn kitties the smartest thing to do is to switch them from kibble to CANNED food. Work on that for now. Once we get them eating canned we will switch them to raw.
To get them to switch from kibbled to canned look up tips on google, you will find alot of helpful info. Be sure they eat something EVERY DAY during the transition to canned food. You may have to mix the canned and kibble, and that is just fine. Go slow and steady, this way the cats dont go into self imposed "starvation" mode.
I decided just to throw the turkey neck in with all three ferrets and see what happens. Twitch didn't start eating it until the other two had started chewing for a while but Damien and Lilith loved it. When my fiance checked on them this morning, he said the entire thing was devoured. He said all meat and bone was gone and that Twitch was busy knawing on a piece of bone. So turkey necks are ferret approved. Since there are three ferrets, is one turkey neck good for the three of them, or should I give them two?
Tonight is chicken wings, 1 each. I might try giving the cats some too.
The ferrets dove right in on the chicken wings. Twitch and Damien argued over the biggest one for a bit but instead of interfering, we just let them figure it out. After a few seconds of screaming at each other with each holding one side of the wing, they seperated and each went to eat their own wing.
The cats enjoyed the chicken wing. They got to use their back teeth which they don't get to use while eating kibble. They kept trying to tear off pieces of chicken with their front teeth and they had to learn to use their back teeth to cut the meat off the bone. Tyran kept making cute faces because she was so excited. In the end, there was only a little chicken at either end of the wing. I left the bone in their bowl for them to knaw on. When I went to feed them this morning, I could not find the bone but I figure they've stashed it somewhere. In the ferret's cage, there was nothing left of the three wings. They ate them up, bone and all. Now that the ferrets are eating meat and bone, I was thinking of trying to try them on whole prey by introducing them to mouse pinkies. I'll have to get some on Tuesday.
All three cats will eat wet food no problem. Actually the prefer it. Since I should not withhold food from cats, should I leave wet food out 24hrs a day?
Tonight's meal is turkey neck. I'm probably going to cut the meat off the bone unless its ok to give to the ferrets.
Set up two meals a day for the cats. No more free feeding for the kittys. They will probably be POed about the set meal times, but they'll survive
Turkey neck is okay for the ferrets and kitties, just cut the neck into circular segments (at the joints) and then if you need to you can cut those segments in half (into half circles) and lay them flat on a plate. Dont cut them any smaller then that as they pose a choking hazard if too small.
Post by Forum Administrator on Oct 13, 2008 13:19:46 GMT -5
Well I'm thrilled to hear that the kitties and ferrets dove onto the chicken wings! That is great! Did ALL the ferrets and ALL the kitties eat the wings? If so, then you dont have to worry about the wet food for the cats. You can offer the cats two raw meals per day.
Now, before we move onto whole prey lets get them on a nice balanced raw feeding schedule. Aim to feed:
Raw Meaty Bones (atleast) 4 days per week (can be fed daily if you desire) (things like raw chicken wings, legs, thighs, rabbit legs, turkey necks, oxtails. Any small, edible bone. No beef bones or turkey leg bones!)
Boneless muscle meat 2 days per week (things like boneless hunks of raw beef, pork, lamb, etc)
Organ meat 1 day per week (liver is very important, then if you can find it also try to add kidney, heart, gizzards, and whatever other organs are available----"sweetbreads/thymus", pancreas, etc" check out ethnic grocery stores and butchers. I like to also feed a raw chicken neck or a whole raw egg on organ day to provide fiber (from the shell or bone) so that they dont have super runny poop from the rich organ meat.
Now your goal for this week is to let everyone practice eating their raw meaty bones. Also, i want you to let them try chicken wings, legs, and thighs. You want to vary the raw meaty bone you feed because each one varies in nutrient composition. For example, wings are very boney and high in cartalidge, and thighs are very meaty, kind of fatty, and high in taurine. Its important to vary what you feed so there isnt any deficiency. Feed ATLEAST 3 types of meat per week (like chicken, beef, pork, you get the idea) but if you can feed a different meat each day, then by all means go ahead! Take it slow and introduce things gradually. Dont be discouraged if they turn their noses up at a new food.
So try them on a few new raw meaty bones, then gradually incorporate the organ meat and the boneless meat. Once you get them started on eating a variety of raw foods, based on a balanced schedule, I will have you post your schedule. Then I'll review it, tweak it (if needed) and well get your kiddos started on whole prey Sound good? Keep me posted and if you have any questions just let me know.
Thanks so much! Tonight they are getting turkey necks and boneless beef. Tomorrow I am going to the butcher up the street to see what kind of stuff I can get. I'm going to get as much of a variety as possible.
We never got the chance to go. I plan on going tomorrow though before work. Its literally within walking distance from home and I was going to go tonight but my fiance's doctors appointment ran late. We shall see what we find tomorrow.
Well between 3 ferrets and 2 obsessive cats (they are becoming obsessed over this raw diet.), they put away half a pound of beef. The cats would not leave me alone. When I came into the room, their eyes went big and they followed me around and attempted to climb my legs. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I think I'm actually teaching my cat to sit. When Ramman kept trying to get in my lap to get to the beef, I pushed him aside and told him to sit and held the meat above his head. He sat down and I gave him the morsel of meat. I repeated this several times until he could be standing and I'd tell him to sit, and he'd sit on command. It was wonderful.
I gave a wean rat to Twitch to see if she'd eat it. I turned around to feed the cats for about five minutes and went back to check on her and I can't find the rat. I looked all over the cage and I know I heard her crunching the bones. So she will take whole prey. She is the most excited out of all the ferrets. She remembers what this is and she can't be happier about it. She's the first to the door of the cage for mealtime.
Tomorrow I'm going to the butcher. Lets hope I can find some good stuff. I need to stock up for the rest of the week now that the cats are eating raw too.
Also, is it ok to feed the cats exactly what the ferrets are having...just more of it? Like last night, everyone got turkey necks and raw chicken. The cats didn't do much with the turkey neck. I'm not sure they've mastered the art of chewing it off the bone. The ferrets, however are all over the turkey necks. They stripped two of them down to the bones and then began chewing on the bones. I was wanting to type out a menu plan for am feedings and pm feedings for the week and it would be easy for everyone to be eating the same thing. Is this ok?
Post by Forum Administrator on Oct 15, 2008 13:21:37 GMT -5
Yes, its perfectly okay to feed the cats what the ferrets are eating. Monitor the kitties to make sure they aren't putting on extra lbs. If they are, cut back the amount of food you are feeding. It will take some "tweaking" to figure out how much to feed the cats (they might get a little to chubby or a little to skinny) but you will get the hang of it eventually. For the ferrets feed them as much as they will eat. For the cats, have two set meal times and start them out with a palm sized piece of meat per meal and then adjust amounts as needed if you see excess weight gain or loss.
As for typing out a menu plan, yes that is perfect. when you do come up with a plan, please post it here and I can review it and help you make any needed adjustments so everyone is getting a balanced diet.
As for the cats and the turkey neck, ferrets seem more comfortable tackling bigger, denser bones then cats do. For some reason cats are really finicky about larger bones. Turkey necks might be too big for the kitties, try them on chicken wings, chicken necks (as snacks only!), chicken thighs and drumsticks, as well as cornish game hen (its like a tiny chicken, with small, edible, easy to crunch bones----you can cut through the bones with a pair of saftey scissors, so as you can see, its really easy for the animals to eat ).
I'm happy to yhear that twitch took to whole prey! That is wonderful! I am so proud! Keep up the great work and keep working with her.
I dont know if you are familiar with Rodentpro.com but I highly recommend them. That is where I buy all my whole prey from. The shipping costs are a pain, BUT you usually wont find cheaper prey anywhere else (even when you factor in the cost of shipping). Check em out.
I plan on breeding my own feeders for the most part. I'm breeding rats, mice, and gerbils right now. I can get quail, guinea pigs, rabbits, and chicks from them though. Once I buy a house though I'll be breeding those as well.