Post by mustelidmusk on Feb 16, 2009 12:17:55 GMT -5
This is wonderful progress. It's good to see them leaving a bit of kibble....if they were not getting enough to eat, the kibble would be gone. But keep an eye on their weight. It's normal for some ferrets to drop a little weight when switching diets, but we want to make sure they're eating enough to mainatin a healthy weight.
You can also try adding little bits of liver , heart, etc. for variety.
I'm really impressed with how well your ferrets are doing - I can't beleive they're being so flexible
I fed raw ground rabbit in duck soup for both meals. I didn't puree it this time so the raw pieces are still identifiable. That wasn't a big hit for Hestia and Nereus. Bronwyn and the baby ate a bunch of it.
The ziwipeak and kibble mix at lunch was eaten mostly by Hestia and Nereus. The baby ate some of the ziwipeak. She really likes that brand and we use it to find her when she is out and about now.
PM-Same meal. Bronwyn and baby ate most of it again. They also ate some of the cat's food while they were running around.
I tried to feed un-pureed ground chicken/turkey mix today. They all ate it but I could tell Hestia and Nereus were not as happy with it. Hestia is definitly a foodie and enjoys every minute of food. She kept taking bites and would lay down to stare at me.
PM-Same meal but I added AFS Majestic Sprinkles. They all ate it again. Nereus was a little bit more excited about it. I'm not sure if it was the sprinkles or if he was finally hungry enough to eat an actual meal. He didn't eat much of the afternoon kibble mix today.
AM meal was chunky ground soup with lamb chunks added. Bronwyn and the baby were all about the lamb. The baby did give up a little and ate some soup too. Hestia and Nereus picked through breakfast and only ate the really mushy stuff.
PM-Same meal. Nereus started eating the lamb pieces and stopped after 3. He started eating all of the soup instead. Hestia ate begrudgingly. Bronwyn and the baby ate half to themselves.
Sorry about the late posts for 2 days. I record this in a book and usually get on here and post the update shortly after. I somehow forgot to do that. Jessica
Post by mustelidmusk on Feb 18, 2009 21:49:00 GMT -5
Hi! No apolgies required for the late replies...I have my buy times as well esides, you're spending time o the important stuffby being very consistent and dilligent with your feeding program, which is what really counts!
It's good that you're mixing in different meats. Thake notes on what the picky eaters like - it's good to be able to use some "goodies" to help entice them to eat new things like organ meats. Some ferrets just love organ meats while others can be very finicky about eating them.
If you hand feed one ot two meat tidbits to each of the picky eaters when theyre hungry (before you feed them their meal), they'll hopefully associate the food with a hand-fed treat!
I know it's difficult to get the "sad looks" when they're hoping for junk food, but beleive it or not, they'll start liking the raw meats. Yo may want to offer a small amount of liver or heart in with their mix. And, since your kids know that meat is food, you probably want to cut back on any soup it the mix so they won't be focusing on their favor part of the meal. Soup is very tastey, so hopefully your kids will find organ meats more flavorful. My ferrets don't really care for chicken breast since it's so bland!
Keep an eye on their weights. Most ferrets do slim down a bit on raw diet - they tend to carry more lean muscle than kibble-fed ferrets, but we don't want anybody getting too skinny because they're learning to like new foods. We can add some fats to keep this from happening.
You're lucky you're getting only dirty looks. Some ferrets have been so annoyed with the whole idea of raw food that we've actually had some hiss at their moms over the raw meat
I assume the digestion isn't perfect, but ne sure to let me know if the stools get pretty funky. Some funkieness is to be expected, but we don't want "the runs" or extremel grainy, watery or green poops!
AM--I thickened up the soup and made it mostly small chunks of red meat(I think it was venison?) I didn't read the package before I tossed it for meals today. It had smaller patties in it so I made slits in 1 and fed that to Bronwyn. She was disgusting afterward--She was shaking the blood all over herself while eating. She managed to clean herself up pretty well though. Nereus ate some chunks and gave up after about 5-6. Hestia smelled her food and promptly climbed back into her hammock and glared some more. The baby ate it up.
Is it normal for all of their poos to be different? Nereus is very slimy looking but still brown. Baby has very graining yellow-brown(looks like large sand grains) and Hestia / Bronwyn both have what I know as your typical ferret poo. Bronwyn is slightly more solid looking.
Only fed a dried patty for lunch. They all nibbled a little but didn't eat a whole meal.
PM--I pureed some chicken liver and mixed it with their meat pieces for dinner. Much to my surprise Hestia actually ate chunks! Nereus wasn't as impressed by it. The baby(I really need to name her) watched everybody for a few minutes before eating it. Bronwyn had a whole sliver(.5in by 1in) eaten in less than 5 minutes but was more than happy to eat the rest of her meal.
Post by mustelidmusk on Feb 20, 2009 9:51:54 GMT -5
I assume that the venison was a commercial frozen meat? Sometimes the patties can be very dry/sticky. I actually find that my kids will reject them sometimes unless I mix a bit of water with them...and yes, it's no longer chunky at that point. I find the lamb a venison commercial frozen foods to be drier than the chicken.
As long as they are eating the chicken chunks, I would not worry about making the drier patties a little mushier.
Also, another thing you can do is add a little bit of heavy cream to the new flavors that they don't seem to like. most ferrets like the taste of heavy cream - mix it in well. Use the HEAVY creanm since it has less lactose, which causes loose stool.
Yes, it's normal for ferrets to have different poop reactions to various foods.....you can try using enzymes and pro-biotics to help with dibestion.
I gotta run right now, but I'll post some info on this later on today. SOme people find this helps, and other don't believ its all that effective.
It wasn't commercial food. Our neighbor is from Wyoming and his family all hunts. They overnighted a huge box of different meats and they couldn't fit it all in their freeze and didn't think they'd eat most of it. So, we got some free food!
It was a piece of meat that was cut into a small piece about the size of a sausage patty. The whole bag was cut like that. I'm sure it was all a particular part because I looked at the other bags of venison and they all say a different part.
AM chunky mix of goat and pheasant meats. Still small kibble sized pieces. Bronwyn and the baby(really need to get a name for her) ate at least half. Nereus picked through the meat and ate mostly pheasant. Hestia smelled it, licked a piece and climbed into her hammock.
Lunch-Freeze dried patty. The baby ate it but I didn't see anyone else.
PM-I tried to remove the lunch mix and Hestia was eating it. I gave her a new patty and she ate that for dinner. Everyone else ate the AM mix. Nereus picked out mostly goat this time. Bronwyn and the baby ate really good again.
Post by mustelidmusk on Feb 22, 2009 19:36:10 GMT -5
Hi! Our computer got a virus, and we just got it back in working order. What a pain!
About the enzymes and probiotics.... The most readily available enzymes are plant -based , from either papaya (papain) or pineapple (bromelain or something similar). Th enzymes break down protiens, The most effective way to use these enzymes is to put them on the meats a few hour before the meat is fed. I put meat to be fed for a meal in a small plastic tub for thawing. At that time, I sprinkle the meat with the enzymes and allow the meat to thaw overnight in the fridge. I then mix the enzymes in with the meat before I serve the meal. I sometimes sprinkle a little more on the meat, mix it in, and allow it to sit for about 1/2 hour befpure serving. This helps break down rhe meat for easier abosroption of nutrients. The pineappe-based stuff is a little more potent than the papaya stuff.
If you use the probiotics, try to find refrigerated products that cotain acidophilis and bifidus (I think my spelling might be pretty far off on these ) I prefer to feed the probiotics between meals with a bit of oil or soup. The seem to be more effective on my kids when fedbetween meals. This isn't always feasible, so a lot of times the probios go in with the meal.
Sme people believe that the probios are wasted on ferrets claiming that the stuff goes through too fast to be utilized. Other people swear the probios hlp their ferrets.
Prozymes provides a mix of the enzymes and the probitics and is supposed to be a good brand. When my kids wer switching, I fed them a brand call RXbiotics, but I think it's perscription. - I get it from a vet that practices integrative medicine. I also gave them vetzimes V2 for the enzymes.
If you're feeding wild game, I recommend freezing the meats rock solid for 3 weeks prior to feeding it in raw form. This practice kills any parasites that may be in the meats (although it does not kill bacteria and/or viral germs)
If you have any chicken wings, cut the tips off and then cut the tips lengthwise into long, thinner strips...sometimes introducing something even tougher than the meat chunks makes the meat chunks seem easier to chew - its all relative. If the wing tips work out and dsappear, you can try feeding the next segment back from the wing tip. The tip is mostly cartilage, but the segment of the wing right behind the tip has two thin bones...you cansplit this in half lengthwise as well - there will be two long , thinner bones that are good for starting to work on bone. A lot of times, the ferrets will eat only the ends of the boes. The ends are softer than the long bone.
Again, introduction of something that's more challenging may trick the soup-lovers into eating chunks since bone is even harder than meat chunks.
I'm betting that the younger ferts eat the wing tips!
I fed a tray of mixed meat chunks(chicken, turkey and beef). Bronwyn and the baby ate it up. Nereus picked out the beef. Hestia only ate after everyone else left the cage. She ate a few bites and went to sleep.
Lunch--ground up turkey with nothing else. Hestia ate it. The baby ate a good size portion.
PM--Same as breakfast with added eggshell powder. Same results as breakfast meal.
AM--I separated Bronwyn and the baby out and fed them some larger sized chunks(quarter sized) of rabbit. They ate all of it. Hestia and Nereus ate smaller sized pieces of rabbit.
PM--Same meal. Hestia ate the most I've ever seen but I think its because she wasn't eating as much the last few days and hunger won over. Nereus ate as much as Bronwyn and baby put away a nice portion.
Post by mustelidmusk on Feb 24, 2009 9:59:20 GMT -5
Are all your kids eating chunks of meat only now? They're all doing ver well.
To provide a balanced diet, you need to start working on adding the bone and organ meat to provide a balanced diet with raw meaty bones. The proprotions you'll need to adhere to are listed below:
4 parts rmb (raw meaty bones are half meat, half bone) 2 parts meat chunks without bone 1 part organ meats (approx. 1/4-1/3 liver and the rest is other organs)
Some people choose to feed 4 days of rmb, 2 days meat chunks, and 1 day of organ meats to balance the diet out over the course of the week.
Others balance the meal for each ay. One thing you'll need to keep an eye on witha raw meaty bones iet is to make sure all ferrets are eating all parts of the diet (for example, one ferret may be avoiding bones ) With a commercial frozen diet (or freeze-dried) the balance is provided in the mix, and the mexes are ground up so there's less worry about selective eating (i.e., having a ferret that's not eating something ).
Your doing extremely well with your ferts! start working on ome organ meats and bone. It's best if you can move you kids to a balanced feeding sooner rather than later.
Here's a tip...my kids usually have one day a week where they eat less. This is normal. I typically feed them ony freeze-dried raw one day per week. By the end of the day, the freeze-dried is gone, and they get a little more for the evening. By morning, they 're ready for a big breakast. This approach keeps them from becomng selective about what they eat. One of my girls was terrible about eating bone before I started this approach. If you don't want to feed freeze-dried raw, you can still have a day of light eating.
I ordered Natures Variety commercial diet and it arrived today so I fed everyone that today. Bronwyn and the baby ate it with zero problems. Nereus ate a little bit. Hestia didn't like the whole medallion thing so I smooshed it up. She licked at it then.
PM-Same meal with the same results. I ended up putting in a little soup mix for Hestia before I went to bed made with a medallion and a few pieces of kibble.