I fed medallions again. It had the same results as yesterday. I smashed them all today and added an egg.
PM--Same results as yesterday again. Hestia broke down and ate an actual meal this time.
Hestia is still holding out as long as she can for meals but in the end does eat enough to sustain her. Should I be worried about this? I don't know if I should just keep it up and let her learn to eat it(since she at least eats a little) or should I make her soup at night or something?
Post by mustelidmusk on Feb 26, 2009 22:56:57 GMT -5
OWIE!!!! I hope your wisdom teeth go well. It's god t get tat over with since those things seem to cause more problems than they're worth.
Unless Hestia is losing weight and getting too skinny, I would keep her on the same schedule as the others. She might be a little picky on any given day , but she chows down the following day. As long as her weight is good and she continues to eat well every other day, I would not be worried. The problem with giving a little soup is that she'll start holding out even more if she learns that soup will be coming.
One of my brats who used to be very picky will now over-eat... her little tummy gets stretched out like a balloon - she sometimes has to go lie down like after a big Thanksgiving dinner.
It sounds like everything is going well. Just keep an eye on Hestia's weight. Which Medallion are you feeding?
Also, good luck with the wisdom teeth. I hope it goes pretty easy for you. Just do all the stuff they tell you to do -when I had mine done years ago, they said that risng the mouth out with warm salt water was a good thing to so - tasted yucky, but it does have a cleansing and healing effect.
Wisdom teeth actually went pretty good. I didn't expect it to be so easy when all 4 were impacted, 1 was pinching off a nerve too. I was able to eat real food the next day but the antibiotics have been making me puke--Not so fun. Salt water was their #1 recommendation. I have to do it even after they remove the stitches later this week. It really did make it feel better afterward--I thought it would burn.
My husband has been taking care of the animal meals the last few days so they had a minor set back in diet. He leaves at 4 am so everyone got a mix of ziwipeak, evo cat and red meat evo for dogs. He fed them the medallions at night when he got home. He didn't write anything down but said the medallions were mostly gone every morning and that the kibble mix was picked clean of the ziwipeak but was still pretty full.
I'm pretty sure Hestia was eating the kibble. I fed them medallions this morning and she glared at me and climbed under her blankets. When I let them out after breakfast she burrowed into the couch and I haven't seen her since. (That problem is being resolved soon! Ordered a new sofa they can't climb inside and this one is on its way out!) Everyone else at the meat without a fight.
Post by mustelidmusk on Mar 4, 2009 9:38:02 GMT -5
I'm really glad to hear that the teeth are going pretty well. The antiboitics can be really tough. ...if you're getting sick on them, they may be able to change the perscription to a different one??? It might be worth asking.
Good news with the feeding in that you have only one little kibble pig in your crew! Hestia can pout and glare all she wants, but she'll return to eating the raw. Hestia must be the "little princess" of the group. There's one in every group. My Kachina girl is my princess .
Just stick by your guns with the raw and wtch Hestia's weight...I'm beting she pouts but starts back on the raw without too much trouble....just a lot of Princess behavior!
Post by mustelidmusk on Mar 7, 2009 12:14:02 GMT -5
I can't post more than a few sentences at a time since the computer is wiping everything out! STill having computer issues...hence, the absences! Many apologies!
Anyway...the AFS is de and harder than the Stella and Chewy's patties and/or the Wysongs. Misteing the pattie is fine. You can moiten them less and less over time so they'll eventually eat them dry.
For your situation, you may want to adopt a feeding plan similar to what I do....fresh/wet raw commercial diet 2 times per day under supervision with freeze-dried raw available for snacking during the day and evening - the bowl does not need to have food in it 7x24 between meals unless you have a ferret that has insulinom nd/or some other health issues. SOme people mix a little high-quailty kibble in with the freeze-dried raw. My personal opinion is that a little kibble is probably not going to be a big issue in fact, it's possible that the addition of a litle kibble may be beneficial since vitamins/minerals are fortified to make up for nutrient loss caused by the cooking process. One thing is for ertain, a good kibble is better than a bad/unbalanced/incomplete raw diet.
Need to post before the computer nukes this -AGAIN! -jennifer
*Done with antibiotics. By the time I could get a new prescription, I only had 2 pills for the last day so I just put up with it. Teeth are awesome, irrigating the holes is kinda gross feeling*
Sorry I haven't posted. The empty apartment below us caught on fire in the middle of the night so we're playing musical chairs while getting a new one. It killed all of the equipment for our internet as well so its been fun. They told us today we'll probably get to keep our current one so hopefully we don't have to move!
Everyone has been eating well. Nereus is starting to actually look like a boy compared to the rest of them--He was so small. His weight gain is a bit weird--it started on his back end and worked its way up so right now he has a tiny little head and a hefty body He has started to develop these pouches on the sides of his neck--it reminds me of a hamster pouch with no food in it. Is that normal? I think it may just be from the strange way he is adding weight.
Hestia is definitely not a princess--she is the QUEEN and won't accept lesser treatment. I think I am winning her over though. She has been eating the natures variety foods alright. I have started leaving in dried food mixed with a tiny bit of the EVO we still have. I saw her dropping kibble for the freeze dried stuff.
Post by mustelidmusk on Mar 7, 2009 12:47:07 GMT -5
I'm trying to add more to the bove post - let's hope the computer behaves!
The other thing I wanted tomention is that when you feed the unbalanced foods by adding the chunks of meat, etc to the feeding plan, you'll either need to limit these "treats" to no more thatn 5 % of the overall feeding program, our you'll need to balance out the meat chunks with bone and organ meats. I personally find it difficult to locate variety in organ meats, etc. so I stick to "treat mode" (5% or less of the overall diet) with the non-commercial foods I feed.
This has worked well for me, and 3 of my 4 kids turn 4 this month. I had complete blood workups on these 3 as "baseline" infomation ince they are getting older. All 3 had stellar bloodwork. (My "baby" ferret wllget bloodwork when he turns 4) None of my ferrets have been sick other than an occasional digestive upset, which is common for ferrets. (They actually had more issues on kibble.)
If you decide to try to balance out the "treats", you can use some finely ground eggshell for this (I have one of those small 2-cup food processors that whips this up in no time). But, if you go with 10% or more of the diet being raw meaty bones, organs, etc., you will need to feed real bone since it has fats and protiens that are not contained in eggshell. In short, I usually stick to meat trimmings from my cooking, use eggshell and liver. And I keep to the 5% or less so I don't have to worry about balance.
How is Hestia doing? Has she re-adjusted to the raw?
Hestia has pretty much re-adjusted. The morning feedings I still get glares but she will eat it after everyone else has cleared out.
I have been feeding commercial raw because it is less of a hassle to feed all the critters. I stopped the RMBs all together because I hate the clean up and worrying that my daughter will get it. Since I started the natures variety raw I haven't had as much "tracking and stashing" of food around the house. I have also ordered some of the whole ground meats from Hare Today that have bones and organs included. I think I'm going to stick with them because overall the cost is cheaper than the natures variety for the amounts I feed. I am also going to keep a mix of dried and EVO in the cage. I think it will be okay now that Hestia is at least eating some raw as opposed to her zero tolerance before.
I love the fact that their poo is getting more solid. It is really annoying and a pain to clean the poo puddles they were all leaving when they were first brought home.
I think we are getting really close to not being a full on mentored group!!!
Post by mustelidmusk on Mar 9, 2009 16:57:34 GMT -5
Hi! If your'e sticking with the commercial ground diest, then you really don't need to teach your kids to eat raw meaty bones. The only drawback is that their teeth may not be as clean. I remedy this by cleaning their teeth about 4 times per year ( but I do feed ome raw meaty bones). I just scruff them and scrape off any tartar with a dental tool. You may need to clean more often. I have a weekely routine of checking teeth, nails, ears, etc on a weekly basis. If I see any build-up, I scrape it off . Here's the other trick...I usually clean only one side of the mouth in any given cleaning session. That way the ferrets tolerate the "abuse" .
You'll notice that teeth stay a whole lot cleaner when no kibble is fed....the sugars in kibble stick to teeth like glue. Another tip that helps is feeding freeze-dried raw treats that are kind of tough and chewy. Jerky-like meats work well on teeth , and my kids love those dried treats. I usually give them each a a piece after each meal (ferret breath mints? )
From what I hear, Hare Today has fresher commercial diet than Nature's Variety. I just buy the NV because I can get it locally (convenience is a good thing in my case!)
When using frozen diets (even whole prey), the nutrients degade over time when frozen. I recommend giving a little extra liver and heart meats a couple times per week. In your case, I recommend chopping them into small pieces and mixing them in with with the ground food. I also mix about 2-5 drops of either fish oil (salmon or sardine oil, but not cod liver oil) into their food at least once a day. I use more oil when I'm not including the liver and/or heart. If you hate the fish oil thing, you can use flax seed oil. The refrigerated kind is superior to non-refrigerated. Keep all oils refrigerated. The other alternative to frozen organ meats is reeze-dried versions. Freeze-dried actually degrades lees over time than the frozen. I think hare today may carry some freeze-diried organ meats as well. Always keep in mind that anything a ferret can pick up and carryy away will probably end up under the sofa a couple imes per week . But, you can always moisten and chop the freeze-dried meats and mix them in with meals as necessary.
Also, the only other recommendation is to mix a capsule of taurine into their food several days per week. You can even do this daily since the body eliminates any extra that is not used. We don't know what the ferret's taurine requirement is. But cats wil die on a rabbit-only diet (frozen) since rabbit is low in taurine and taurine degrades when frozen. Since ferrets are obligate carnivores like cats, we asume ferrets need taurine as well.
More poop tips...the poop thing usually continues to improve over a fairly long period of time. The ground egg shell helps when things get a little yucky. But let's face it, we're feeding ground raw meat. And like hamburger, the ground meat can harbor more bacteria - and the amount of bacteria in each batch of food will vary as will each ferret's immune response depending on stress, exposure, etc. So every once in a while, one of my brats might get some "yucky poops" that persist in spite of the egg shell. When this happens, I try some laxatone with a couple days with colloial silver. This has saved me a few vet trips over the years. (Of course, any severe diarrhea, especially if couple with a ferret that does not feel well, requires a trip to the vet.) I posted a thread about this (I think I might have already told you about it ) under the Medical section - the thread is called "Homeopathic Poop Protocol".
It sounds like everything is going really well for you with your feeding program. In fact, I haven't even had to give any real help - just a few tips and recommendations regarding things I've discovered about my kids - and all ferrets are different!!!!
If you plan to stick with a commercial raw/dreeze-dried diet, then there is no official "graduation". With the Raw meaty bone approach, eating big chunks of meat, organs, bones can be a big hurdle for some ferrets. Plus, you need to develop a feeding schedule, etc. to ensure a balanced diet. In many respects, the commercial raw feeding program offers quite a few benefits, although it is less natural. As always, Please let me know if you have any qustions about anything.
You are very close to taking off on your own since you've clearly achieved the following goals: 1. Al of your kids are eating raw diet consistently. (Nobody's holding out, although you may still get a few dirty looks here and there! 2. You're offering a complete, well-balanced diet with no need to include raw meaty bones, feeding schedules, etc. 3. You've arrived at a feeding solution that works well for you and your family members (nothing rotting under the couch!!!) 4. Your ferret are having no health issues with the diet. 5. They are eating a variety of meats to ensure a good mix of nutrients 6. You unerstand about the risks with frozen foods (nutrient degredation) as well as some options for filling in any potential nutrient gaps. 7. This seems to be working well for you.
At this point, I'm here for you until you feel comfortable without a mentor. Here are a few option on how we can move forward.... 1. I can keep working with you until feel you have no need for regular mentoring
2. You can "practice" your feeding methods over a targeted timeframe (such as the next 2 weeks?) without needing to post unless you have a quetion or issue. If all dgoes well, you can "graduate" at the end of that timeframe.
3. If you feel you're ready to be on your own now, that's an option as well.
In your case (commercial raw feeder), graduating means we close this thread. But, there are sections on the forum for posting questions, and you can ALWAYS PM me or any other mentor directly if you have any questions or concerns. So you're never really on your own . We're always here!!!
Just let me know where you feel you're at with this, and we'll proceed accordingly!
Post by mustelidmusk on Mar 19, 2009 8:32:03 GMT -5
Sorry to hear that the flu hit your household - that's dreadful. It also seems like the the newer strains of flu hang on forever. It's been a very dry year hear in Colorado, and we've seen less flu than usual - but it's starting to pick up the pace. I'm hoping we get lucky and it skips us.
Sounds like your babies are doing great. You'll find that your ferts will probably ignore the kibble for the most part! When you're feeling better, be sure to read my previous post - I think you're pretty well switched over to raw So we can figure out how you want to proceed with the mentoring.
Take care and get good rest. You don't want this flu coming back! -jennifer
Sorry about my latest disappearance. The storms here in OK fried our modem so we were without internet for a while. Power was coming and going for a while and somehow that was the only thing that was ruined. (not that I'm complaining since our rental insurance doesn't cover "acts of God" and we'd have to pay for everything) Then it took forever to get a new one since our internet company had to replace A LOT of them and ran out so we were on the waiting list. Fun stuff I tell ya.
I have been trying something new with their feeding. They are still eating whole ground meats. I bought a dehydrator and ran out of things to dry out. So, I took some of the meat we were given(that the fert kids were originally eating) and dried that up. I found that Hestia loves it that way as a treat. Bronwyn and the baby(finally named her Audra) eat pieces if you have it when they are running by. Nereus will eat it at any opportunity. Do you think its okay to let them eat it? I cut it up so when it dries out it is about the size of a kibble piece. I was thinking about possibly removing the EVO from their staple mix. They all tend to pick around it for the most part. It also has ZiwiPeak and a mix of the freeze dried stuff.
Other than that, everyone has been eating raw foods. Hestia still puts up the occassional stink about it--but I think its more for show now. She actually gets up to eat now. She used to wake up and stare at the kibble bowl for a half an hour before eating. Now she eats in 5 minutes or so.