Ok, I will try to remove the kibble when I have my days off this week.
We gave Solo his meat chunks yesterday morning, and by the time I got home at 10pm it was gone. Scott and I both worked late last night, and I had a screaming migraine when I got home, so we had to just give kibble to everyone. We're back on the meat this morning, though.
I think we might have to introduce Jabba to the meat by turning it into a game. He's really big on stealing things and playing tug of war, so if we hold onto a piece, and let him pull at it until he wins, he might be so proud of himself that he eats it, lol. Once we get him to try it, I think we will be ready to remove the kibble for good. Then it will be a matter of trying different kinds of meat snacks!
Right now we're sticking with chicken and pork, because those seem to be the mildest and easiest to feed, and also, easiest to get from the grocery store. Once I get off this 8 day stretch of working, I want to see if I can find a butcher in my area. If I can make a deal with him to pick up scraps once a week or so, I can just store a variety of meats in the freezer.
tuga war is a great game for ferts its how I got JD eating wings Just remember to check the stash spots unles you like natural jerky Another fun thing you can do to get them used to differnt things is each day when you are playing with them is to introduce them to a differnt smell .I put a dab of something on my fonger tipd then would pick them up play with them and made sure they smelled my finger tips it is a great bonding fun to as well the reactions are funny , you will know when they love something or hate it pretty quickly. I used everything from vanilla extract to purfume . after a few weeks they actually look forword to seeing what new smell will be on your hands or in them . fun for enrichment as well as trust. use your imagination a simple flower or dirty rag also can give several new smells .
keep up the good work I know its not easy and gets frustrating at times specaily when you have limited free time
Things are not going well with the "cold turkey" switch. Yesterday morning and yesterday evening, I gave the older 3 the same size portion that Solo eats in one sitting, and 12 hours later, it was hardly touched. This morning, I mixed some hamburger with kitten milk to try to get them started on it, but they just licked the milk and then went back to bed. What should I do now? Should I keep withholding the kibble? Or should I give in?
Solo is now eating ground chicken, pork, and beef with no problem, but he's not too keen on bones. He usually just picks them up and drops them off near his litter box. I've heard him crunching one or two times, but he mostly just leaves the bony bits. Do you think I should grind up some bone with his meat?
Yeah, yesterday I sliced some wings and gave one to the older kids and one to Solo. Solo had no interest, but Sasha tried to chew on it a bit. Then Jabba came and stashed it in the litter box! ;-) I kept fishing it out and rinsing it off, but then they just started stashing it under the sleep sack, so I gave up.
With the wings, should I cut them up into pieces? I was just scoring them and giving them that way...
I've managed to get the girls eating ground meat, but Jabba was looking pretty shaky this morning, so I put a handful of kibble on top of the meat dish, and he's been scarfing it down. I just can't understand why he'd rather starve himself than eat meat! I don't know what else to do with him, because even if I put it in his mouth, he will just spit it out or hold it until I let him go, and then stash it somewhere.
I'll start in on the meat/kibble mix tomorrow or this afternoon. One thing that seems to help a bit is when I baby-talk and offer encouragement. They are very bonded to me, so if I tell them how good they are, they get more interested in trying it. At this point, I'm pretty sure that the girls could be switched completely. Jabba is the only hold-out. He also has psychological problems because he came from an abusive home, so maybe that's why he's more resistant to change than the girls...Sasha and Izzy have been with me most of their lives, so they are very trusting, but Jabba came to me when he was about 8 months old, and I had to work very hard to get him to stop fear-biting, etc.
beauiful Kids . For the wings if they are small like buffalo hot wings scoring them should be just fine . if they are larger you mite have to cut them at the joints then in half lengthwise. Solo needs to learn that bones are food and yummy for him. how is his stools they getting better ? If he is getting lots of clcium from the milk he wont crave the need for the bones . Bones are always the next big hurdle and can sometimes be the hardest one for some to overcome , hang in there time is always on our side. feed him light in the afternoon and give him the wings at night while hungry he mite start to eat them and chew on them overnight
You go girls I would think Shasha would be the hardest of them all rather then Jabba , But some can and will starve themselves at first then 1 day a lightbulb goes off and they eat you out of house and home ..
Try the meat in kibble remember make the meat as tiney as you can so he has to at least touch it to get to the kibble start off with a very very little amount . and once a day try to get some meat on his toung a couple of times try and make a game out of it wrestle with him and slip it in his mouth , since he has trust issue's i would not recomend scruffing and forcing it in his mouth at this time. but if you can get it into his mouth adventually his instinks will kick in and make him crave for the protien .
if you want to read it I put the link of when I was trying to get hershy to switch and you will get a ideal of how stuborn the are I even had to use a very unconventional way to her tricked into eating wet foods .http://holisticferret.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=newbiearchive&action=display&thread=1890
The wings are bigger, and they came in a package already separated at the joint. I tried cutting one up for Solo a little while ago, so I will see how he does with it overnight (he already had supper, though, so I don't know how successful that will be). His poops are better since we put more egg shells in the meat. He's been eating chicken, pork, and beef with no problems.
I just gave the older kids some milk to build up their strength after not eating much for the past few days, and then I will add the bits of meat to their kibble.
I have the older 3 in a Ferret Nation 142, and Solo is in a guinea pig cage that he came with. Solo and Sasha have almost become friendly enough to live together, so I'm thinking of splitting the FN 142 and having Solo and Sasha on the bottom and Izzy and Jabba on the top. That way, Sasha can eat the same diet as Solo, and I can work on Izzy and Jabba separately (even though Izzy has been doing better than Jabba, she is still more difficult than Sasha).
These past few days have made me determined to make this work!! I'm so proud of them for trying something new...
BTW - I just watched Sasha take a poop, and it was totally liquid and seedy. I'm suspecting more and more that she has IBD. How could I find out for sure?
I am glad you are determined . You doing a great job so far and as you can see its the little triumps that will make you happy . And when you see the differnce in Solo's and Sasha's , coats , teeth ,smell and energy compared to Jabba's in the next couple of weeks you will be more determined to get the butthead to switch
You can talk to your vet about it .I am not that familar with IBD it seems certain foods (mostly chicken) and or stress can make it worce . Jenifer (mustelidmusk) has alot of experince with IBD ferrets you can PM her your questions and she will be able to help you much better then i can with determening if she has IBD and whats steps to take to try and deal with it. or you can start a thread in the health section and get input from everybody
I had to work 11 hrs today, so I will write in more detail tomorrow. Solo still won't eat bone, so we cut up some meat chunks to get him used to it that way (the first time, we went straight from ground meat to bones).
So, we just finished grinding up bone chunks in an old blender, and we mixed that with groud turkey and egg shells. The older kids are getting kibble mixed into meat, and that seems to be working well so far.
Solo is doing fine, but I'm not seeing much of an increase in energy. Maybe that will change when he gets into the normal routine with the others.
Sasha seems to actually prefer meat over kibble, so that's a nice bonus. Izzy and Jabba are coming around slowly but surely. When Sasha stashes a piece of meat, one of the others usually discovers it and moves it to their own spot, lol. And every now and then I see Jabba taking a few licks at the meat, just because he wants to know what all the fuss is about. ;-)
Hi Frank, sorry, I've been really busy and forgot to post yesterday. Everything's about the same. Solo is eating ground meat with bone and the other kids are eating kibble mixed with ground meat and bone. I'm not sure who's eating what, though, because I haven't been around much to keep an eye on it.
The only concern I have right now is with getting enough variety into their diets. I guess I will have to bite the bullet and go out and buy a bunch of different kinds of meat for portioning and freezing....