I would try introducing it as treats. I think you'll be able to break little pieces off and hand feed it to them to get them interested. I use dehydrated lamb lung for treats and Fierra thinks they're awesome. She lines up with the cats for her share and then runs off to eat it in private. Or try moistening it with broth or your soup mixture or whatever oil treat they like.
I'm not sure about it being their only food source for six weeks. Could you leave them with a couple of chicken wings or necks and gizzards a few times a week? I have left meat in Fierra's den for 24 hours without any problems. If she thinks it's yucky she just won't eat it. Are they going to be caged while you're gone?
Post by shirleyverde on Feb 9, 2010 7:11:30 GMT -5
thanks tara i guess i could try leaving a chicken wing in the cage my only concern is the cleaning i thouroughly clean the entire cage twice a day (before feeding time) so the cage doesn't smell or have stuff in it ( i have two small kids that like to pet them in the cage and i hate the thought of them tuching this stuff then putting their hands in their mouth. but with the chicken and quail they don't really take it around the whole cage they just eat as much as possible then stash whatever is left i'll try that this week. i fed them a dehydrated patty last night i think it was beef/organ/bone and they loved it phew!
Post by shirleyverde on Feb 9, 2010 18:56:43 GMT -5
i give it to them in their dog food bowl. and i fed it to them dry but yes they have a big dog bowl to drink from and i wash and refill it once or twice a day. i've been meaning to set up a den for them but i haven't done it i can't find what to cut the plastic with.
You have a couple of options. Soak it in hot water for a while and then cut the hole with a knife. The hot water will make the plastic pliable so it won't crack when you cut it. The second option (and be careful doing this) heat a metal can on the stove top (for gosh sake's wear oven mitts!) and melt a hole in the plastic.
Post by shirleyverde on Feb 12, 2010 0:04:26 GMT -5
ok so i've been doing a half and half combination of the freeze dried with the raw meats and they seem to really like it. Brice has become a pro at eating the chicken wings and the quail but i don't really see Baxter eating bone like Brice does i have to stay home and really watch him to make sure he's eating this too. i will be home alll day tomorrow so i'll keep an eye on him (they had a whole chicken wing in there and anytime i heard someone munching it was Brice.
Post by shirleyverde on Feb 12, 2010 8:17:40 GMT -5
yes they are always excitted on feeding times i think they are just little pigs in ferrets bodies lol well actually they started chattering (not sure of the correct term) but when they are playing or sometimes even in their sleep you hear them almost talking to each other... does that make sense? which is a good thing but on the other hand they have become a little aggressive at free roam playtime. for example if the boys are loose in the room playing i'll grab one of them and start playing with him and usually they would either play nicely with me or even play with their mouths (the way they do with eachother) but never have either of them actually bit down on me or the kids, and recently like the past week or two they come at us and bit (i've had to scruff each of them more than once at every playtime this week) which is more then they have ever gotten. is this normal? other than the scruff and saying no bite is there anything else i can do? and ofcourse they have grown into beautiful "teenage or adult" ferrets at what age do they stop growing? they turn one on valentines day...
Maybe they're testing out their newly developed jaw strength. Hopefully it's just a phase. My Ghia was a nipper when I first got her, but got much better once she had raw meat and bones to work on. If the scruff-n-drag and "no bite" don't work, try making a high pitched squeak instead. Have you heard them do that when they're biting each other too hard? That's saying, "OW! That really hurt!" in ferret talk. In both methods you should ignore the offender for a few minutes afterward so that they know that funtime stops when it gets too rough. Another option is to do a timeout. You'll need a carrier or cage just for that purpose though because you don't want them to associate their regular cage and carrier as a punishment place. Put them in a timeout for about five minutes. Any longer and they'll forget why they're in there to begin with. Have absolutely nothing in the timeout cage. No litter box, no blankets, nothing. Just total boredom for five whole minutes which I'm sure is an eternity in ferret world. Whatever method you choose, be consistent and make sure everyone else that plays with them knows the rules too. It has to be the same every single time or they'll totally manipulate you. These little buggers never let you forget how smart they are.
As for when they're done growing... I think for an early de-sexed ferret they're pretty much done growing by a year old. Once eating all raw though their body tone will probably change. They gain more muscle mass. Now that it's getting to be spring (sorta) they'll probably start getting lean. Then next fall/winter you'll be in for a big treat when you get to experience your first rawfed winter bellies. Oh they get so fluffy and fat! They're just.... I tell ya, you just wanna bite them they're so adorable. (I do chomp Fierra's buddha belly with my lips over my teeth. I can't help it.)
Would you like to graduate soon or would you prefer to keep this thread open for a while? It's up to you. I think you could graduate from the program (the thread will need to be reviewed by admin). Or if you want to keep me for one on one attention for a while that's totally fine too. There isn't a huge backlog of newbies right now, so i don't feel any pressure to move along or anything.
Post by shirleyverde on Feb 13, 2010 12:21:34 GMT -5
as far as feeding goes i think we are pretty much done as well they eat anything and everything (well except beef lol which i give once in a while anyway hoping one day they will eat it) so if you need to know anything else just let me know. and if i have any questions down the line i can just contact you or start a new thread for some answers. thanks for all your help! and i definatly like the carrier time out idea and i have an extra one that i can now put to use!
Post by shirleyverde on Feb 14, 2010 9:00:25 GMT -5
ok not sure if you ment a list of what they eat or a menu of what they ate this week? i haven't been writting it down so i will just write what they eat: beef beef heart beef liver chicken chicken heart chicken liver chicken gizzard chicken wings whole quail (1/4 at a time) pork tried salmon but they hated it everything that just meat they eat in big chunks and the quail and chicken wings are bone in then the gizzard is chopped and the livers and hearts are ground and usually mixed in with one of the meats. i hope this helps and i'm saving up to get them more variety from hare today in the next two weeks. i hope to be able to feed them every kind of meat i can get my hands on. and again thanks a million! shirley