Excellent Congratulations, you and your little ones are moving along nicely Great job with mixing an unknown protein or a lesser liked protein in small amounts to a protein that is already accepted or liked. One of my other students did that for her insulinoma girls (you can't do hunger strikes with these little ones) who would only eat one protein source. When she graduated her little girls would eat 5 different protein sources including ground mouse (a stronger flavoured meat so I"m guessing at least it smells really bad ) I add my organ meats to the ground mix. I've had a couple of students who decided rather than fight with their little ones that they keep their soupy, even once they start eating whole meats, to put their organ meats in. They feed this mixture every couple of days as a meal. It means everyone eats their organ meats, and because it's in with other things they don't have to deal with the nasty poopies that sometimes occurs when feeding just organ meats. I have to admit I do the same thing, as I only have a couple of the guys who really like liver as itself. When you throw it in the blender or the food processor it becomes a liquid and they're not even aware that it's been added. Keep up the great work. ciao
How much do your little ones typically eat a day? I'm concerned I may not be feeding Muddy enough.
Is feeding twice a day enough?
When I get to this point, is feeding whole ground acceptable? Will she still get (most?) of the benefits of crunching on whole bones? I will of course feed her things like chicken thighs, but for the fur and feathers I'm not sure I can feed whole animals. I hope to get over that before I reach this point.
Hmmm, how much do they eat Good question. Pm sherrylynne, she has food amount measures and keeps a really close eye on it. It's one of the problems with feeding 16 ferrets who free roam and I've been feeding raw for over 11 yrs, I use the scale to tell me that everyone is eating properly and I'm terrible for just eyeballing the amounts. I always know who's been at the food bowl but not how much they eat. Just like I know that Loki isn't eating on his own and relies entirely on me feeding him at every meal (renal failure and ulcers) Again, I rely on the scale to tell me he's getting enough, I also can tell by his tummy if it's full or empty and that he needs more food. My guys have access to food 24/7 and I know that's not how a lot of people feed here. One of the raw feeders that I know used to say that if there was a lot of food stashed around that her guys were getting too much, if there was no food lying around they weren't getting enough. Check with sherrylynne she's really good and she won't mind answering your questions. I've had a number of students who feed only commercial ground meats. What you have to remember if you choose to do this, this isn't enough to clean their teeth and they won't get the exercise to their necks and jaws. Nutritionally speaking, you're feeding hundreds times better than if you were feeding kibbles. You don't ever have to feed a whole animal. It's the so called optimum...the premium method. There are many who can't feed small animals (they have them as pets...how do you feed a mouse, rat or hamster if you snuggle them and call them friend) I raise my mice as food, that's what they are. I have a friend who raises rats. I get my rats from her and she gets her mice from me, it just works really well. To get the effect or the nutritional effect of fur and sinew (inedibles or undigestibles) feed veggies....squash and pumpkin is a favourite of my guys but I've also dumped a bag of frozen lettuce in their food too (I make up 15 lbs of ground mix at a time). So you can do that way too. Don't worry if you can't bring yourself to kill an animal to feed an animal. You don't have to ciao
I PM'd sherrylynne and she was very helpful. I've been underfeeding poor Muddy (no wonder she can be grouchy!). She told me her girls eat between 2 and 4 ounces a day and that four ounces roughly equals one chicken breast. This will be a good gage until I get my scale and can portion my food better.
This morning, she ate a whole meal of just chopped chicken with no hesitation! I was so proud of her. Of course this afternoon, when I offered her a bit of turkey neck, the little stinker ran off with it. Now, not only do I not know if she ate it, I don't know where it is. Guess I'll find out in a day or two from the smell!
If I get whole ground meat (like the rabbit or mouse from Hare Today), does that still satisfy her need for fur/fiber? I'm going to give her at least chicken pieces with bone, so I'm not worried on that front. Also, can she eat bone-in chicken breast, or will the small ribs be a problem?
This weeks goal/adventure (now that I have a working blender again)--organs!
That's great. At least you have an idea as to how much to feed. I thought that sherrylynne could help you out. I figured that was about the amount but I didn't want to lead you out on that and it's important. Yes, being underfed will make her grouchy . You may never see that neck again ;D especially if she eats the whole thing I found one under my computer desk the other day, I don't know how long it had been there It didn't smell...it was long beyond that. It had become ferret created jerky (they like it that way ) I don't know the exact breakdown of the content of the Hare Today product. Does it have the fur in it? I believe that some of their product does include the whole animal. If it does you don't have to worry about it. If it's just meat (bone, organ meats and meat) then you may want to add some veggies just to create that fiber that represents the fur to feed the gut bacteria and aid their digestion. It works out to be about 1/4 to 1/2 cup per 2 or 3 lbs of meat mixture. I just use squash, pumpkin or some frozen lettuce. I avoid things like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, most root veggies (high glycemic content). I either freeze (lettuce) or cook the veggies (squash and pumpkin) I never use raw veggies, possibility of obstructions. Sounds to me that you're moving along nicely. Good work. I will be interested to see how your next adventure into the raw feeding goes (the infamous mushing of organ meats ) ciao
I went to the grocery on Monday to deposit a check and wound up getting lots more meat for the fur child, including ground chicken and chicken thighs. Just to see what would happen, I attached a chicken thigh to the bars of her cage. Whoa, did she love that! Yanking and jerking, sleeping, then going back for more.
That was a lovely sucess, but not so much round one of trying to fed liver. I blended the liver with beef babyfood, since beef was originally her favorite meat. Then I tried to let her lick some off of my finger. I got a massive bite for my trouble. truth is, I didn't blame her too much--liver disgusts me too. Next, I sppon fed her a little and she was slightly receptive, but completely snubbed the mixture when it was left in her cage for a few hours. I normally leave food in there longer, in case she needs a snack, but since is was blended and an organ, I let the dog have it. She was much more appreciative.
Today, I fed her hor normal breakfast of chicken and tried the liver again for the evening feeding. She had fasted for about three hours--I've been keeping an eye on her glucose levels since poor D'Artagnan died, and everything has been normal. Anyhow, this time I mixed the liver/babyfood blend with some ground chicken and spoon fed her the first few bites. Despite some hilarious faces and head tossing, she ate it all.
How many types and what quantities of organ meats should I try to fit into her weekly diet? I'm concerned that during the switch she won't get enough nutrients, despite sufficient calorie intake.
Great work, your little one is having a load of fun I've done that with whole rats (saves finding them stashed in strange places ) You can get by with feeding organ meat about once a week, unless it's blended into a soupy or something. I mix my organ meats into a ground rmb mix, that way I don't have to put up with loose poopies (which can happen when feeding just organ meats) and my more than a few of my guys refuse to eat it on it's own....I just can't be bothered fighting with them about it. As far as different kinds of organ meats...depends entirely on what you can get. Many of us can't get many varieties so stick to the common chicken, beef or pork. Don't feel the absolute need to go out searching. Obviously the more different types you feed the better you cover your mineral demands of your furchild. It's more your protein sources that must be varied. Great job ciao
Yesterday (12/10) I fed the ground chicken/liver soup concoction again and she ate it with less fuss. I'm going to blend some more liver (by itself this time) and freeze weekly portions to mix in with her regular food. I don't think it's worth the stress to her to try making her eat just plain organ meats. Between the two daily feedings I'll be able to get all her organs in for the week.
I thought I do the liver one more day to make sure she's really on board with eating it, maybe cutting back on the chicken. How many livers can she eat a week without getting overdosed? So far she's only had the one liver, but divided between the three days. She's amazing me with how (relatively) easy she's been with her switch. I have been having some trouble with loose stools. What can I do about this?
Your little ones loose stools are probably caused by the liver. It's one of the unfortunate side effects of feeding organ meats You can try adding some pumpkin or egg shell to your mix. Either will probably thicken up the stools at least until you start getting bone into her diet. The sooner you get bone into her diet the easier it will be able to control how loose her stools are. I've got a couple of guys who have difficulty whenever I feed organ meats and depending on the amount of blood involved, I will get tarry, black very loose stools. I don't usually worry as it's only a couple of stool and it reverts back to normal within a 12 hour period. I believe that 1 chicken liver is considered a weekly dose. It doesn't matter if you feed this all at once or grind it up and space it out over a period of a week that's entirely up to you and your little one. I'm inclined to agree with you, why fight with her, especially if she will eat the organ meats ground up in something else. ciao
Whoa! She ate bone (I'm 90% sure)! The ground chicken I had left was smelling a little funky, so I thawed a chicken thigh for her. I scored the meat to make it easier for her to get pieces off, but did not expect she'd be interested in the bone. Surprise! I can find any remnants stashed anywhere, so I'm guessing she ate the whole thing. Little pig. I did notice that her poops were a little loose and seemed to have small fragments in them. Being the ever loving fur baby mom, I stuck a latex glove on my hand to examine them. Sure enough, bone fragments! Are the fragments normal? I'm assuming the looser stools are just because her body is adjusting to a new food. I'm so happy and proud!
Whoooo hoooo. Congratulations....all of it's normal. Yes....you've done it. Shower hugs and kisses on your little one. Yay1!!!!!! The reason for the looser poops....not enough bone. In time, your little one will get it. Yes, bone fragments are normal. Our little ones digestive tracks are so short that there are always undigested matter. It will get more economic as her system gets used to the new foods. Great job ciao
I've been giving Muddy a piece of bone-in chicken every day (a thigh, breast, etc). She can't eat it all, so I end-up tossing the leftovers at the end of the day, but I like her being able to eat something other than ground. Is it okay to leave whole pieces out all day, or do I need to give her two different pieces? Also, should I be removing the skin and fat layer? She seems more interested in the actual meat, but it seems like she's getting a lot of fat when she does eat it.
Does she need to get the pumpkin everyday? I've prepared cups of ground/liver/pumpkin to give to her one day a week (spread over two meals, she gets the whole liver). What other organs should I be giving her?
Have you tried breaking that bone up with a meat hammer (or a hammer for that matter)? It would make it easier for her to eat and it would also make the marrow part of the bone more readily available. You could leave the bone in there all day if you like, she won't eat it if it's bad. I'm embarrassed to say there have been occasions where I find one of the guys chewing away on a piece of meat and bone that's ....how do you say.....mummified They love ferret jerky...ferret created jerky that is Leave the skin and fat on it. They need it. All their energy is created by eating fats. No, you don't have to feed pumpkin every day, except if your little one is having a hard time with loose poops caused by not enough bone in her diet . So far what meats have you fed? Have you tried beef yet? you can feed tongue, heart, kidneys (some people don't feed these with the misconception that all the toxins in the body are stored here, this isn't correct) lungs. You can feed any part of the animal your little one will eat. I've been carrying a discussion with a couple of list members about feeding green tripe to ferrets. The only thing that I've seen that ferrets seem to consistently refuse to eat is the spleen, stomach and intestines of larger animals (rats, rabbits, with mice they seem to eat all the innards if they're hungry, leave the spleen if they're not) These have been my observations, and this will differ from ferret to ferret too. ciao
Getting ready to travel with baby tomorrow. I'm nervous but we'll be okay. I'm prepping food cups for her, but I'm sticking with ground (I think it will have less of an 'ick' factor for my family ). One of the days will be ground mixed with liver.
Exciting (?) news! I found beef kindeys and heart at the local Walmart (sometimes shopping at a soul-sucking store has its rewards). I only got the kidney this trip, but I'll pick-up some heart the next time around. It comes in a three pound package, so I figure it's enough to last for several months if she's getting it onces or twice a week. I'm going to portion it into chicken liver-sized pieces and give her one a week. I think I'll wait until mid-next week until I try to get her to eat the kidney, so she'll have time to get back into the routine after our trip.
I'm also excited that I get to spend more time with her starting in January--I'll be off work earlier (i.e. before 1 am!), so we'll have much more bonding time.