Travel is exhausting! And I still have the drive back on Monday. I'm so relieved that Muddy has been taking this all in stride (including my mother's dog licking her face--his tongue is almost as big as her!). She's not only traveled well, but has been eating ground turkey. I had ground turkey and chicken in the freezer and didn't realize I had thawed and packed the turkey until I got here. I was going to run to the store to get chicken, but let her smell the turkey first. Went at it like a champ. Guess they are close enough in taste.
That's fantastic...the dietary breakdown is far enough apart to classify it as a second protein source. Great work. I'm glad your little one is taking her trip all in stride. There's nothing like a bit of a trip to stimulate the appetite ciao
Whew. Sorry I haven't written in a while. Muddy recovered from our jaunt long before I did! I'm so happy she took to a new protein source (turkey) without any fuss, even if it was a total accident. Unfortunately, she's back to snubbing her chicken/liver mixture. I think it's back to step one on that--no sense in moving to another organ if she won't eat the first one. How do you feed your babies organs? I know many people feed an organ soup. What is a typical soup composed of. I've got another liver thawing to try again tomorrow (she didn't eat any of what was offered today, so this evening I fed her plain chicken).
Despited not liking fresh liver, she loves freeze-dried liver treats. She stole the dog's! Don't worry, I'm not letting her have them daily. The little oinker thinks she could live off of N-bones and liver treats. I didn't get a foraging cup for Christmas (but I did get a scale!), so I'm going to buy one for her. At least then she'll have to work for her treats.
I got tired of fighting with the furbrats about their organ meats so they get them ground up in a rmb mix. It's very similar to a commercial grind except I make it up myself. That way they're guaranteed to get their organs. I had some who wouldn't eat their hearts but ate livers, others the other way around, some who wouldn't eat either but wanted gizzards or gibblets....got tired of trying to create a smorgasboard for 15 ferrets....they get it all at once. It's become a daily meal. I will have to look back one of my other students (graduated now) used to make up an organ soupy for her furbrats...I will see if I can remember who it is and what she put in it. Great stuff about the turkey and by the way, it seems that is the way when you first start them. They will go from one favourite to the next, it's one of the reasons why we suggest that you feed (for example) turkey on mon. pork on tues, chicken on wed and then you can either add other meats or you can start to rotate on the meals all over again with allowing one day for organ meats. It usually works out to be about 4 days of meaty bones and 3 days of meat. If you feed nothing but turkey for a week, then the little bums seem to think that's their favourite and they only have to eat turkey. I've got a couple that feel that they only need to eat mice...the little sods So it happens all the time if you're not careful. I understand that you can do the freeze dried liver but I'm not sure of quantities or levels that you can feed or even if it's interchangeable but I believe you can. I believe that Giuli said that you have to add water so that the hydration isn't coming from the ferret. You're little one may not like slimy rehydrated liver treats though ciao
Ugh, we're hitting a wall. I don't think she's getting enough bone, because she's still got really loose stools. I put eggshell in her ground meats, but I don't want to give her ground everyday. I've been alternating ground turkey with whole chicken drunsticks this week. Like you suggested, I've been using my meat mallet to break open the bone, and this seemed to work initially. Maybe I'm not exposing enough of the bone to her?
On the upside, I got her a water crock like you suggested in another thread. She loves it and drinks much more.
Great thing about the water. Have you tried cornish hens? They have smaller bones, chicken necks? small backs? When you use the chicken leg bones, I'm guessing that you've smashed or sliced the meat on the legs, making the bone more accessable. Don't be hard on yourself, ferrets are the laziest little eaters I've ever met....even more so than cats I think. Despite needing very high bone content, they will avoid it because it takes more time to process or chew. It's the one reason why I so enjoy prey feeding. Ok, so I'm trying to think of other poultry things that might have a higher bone to meat ratio. Have you tried feeding the breast bone, the center cartilage and the bit of bone. She probably won't eat the center bone but that bit of cartilage is good for her too. Have you tried the wings? Not the tips, but the meaty end pieces that we normally eat The bones are softer and you might be able to entice her to eat more of it. Pork riblets are another softer meat and bone but your little one isn't into that meat yet. Patience....you've reached the hardest part right now, you're on the cusp of the transition. Getting them to eat bone is the final stage of the raw transition and the hardest when you actually think about it. How long to you leave the meat in with her? Do you leave her with the bone for a good length of time? It takes them longer to get through bone, and if they figure out that you're going to take the meat away and replace it before they get to the bone....they will let you take it away. They're not stupid ciao
I'll get her some cornish hens on Friday. Tuition is due tomorrow, so it has to wait until payday I mash the bones up pretty well, but dumb me, I didn't think to slash the meat to expose the broken bones (normally there is a fair amount of bone peeking through the meat). I leave her meat in for about 12 hours at a time, she gets fresh meat in the mornings and evenings. I know I'll be able to chop up a cornish hen enough for her to get to the smaller bones, because I like to cook them.
I picked up some meaty pork neckbones, but I think I should get her eating more bone before introducing a new protein? Until Friday, I'll keep alternating her days with ground so that she'll get enough eggshell to keep her stools from being so runny. Do I need to worry about her getting dehydrated? She seems to be drinking a fair amount.
Sounds like a plan. Don't feel bad about not slashing the meat to the bone. I discovered this little tidbit totally by accident, when feeding chicken legs (there weren't too many people feeding raw food then much less to ferrets, and no lists like this). You could try leaving the boned in meat a bit longer in the cage if she's being a bit of a pain about eating the bone. Here's a copy of a post giving times of how long food can be left
Wet Kibble: 4-8 hours Ground meat: 12 hours Freeze-dried Diet (served wet) 12 hours Commercial Raw frozen diet 12 hours Meat chunks: 16 hours Bone-in meat: 24 hours Whole prey (meat exposed): 24 hours Whole prey (no meat exposed) 36 hours Freeze-dried diet (served dry) Over 1 week (the primary concern is palatability rather than bacterial issues)
It might be worth a try. She knows that she's going to get fresh food and it will be back to eating the easy meat instead of actually eating bone. Ferrets are bone lazy I've never had a ferret eat bad meat or something that's made them sick. It's an idea, up to you if you want to give it a try ciao
Well, today Muddy is being stubborn. Today was a ground (mixed with eggshell) day. She's not having any of it. I'm using the same brand of ground turkey as I fed her last week, but she won't touch it. I put some in this morning around 8:30 and changed it a little while ago when I cleaned her cage. She's got to be hungry by now! She's licks at it, but that's all.
That's weird but not unheard of. Is there anything that you did differently? Have you tried to get her started on it? Sometimes, if they've been eating one protein, and they've not had another for awhile (especially if they're new at this game) they need a bit of a boost start. Try feeding some with a spoon to see if she will give it a go. Good luck ciao
As far as I can recall (I need to start keeping a journal), nothing was different, unless I put a higher proportion of eggshell. She didn't eat again today, and I offered her beef (which is the protein she first showed any interest in). Last night, I spoon fed her some and she thanked me by biting me. Today I did the same, but she's still not showing any interest. I'm going to try giving her whole chicken leg tomorrow, but if she doesn't show any interest before I leave for work in the evening, I'm going to call the vet. I've checked all her stashes, but didn't find any food she had hidden. I take up the dog food before I let her loose and she can't reach the cats' food. I know my house isn't as ferret proofed as most peoples', so I'm afraid she may have gotten into something, maybe getting a blockage? But she has been having bowel movements. Urgh!
How is her demeanor? Is she lethargic, does she gag or paw at her mouth? Is she drinking? You say she's still pooping, how is it? Loose, long and thin, regular? Check inside her mouth, look for something stuck between her teeth, sores in her mouth and the back of her throat. She could have a touch of the flu, there are more than a few fuzzies who have been sick of late, it is unfortunately the season for it. Just because you haven't been affected doesn't mean that she won't be. If she's shown no interest in food, any food, I would be concerned enough to take her to the vet. What about treats? Does she have any that she's particularly fond off, that she would eat? If she's not touching any food after eating well there is definitely something amiss. Keep me posted. ciao
I think she got into some VetWrap. I found a roll I had opened to use on the dog, with little ferret nibbles all over it. She had it stashed under my bed. Also, I found some green remnants in her poops, so it's off to the vet tonight to make sure everything has cleared her system. It's odd--she's eating some today (whole chicken thigh, bones broken and exposed like you suggested), but the last two days when she wasn't eating she was still acting almost completely normal. Just slept a little more than usual. She was still interested in treats and playing (especially at 2:00am ). I'm glad I found the problem (I hope), and it will be good for her to get a vet check anyway.
Silly little one. It absolutely amazes me....they won't eat their dinner but they will eat things that are totally inedible Can you get some pumpkin into her, actually in a case like this perhaps a little vaseline. I don't normally suggest this but in cases like possible blockages it might be worthwhile to get all the little bits out. I would definitely take her to the vet if you think that some of the bits haven't made it through or if you think that she's still under the weather. It does sound that things are moving a little better though, if she's starting to eat again. Keep me posted ciao
Whew! The vet thinks Muddy has passed all the vet wrap. She laughed at me for having the "sickest healthy animals"--the dog had to go in a month ago for a bacterial ear infection, but she was very impressed with how good her coat, teeth, and eyes looked (as well as how clean her ears were). She was also impressed by Muddy, even more so when I told her that when I got her she was in the same condition as D'Artagnan had been. She's having me give her a laxative for just another day to be on the safe side, but she said she's just erring on the side of caution.
AND, Muddy is back to eating. She's returned to her pigish ways. She finished off a whole chicken leg, including most of the bone! I was so excited. I know I'm back at the begining witht feeding the organs, but I'm just so relieved that she's eating again and eating bone.