While I'm seeing great changes in Muddy, I'm a little concerned about Noodle. He was a chunkers when I first got him, and he's lost weight. I don't know if he just lost weight because he's not eating carbs anymore? He eats just fine, about 3 oz a day. He has access to more, but the 3 oz seems to be what he's happy with. I make sure they get skin and fat at least one meal a day and the days when I make soupies (which he still won't eat much of) the ground turkey isn't the lean kind. Should I be worried? He runs around like a maniac and has been wrestling with Muddy, so his behavior is normal.
Perhaps, Noodle was carrying excess weight. I've found that some of my chubbier boys have lost weight when switching. They do put it back on but differently. We as a people like chubby pets and sometimes when they start to look like they're supposed to we get scared or nervous that they're no longer healthy. If your little one is eating well, pooping and playing I would say that he's probably putting on spring weight (I find the raw kids seem to loose substantial weight, where kibble kids don't seem to fluctuate. At first I was very concerned. Some of the ferrets depending on their body type lost more others lost less but still it was hugely noticeable. I started keeping weight charts and started to notice that a trend of large weight loss during different seasons. The other note....huge weight gains come fall . So this is a possibility. Another is some ferrets are greyhounds others are bulldogs. Body type may very well be part of the issue here. As always if you're really concerned take Noodle in for a health check but truthfully, I think you're dealing with a nutritional change, seasonal change (double whammy) and possibly a body type issue. Combine them and you could very well see the weight change that you're experiencing. Up the amount of food he's getting, see if he will eat more. He's now more active than he was when he was plumper so .... no magic pill just more food and see where it's going. Sorry ciao
Wow. Oops. Didn't realize I hadn't posted recently, very sorry. I've been watching Noodle closely for the last few days to see how much he's really eating. I also weighed him, and he's lost about 4 oz since I got him. Eating wise, I discovered he doesn't really eat the ground turkey (which they get about 4-5 times a week, so about 10-12oz/week). I think this may be part of the reason he's dropping weight (plus the diet and season change). He does like eggs, which I discovered the other day, so this morning I put an egg on top of the turkey and mushed it together a little. He started licking right away, so I'm hoping a few times of this mixture will encourage him to eat the ground.
I'm still working on getting them to consistently eat pork. One day they'll eat it, the next they'll snub it. *sigh* They do go after their bones like champs. I think this might be part of the reason Muddy does not bite nearly as much any more (that plus lots more handling!).
I made the same mistake you did....I watched a little furchild spend a lot of time at the dinner bowl, thinking she was eating, I didn't pay her much attention. I soon discovered when I weighed her that she was licking at the food, not actually eating the food. You've caught it and you know. Hopefully adding the egg to the food might help Noodle learn to enjoy his dinner. I find that sometimes they're just not in the mood to eat some of the meats sometime. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what it is they don't like on that day (unless it's really obvious). I found one time that they didn't like the amount of fat in the goat. They'd been eating it like crazy just gulping it down. I bought a new pkg and it was much leaner than the previous pkg. Little farts wouldn't eat it I found myself mixing it with stuff they were eating (I can't afford to throw that much meat out : Good luck, sounds like you're doing really well though ciao
Noodle has returned to his champion status--he ate more ground turkey today without the egg. Muddy did vomit today. She does this once in a while (maybe once or twice a week?). I don't know how concerned I should be. She does it after she eats, normally after she has also had a drink, but she always runs around like her normal self before and after. How concerned should I be?
I would double check to see if there is a correlation between what she's eating or how fast she's eating or if there is a common stressor occuring at the time that she's eating and then vomiting. How's she pooping? Normal? It might be something to put to the forum and see what you get that might make sense. Have you done a recent fecal on her? Worms will make an animal vomit. All she would have to do is to have eaten a couple of fleas ciao
Today we are trying beef (again)--there is a small amount mixed in their morning meal and depending on how that goes a little more mixed in their evening meal. I'm a worry wort, they're so gung-ho about their chicken and turkey, but getting them to consistently eat a third protein is iffy. Since it's Easter time lamb and duck are available. I'm going to get some of each and see how that goes. Normally I wouldn't be able to get these on a routine basis, but I'm moving to Cincinnati in June and there are a lot more places to buy meats than where I currently live. If they'll take to lamb or duck I'll be so happy.
Have you tried or can you obtain rabbit? That is a difficult one for me to get consistently. Not something that I consider a regular protein but it's a good one to switch with when available (it's a mild flavoured meat, with the consistency between chicken and turkey so often accepted by the fuzzybutts) ciao
I cannot get rabbit where I'm at now, but I know that one of the butchers at Findlay Market (in Cincinnati) sells it, so I'll be able to get it soon. I'm about ready to give-up on the beef. Even laid-back Noodle only nibbles at it, Muddy just gets mad.
Other things I have noticed lately: Muddy has turned into a chunkers. She's starting to look a little pear-shaped. Noodle has slimmed down considerable since he started raw. Even though they almost always have food available, he doesn't eat much. Is there a way to encourage him to eat more?
I would drop the beef, it's not applealing to them. You can always try again later. Some of my guys like beef, but not all of them, so they get it occasionally but not often. You could try topping him up....hand feeding a bit. I do that with Calypso who sometimes doesn't eat a whole lot at times, so once a day sometimes twice we sit down and "stuff the ferret". If she doesn't want to eat at the time I don't push it but it's just a little quiet time that we spend together. She likes the snuggling and she's put on a bit of weight since I've started to do these little feedings. You could make sure that his bowl of food has a little extra fat mixed in to raise the calorie count a bit. I don't like using cream (some people recommend this) because I've had more problems with this (runny poops and upset tummys) than I've cured with it. I know a few old timers swear by Ensure...in my opinion there is way too much sugar and if you've got a ferret that might become insulinomic this would definitely put them over the edge. Also remember that most weight is lost around the spring summer time frame and trying to put on weight is sometimes very difficult at this time of year (it just goes against the natural order of things) ciao
I've been giving him the cuddles and feeding the last few days and it seems to help him eat more. I will keep it up. I gave them half a turkey wing, smashed to break-up the bones, and somehow they got it loose from its shower hook. I heard some funny noises and went to investigate. They were playing tug-of-war with it in the middle of the floor!
Noodle and I are keeping up the cuddles/feeding. The last couple of days have been full of trial and error (mostly error!)--I'm trying to figure out the right amount of eggshell to give them in soups or with ground meat. I'm getting closer, I think. The first day they had ground turkey--lots of loose stools, more than I've seen before, so maybe they didn't eat as much bone the day before? I added some extra eggshell powder to their soup the next day, which seemed to help. I don't think I've reached their ideal amount yet, but they've gotten their portions of organ soup for the week.
I'm guessing that you're having a hard time getting your bone to meat ratio correct....and because you don't have enough bone you're adding egg shell?? The amount of egg shell that you need is 1/2 tsp to 8 oz of meat. Does that help at all? ciao
Ahh! I hate my life. First the computer cord tried to electrocute me, then the whole bloody computer crashed!!!! Sorry about the long delay, I just now got my computer situation worked out (i.e. my sister shipped me her old lump o' junk!). Life would be just a little easier if I had a full-time job--can't wait until I graduate in May.
My guys get some bone each day, because most meals are wings, backs, thighs. But they don't seem to be getting enough this way, because they have pretty loose stools and come organ day it's almost pure liquid. That's why I've been trying to add the eggshell. They like their bone, but they don't eat all of it.
They have both officially decided they LOVE gizzards, enough to fight over them! I was also pleasantly surprised yesterday to see Muddy eating a whole heart (they come packaged with the gizzards). Normally they chew on them for a little while then bury themin the litter box.