Have you tried taking a hammer to the bone to try and get them to eat more bone, so that their stools aren't so loose. I find that my guys seem to get overwhelmed by larger bones. I also feed a ground mix of bone, meat and organ meats. I find that this is one way to get them to eat enough bone consistently. Many of my guys won't eat organ meat (liver in particular) on it's own but like it mixed with the meat and bone. By doing it this way I don't get the slimy organ poos. ciao
So I went out of town again this weekend (Mom's 60th birthday), but the roommies did a much better job feeding them--they got all the meals Ileft for them I want to start buying groung whole meat from Hare Today, but won't do that until I move and have the freezer space. In the meantime, I'll try to do a better job at breaking up the bones. I generally give them a few good whacks with my meat mallet, but that might not be enough.
That's great that the surrogate ferret moms did a better job feeding your furbabies Getting ferrets to eat bone has to be the biggest problem that frustrates most ferrants. If whacking those bones a couple more times gets them to eat better...go for it ciao
I've been playing with their diet these last few days. Nothing to drastic, but just a little bit to peak their interest. They seem a little off their feed, only really wanting about one meal a day. They mostly just poke at their evening meal. I've been working on a second recipe for soup so that I can make sure they get a nice variety of organs/squash/meats.
This is the new soup I'm working on (for one portion): 1/8 tsp eggshell 1 liver 1 gizzard or heart 1/2 tsp pumpkin water to thin
I'm really thinking about trying to incorporate some whole prey this summer. I think I'm doing a decent job on the variety, but I still worry. Mouse has a stronger flavor, right? Is it easier to start them with something they're more familiar with, like chicks? I might only do this once a week initially, but I think it would be good for them. I need to research and learn more, because it will be a big investment of time (to get them to eat whole prey) and money.
Prey can be costly but at least it's balanced and you don't have to think about getting the amounts right Mice definitely smell stronger so I'm going to guess they're stronger flavoured than chicken or pork. Sherrylynne's bunch love the chicks, you can pm her and ask her about what she had to do about getting her little ones eating the chicks (I've not been able to find a supplier so have no experience convincing my furbrats to eat feathers ) The soup might work, I've never made that small amount but it sounds about right. You may have to add a bit more meat to get them to eat the liver (unless you've got little ones that like liver) ciao
Oh, I don't make the soup one portion at a time, that's just the proportions I was aiming for--I multiply the recipe by at least 10 when I make it. I PM'd Sherrylynne, so hopefully she can give me some good ideas about how to get the little one's started on whole prey. Do you only give yours mice? Or do you give them other types of whole prey?
Organs--the only organ (other than hearts, which I don't really consider an organ) I've had consistent success in getting them to eat is liver. I've tried kidney multiple times, but I think they're put off by the smell. Ahhh! It's so frustrating. Liver and kidney are the only organs I have access to right now. When I move home (and don't have to pay rent!) I'm going to place an order with Hare Today or Prey for Pets and get some ground organ mix.
Are you planning to feed frozen or live? Live is easy to start you just let them hunt. They often have half the mouse gone before they realize that they're eating it Frozen, there are a bunch of different methods that are used to get them started. You can just offer them and see if they will try. You can make a game of it. One member actually tied a string to the dead mouse and dragged it around the house like a cat toy. I don't believe she was successful the first time but they really got into it and ate the second one. One of my other switching students played tug with her guys. Again, the first few times weren't successful, but she tossed the mice into the blender and ground them up and added them to the meat mix that her ferrets were already eating. My guys eat mice and rats. I was going to try hamsters but haven't really got into that yet ciao
Oh, dear. Too much pumpkin in the last batchof soup. Litter boxes were a mess. I've been trying to get them to play with their food, just to give them more stimulation. Our new game is "open the egg" They get two or three eggs a week (not 3 each, 3 total) and this week I've only partially cracked the egg for them. They have to dig around if they want the yolk and white.
I don't think I'll feed live prey. I don't think I'm squeamish, just more a matter of logistics. It's easier to feed frozen. I'll have to try the mouse on a string. I'll have to find a different fun way for Noodle.
Ooooh, yuck....doesn't sound good Unfortunately, what one ferret can tolerate another cannot, so trial and error. My guys love open the egg. The most fun they ever had was with pigeon eggs. Regular eggs are harder so that they can travel. Pigeons haven't been fed anything to make their eggs harder. The guys had a great time. One stiff legged bounce and they were in gobbling up all that beautiful gold It is easier and I think cheaper to feed frozen than live. The bathtub is the easiest place to make a kill and easy to clean up. I certainly understand if you don't want to. This is something that one has to deal with on one's own terms. Feeding live isn't something that is necessary. They enjoy it, but they're not going to be deprived without that type of stimulation . ciao
I've increased their bone ratio this week by giving them more chicken necks. Last week it seemed they had constantly runny poops. Blech. The extra day of bone seems to have helped. Muddy managed to steal a dog treat, which took away most of her appetite for the day. Sneaky little devil. Noodle doesn't have any interest in the dog food. If I wasn't moving back in with my parents, I might just have switched Mizby (the dog) to raw also. Unfortunately this would not work with their dog being on kibble. Oh, well.
Ok, you've worked out your bone ratios. It's that simple You know switching the dog might work to your advantage...maybe seeing the great health of your dog might convince your parents to switch their dog. It worked for me . ciao
Noodle is doing well Since I've started hand feeding him by hand (I started out doing it everyday, but now just every few), he feels like he's put on a little weight. Both of them have gorgeous coats, they're due at the vets in July for their annual, so I can't wait to see what she says
I've finally found the perfect ration of liver to muscle meat for them, just enough muscle meat so that they aren't filling-up before they get enough liver.
Great news Feeding raw unfortunately, is often trial and error. The one thing that makes it so important for our furkids (it's flexibility and being able to adapt it to each individual's needs) is also it's biggest frustration. I can remember when I first started and asking for a recipe...and having the old timers tell me to allow my dog to set the rules I can remember feeling so lost and frustrated and then realizing that's exactly what they meant. What worked for my dog, might not work for anyone elses dog. It's the same thing for the little ones, because my guys have been eating a raw diet for so long, what they can tolerate or what works for them doesn't necessarily work for someone who's ferrets are just starting to eat raw. That's great that you've finally figured out what works for your little ones in respect to feeding muscle and organ meats. ciao
SCORE! I just got a 10 pound bag of chicken thighs for $3.90 I was so excited, and the babies will be too--this week was a little heavy on the turkey and pork. Ugh. Tomorrow is cage cleaning day. I've made myself set aside one day a week to deep-clean the cage. They've been extra messy eaters this week, so there's little bits of bone and eggshell in all the corners. Blech! I'm also baking cakes out the wazoo this week as practice for my Grandma's 85th birthday cake, so there are lots of egg shells being dried and some extra yolks and whites. I don't want to give them too many eggs, so I'm freezing whatever extras I have. I hope they still like thawed eggs.
Who would think about getting excited about 10lbs of chicken....raw feeders do . I'm sure your little ones will love their eggs fresh or frozen Good luck with your grandmother's cake...I'm sure it will be fantastic ciao