Since they are fine with the chicken/pork mush I would try that for awhile.. Maybe give Bastian the first taste by hand then leave him for awhile to see if he eats it.. Have you tried throwing a bit of kibble in when your making the mush in the food processor? That way it will be evenly distributed, instead of just crumbs. Try a quarter kibble to three quarters mush.
Just be sure to give them as long as possible to try and eat it. Just remember if you fall off the horse to hop right back on! I know you are trying hard.
Last Edit: Dec 4, 2008 17:15:27 GMT -5 by tsslilsis
I added kibble to the mush last night. They both ate a little on their own but then I had to coax them to eat more. Same for this morning and tonight. I left some meat with a little baby food in their cage and a chicken leg with a fair amount of meat on it. They pulled some of the chicken out of the bowl - probably to clean of the baby food- but it didn't look like they ate any. Melinda sniffed the bone and licked baby food off of it when I smeared it on, but that was all. I tried to get her to play with it tonight but she definitely wasn't interested. I think I am about to have to get back down on the floor and do some more finger feeding since it doesn't appear that either of them are going to eat now.
Melinda scared me half to death earlier. When she woke up she started making weird noises like she couldn't breathe and kind of gasping/hiccuping... I gave her a little ferret lax and she attacked the food I had just brought in like she was starving - not that she ate a lot just like she couldn't get any of it in fast enough. After a while she went back into the cage and went to sleep. When she woke up again she was fine. For a while I was seriously considering just going back to kibble and giving up but I will try to stick it out. I did find turkey hearts and livers at the grocery store tonight. I will try putting a little of that in their food tomorrow.
Post by Forum Administrator on Dec 6, 2008 1:54:20 GMT -5
Hang in there. I know it can be frustraing. You'll make it through. Switching is a process and it can take time. It sure is frustrating, but its certainly worth it. I PROMISE. Don't feel discouraged if things seem to be progressing slowly. That's NORMAL. Just hold your head up high, and put one fut in front of the other. With time and patience your ferrets WILL switch. Many of the HF members who have graduated from the mentor program were in a similar situation as you. They wanted badly to switch but it was SO frustrating. But they did it! With time, they made it through the switch! The beginning is always the hardest part, don't give up. Just be sure to keep Ketlin posted on your progress so she can offer suggestions to you as needed. If things get REALLY frustrating for you, we can call in our "difficult switcher" mentor to help offer a few tips to help you and Ketlin along. Ketlin is a talented mentor, so you are certainly in capable hands. Just hang in there, we'll help you through this!
Melinda probably had some fur in the back of her throat. When I first got Ravi he was shedding really bad and he kept getting fur in his throat and hacking like crazy. I thought he was dying. We had to groom him multipul times per day and give him alittle oil to sooth his throat.
So that both ferrets are eating a more balanced raw food and since this switch could take a while, Something you could try is a pre-made, GROUND raw food. You can always slip in bigger chunks into it so that Melinda can munch on those if she chooses..
Things to try would be the following:
Nature's Variety Raw Medallions (for cats) Stella and Chewys raw (and freeze-dried) patties Hare Today, Gone Tommorow FINE meat/bone/organ grinds Primal Raw Food for Cat's (raw foods with 10% veggies or less ONLY)
A lot of pet stores actually sell the ground raw food. These foods can be fed long term (as long as you rotate the "flavor" you feed) It might help put Melinda and Bastien on an even level AND they'll be getting the nutrients they need as you go through the switch. You can mix them with the baby food if they don't accept it plain.. This is better because not only is it balanced but it will help them learn the real texture of meat since its not pureed.
Also, if you want to invest in one, you could get a meat grinder.. If would actually help you out if you eat ground meat.. But, you know, if your a member of Freecycle I'm sure someone has one to spare for free. Its not totally nessisary to have one, its just your desision.
Thank you both for the words of encouragement! This morning Bastien actually ate more raw chicken than Melinda!!! I had mushed up the meat from a chicken leg and then diced up the meat from another and mixed them with about 1/2 a jar of baby food. I gave them about 1/2 of that and they ate most of it. Unfortunately, tonight neither one seems to be hungry and are showing no interest in the food. If they haven't eaten any in a little while I will try finger feeding and maybe adding some ferretone.
How much should they be eating in a day? I don't feel like they are eating enough but they don't seem to be starving. (Last night I even put a little bit of kibble in their bowl and most of it is still there tonight.
I don't usually eat a lot of meat myself so I kind of hate to get a meat grinder - and I don't really have room to store it. I may break down though because I feel like I am constantly playing with raw meat and washing dishes, etc at this point. Would a meat grinder be able to handle the bones, too?
I do have some frozen ground turkey that I could try giving them and I will check out the pre made ground raw food. If I can get them to eat it, that would probably make things a lot easier and a little less stressful! I don't think I worked this hard trying to get my daughter to eat and she was very picky! Of course, I knew what she needed in her diet so that helped.
Forgot to add the turkey heart and liver to their food today. Going right now get some out so they can have it tomorrow. Then I think its finger food time!
2 ounces each would be good. If they eat more than that is great, too. But as long as they aren't losing weight there isn't anything to worry about. It can be alarming at first but a plus to raw feeding is that raw fed animals eat so much less meat than kibble.. It takes less to fill them because it doesn't have any fillers/grains in it.
If your getting a hand cranked meat grinder, you can grind bones in it. It would be ideal to only grind smaller bones like chicken wings or ribs.. If you want to grind something bigger like legs it would be good to either smash the bone up before hand (A stress reliever as well!!) or chop it into smaller sections. I've put bones through my grinder and not had a problem with it, but it does take some muscle.
In my opinion, I think they are doing wonderfully. If you look at some of the other mentor threads, it is taking some people months to get to the point your at or a little further.
Did they eat the liver and heart? That would be great if they did!
Last Edit: Dec 8, 2008 13:09:43 GMT -5 by tsslilsis
Ok. I'm sure they are getting at least 2 ounces a day... not so sure about per meal, though... They do not like turkey heart or liver if they can actually find it (I figured it was worth trying a little just cut up in tiny pieces) Tomorrow it gets ground up in the mush and we'll see what happens. They weren't really very hungry tonight which kind of surprised me since I left them without food all afternoon.
We did pretty well today. they both ate a fair amount of pork this morning (mushed with just a 1/2 jar of baby food) and some chicken tonight. As long as they didn't find pieces of the heart and liver they ate it. Still no interest in bones - they will grab and take under the bed or behind the desk but no chewing, licking, etc. I tried to get some of the cartilage off of the ends of the bone and include it with the mush. If they find a piece they spit it out but I think they have eaten some without noticing.
Kids had pork mush today. ate a fair amount this morning and some tonight, though not as much as I would like. They are being very lazy tonight though. (They look so sweet curled up together on a blanket. Oops, Melinda must have realized I was looking at her... she just came over to walk on the keyboard!)
I tried putting a little ground turkey on the side tonight. They were not impressed:( Oh well, cover it with chicken baby food and we'll tolerate it.
There is a store near me that supposedly carries Nature's Variety so I am going to go check it out this weekend. It's a "doggie boutique" but they have some cat stuff so maybe I will get lucky. If not, I think I will order from Hare Today... I am also going to go to the local grocery and see what the meat department does with their "leftovers".
Melinda could only stand being sweet for so long - she just went over to harrass Bastien
I think the key will just be slowly decreasing the amount of baby food, instead of trying it without and trying it with and repeating. Maybe try a teaspoon at a time, if nessisary keep adding more til they are comfortable with it, then slowly reduce it.
As far as the Natures Variety goes, all of their raw products are for dogs and cats.. So any of them will work!!
Melinda sounds like such a booger. She reminds me of Lily!
I will let you know that I am leaving for out of town this evening and I will be gone until Sunday night, but I will try to check up on you!
Well, it has been an interesting weekend ferret food-wise! I did find a place that sells NV. They usually only special order it but they had one pack of beef patties which I bought. The kids weren't overly thrilled with it but mixed with baby food they both took it off my finger. Tonight I added some water after they had pretty much found all the baby food in it. I actually added more than I planned and turned it into soup. Melinda thought that was great and went crazy slurping it up! Bastien took some off of my finger but I think he had already had as much as he wanted anyway. I keep over estimating how much they will eat but Riley (golden retriever mix) thinks that's just fine since she gets the leftovers!
This morning both lapped up the chicken glop (chicken, turkey heart/liver, baby food, enough water to make soupie). Tonight, NV beef mixed with a little baby food and water to make soup. I had to finger feed Bastien at first but then he actually started eating on his own I even heard a few crunches!
Bastien's fur is getting thicker and his bald spots are almost covered. I don't know if its the melatonin or the diet (probably a little of both) but it makes me very happy Both of them seem to be getting softer, too. YEAH!!!!!
How exciting!!!! That is all great news! Did you want to try and add some small chunks in there now if you haven't already? The diet sounds great nutritionally, the thing will be to get them to eat bone in meat now, but we will take as long as we have to to progress to that point since the diet is good. That is important because even though they are getting calcium the bones would clean their teeth.
I think Bastien is a great "Poster child" for adrenal/pre adrenal on medication and raw combined.
Are you feeling good now that they are eating as they should and everything is improving?
I'm sorry it took me so long to get back on here.. I was with my cousin two days longer than planned.
Last Edit: Dec 16, 2008 16:39:18 GMT -5 by tsslilsis