Hi, I hope you had a great trip and that it was extended because you were having so much fun!
Yes, I am feeling very good about the progress we are making. As you can tell, I am a little impatient about making sure they swithch and stay healthy
This morning, as soon as I put the food down, Melinda started gobbling it up. Bastien wasn't very interested, though. He would only lick it off my finger a few times and even turned his nose up at mostly baby food. He was playing and running around so I am not too worried. I think he just wasn't particularly hungry - like a kid that would rather play than eat. We'll see what happens tonight.
There are some mushed chunks in the chicken soup mess that I give them. Generally, Melinda grabs them and runs under the bed or desk. She does eat some of them but most just get stashed. (I just love climbing under furniture to clean up the remains Eventually, I will find a way to block her access to the harder to reach spots!) Bastien will eat some of the chunks but about 1/2 the time, he just spits them back out.
I am going to try cutting up some meat pieces to put in the soup. I may wait until this weekend when I have more time to sit on the floor and finger feed - and crawl under furniture to clean up - Riley tries her best when the ferts are in their cage but even she can't get to all of Melinda's hidey holes
I'm sure he just wasn't hungry, since he was still being active.
As gross as it sounds.. Some ferrets hide the meat til it turns to jerky and then they eat it. Obviously we would want to try and avoid that, but ferrets are just weird like that. You could get a cheap, small cage for them to eat in so they aren't getting their live-in cage or your house meaty.. It doesn't matter what type of cage it is as long as its big enough for them to move around in alittle. They might be more willing to eat like that since its cozy.
Eating the meat chunks half the time is actually pretty good - Obviously an improvement from refusing it.
You should be proud of yourself and the little ones.
I had thought about getting them a big plastic storage box type thing to eat in but wasn't sure how this would work if they don't eat everything at once. I guess I could put them in it until they stop eating and then just put them in periodically to see if they are still hungry... I may give that a try. I don't really mind the meat chunks being left for a while but when its mushed and mixed with baby food, etc it gets kind of gooey and I don't want it to draw bugs. I live in Florida and fight the roach/palmetto bug battle constantly - wouldn't mind the ferrets hunting or playing with them except that my building maintenance sprays pesticides outside and I don't want to take that risk.
You could do that. Just be sure to poke holes in it or drill them in it so they have a lot of air. I would use a clear one so they have light. I think that would be better because not only is the clean up of gooey, hidden meat hard but also during warmer days if one or more flies got to the hidden stuff, it could get nasty quick. If they really do like hunting bugs you could get some big crickets and put them in the eating bin for them to hunt.
Last Edit: Dec 18, 2008 11:11:56 GMT -5 by tsslilsis
The kids didn't eat much breakfast this morning and I didn't get home at lunch time (which makes me feel really bad cause Bastien hasn't had his melatonin yet) so I am hoping they will be really hungry tonight. I'm going to try putting some tiny pieces of pork in with their NV (I have finished up all the chicken I had already processed and am too tired to deal with cleaning chicken wings tonight!) May not get a chance to post later but will let you know tomorrow how it goes.
The storage box I am thinking of is tall enough that I wouldn't have to keep the lid on it - at least I don't think they would be able to climb out, especially carrying whatever... Just found out that I am going to have extra time off over the holidays (YAY!!!) so I will be able to spend more time experimenting.
They did eat the little pieces of pork Not so keen on the bigger pieces but we'll just have to keep trying. The really good news is that I put their breakfast leftovers in a bowl in the cage and when I went back in a while later actually saw Bastien eating out of it!!! Of course, tonight he still wanted to be finger fed but at least he's starting to get the idea. I keep trying to figure out how I am going to get them to gnaw on bones but I guess that will wait for a while. (I am trying to be a little more patient!)
If you could figure out how to chop some bone in meat in really small chunks I think we could get them to that point. Maybe something like chicken backs.. They are soft enough to chop with a knife. Or chicken ribs.. And add that to the NV. The good thing about chicken backs is they have some small bits of organ attached and also since it is soft all you have to do is chop a little bit and toss it in the soup. I picked up some today by Tyson that are usually .75 a pound and were on clearance for .50 a pound.. So they are very affordable and have meat, bone and organ all in one. They aren't extremely meaty so some of them you have to add meat with but since they are eating NV right now it would be fine to just toss some small chunks of back/rib into the NV. With the backs and ribs, they might not know they are even eating bone if you make the pieces small enough.. Then if you have to you could just feed those about 3X per week and feed other meats that they like with it.. As stated above its really an all in one since they are bone, organ and meat.
Ok, going to show my true raised in the city side... chicken backs? I know WHAT they are, just don't think I have ever seen packages of them...are they marketed under some other, more "appetizing" name?
They're just packaged as chicken backs or stripped chicken backs. The ones I got (as stated above) were by Tyson.. If you don't see them in the grocery store I would ask the meat clerk.. They may have them upon request.
NV has a lot of bone in it already so I would add it to the NV with some other meat or see if they will take it just with meat chunks.. I wasn't thinking about the aspect of NV having a high bone content in my last post. Since they liked the NV with pork chunks I would try adding some chicken backs in with that.
Didn't find the chicken backs at the grocery today but didn't have time to ask anyone. I did buy some winglets so I might give those a try. I gave them a wing yesterday just to see if there was any interest. I cut off part of the skin since they don't seem to like that even in their soupie and I separated some of the meat so that it was just hanging on to the bone. I had to play with it to get them to even look at it. Melinda finally showed a little interest but when she discovered the meat was still attached, that was the end of that.
My storage box idea didn't work at all. I think the bottom was too slippery and they didn't like the idea of being confined... Oh well, back to the drawing board. Where do you feed your babies?
Here, lets give this a try. Try taking a wing and cutting it into three sections.. Cut the tip into three sections, cut the flat in half length wise and then cut each half into three, then cut the drumette into three. Meat shears work great for that.
My ferrets eat in their cage. The cage is all wire (with bedding covering the floors of course) so all I have to do is wash the bedding and give the cage a good vinager or bleach cleaning. They usually run to the corners of the cage to eat.
They're driving me CRAZY!!! This morning I gave them chicken glop with some of the cut up wing bones and meat. They wouldn't eat any of it Tonight was NV (with baby food and water of course) and some bone and meat. They ate the NV and wouldn't touch the bone or the meat Ok, that's not quite true... Melinda touched it just long enough to take it behind the desk and stash it!
I think I am going to order some more NV... maybe a different "flavor"?
Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn ferrets!!!! Finally got them to eat some chicken soup with a tiny bit of meat this morning. Had to hold them down and finger feed them. Good thing I have extra time this week! I did put some bone pieces in the soup and left the bowl in their cage - don't expect them to eat any of it but maybe they will get used to the idea of a) eating in their cage and b) bone is actually food. They are not shut in the cage right now so it is possible that Melinda will stash some around the room but even that would show some interest - right?? I decided to put off the thorough cleaning in their room that I had planned for today. (Oh, gee, darn... I was so looking forward to it )
Yes. you should get a new flavor when ordering NV.
Hopefully they will eat what you left for them, and if not I will be bringing another person in here who has switched more ferrets who can give you some pointers. I know this must be very frustrating to you.