Well, they didn't touch anything that I left in the cage but we did do better tonight They both ate the NV with little tiny pieces of chicken. Bastien even ate a little piece of bone (maybe 1/3 of an inch); he wasn't thrilled with it and wouldn't eat any more of it. Melinda is still of the opinion that anything big enough to see has to be stashed in the most inconvenient spaces!
When I went to order NV, they told me about Aunt Jeni's foods. Apparently, it is easier for them to get. I looked online and the ingredients look to be very similar to the NV. Do you know anything about Aunt Jeni's?
Any suggestions as to what "flavors" might be best for my two fur monsters? I was thinking about rabbit or duck to give them something different, and maybe chicken since that shouldn't be too hard to get them to try.
Little stinkers! Even if Bastien didn't enjoy it he still took a step in the right direction.
I have never heard of Aunt Jeni's before.. But I looked at it and it looks fine. I would say that you should try getting a flavor of meat that they haven't eaten. Most ferrets love beef, but whatever you choose is up to you.
I will go ask Giuli to get someone in here to make suggestions on getting them to eat bone. Please be patient though as Giuli has been busy.
Giuliana - no worries - I can't tell you how impressed I am that you manage all you do!!! I remember my college days (a very long time ago!) and I can't imagine trying to accomplish everything you do. (I was praying for you during your finals. My daughter is finishing her AA in May so she was going through it too)
The monsters are driving me a little nuts right now. It seems like every step forward means 3 backwards. They have been eating basically pureed chicken or pork mixed with chicken baby food and beef NV mixed with chicken baby food. I have managed to get them to eat some VERY small (1/8 inch) pieces of meat. Bastien has eaten some that were a little bigger but not often. If I try giving them the pureed meat (glop) without the baby food, they won't touch it. If Melinda finds a piece of meat big enough to identify she runs and stashes it but will NOT eat it. They refuse to even consider bones (Bastien ate one tiny piece the other day but won't go near them again.)
I bought some Aunt Jeni's frozen rabbit diet and frozen turkey diet. I tried the rabbit this morning - they were NOT impressed. After I mixed in the chicken baby food, I managed to get a little in them both (finger feeding) but not too much. Tonight neither one seems interested in eating anything. Actually, they have both been really lazy yesterday and today. (Although, they may have been more active earlier this evening when I wasn't around since I found a dead roach in their room - it's legs were no longer attached so I'm guessing it was a play toy for a while at least )
I have noticed that they prefer their "glop" pretty soupie. The problem with that is that they find the pieces of meat and just slurp around them. When they were eating kibble, Melinda would dunk her head in the water bowl and then get the kibble all mushy and they both ate it so I'm surprised that they don't like their glop thicker.
Decided that we needed to end the hunger strike so this morning they got chicken puree with about 2/3 jar of baby food and just a few tiny, tiny pieces of CGH. Melinda went to town almost immediately. Had to do some finger feeding before Bastien decided it was safe and mommy wasn't trying to poison him again. (I did sneak in a piece if CGH neck but if either of them noticed, they decided to slurp around it and pretend it wasn't there!)
Post by Forum Administrator on Jan 3, 2009 13:03:22 GMT -5
Since they love the babyfood so much, use this to your advantage. Let em have all they want, but keep adding the chunks of meat in there. Make them as tiny as humanly possible.
Seems like you've had some success with getting them to eat again. That is good. Keep giving them the near microscopic pieces of cut up chicken. Gradually increase the NUMBER of chunks in the babyfood, NOT the size of the chunks Eventually it will be nothing but tiny chunks, with a babyfood "gravy" and they wont be able to "eat around" the chunks. Once they are taking to the chunks then you can work on increasing the size, but lets take this one step at a time.
Its good that Melinda is stashing the meat. I'd let her keep doing that (just be sure to clean out the stashs if the meat goes uneaten ) The fact that she is stashing the meat means she finds it interesting and special enough to hide. She might not recognize she can eat it yet, but that's okay. Let her keep stashing so she positively associates with the meat. You're getting there. Slow and steady wins the race.
To really draw them to the chicken chunks and babyfood, you can also smash their old kibble into a fine powder and "bread" the chunks with it. OR you can add a few drops of Heavy Whipping Cream (not WHIPPED CREAM). You can also heat the mixture slightly (don't cook it, just warm it every so slightly) . Warm food has a more pronounced scent. Kibble is rather odiforous, meat doesnt have that high scent value, so heating it up to release the scents in the meat might work to your advantage and help them become drawn to the food.
Don't even worry about getting them onto bone right now. First worry about getting them to eat large chunks of meat. When they graduate to chunks of meat the size of your THUMB, then you can start working on getting them to eat bone.
Until that time, give 1 tsp of finely ground eggshell powder (rinse and grind the eggshells yourself, at home....the finer they are ground the better they will be absorbed by the body). to every 8oz of food you feed them. This will provide their calcium for now until you can get them eating either JUST Beef NV (no babyfood added) with chunks of meat in it (NV is a "complete and balanced" food), OR until you get them eating whole bone in meat.
Keep us posted. We'll get you there. Sometimes its hard to get ferrets over a "hump" and onto bigger and better things, but with time and patience, and a plan, it WILL happen. I promise.
PS- Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts at exam time.
Okay, so basically, I need to be slowly cutting down on the amount of baby food? They do eat the tiny pieces of meat as long as there is enough baby food, it's just the bigger pieces that get carried off and left. I tried the kibble coating a while ago and they weren't interested at all (they haven't had any kibble in over a month!) They definitely do not like their food straight out of the fridge so I have been heating in the microwave a little.
Last night we spent about an hour playing tug of war with some chicken wings. they wouldn't chew on the bone but they did finally start pulling some very little pieces of meat off. As usual, anything bigger than about 1/4 inch got stashed.
This morning they had chicken (pureed) in baby food - fairly soupie. Tonight it was NV mixed with baby food and water. They don't like big pieces of NV either so I have been mushing it up pretty well but trying to leave a few small chunks.
On a side note, Bastien has seemed really itchy the past couple of days. His fur has gotten much thicker and he no longer has any bald spots but I worry that the itch could be a symptom of his adrenal disorder and the melatonin isn't working... I did give them both baths last week. Could that be causing the itch?
Yes, a goal is to be slowly decreasing the amount of baby food.
That is great that they are at least ripping some meat off of the wings. One of my other people was having trouble getting her girl to eat bone in, then she was introduced to her new brothers and decided she wanted to take her new brothers wing he had eaten off of.. Now she is eating wings and necks!!!
Bastien is probably itchy because of shedding. Mine are shedding right now and they are itchy. Since his fur is thicker I think he is fine. He is growing new fur and is probably itchy because he is also making way for new, better fur to take the place of the "Kibble fed fur".
Thanks, Ketlin! I hadn't thought about new fur being itchy while growing in but it does make sense - and his fur is definitely thicker and nicer My daughter came by the other day and got all excited because he is starting to look like himself again.
They both seem to be doing better with the meat bits and NV. I didn't even have to finger feed today... they both went straight to the bowl and started eating Of course, they still go for the "gravy" first thing but they don't seem to spend as much effort trying to avoid anything solid. (Riley isn't too happy about this 'cause it means less leftovers for her Spoiled mutt...) Never thought I would get so much satisfaction out of watching a couple of carpet sharks slurp up a plate of goo!
I am back at work after the holidays so I don't think any of my four legged kids are very happy with me. (Although, even when the ferts are out of the cage all day, all they do is sleep and the dog isn't much better!) It's such a rough life
Bastien has had very loose poops yesterday and today. Kind of orange and grainy. I think maybe I have let him have too much duck jerkey (I think he's been stealing Melinda's share as well as his own). I have some pumpkin but I'm not sure how much to give him or if I should wait another day or so. Any suggestions??? (and no jerkey for either of them for a few days!)
I'm glad they are picking up on eathing the NV and meat chunks. It's about time that Bastien start eating it on his own all the time.
I think all ferrets go for the gravy or broth of the food first. It is just yummier I guess.
The loose stools probably are because of the duck jerky. Is it any better Today? In a case like that I wouldn't give them pumpkin.. I would probably just let it run its course through his system. Thats just me though, its really up to you. I'm use to loose stools because sometimes I give the ferts meals of organ and I get the same effect. Just give the jerky very sparingly from now on.
Bastien's stools are still very runny - almost liquid - but not as much. He seemed a litlle more like himself this morning but still not eating much. I did give them a bit of pumpkin but neither one of them was too happy with the idea and I didn't want to stress him out by force feeding. He may have gotten 1/8 teaspoon in with his NV. I'm thinking if it hasn't cleared up by this weekend, it will be time for a trip to the vet
Try mixing a teaspoon of pumpkin with some baby food... Hopefully he will take that. Seeing as its been four days since the jerky, it would be out of his system by now. But maybe he has runny poop because he's eating the meat chunks from the NV now and its new to him. Have they eaten anything else out of the norm? Only time will tell. I'll keep him in my thoughts.
Took the kids to the vet today. bastien has some sort of bacteria so he is now on flagyl for 5 days Does this mean I have been leaving their food out too long? or is it just "one of those things"? His appetite is back at least and he is more active than he was earlier in the week so at least he is on the mend
Both of them have put on a little weight since the last time they were at the vets - YAY!!! Even with the runs and not eating much this week Bastien's weight was up! He's at 2.8 pounds now. Melinda is at 1.14. Obviously, they are not starving on their new diet despite what they try to tell me
I wouldn't say you've left the food in the cage too long. It's just one of those things.. Not an uncommon problem. Some vets would attribute it to the raw diet but most vets aren't trained in nutrition and most think that they have "evolved" to only be able to handle kibble..
That is nice to hear that they have gained weight. Its one of those things that make someone feel so much better, isn't it?
How have they been diet wise the past couple of days?
Last Edit: Jan 12, 2009 18:31:34 GMT -5 by tsslilsis