Think of the pumpkin as replacing the fur and feathers of the prey. She would eat that every day. That fiber slows down the digestion of the meat enough to maximize absorption of nutrients and cleans the digestive tract on the way out. In other words, I don't think there's anything wrong with feeding a little every day. I have found that it helps my older girl who was kibble fed the first four years of her life to have a little insoluable fiber every day. I don't have any scientific evidence, but I theorize that her digestive system is a bit damaged and untrained from the years of kibble and the raw zips through her system too quickly.
Raw ferrets' poop tends to be more of a plop than a log. Worry when the poop is completely liquid. Otherwise you're doing fine.
Egg shells won't go bad. I keep mine in the cupboard and I'm pretty sure that jar has shell in it that's a year old.
Any luck with getting her to chomp bone consistently?
She definitely found a piece of bone that i must have cut off the thigh, b/c i heard her crunching something up. But as far as getting her to eat meat on bone, it has not happened yet. I defrosted some boneless skinless chicken thigh, just to cut up and put some chunks into her already balanced soupy. She would just pick them up and drop take them out of her soupy. I could get her to eat them from my finger tip, covered in soupy, but that's it. guess i'll have to really work her up to it.
That's progress! So she was chomping a bone in stealth, huh? Do you have a box or something that you could use for a feeding den? I think she might be playing you. Try putting a piece of meaty bone in her private den and see if she eats it when you're not watching. You know how smart these guys are. I think she might be making you coddle her just because she can. Don't stop doing what you're doing, just add the secret stash and see what happens.
She currently has a feeding setup that she is familiar with. It's just one of those big plastic ferret igloos sitting on a towel. She usually eats on the towel, then cleans her face on the towel inside the igloo.
She knows the spot, so i'm sure if i keep the setup there it will work. I was thinking about getting a guinea pig feeder skewer and sticking it through a chicken wing. Then i guess i could anchor it there somehow.
Does it kind of sound like kibble when they are chomping up bone? b/c that's exactly what it sounded like.
I haven't fed kibble in years now, but yeah, it sounds like crunching. It's a very satisfying sound.
Have you ever looked for quail? Those bones are perfect for ferrets. You can easily cut the bird into small pieces with scissors. Another easier bone for her to deal with is small rabbit, especially the ribs. Cornish hen (or poussin) is young chicken and they have softer bones than regular roasters.
This week i'm gonna take a ride to the supermarket i get all her non-mainstream meat products and see if i can get some kidney the throw into the soup. I'm also gonna start trying to do better with the pushing her to eat chunks. I'm just being lazy because I like how excited she gets now for breakfast and dinner, and really enjoys the puree. There's that part of me that is scared to push her because i'm afraid she'll stop eating again, and that whole ordeal was just aweful. But i know it's better for both me and her if we can get her to the point that i can just defrost a few RMB's and toss it in the bowl for most of her meals, instead of this every three day defrost and puree dance i'm doing.
Can i chop up a chicken wing and see if she will take the bone chunks that way safely?
Definitely! My crew especially likes the wing tips, but only if I cut them into smaller pieces.
It's okay to go slow, but remember how important chewing on chunks is for her dental health. You could try cutting out one of her soup meals and see if she gets hungry enough to replace it with chunks. How many times a day are you giving her mush?
She gets breakfast and dinner, 12 hours apart or as close as i can make it. She is pretty consistently eating 1 oz and a little bit per meal for about 2.4 oz a day. I just made her a fresh batch of puree today and I have some time this afternoon, so i'm gonna defrost a boneless thigh and a couple chicken wings. I'm gonna chop up the wing and the thigh and see if she will take any of it. The problem is the whole feeding den thing. When she can only lick up the meal, she has to stay at the bowl, but as soon as there is something to take out and chew, she is gonna run with it. So i know i'm gonna have to sit with her and guide her into her little igloo for now. In the future i'll build some kind of contraption to anchor chunks of meat to, but for now, she's pretty good about learning new behaviors.
If she won't take any of the meat or wings, i'll start adding puree to it to see at what point she'll chow down.
maybe i'll try that next time. I just made a new batch this morning. I made a big one. 10 oz, plus a chunk of pork, half a liver and four hearts. she eats about 2 oz a day, so i'm hoping this will still be good for five days. The meat i got had a sell by date of 4/21, which is six days from now. so i figure that the puree has to stay good until at least the last day they would sell the meat. I just got so tired of doing this every 3 days.
i guess i'm jsut gonna have to experiment with things until something works. I'm just happy she took to the raw puree so fast and so well. she is so much healthier now. I'll get her there eventually, it's just nice that i know she is eating healthy and balanced.
I really suggest making larger batches and freezing containers that hold 2-3 days worth. You could make at least two weeks at a time. You know you'll use it up. I let my soup defrost in the fridge and then warm it in a bowl of water and to that base soup that I know they love I add the stuff they need, but don't like. For instance Katrinka had been fed gerbil food and cereal before I got her. I got her eating the soup and just added in bits of new stuff. So she always trusted that it was food because the soup was a constant.
yeah, i guess that would make more sense. Unfortunately i have already frozen a bunch of thighs i'm going to use to make her purees. I don't like to thaw and re freeze... so i'm gonna have to do it the non-convenient way. but the next time i shop, i'm definitly gonna just take a few hours and puree all of it and freeze it in little containers.