Post by littleweasels on Aug 30, 2010 18:19:53 GMT -5
What do you feed them every day? Like do you feed them chicken and turkey one day and something else another day? What can they eat? How often do you feed them every day? If you leave raw food in their cage wont it go bad? Im kind of confused about raw diets.
I strongly suggest that you check out the nutritional section and read through the many questions and threads that are running in there. You need to feed a minimum of 3 protein sources to cover their nutritional needs, the more proteins you feed the less you need to supplement. I don't supplement at all. Ferrets can eat any protein source.....my guys get rabbit, chicken, turkey, beef, pork, lamb, goat, quail to name a few. They can also eat various insects and worms and of course whole prey. I feed ground commercial, my own ground mix, frankenprey and whole prey (both live and frozen). As I have senior cats who expect food to be available to them at all times, the ferrets have access to food all the time. They basically eat 2 meals (morning and evening) plus snacks at night. Depending on what you feed (ground, frankenprey or whole prey) will tell you how long you can leave that food with your ferret. If they have too much food, they will stash it for later. Each ferret is different in the amounts they eat. Sherrylynne has placed a sticky that talks about amounts based on gender and approx sizes. There are many other variables as well, including age, season, sex, size, health....all these will come into bearing when deciding food amounts. I hope that helps a little there will be others who will pop in an offer other suggestions, but I really suggest going to the nutritional section and reading through the questions and answers that were offered there too. ciao
Post by sherrylynne on Aug 30, 2010 22:56:18 GMT -5
I feed twice a day, and leave the food in the cage for the entire day. If it's whole prey, or larger cuts, they get left up to 24 hours. Think about it. A weasel in the wild will catch and kill a rabbit, or something of equal size. No way they can eat all of it in a day. It would likely last them 5-6 days. They'd eat the head one day, the organs another day, the limbs yet another day. And in the interim, they'd also be catching things like mice and insects. The thing with our little carnivores is that their digestive systems are built to handle a LOT of bacteria, with no ill effects. Things like salmonella, which can potentially kill us, pass through them entirely before it has a chance to multiply enough to cause any harm. The only time carnivores suffer from illnesses like that are when the food they are eating are heavily contaminated before they get to it. Bacteria count is WAY up, they eat it, and then suffer the effects. But it takes meat quite a while to have a count that high. And if it's too off, they won't touch it anyway. You see- meat tends, for the most part, to dry first, before that happens.
I second everything they said! I feed Koda a variety of meats: everything from turkey, chicken, pork, beef, game hen, rodent (rat and mouse), lamb, buffalo...whatever I can find basically. You want to feed a good balance of muscle meat, bone, and organ - just like they would have in the wild. I give Koda food in the morning, and again at night with the occasional midday meal if he runs out or we are going somewhere (aka boyfriend's house) where he won't have access to his food dish. I leave the food in for about 24 hours tops. On occasion if I don't get to it for some reason (in other words, if Koda stashes it and I don't find it right away lol) it will sit in there longer. I try to given new food every morning and night though, and toss the old. If there is a little leftover from dinner in the morning that is still good, I will add less for breakfast so he will eat that. But if it is still not eaten by the afternoon or so I take it out. After a while you learn to tell the god from the bad pretty easily. It dries out first, and usually after it gets too dry they lose most of their interest (Koda does anyways haha).
Post by littleweasels on Aug 31, 2010 18:38:15 GMT -5
I have a couple more questions. My mom does not want me to switch my ferrets to a raw diet because she thinks it will be too expensive and unsanitary. How much does it cost to feed 3 ferrets a raw diet? Is it unsanitary to feed a raw diet?
Post by sherrylynne on Aug 31, 2010 21:49:30 GMT -5
If you can safely fix meat for yourself, you can safely fix meat for a ferret! As for cost? I fed my original four on approximately $180 a month. I paid about the same, or more, for a good quality kibble. Just buy most of your meats on sale. Search at ethnic markets. Buy the cheapest cuts of almost everything. Yes, ferrets will cast of samonella in their stool. But unless you are dining IN the litter box, or don't wash your hands after cleaning litter boxes or handling raw meat, not a problem
Post by littleweasels on Aug 31, 2010 22:30:43 GMT -5
She means after I give them the food. Do they drag the meat all over their cage or leave it in one spot and if I give it to them out of their cage wont they steal it and drag it all over the floor? What about if I give them whole prey. She said it will be a bloody mess. She is really worried about how sanitary it will be.
I had problems with my ferrets dragging their food all over their cages until I gave them a feeding den to eat in, and then they stopped doing it. A feeding den can be a simple as an empty soda 12-pack box cut in half. Put their food in there, and it seemed to minimize the dragging and stashing (with my girls anyways).
Graduated from the Holistic Ferret Mentor Program January 18th, 2010!
Post by sherrylynne on Sept 1, 2010 21:04:51 GMT -5
Yes, mine drag it to separate corners to eat. It's a really easy cleanup with a spray bottle of 50/50 vinegar/water mix. And yes, sometimes they get a piece out of the cage and stash it. However, it's not going to cause illnesses in the family as long as you don't have a toddler shoving it in their mouths
Post by shilohismygirl on Sept 6, 2010 20:55:18 GMT -5
Yes, I haven't found raw feeding to be unsanitary at all! What I hated with kibble, is that it all ended up dug up on the cage floor! For the most part, the meat gets eaten, so i never really have to worry about gross surprises, though they have a couple of favored spots for dragging their food to eat! However, I think it costs less than to feed them kibble! I probably feed mine on 100$ a month or less, and that's just the months I stock up on their meats-actually, every time I buy meat for us humans, I put some back in a freezer bag for the ferrets. Gizzards and livers are really cheap, but I don't love freezing them because I heard it damages the taurine, so I usually just buy when they are almost out. I also buy cornish hens, which area also really cheap. Also, I get chicken parts and whole chickens, so they can have the parts like the necks and wings, and other things, and we eat the breasts and drumsticks. It's easier for me to feed raw, and it seems to be more of a bargain.