It's definitely lazy, not bored Ferrets do tend to be very lazy eaters- I know mine are! If they have a choice between muscle meats, or bone, they'll take the muscle meats every time Don't be too surprised if it takes them a little while to eat most of the bone, though. They have to build up the muscles in their jaws to be strong enough to crunch through them. Which is why I had to laugh when I told a friend of mine about my biter when I got her, and how much she loved her chicken wings. She said "You mean you are taking a ferret who already bites, and giving her the means to make her jaws even stronger???"
Post by kelseyjosine on Aug 5, 2010 16:53:16 GMT -5
Haha yeah giving a wing to a biter is a little counter productive, but we do it anyway!
They didn't eat all of the wings obviously but they did take them up to the top level of the cage to eat in bed haha. All I had left was 2 chicken wings so this time I'm trying the method of anchoring the wings so they don't stash them. Maybe it'll make it easier who knows.
I need to go grocery shopping tomorrow. Maybe I'll stop at the butcher too!
Post by sherrylynne on Aug 5, 2010 18:37:16 GMT -5
That's a really good idea if you can. The more variety you can introduce them to at this time, the better. Then, hopefully, you won't have any like my Boris Any new meat is suspect, and if he hasn't had it for a month- it's new
Post by kelseyjosine on Aug 10, 2010 20:20:39 GMT -5
So I gave the ferrets a chicken wing drumette, hoping since it's smaller they'll eat more of it. I used the shower hook method and clipped them to the cage to give them some resistance. They ate most of the 2 pieces but seem to always leave this nub of meat that the shower hook is holding. Is that okay or normal?
Tonight they got pork chunks and Shiza went to town on them immediately. Punk and Fergie took awhile to warm up to it but after I put a little ferretone on it they started eating some pieces so that's good.
Post by sherrylynne on Aug 10, 2010 21:52:12 GMT -5
Most likely they've bitten into the area where the hook is, and thought it was heavy bone there. So yeah, they'd likely leave that. And that's excellent news about the pork chunks! Once they are eating well off the hook, you should try an entire wing, just to see how they handle it. It will also give them some practice with bone, as well.
Post by kelseyjosine on Aug 11, 2010 19:01:40 GMT -5
Well they didn't go for the beef chunks I gave them today, which is weird since their freeze dried food is chicken and beef haha. So I'm going to make the chunks into a soup tomorrow night so it doesn't get wasted.
I'm just now starting to really pay attention to portions so I can hopefully soon start feeding raw twice a day instead of just at night.
Post by sherrylynne on Aug 12, 2010 18:17:58 GMT -5
You can also try chopping the chicken into 1" squares again, and just making the beef chunks smaller. Mix together well, and leave it in the fridge for a few hours, so they take on something of each others flavours. Since the beef will be about half the size, there's a good chance they may go for that first.
Post by kelseyjosine on Aug 14, 2010 12:02:11 GMT -5
I used to give the ferrets the Stella and Chewy's freeze dried beef and chicken patties since they're 100% meat, bones, and organs. Well since they discontinued those patties I had to buy the AFS ones. Well they don't like those apparently haha. I broke them into pieces and they're not eating them. So I guess I'm going to have to start feeding them twice a day, which isn't a bad thing I guess. I just have to keep a close eye on the girls because they're still having a little trouble with the bone.
Post by sherrylynne on Aug 14, 2010 18:24:50 GMT -5
Until they are doing better with the bones, you can add powdered eggshell. I believe it's 1/2tsp per 8 oz of meat. I grind mine up in a cheap coffee grinder I keep just for that purpose! Also, try giving them the easier bones for now, to build up the jaw strength. Chicken wing tips, the middle bones of the wing, ribs, cornish game hen. And mine don't like the AFS either- patties or sprinkles! If you want to keep a freeze dried in their diets, Wysong's Archetypal 1 Ferret is fantastic!
Post by sherrylynne on Aug 15, 2010 22:39:42 GMT -5
Also, invest in an inexpensive kitchen scale! I don't know what I'd do without mine I couldn't for the life of me figure out why they simply weren't eating enough, til I started to actually weigh the meat. Turns out I'd been giving them the amount they'd eat in a day, per meal, twice a day Once I cut the amount in half- virtually no waste! Also, if/when you get a scale, you can keep an accurate record of their weights as well. I weigh mine monthly- gives me an idea of whether or not anything is wrong, sometimes before they show symptoms.
Post by kelseyjosine on Aug 16, 2010 12:48:21 GMT -5
Yeah I use a postal scale and actually weigh them every week. I have been weighing their food but it's still hard right now because I don't know how much they're going to eat at each meal yet. I'm so paranoid about not giving them enough food and it's hard when I'm at work all day to know if they're getting enough or not.
Post by sherrylynne on Aug 16, 2010 13:04:03 GMT -5
Right now, you could likely average about 1-2 oz per girl per meal, and 2-3 oz per boy. Try putting that amount out, and if it's gone for the next meal, you just up it by about an ounce. It's certainly not going to hurt them to have a bit less once in a while. I regularly give a "light" day weekly, where I put in about 1/2 the amount I normally would. That way, they scavange for the hidden stashes I couldn't find
Post by kelseyjosine on Aug 18, 2010 18:59:47 GMT -5
Ok thank you haha. It makes it easier for me when someone says give them this many ounces per meal and see how it goes. I've been putting between 4 and 5 ounces out per meal. Sometimes they eat most of it and sometimes, like last night when I fed liver, I found half of it underneath the cage haha. And I know they like liver because I've seen them all eat it. Punk starts eating immediately when I put the food in the cage. Shiza and Fergie usually lick at it but then go play so I'm worried they're not eating enough. They haven't lost any major weight, or really any weight, so I assume they are eating. Punk is acting great but he's been having diarrhea issues, I'm assuming because I'm still working on balancing it all out?
Post by sherrylynne on Aug 18, 2010 20:24:34 GMT -5
To be honest, with liver, I had to make a soup with a wee bit of heavy cream, and spoon feed to make sure they got enough. Some ferrets adore it- some hate it! Just like people. However- they do need it. For a pure liver meal, they should be eating between 6-8 oz., with four of them. Some of mine start well, but give up about 1/4 of the way through. As long as they aren't losing drastic amounts of weight, they are doing well with their diet. When you say diarrhea, are you talking watery stool, or simply wet and somewhat loose? Because that's normal for raw muscle meat. When they are eating more bone, the stool is more normal. Out of curiosity, what meat are you feeding right now? My Boris always has very loose yellowy stools with chicken! And Vincent with beef. So- it can show a sensitivity to a particular meat, if it's consistent. Otherwise, yes, it's the diet switch.