Post by kelseyjosine on Sept 19, 2010 19:17:58 GMT -5
Alright I'll have to try that.
I'm a little worried about Shiza. When I first started weighing the ferrets weekly, on July 2, Shiza weighed 1.74 lbs. She steadily increased to 1.9 lbs but has since steadily decreased to 1.7 lbs. I know she's eating because I've seen her do it. She has more energy and is out of the cage running around longer than either of the other two. Fergie and Punk are both over 2 lbs so I'm not sure why her weight is fluctuating so much.
I had another little issue. I had ordered duck pieces and turkey necks from Hare Today. Well even with my meat cleaver, I sometimes have trouble chopping through some chicken bones! There's no way I can cut through turkey neck. And I underestimated the size of the duck pieces because they're alot bigger than I thought they'd be so I have no clue what to do haha.
Post by sherrylynne on Sept 20, 2010 11:13:05 GMT -5
First, as far as the weight loss goes, that's fairly normal. Remember- she's not getting any carbs now! Only proteins. As long as her behaviour is normal, and she's eating, I'd not worry about it. With the turkey neck, I use a medium sized cleaver, and I'm fairly strong, so I don't have TOO much trouble hacking my way through them Although I do have to swing pretty hard to do it sometimes. Once you can chop them into chunks, it's not as difficult to turn those pieces on their sides, and chop them in half again. Hard to believe these little ones have jaws strong enough to crunch those, isn't it? Looks like you may need to simply freeze them til you get a better cleaver. It does take a bit of practice, too, though When it comes to the chicken, I cut through the meat with a chef's knife, and then cleaver the bone. Or else you can use a good quality pair of kitchen shears. With the duck, use the knife/cleaver. That's what works better for me.
Post by kelseyjosine on Sept 29, 2010 19:05:33 GMT -5
Alright well things are going pretty well here and all 3 are eating bone! I still have to chop it up but I'm going to start giving larger and larger pieces slowly. Here's a food log from about a week ago to give you an idea of what they're eating. Let me know if you have any ideas for improvement or anything..
Now they're poop isn't usually runny and diarrhea like. It is however usually quite "chunky," is that normal? Like it's not a smooth piece of poop, it's like there's little chunks stuck together.
Shiza needs to go in for a checkup but I've been avoiding it since I have a new vet and I just don't feel like having to defend myself and I wanted to wait until she gained some more weight back since she's soo skinny.
Post by sherrylynne on Sept 29, 2010 19:16:13 GMT -5
Ok, how much of the above bone are they actually eating? I know mine can't eat turkey thigh bone, and most of the time, will only chew the ends off the chicken thigh bone. Same goes for the rabbit upper arm bone, as well as the legs. When you say their stool is "chunky", do you mean dry? A raw fed ferret's stool should be fairly "wet", unless they've have whole prey. If it IS dryish, you need to cut back on some of the bone, and increase the muscle meat for them.
Last Edit: Sept 29, 2010 19:19:47 GMT -5 by sherrylynne
Post by kelseyjosine on Oct 1, 2010 19:05:35 GMT -5
I've been cutting the bone into pieces to make it easier for them so they almost always eat all of the bone. Now they're poop isn't dryish and in the last couple of days when they poop, I can actually hear it. It sounds like they're farting when they poop, as if they have gas? And they're poop is sort of jelly-like in appearance. Ugh I'm so sick of all these poop problems and I was praying that the diet change would help. I haven't been using crushed eggshells because they've been eating the bone. I even cut the turkey thigh bone into small enough pieces for them to eat. I've also been giving them 1/2 tsp each of pumpkin every day.
Post by sherrylynne on Oct 1, 2010 19:30:58 GMT -5
It's the pumpkin causing the "chunkiness" you're referring to then, I think. Not a problem there. And frequently, I can hear mine going as well. I'm going to ask Heather her advice on this, but I don't think it's a problem.
I don't think you've got a problem. One of the problems that's encountered when feeding raw food, is the inconsistency in stools, because they never, ever eat exactly the same thing the same way. When you feed kibbles, it's always the same because you're always feeding exactly the same mix. So you get these huge bulky stools because most of the food that you're feeding is garbage and is coming out as .... garbage. With your natural diet you're little ones are absorbing almost all the food, leaving only the excess moisture and very little bulking agent. Hence, much looser stools, with very little form. Make sense? ciao
Post by kelseyjosine on Oct 2, 2010 22:35:58 GMT -5
Ok yeah I never thought of it that way so thanks! I made a soup of their turkey liver tonight because they never seem to eat all of it otherwise. Well they were out playing for quite awhile and everyone was fine. I had closed their bedroom door so went to check on them awhile later and someone had majorly thrown up underneath the cage and I was leaving to go eat at my sister's so I had to leave it haha. I don't who threw up or why because they've all had turkey liver many times and everyone was fine. But oddly enough later on tonight everyone had good looking poops. I'll never understand it haha.
Post by sherrylynne on Oct 3, 2010 11:22:14 GMT -5
Someone likely ate a bit too fast, and when they do that, it all comes right back up again I've had them do that a few times, as well. Which is why I don't feed beef heart(Boris), or smelts(Lucrezia). Those two will eat those items so quickly, I don't understand how they don't choke
Post by kelseyjosine on Oct 10, 2010 19:49:21 GMT -5
So when I feed them liver, I've been making it into a thick soup because it seems like they never ate it all when I gave it to them in pieces. When I make it into a soup, they eat it all. Well I gave them their liver soup on Saturday and about 30 minutes later Shiza started throwing up. And then of course Punk wanted more so he licked up the liver soup barf lol. I had been giving them turkey liver but ran out so this week they got chicken liver. So Shiza must be eating it too fast and that's why she's throwing it up. So apparently I have to feed them the liver in pieces and not in a soup just so Shiza can keep it down.
I did have a couple victories this week though. They finally started really liking the ground up quail. They would eat it before but never finished it but tonight they ate it all! Also, Shiza finally gained weight this week! She's steadily lost weight since about week 4 of the raw diet, whereas Fergie and Punk have steadily gained. She was 1.64 lbs last Sunday and tonight she was 1.78 lbs. So now I feel comfortable taking her to the vet for her checkup haha.
Post by sherrylynne on Oct 10, 2010 20:06:58 GMT -5
It sounds like they are doing well! And don't worry too much about continuing with the liver soup for now. Tossing it once isn't a problem. My guys continued to eat it too fast a few too many times for my liking, which is why I stopped giving it. And I'm talking over the course of a few months! Have you ever seen a dog try to swallow something whole so another dog can't get it? THAT'S what those two remind me of Ok then. Can you give me a sample menu of what they are getting now? Various meats, what sort of bone are they eating, etc? As well as the size of the chunks they are eating now?
Post by kelseyjosine on Oct 17, 2010 19:06:00 GMT -5
For bone it meats they get...chicken thighs, chicken backs, chicken wings, chicken drumsticks, chicken necks, turkey thigh, turkey necks, and duck.
For muscle meats they get...chicken breasts, chicken gizzards, boneless pork chops, ground lamb, rabbit chunks, beef chunks, pork trim, ground rabbit, and ground quail.
For organs they get...turkey hearts, turkey livers, chicken livers and pork livers.
The chunks they're getting now are pretty small still but big enough that they still have to use their paws to hold it down/tear it off.
I ordered more food from Hare Today. I got some duck and I didn't think they'd be able to eat the bone but it must be a small duck because the ribs are very small and sharp. I'm worried they'll get cut on the ribs or something or shouldn't I be concerned? I also got ground rabbit, fur and all. There's so much fur in it haha do you think they'll still eat it? I know the fur is good because it helps clean out their system but I'm not sure how they'll feel about that.
Post by sherrylynne on Oct 18, 2010 13:11:13 GMT -5
Wow! I think they are almost ready to graduate Can you write me up a menu on what they are getting? That way, we can do any tweaking that may be necessary to make sure they are getting exactly what they need nutritionally
Post by kelseyjosine on Oct 18, 2010 19:28:18 GMT -5
Well on Mon, Tues, Wed, and Thurs morning they get muscle meats (because it's easier to chop in the morning when I'm half asleep still haha) and then bone at night. Friday morning they get heart and bone at night. Saturday morning they get liver and bone at night. Then on Sunday they get bone for both meals. They also get half a tsp of pumpkin basically every day.
Oh and I took Shiza to a different vet at the same clinic and LOVED HER. She asked me what I feed them and I just cringed not wanting to see her reaction but I told her. Well she feeds her dogs half raw and half grain free kibble. She freely admitted that she's only researched a raw diet for dogs and cats but not ferrets and hadn't looked at the ferret kibbles lately. But she asked where I got my info and I told her about this website and she was like the internet is awesome (as opposed to my old vet who was like you can't trust everything you read on the internet). So I told her more about the ratios of bone and muscle and organ they get and she was happy with it. Then I asked how she felt about vaccinations and she surprised me again! She said as long as they're housebound and don't come in contact with strange animals, then it's a personal choice and she's ok with not vaccinating. She just said to make sure and quarantine any new ferrets I get for at least 30 days to make sure they won't give mine anything. It was so awesome haha. I never thought I'd meet a vet in Bismarck, ND that would understand and condone how I raise my ferrets.
Post by sherrylynne on Oct 19, 2010 19:56:42 GMT -5
Wow! She sounds like an awesome, and very "realistic" vet Ok, if I've read this correctly:
Mon: Muscle/bone in Tues: Muscle/bone in Wed: Muscle/bone in Thur: Muscle/bone in Fri: Heart/bone in Sat: Liver/bone in Sun: bone in/bone in
So, muscle meats 4 meals a week, bone in 8 meals a week, heart once a week, liver once a week. The various proteins are: chicken, turkey, duck, beef, pork, rabbit, quail. That actually sounds pretty good to me! I gather they are doing well with all the meats/bones/organ?