Okay I've read alot about using pumpkin for hair balls and to improve digestion. I'm just trying to figure out how much and how often to give it to them. As well is it something I'll need to mix with the soup or will they readily accept this?
Also... I'm cheap! So I'd like to not waste a whole can of pumpkin cause they can't eat it all before it's gone bad, so can i freeze and pull out a little bit at a time?
Post by sunnyberra on Nov 16, 2010 12:00:35 GMT -5
I use pumpkin for both potential blockages and digestion ;D it's great stuff. I have two that eat it plain (just a little heated up) and two that only eat it in soup (carnivore care, water, and sometimes baby food). Generally, I give it about once a week (tablespoon each), sometimes (if it's shedding season, if maybe they ate something they shouldn't have, or if Miss Pix's stomach [or anyone's for that matter] is acting up) I'll give it a bit more often (2-3 times a week). I've heard of some people giving a teaspoon a day.
As for freezing - I've heard that you can (and a lot of people do that). The one time I tried, it turned weird when I unthawed it and no one would eat it! I just stick with the small cans and I've never had it go bad on me.
I use pumpkin in my ground mixes so my guys get it daily. I guess it might work out to a tsp. It's one large can to 10 lbs. I've found that it just aids general digestion. It started out as a tummy aid for my IBD ferts. It appeared to help everyone (scientifically speaking it feeds the gut bacteria)and it helps slow the ferret's lightning fast digestive system, just a little. This allows for better digestion. Some argue that a carnivore doesn't need this, I've played both sides of the fence. I now believe that they do need some small amounts of plant matter, and it has nothing to do with eating the stomach matter of their prey, only a very hungry carnivore will do that. Yes, some carnivores enjoy the "stomach" (tripe) but only the very hungry will eat the actual contents. My guys leave me gifts of stomach often enough that I remove the stomach and intestines of rabbit that is fed (it stinks ) ciao
Post by shilohismygirl on Nov 16, 2010 15:05:58 GMT -5
So, it is ok to feed a small amount everyday? I have frozen pumpkin soup mixes into ice cubes-between the four of them, they share one each day. It seems to really help their poops, and they do like it, though that's now why I feed it. Does this seem reasonable? I also mix water, and liver or minced gizzard, or even ground turkey or beef in with it, so it isn't all pumpkin. I just want to make sure I'm not giving them too much.
I also feed a little to my critters every day. They probably get 1/4-1/2 tsp per day. It does make the poops more consistent.
You'll know that you've fed too much if their poops turn orange. Which, if you suspect a blockage, wouldn't be the worst thing ever.
Be aware that you are purchasing pumpkin only with no spices (like for pumpkin pie). I actually buy squash, bake it, scoop it, blend it up and freeze it. Not sure if it ends up being cheaper or not, but since I have a farmers' market 2 blocks from my house I can get the real thing a lot easier.
Post by shilohismygirl on Nov 16, 2010 15:34:08 GMT -5
I too have done my own pumpkin in the past, but the town that I live doesn't have canned, unsweetened pumpkin (aka pumpkin with only pumpkin in it!) at the store year round, and I can't find pumpkins here year round either. So, I'm stocking up now, so that perhaps I can have it year round. They have a pumpkin's worth of cubes, plus, I bought about 10 cans of the stuff, and I'm planning to buy more before the season is over. Of course, usually some sort of squash is available year round, but I'm not sure about the specifics of other squash yet-are all types OK to cook, or are there only certain types? What about acorn or butternut squash? I've only fed pumpkin thus far, so I've no idea about anything else.
Post by justahannah on Nov 16, 2010 20:05:04 GMT -5
I also grind my own and use squash in it. I usually get a small acorn squash (or half a big one and I eat the other half with butter and brown sugar ), remove the guts and bake it, and mix it in with roughly 20 lbs of ground meat before freezing the whole batch in serving portions. I've used other types of squash (butternut, some of the neat colored ones that show up in the fall), the ferts don't seem to have a preference. I have also substituted yam if I can't find squash anywhere...they're higher in fiber, but also higher in natural sugars so I use a smaller amount.
I"ve used a number of different veggies but have found that the squash families appear to work the best with ferrets. I've used salad greens and they love them as well (it's a little odd to see little green spots in the poops, so remember if you've used the green stuff , remember that a ferret cannot physically make use of the veggie matter but the veggies are used to feed the gut bacteria, so it will be seen in the stool). I've found that pumpkin works the best and is my preference though, I've also found that butternut works equally well. I would guess that buttercup and acorn would also work. I would be tempted to check the sugar content of the various squashes and attempt to choose one that has a lower sugar reading I'm lucky though, I can get pumpkin year round without difficulty. Yes, I freeze the pumpkin in my mix. Do take care if you choose to do it in this manner, that if it is fresh pumpkin, it does hold more water than the canned and your ground mix will be of a different texture. ciao
So pumpkin is a good hairball preventer and aids in digestion? Does it provide any benefits that the fur on whole prey and extra virgin olive oil don't? I know it can be used in case of a blockage but as far as everyday use? Assuming stools are fine, do ferrets on a whole prey diet that receive daily fish and olive oil still need pumpkin?
My understanding is that the pumpkin helps to replace what fur would do in a prey diet. So if they are eating whole prey they may not need as much pumpkin. However it's good for possible blockage so it may be good to keep them use to the taste in case you need to give them a bunch. This is my understanding anyways. I haven't used olive oil so dont know about if that would be sufficiant.
My guys get prey almost daily, I also give pumpkin. Consider it like a vitamin for the gut (not your ferret if you can possibly look at the digestive tract as being an entity in itself ) I don't feed 100% prey so I can't vouch if a ferret would benefit one way or the other. I can tell you with the amount you feed, it certainly can't hurt Call it insurance ciao