Post by sherrylynne on Nov 11, 2010 23:51:15 GMT -5
I'm thinking as long as you don't use the litter box as a dining table, and wash your hands after cleaning the litter, it's all good I won't lie. Any animal with a short digestive tract will shed salmonella. But if you can handle raw meat for your own meals, and take simple precautions(like handwashing after cleaning boxes), it's fine. I've been raw feeding for about 3 years now, and haven't gotten ill. One e-vet I saw for my cat just about hit the roof over how "dangerous" raw feeding is Let's just say we "agreed to disagree". The upshot was that she simply refused to even discuss diet with me She was absolutely convinced it's extremely dangerous, and refused to hear anything to the contrary. On the other hand, the vet I see now firmly believes a raw diet is the best thing we can do for our carnivores, and lays the blame for a variety of preventable illnessess at the feet of feeding kibble. This is something you have to decide for yourself. If, however, you are seeing a vet who will blame every possible illness your ferret may develop on a raw diet, you might want to find another vet. They don't have to be pro raw, just someone who is a bit more open minded.
Post by otterwoman on Nov 12, 2010 14:43:47 GMT -5
Honestly, I live alone and I don't cook for myself, so my kitchen habits are not...let's say, honed. On the other hand, I don't have my own cooking to mess with. I did (at the vet's urging) make a bottle of water/bleach mix to keep in my kitchen to wash things off with and I will use only dedicated dishes and utensils for the raw stuff.
What is an e-vet?
I'm not going to back off raw feeding for this issue. It's too important to me to give it a go for the sake of my babies. I just meant that she freaked me out a little. In fact, looking back on it, it's almost as if she was a bit angry. She said she'd seen people die from salmonella, that's where it was coming from.
This hand-feeding a spoonful to each of my ferrets at least once a day is quickly becoming a happy routine. It's one more kind of interaction to enjoy with them, and they don't often hold still for more than a half a minute while I hold them. This is keeping them in my lap for a couple minutes at a time! I think I might continue to do it even after they are eating well.
I gave the baby a Cornish hen wing and he's not interested. The others all have access to it now (after he rejected it) and no one's really interested. they've only had it about 15 minutes, I'll leave it for them for 6 hours and then throw it out/ what's left of it if they show interest. Also the cubed beef heart isn't eliciting any interest.
Last Edit: Nov 12, 2010 15:36:06 GMT -5 by otterwoman
Post by sherrylynne on Nov 12, 2010 22:50:29 GMT -5
I'm glad you've decided to stick it through I use vinegar/water for most clean ups, but yeah, I do bleach my counter weekly(more for tea stains than anything else ) As for the whole meats, they still don't recognize them. With some, you have to take them a step at a time. For now, use the bravo, since they are eating it well, and in a couple days, add some bits of meat a wee bit bigger than the grind in the mix. They'll have to get used to the texture/size of meat chunks, as well as learning how to chew.
Post by sherrylynne on Nov 13, 2010 10:57:35 GMT -5
It does take a while for them to build the strength and jaw/head/neck muscle needed to chomp through bone. Imagine if you decided to take up weight lifting, but tried to start by lifting 150+ pounds Letting them chew on the wing tips, etc, is a good way to do it if they will. If not, no worries- we'll work it in.
Last night, after I was telling about my switching them to a raw diet, a hunter friend gave me a pound of frozen ground raw venison for them! He said he's save me stuff (organs and regular meat) when he bags his bucks. I am wondering about vitamin supplementation. I have to re-read that Bravo information to see if it has taurine. I read all their info already, but I can't remember all the details.
Post by sherrylynne on Nov 14, 2010 13:33:58 GMT -5
If the bravo contains heart, it has taurine. You can either supplement with raw heart once a week, or you can pick up human grade taurine, and give them one 500 mg capsule mixed into their food every 2 or 3 days. For the oil, I use grizzly salmon oil(others use small marine fish oil). I use about 1/4- 1/2 tsp every 2 or 3 days. It will help with the omega three's, as well as help with the skin and coat.
Post by sherrylynne on Nov 14, 2010 20:53:02 GMT -5
Nope. Don't think so The great thing about the raw diet is once it's in proper proportion, you seldom have to supplement anything, other than some fiber for them. That, you can get by giving either a bit of pumpkin, squash, or frozen/thawed lettuce. No more than about 1/2 per ferret per day seems to be enough to duplicate what they'd get in indigestibles from whole prey, like fur, teeth, etc.
Yes, the Bravo has a little bit of vegetables. This morning I saw the sweetest thing: they had eaten all their meat during the night, and I put more in the bowl and the old ferret (just diagnosed as adrenal) grabbed a hunk of the meat out from all the rest, ran in the corner, and started gobbling it down! What a scrapper!
Post by sherrylynne on Nov 15, 2010 12:39:49 GMT -5
That's excellent progress! So, have you decided how you would like to go with this? Keep them on just commercial raw, mix it up with RMB's, or straight RMB's? Personally, I feed commercial raw in the morning, meat chunks, RMB's, or whole prey in the evenings. I like to make sure they get meaty bones at least a couple times a week, for dental health. I was feeding straight raw meaty bones/meat/organ, but I had a couple of very lazy eaters(wouldn't eat enough bone in), and two of my younger ones refused to eat enough organ meats. So this way, my nutritional bases are covered. Others do great on just meat/bone/organ.
Post by otterwoman on Nov 15, 2010 14:03:54 GMT -5
I"m sorry, can you remind me what RMBs are?
Also, now that I know they will eat them, I will buy the multi-pak of beef heart. For five ferrets, how many strips per week should cover the taurine? Also, the omega-3s, I think I'll get gel-pills that you pinprick and squirt, how much of that per week? Thanks
Last Edit: Nov 15, 2010 16:26:28 GMT -5 by otterwoman
Post by sherrylynne on Nov 15, 2010 16:36:10 GMT -5
Sorry! Raw Meaty Bones. For heart, about an ounce or two should cover it. You can always give more if you like. Taurine doesn't build up in the system, so you can't overdo it. With the omega 3's, I give the oil once every 3 days. So one of the caps per ferret on the same schedule will be good.
Post by otterwoman on Nov 15, 2010 17:20:52 GMT -5
What kind of raw meaty bones should I offer them? my local supermarket only sells things in big packages. I think there's a butcher somewhere around here, what do think I should try? Plus I have the rest of that cornish hen, I'm thawing a bit more of it to try.
I was at a petstore in another town over the weekend and I found this stuff called Ziwipeak, real meat diet air-dried meat. I got a bag of lamb, and a bag of venison. Have you heard of this brand? It's for cats, and they add "Hoki fish Oil" and vitamins and minerals.