Post by sherrylynne on Nov 15, 2010 19:12:08 GMT -5
Ferrets can generally eat bone from any animal chicken sized or smaller. There are exceptions to that, like turkey neck, oxtail, etc. As a rule, no weight bearing bones, although some can get through some bone from chicken legs/thighs. As for Ziwipeak, I'm not overly fond of the fact they use molasses in it. Cats love it, but molasses is fairly high in sugar. So no more than weekly, in my own opinion. However, that said, it's a good idea to have them used to some sort of freeze dried meat in case you have to go away, and the person looking after them doesn't want to feed raw. Myself, I always try to buy in bulk, then portion and freeze it. I buy turkey hearts in 10lb boxes, Same for wings if I can get them that way, and so on. I've got two boxes in my freezer. One for bone in, one for muscle meats. Depending on what day it is, I just grab a couple of bags to defrost and give it to them. I also get slightly freezer burned meats from my clients when they clean out their freezers. Hey- it's free, and they get more variety that way as well. They've had tenderloin, wild salmon, t-bones... When I get the bulk amounts, I defrost it partially in my fridge, separate and baggie it, then toss it back in the freezer. Won't hurt them at all!
I'm still not satisfied that two of my ferrets are eating enough, despite spoon a day I actually see them eat. The one can hop the barrier and get to the cats' kibble (Evo, now) and I'm kind of turning a blind eye to this, because I'm just wanting her to be eating. She's always been a skinny one. Should I not be allowing this? Can I maybe feed them raw all day and leave a little kibble at night? I did do this one night I had to be away from home for 18 hours, but when I put the kibble in the bowl, they all started FIGHTING over it! They never fight. I spread it around the cage a little so they wouldn't be fighting over getting to the bowl, and they stopped. What to do to make sure they're eating enough? Just cut the kibble out completely? Sometimes I have to leave the house for about 24 hours, once every two weeks or so. Any longer and I have someone come in, but less than 24 I just used to leave them enough kibble.
Post by sherrylynne on Nov 16, 2010 13:29:02 GMT -5
Certainly give them their kibbles back at night! For amounts with raw, they should be eating between 1-4 oz per meal, depending on age/activity level/gender. Just take it out in the morning, and give them the raw.
Post by otterwoman on Nov 17, 2010 16:10:40 GMT -5
How often should they be eating raw meat meals, then? 1-4 oz every four hours or every six or what? I am a bit afraid that if I give them their kibble back regularly that they won't learn to eat and rely on the meat.
Post by sherrylynne on Nov 17, 2010 18:46:57 GMT -5
I feed twice a day, or about every 12 hours. A tablespoon of soup/mush would be about 2 oz. If they are eating that much, they should be good for now. You can always offer them a bit more if they've finished what you've given them. Will they eat it on their own out of a dish yet?
Post by otterwoman on Nov 17, 2010 20:47:07 GMT -5
I know that three of them are, but I don't see the other two eating. However, all the food disappears while I'm at work or while I'm sleeping, but when I'm around they are out running around or sleeping. The other two that I don't see eating will eat off the spoon, and I'm pretty sure they must be eating when I'm not looking. But if a teaspoon is really that much, I want to hold back on the kibble. I hate seeing them fighting over it like that, they never fight like that! I need to start concentrating on the supplements.
Post by sherrylynne on Nov 18, 2010 0:58:28 GMT -5
Tablespoon, not teaspoon For the ones you aren't certain of, I'd keep hand feeding a bit for now. I've had a couple who would willingly eat from the spoon, but not the dish. The only way I got them past that was to keep lowering the spoon toward the dish while they were eating from it til it was just laying there, and then slowly move it away from the(spoon- not dish ). We went from them eating from the dish on my lap, to dish on the floor with me sitting there with my hand on their back, then slowly weaned them from that! And just to let you know, once they've decided they really like the raw, they WILL fight over it! Hissing, grabbing, one running around the cage with a choice morsel, and all the others hot on that one's heels- even though there are several other bits in there! If one picked that piece, obviously it must be better It's perfectly normal for them to do that. They'll still be very close and bonded in spite of food squabbles
Post by otterwoman on Nov 19, 2010 15:22:18 GMT -5
Little Cinnabon went to the vet ...he has a little rectal hernia I will need to keep my eye on, but otherwise was pronounced fat and healthy! And this vet (different vet from last visit) is totally behind the raw diet.
Last Edit: Nov 19, 2010 15:22:48 GMT -5 by otterwoman
Post by sherrylynne on Nov 19, 2010 17:43:35 GMT -5
That's great I love it when a vet visit turns out so well! And finding a supportive vet is a major plus. I cannot count the number of times I've heard of vets blaming every possible ill on a raw diet, from injuries, to influenza, to insulinoma, to adrenal
Post by otterwoman on Nov 20, 2010 14:36:56 GMT -5
Today I bought some more Bravo; ostrich and rabbit to alternate with the chicken and turkey ones I had. I also bought some chicken hearts and gizzards (they were out of beef heart). Also some salmon oil and some ferrevite (which also has taurine in it). They ate the beef heart the other day, we'll see how they like the chicken hearts/gizzards (I need to look up what gizzards are but I think I don't want to know). I think I will stick with the Bravo as their basic diet with whatever else I add once a week or so.
Also, the other ferrets played with rubbery stuff but never ate it. The baby started to eat it once, so I took away all their plastic rubbery and foamy toys. So to replace their toys, I bought some N-Bone chicken flavor ferret chew treats and a (dog) 2 inch bare beef bone, maybe they will like to chew on those.
Oh- and a can of pumpkin. I'm wondering if I can open the can and divide it into small containers and freeze it for when I need it, that's a big can of pumpkin (even though it was the smallest one) for a bunch of meat-eating ferrets. How much of that should I add in? a teaspoon a week or so?
Last Edit: Nov 20, 2010 14:44:13 GMT -5 by otterwoman
Post by sherrylynne on Nov 20, 2010 18:07:19 GMT -5
Only problem with the ferrevite is the amount of sugar in it. Don't give it more than once every couple of weeks or so(it has a LOT of sugar). Chicken gizzards are what the chicken uses to grind the seed they eat. Unless you get it straight from the chicken, they can be fed as is. My guys adore them! They have a very rubbery texture which they seem to enjoy. N-bones, I've never fed. But then I do tend to be a bit....fanatical ...on what they get The beef bone won't hurt them, but frankly, I'd be surprised if they do much with it if there's no meat on it. IF they are always looking for something to get into, try picking up some foraging toys for them: holisticferret.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=enricharticle&action=display&thread=4018 As for pumpkin, freeze it in ice cube trays, then baggie it. I give mine one ice cube worth every morning with their meal during shedding seasons, and twice a week the rest of the year. Also, by having some already in the freezer, you have it on hand if they happen to eat something they shouldn't! Since they are mainly going to do the Bravo, then the best thing for them to have at least once a week is something like chicken wings, or turkey/chicken necks, more for dental health, as well as giving them something to really "sink" their teeth into
I still haven't seen any chicken necks at the grocery, but I still have pieces of that cornish hen. I gave them a piece of it twice now and no one is interested in it. I'll keep trying though. But if the Bravo has ground up bone, don't they still get some chewing exercise? The lady at the pet store recommended the beef bone, she said she used to have ferrets and they would chew it. Maybe I should wipe something on it.
Post by sherrylynne on Nov 21, 2010 11:21:24 GMT -5
Eating bone is a major step for any ferret, and takes some practice, as well as working on building the jaw strength to be able t do it. So they might not get onto it at all. It would be ideal if they did, but not essential. You can still brush for them, and they still get all the other benefits any raw diet will give them. The thing with eating meat off of bone is that the teeth are basically scraped clean by the bone as they bite down through it, which the ground doesn't do. They are doing really well so far! Let me know how the new meats go over