Post by sherrylynne on Oct 5, 2010 18:32:58 GMT -5
It certainly won't hurt them. Mine get salmon oil regularly, and I know Heather gives small marine fish oil. It helps a lot with the dry skin and the itchies they can get, especially in the winter time. As for introducing new meats, you can start trying them with the pork if you like. Mine all adore it For the bone, they still have to build up their jaw strength to tackle that. It would be kind of like you having an office job, and someone expecting you to suddenly start heavy weight lifting, with no training And you want to bet that if a wolf takes down a deer or another large animal in the wild, that their wild cousins will certainly help themselves to a free meal! For fish, I generally try to stick to the smaller, fresh water variety. The larger the fish, the higher the level of toxins in their body.
Their poop is the weirdest thing I have ever seen. It has this bizarre jelly texture to it, and sometimes is very light or very dark, but there are these little chunks of something in it. Their poop had the chunks in it before, which I just assumed was the corn that was in their crappy kibble they came with it. It's been a few weeks, so I imagine they would have passed that already... right? I'm half tempted to take a picture of it to see if it's normal. Does anyone have pictures on here to see what's normal/abnormal before/after kibble/raw?
I gave them a a chicken quarter last night that had been sitting in warm water to get up to room temperature. They will lick it, but only Persephone (she is now called the Vicious Killer seeing as how well she's taken to raw and may or may not have to do with her bad biting history) will chomp onto it and pull hard. Lulabelle (surprisingly) has started to eat decent sized chunks of it if I score it up so it hangs off the bone a bit. The others just lick it, so at least htey know it's food. If I put the chicken on the plate, they aren't interested but if I pick it up and hold it above their heads or eye-level they are all of a sudden interested. Weird?
Post by sherrylynne on Oct 12, 2010 21:54:28 GMT -5
Not weird at all! Check out this thread: holisticferret.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=raw&action=display&thread=4160 Scroll down- you'll see an example of ferrets who prefer food hanging above them, As for the poops, you'll find soon you'll be able to tell what they've eaten simply by their stool Raw stool always changes both in consistency and colour, depending on what they've eaten. I wouldn't worry overly much. And kudos to both Persephone and Lullabelle!!! For the others, you may have to continue to chop up the meat in smaller bits before they'll really eat it.
So I went and looked up poop charts - and everyone's poops are "seedy" so I'm assuming the chicken needs to change. Unfortunately, since my dog is so sensitive to pork (as so many dogs are) I'm used to animals ending up with cannon butt after eating pork - but the more I think about it maybe it's great for ferrets because they have such a high requirement for protein and fat than dogs do. So can I give pork as a whole meal? leave the skin on? I also have some turkey necks left over - I'm gooing to thaw those out and see how they do with those. A lot of other people said that theri ferrets are chicken-sensitive... which I hope is not the case since chicken is so cheap, but we'll see.
Post by sherrylynne on Oct 13, 2010 19:16:28 GMT -5
It's still quite possible it's only because they are so early in their switch that they are showing seedy stools. Try a different meat, see how they do with that, and then switch back again. It would indeed be unusual for all 5 to have problems with chicken. Out of my 9, only one has a problem with chicken. For the pork, it's normally very well received. And yes, you can give it skin and all. A ferret needs about 30% fat in their diet. If they had no problems like that with the kibble, they likely don't have a sensitivity.
Well, they all had seedy poops even on kibble. But now it's mucousy and jelly-like. I tried turkey mixed in with the rest of their chicken soupie and it was well received! Lulabelle absolutely ripped up the bone, I picked her up while she was eating and she actually grabbed it - I carried her across the room and I didn't realize she still was gripping onto it! Lulabelle is so weird, she doesn't like toys, doesn't like to play, but will eat and try to "kill" her food - then she passes out for a food coma right afterwards. Persephone liked the bone too, so I'm going to try with al ittle more meat on it tonight
Post by sherrylynne on Oct 16, 2010 11:10:51 GMT -5
Their poops will settle down after a while, thank heavens! Here's hoping it's not a chicken sensitivity, because, as I'd said, it would be unusual in the extreme for ALL of them to have it. Anyway- don't you love it when they are actually excited about their food? I've got one a little like Lulabelle, in that she is very calm and relaxed most of the time. You pick her up, and she becomes basically a noodle ferret But WOW! You should see her with whole prey especially She'll battle ANYONE who gets between her and her meeces I think it's time to start reducing the amount of soupy mix they are getting with their meals, til they are on straight meat! Maybe to start, just cut up the chunks like normal, and add the soup on top, sort of like a gravy.
That's what I've been doing - the soupie isn't much like soup anymore... it's more like a super chunk stew or something. They still don't really like the chunks, but I will catch them eating bits of it. And I know you're not supposed to use the "tough love" method on them, but these guys have been kibble fed for so long and they seem to be motivated best by it. Persephone will apparently eat whatever I put in front of her (at least so far) so with her and Lulabelle being interested in the food, it stimulates the other three to get interested in it. I've noticed now that they don't feel compelled to stuff themselves all right as soon as I feed them now - which I wish they would so I can definitely see them eat, but when I go to feed them again later most of the food is gone or at least halfway gone so I know they are eating well. No weight loss, and lots of poop so everyone must just feel more comfortable about their new food and that it isn't going to go anywhere.
So far they really aren't digging on the heart though =/ I'm getting kind of worried for the taurine levels - how long can they go eating like this without some ill effect? And I know you use a coffee grinder, but where do other people get powdered eggshell? They really catching onto the concept of EATING the meat on the bones, but htye must realize what it is because they will lick it and drag it everywhere. I take it as a positive than a negative, but I just wish they could figure it out that the meat in the bowl is the same as the meat on the bone and no mum does not need to hold it constantly!
Post by sherrylynne on Oct 18, 2010 18:24:03 GMT -5
PD You could try hooking it to the side of the cage with shower hooks. That way, they can still chew on it, and you don't have to hold it. For the taurine? Not even sure. You can get human grade taurine supplements, and use one 500 mg capsule sprinkled on the meat for them. Or try mixing minced up heart in the regular dish of chopped meat. Mine went 6 weeks of transition before they started accepting things like that well. Unfortunately- you've got to make your own powdered eggshell. Not a clue where you'd buy it. Others use a mortar and pestle, but frankly, I'm too lazy To get them eating chunks, start with dicing up plain meat in the size they normally get with the "stew", and put any liquid or soup on top, sort of like a gravy, but don't mix it in. Over the next few days, just decrease the amount of gravy they are getting, til they are eating the diced up meat.
Yeah I think I'll have to get them online as well, which so crazy! I'll check the dollar store first, but it looks like an online thing. I went to pay $.99 for a package of 12 but it costs $6 in shipping LOL so I'll have to look around some more.
SO apparently the ferrets have taken to hoarding their big chunks now. Well, at least a couple of them anyways. I take this as a positive thing, because it means that they want to save it for later which they for the most part do. Is this something I should discourage though? Does it mean I'm feeding them too much? I feed them two big meals a day - I don't want anyone to go hungry. Sometimes there is a bit left over, which after 24 hours I just give to Leia which she gladly takes as a yummy snack despite it's terrible smell.
Poops have moderately gotten better on pork, some are mucousy though. Lulabelle has however started to scratch nonstop =( Her head, body, tail, belly, everything. None of the others do this, and this is a totally new thing. Allergies? They are all exposed to the same things in rather tight quarters since they all share the same food bowls, litterbox, sleeping areas, and they all sleep on each other no matter how much space in the cage they have. None of them have been outside for over a month and Leia does not have fleas or anything. =( I feel terrible, she can barely walk a couple inches before she starts scratching like crazy again. Can this be diet related? Leia has horrible allergies to grain so I'm permantly worried about allergies now sine it took so long to get her healthy.
Post by sherrylynne on Oct 24, 2010 17:36:10 GMT -5
It's possible it's allergy related. The only way to find out is to eliminate whichever meat you think may have triggered it. Some ferrets also have dryer skin naturally, so are itchier. Try giving her an oil supplement daily. It should help a lot. I use salmon oil, some use marine fish oil, and others extra virgin olive oil As for stashing for later, I always put in enough to last til the next meal, so stashing occurs. If too much is left over, I just reduce the amount I give them for the next meal. At their size and age, they should be able to eat about 5-7 oz per meal, although that may be stretched out a bit. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh it. It's really not very much Their stool is also going to be a bit looser until they are on bone.