Okay, so for five 1.5 lb ferrets how much should I be feeding? And what should my soupie look like now that they are accustomed to everything? And to make sure everyone is eating bone, what should I do - wait and see that they eat it? It's always gone within a couple hours and I see them all eat but I never waited to watch them eat the whole thing. Or should I seperate them especially with the bone to make sure they're getting the same amounts?
Post by sherrylynne on Dec 13, 2010 20:04:09 GMT -5
As to amounts, it really varies from ferret to ferret. My females will eat anywhere from 1oz to 3 oz each, per meal. Since your's are basically babies still, they may well eat more than they will as they get older. For the bone, whenever you hear crunching, just try to take a peek and see who's doing it. Early signs of not enough calcium are nails becoming brittle when you cut them. If they all look like they are crunching away, you likely have nothing to worry about The soup I feed is just the ground texture mixed with water, and mashed up well. If they get ill, I'll puree it instead. The important thing is to try to keep them used to some form of liquid(ish) meal, even if it's with ground.
It's been a long time for an update HOWEVER I have been in the progress of completely changing around the house for the ferrets. I scrapped the Aviary plan and bought two 142 + 143 set ups, they are now side-by-side with the middles gone. I was just going to get the two 142's BUT then I realized, if I needed to set Lulabelle apart separately I could just block off one whole floor and give it to her with the two bottom floors being plenty adequate space for the other four, and the one floor being more than enough room for her. It's still a lot of bedding but this is BY FAR the better arrangement - I went and got everything during a big sale so it cost me about half what it would have when I bought the aviary =( If it cost that cheap before I would have never bought the aviary! Oh well. Live and learn.
I also found a neat scale. It's max weight it can measure is 11 lbs PLUS it comes with a stainless steel bowl (with wide pour spout which is handy AND it's dishwasher safe) that's big enough to weigh a ferret! Now I can weight Lulabelle and keep on top of her weight loss/gain.
I am still in the process of putting my house back together after the re-arrangement of everything during putting up the cages, taking down the aviary, etc but once I have my kitchen back (how I can't wait to be able to use my counterspace again!) I will lay out a better feeding schedule that's more stable.
In the meantime, I gave them a whole goat foreleg - it is the bone and foot right up to the knee joint, it includes the skin and fur + hoof. They like to drag it around a lot and sometimes I catch them chewing on it but for the most part they seem very confused. I'm not really sure how else to encourage them to eat it - it's not really something I can hang from the shower hooks (SO GLAD i bought as many as I did, they are useful for everything!) like I do for everything else.
And I know this is terrible, but when I clean out their bedding once a week or so I find almost a whole skeleton throughout the cage. parts of half-gnawed bones here, remnents of bones there, I feel half excited that they eat as well as they do and half grossed out that they can dispose of bodies like that LOL
Post by sherrylynne on Dec 29, 2010 18:53:41 GMT -5
As for the goat leg, why not try slashing through the skin if you can, so they can get to the meat? The fur and the tough skin might be what's causing the problem for them. After all, ferrets for the most part are very lazy eaters Also, you could try tying it to the cage, see if it works. "Disposing of bodies" That's a good way to put it Congrats on those cages! Wow, what a great deal! And yes, keeping one level for little Lulabelle is a really good idea. You can also use it as a sick cage for one of the others if the need ever arises. I'm looking forward to getting your final menu, tweaking it where needed(if necessary), and getting you graduated!!!
The ferrets appear to be more interested when the goat leg is stinky, as in, it's sat in there for a day. They carry it around frequently. I will refreeze, rethaw, and then hack/slash so they can figure it out better the second time.
So far this is what I've come up with based on the vague ideas I've gotten from others posting their menus up. Keep in mind, I don't mind purchasing other stuff online. Right now I have:
Goat meat and RMB's (which is a lot of goat legs complete with skin, hair, and hooves and others with mostly meat on them) Chicken wings and quarters Cornish Game Hens (I cut them in half for feeding) Beef RMB's which I can scrape off the bone (they are very meaty) if you think the bone is too much for them Turkey necks Giblets (turkey and chicken) Ground beef "medley" (its described as "mix of miscellaneous internal organs & tissues") Goat organs (liver, kidneys, lungs, spleens, etc) Pork Free range eggs
So anyways, this is the weekly menu I've come up with, ready for you to tweak!
M - (bone in) Rabbit legs OR turkey necks Tu - (muscle) Beef heart OR chicken hearts W - (bone in) Goat meaty bones OR rabbit legs OR chicken wings Th - (muscle) Goat meat OR pork OR chicken meat F - (bone in) Goat legs OR rabbit legs OR chicken wings/quarters Sat - (organ + optional day) Beef medley OR goat organs + somethng boney Sun - (bone in) Goat legs OR pig feet OR chicken wings OR turkey neck
Post by sherrylynne on Dec 30, 2010 20:47:04 GMT -5
Eggs you can do as a snack, or a treat if you like. Or if you make a soup for them. They aren't mandatory, but most ferrets like them. I gather their poops are doing ok on this? Not to loose or dry? How much of the bone do they actually consume with the beef/goat/pig's feet? Looks good to me, though.
I haven't done it yet - I was waiting to get the okay from you first. So far they eat a mix of everything in no particular order. Their poops are actually really good! Lulabelle's still goes green occasionally, no idea why. She has done this consistently since she came here so I'm not terribly worried about it. Her and I run around the beginning from the second floor where we live all the way to the fifth floor, across the building, then down the other flight of stairs, across the beginning again back to our place. She is SO FUNNY she even know which door is hers =) She will nudge it open to get inside haha So I know the green isn't because she isn't feeling good, and it's not all the time, just occasionally. It has good consistency though.
They all eat quite a bit of bone - when I feed them they ALL come rushing and everyone is crunching on bones and meat all the same. I think Persephone and Lulabelle are just far more aggressive with it than the other three are (which is funny to me, because those are the weakest AND the strongest eating, not the three middlegirls) but I have seen Cidalia eating aggressively when no one else is around. The other two seem to like to eat right when I put it out until they are full then come back for more later when I'm not arond because everything is always devoured later and everyone is consistently putting on weight. With my new scale I'm going to keep a baseline for weights too just otmake sure.
I haven't tried the pigs feet yet, but I'm hoping they will liek them because they are a totally different consistency than anything else. They seem to reallly like difficult pieces, they attempt to "kill" their food and they hiss and shake it violently. They love pork so I'm hoping this will be something different for them since I have about a bajillion or so of them.
Congratulations. I must admit I'm impressed, you've come a long way from when you first rescued those 5 little lost souls from death row. They've come a long way. I want to thank you for persevering and not giving up on these little ones. You've done some amazing work. I know that you were at times very frustrated but you succeeded. Congratulations, you've graduated, your little ones are eating a great diet. I will leave your thread open for a couple of days, to allow sherrylynne to pop in and congratulate you. I will then lock up the thread and place it in with the rest of the graduates Please note that you can access and read through the file at any time, but you can no longer post to it. Your mentor is still available for questions and you need only pm her. You can also post your questions to the forum at any time as well. Good luck, give your beautiful little girls a big hug from me. ciao
Post by sherrylynne on Dec 31, 2010 12:43:41 GMT -5
Well- you made it! And you've done such a wonderful job with these little ones I do hope you'll stick around. You've got a ton of experience under your belt in such a short time, and I know others on here could really benefit from that! Besides- I want to keep on hearing about these babies, and how they grow