Post by sunnyberra on Jan 22, 2011 20:48:17 GMT -5
9 to 9's fine. Mine are really varied - generally morning feedings are around 10:30 and night feedings around 11, so close to 12 hours,
Livers ... it took my guys a year before they'd eat liver by itself and not in their ground food, so. I think it's the texture they don't really care for.
As for fish, I don't feed a lot - a few times a month. However, the problem with fish usually arises when it's used in *kibble*, there's really not a problem with light fishes (tilapia) in raw form. At least with my guys. There was an issue, though, with flounder, I think it was, because my guys loved it, but they did stink a bit after eating it, so yeah, not again LOL. Personally, I view fish as just more variety, and yeah - I know a few others on here feed shrimp to their guys too, although I think they feed it uncooked? I'm not sure (and I've really got to find out and try it with the Tetrad ).
And yeah - your schedule looks great! And that's great that the thighs were bone-in, ahaha.
How are the girls doing on the soup?
Last Edit: Jan 22, 2011 20:49:35 GMT -5 by sunnyberra
Post by trippyferret on Jan 23, 2011 10:00:02 GMT -5
The girls have been doing great on their soups. They make funny faces when they eat the chunks, but they are eating them! The chunks are about fingernail sized. However, last night I gave Bomber and Eve a chicken thigh and they didn't eat much. Didn't even get to the bone. So I left that overnight, and they still didn't eat anymore. I gave them wings this morning, and they just ate the very tips off, that's it. I tried cutting the wings into pieces, and they still didn't want it. Evie ate one piece and then she started throwing it up. :/ It's very odd, they usually eat at least half a wing. Maybe I left too much meat on the thigh, and they just weren't hungry this morning? But then again, Bomber was trying to go after the girls' soups, so maybe he's just waiting for food that is easier to eat.
Post by trippyferret on Jan 23, 2011 10:45:12 GMT -5
Ok, I got them to eat a bit more of the wings. I was worried about leaving them starving until I got home from work! For Evie, I had to hold the wing in place for her to eat it. She ate about half the wing. With Bomber, I took the chunks and put a little salmon oil on them, and he ate them! I'm leaving them the rest of the wings until I get home this evening. Then we're having liver for dinner.
Post by sunnyberra on Jan 23, 2011 14:28:09 GMT -5
Them wanting an easier meal could definitely be a reason. Ferrets are lazy, lazy eaters in general and the easier they can have it, the happier they are. Do you put down the whole thigh and let them go at it? Or do you cut it up along the joints? If not, you might try that, or if you have a knife that can handle it, you might try cutting the thigh (bone and all) into smaller chunks.
Suggestions for getting them interested (now or in the future, if you encounter the problem again): cutting the thigh (and other big RMBs) into chunks; shower curtain hooks - lots of ferrents use these in the cage to promote interest in the food (and prevent the ferts from dragging the meal everywhere, LOL). You can get a big pack of them for cheap, as well. Just thread the meat onto the hook and clip it to a wall of their cage (a bit high, so it dangles); try a different meat (you can even pick up turkey wings, if you want, ferts do love the turkey, and my guys can get through the wing, but not the leg/drum part) or some pork, and see if that sparks their overall interest. Sometimes they just want something different, and now that they're on raw steadily, I'd see about consistently getting some variety in.
As for Evie throwing up - ferts can upchuck for a lot of reasons. My first male would puke and heave every time he didn't get his way. It amazed the vets when they would try to get him to do stuff and he'd start gagging and going on!
Overall, though, a little handfeeding (like you've experienced, ahaha) goes a long way. My guys still pull that trick with me, esp. if they haven't gotten the amount of attention they KNOW they deserve
And I'm so glad the girls are eating the soup with chunks in. That's great, and yeah - I know those faces - they don't know what to make of the texture of the meat. That's a very common reason why ferts hit a roadblock at this stage - they just can't/don't want to have to deal with it. But your girls are pretty adventurous, it seems! \o/
Last Edit: Jan 23, 2011 14:29:59 GMT -5 by sunnyberra
Post by trippyferret on Jan 23, 2011 19:11:11 GMT -5
I think the chunks are my best bet here. I've actually already been hooking the larger pieces of meat to the bars of their cage. But it seems they are lazy and I will just have to work them up to eating bone-in meals whole. I need to get some poultry shears, because the kitchen scissors I have can't handle the bigger bones, only the thin ones. I think the reason Evie threw up was because she took too big of a bite, and was hacking it back up. I'm sure she'll learn to take appropriate-sized bites? lol Tonight I'm going to try chopping up their liver and covering it in salmon oil and see if they take to it. If not, I'll just have to puree it. I know they will eat it if it is pureed. Going to keep Salem on the wee chunks for a few more days, and then start doing bigger ones. And I might take the kibble out of their soups in a couple days. We'll see!
Post by sunnyberra on Jan 23, 2011 19:23:40 GMT -5
Sounds like everything is moving along - and you can slowly decrease the kibble - taking it out in one go might be too much of a shock. Instead, everyday you make the chunks bigger, take out some of the kibble until it's gone. That might go over better.
And they will get better at judging the size they can handle, although they slip up every now and then. Just a bit ago, Pixie was running around gagging and vomiting because she misjudged a piece of pork, LOL.
Post by trippyferret on Jan 24, 2011 10:46:32 GMT -5
Ah, ok, gotcha. I'll take it out more gradually then. Chopped liver went GREAT last night, they loved it. Didn't even need salmon oil! Next time I'll try whole liver and see if they go for it. BTW, this was absolutely the most DISGUSTING thing I have ever chopped up in my life. I almost gagged. But I made it through for the fuzzies. Hehehe. The big kids had turkey neck for breakfast. I had to chop it up to get them to eat some. But I notice they have more of a problem with the turkey bone. Seems too hard for them. Do you think turkey wings would be easier for them?
Post by trippyferret on Jan 24, 2011 17:19:37 GMT -5
Never mind about the turkey wings, I looked at those and the bones look really big! But that's ok, I found some cornish game hens and I'm gonna replace it with that. I'm a little unsure of how to serve them. Can I cut one in half and just let them have at it? I also swapped out the chicken backs on my menu to bone-in chicken breasts. The backs seem to be in a more limited supply, so the breasts just seemed like a better choice. Tomorrow I'm going to try to find our local butcher and see about the organ meats. The only ones I have found so far are chicken, cow, and calf liver. Oh! And I totally scored today and found goat leg pieces! Can't wait to find out how they like those!
Post by sunnyberra on Jan 24, 2011 18:49:49 GMT -5
Turkey wings are pretty big, but most fuzz can handle them (the drum is another matter, in my experience). But that might be something to wait on until they're a bit more experienced.
And you can definitely do half a game hen when they're more situated. Right now, I'd just start with maybe a quarter and see how they do (drum and thigh area as one meal, etc), since right now it's just your two (Bomber and Evie) eating the actual raw, right? For my four I do give about half of a gamehen at a time. They really love the cgh meat
Bone-in chicken breasts are fine (just be aware that light meats, including the breast, contain less taurine. Not a problem, since you do have other dark meats to offer your guys).
Hahahaha, liver IS gross, I admit. It still beats (for me) having to slit open mice bellies and stuff the innards with treats (like I tried when I was seeing if they'd take to furred critters. So far only winged and befeathered and scaled and gilled animals have the Tetrad stamp of approval). Ugh :-\
Having a few different sources is great (sometimes you can even find turkey liver. I have a bit stashed away, although my guys rarely get it, since their ground contains the organs of the animal, which can be handy, LOL), because you need variety there just like in any other area of their diet. You can also look for kidney (generally pork, in stores) and pancreas (I have seen beef, but that's it). Both those are secreting organs, and are great for the fuzz to have, as well (generally the 10% organ requirement is broken down to 5% secreting organ, 5% non, but anything besides livers can be a pain to hunt for! And having the full 10% be liver from a few sources is a lot better than no organs ).
eta: ugh, sorry. at school, and apparently tired enough to embrace double punctuation, yay /o\ Hopefully that's all corrected. If not, sorry :C
Last Edit: Jan 24, 2011 18:53:05 GMT -5 by sunnyberra
Post by trippyferret on Jan 24, 2011 21:28:45 GMT -5
So are you saying it's ok to do liver as the organ once a week, it's just not ideal? Because if I can't find anything at the butcher tomorrow, then I might do that. But only if it's ok, just as long as I alternate the source(cow, calf, chicken)? So later this afternoon, they seemed to do pretty well on that turkey neck! Hardly any left, just little bits of bone. That is, unless they stashed it somewhere I don't know about. Then they ate their hearts real well for dinner. I lucked out and got a pack of gizzards and hearts today and there were about 15 in there! Holy cow! Somebody had a weird poo though. I'm not sure if this is normal with raw. There was a poop with little chunks of bone in it, and it was kinda slimy and looked like it had fresh blood in it. BTW, I find cutting up liver far more gross than cutting up a mouse. I dunno, it just doesn't bother me to split a mouse belly. I'm weird I guess. It was the seedy part of the liver that made me wanna vom. Bahahaha.
Post by sunnyberra on Jan 24, 2011 23:35:18 GMT -5
Yeah, poos can change rather drastically on raw- they tend to reflect the meals they've had. Dark reddish soft poos are common with organ meals (which is why some feed with bone-in ground/pumpkin). With organs, what to watch for is black, wet, smelly poos, which can indicate an overdose of vitamins, and you would need to cut back on the amount of liver given.
Seeing bone in poo is common, too, just watch - because you might have to adjust and give a few more meat meals if they seem constipated (small bone packed poos, straining, etc).
What you said about the liver and other organs is it exactly. All liver isn't ideal, but can do (and you do occasionally feed whole prey/live? If so, then they are exposed to secreting organs, at least!). Just make sure you do have the variety with the liver (different animals it different things and it does matter in terms of nutrients present), and keep an eye out/snatch up something if you see a store carrying something else, LOL.
Post by trippyferret on Jan 25, 2011 10:30:59 GMT -5
So you think that the red blood looking stuff was ok and totally normal? They had liver the day before, think it could have been from that? Bone-in breasts went over great this morning. Tonight is beef chunks! They love their beef chunks. They seem to really be getting the hang of it. Glad to know I'll be alright with different livers. I'll certainly be keeping my eyes open for other organ meats. Kroger gets some weird things occasionally, like the goat leg meat I found yesterday. And tonight we're going to try bigger chunks in the soupies. I'm thinking it will go well, since they are eating the tiny ones so well. Also, I have heard about ferrets trimming out when switched to raw and then putting it back on as muscle. Well I can tell that Evie has lost all her winter weight. She is still fluffy, just more trim. Bomber is still a fat lug. lol!