Post by quixoticwhit on Oct 19, 2012 21:51:51 GMT -5
I was on a ferret site that had a bunch of ideas for games and such to play with you ferret. Some of them were actually pretty good! But they kept mentioning using liquid smoke or ferretone to entice them, and then this was suggested:
"Smokey the Bear: This is Bear's favorite game. Fill a file- storage box about 1/3 with sand mixed with potting soil about 4 to 1. Pour in 1/4 bottle of liquid smoke, and mix well. They might be dirty afterwards, but they actually smile! I have watched Bear roll in the dirt for hours, snorting and snorkeling, and anything else you can imagine. It's one of the few things he will run across the floor for. I place it in the kitchen for ease of cleanup later. Keeps them from digging in the litter box."
Do they really go for liquid smoke? Is this okay for them to have? ...seems strange to me...
I don't know....somehow this doesn't appear to be a healthy practice. I cannot actually see anything that is wrong other than it's a concentrated substance....and is created similar to EO's. According to everything " Liquid smoke is made by burning sawdust and capturing the components in either water or a vegetable oil this is what liquid smoke is " another entry states (basically the same thing)
Know Your Ingredients · Liquid Smoke
A concentrated flavoring used to duplicate the essence of smoked wood, liquid smoke is literally the flavor of smoke captured in water. Wood chips or sawdust are burned in a controlled environment, producing tiny smoke particles held in water vapor. Chilled air is introduced, causing the particles to condense into liquid. The liquid is then aged in oak barrels.
Liquid smoke is usually made from smoked hickory, mesquite, pecan, or apple wood, and can be applied to a gas grill to add a charcoal flavor, added to a meat marinade or curing solution, or used on soft cheeses and meatless proteins such as tempeh. ciao
Post by quixoticwhit on Oct 19, 2012 22:33:08 GMT -5
I was thinking the liquid smoke in the dig box might just be for smell--but then the dig box would be moist and the fert would be pretty dirty afterwards! But one suggestion was to put liquid smoke or ferretone on your hands or on ping pong balls to get them to play with them.
I would think liquid smoke is a pretty safe material. Below is my theorizing (sorry for the wall of text, I can't sleep and have latched onto this as an interesting topic).
Essential oils (and base for perfumes) are the extracted volatile oils of a plant so when breathed in they can cause allergic reactions (if you are susceptible). Think of fresh herbs, you always want to chop or crush them. That is because almost all the herb's flavor / scent is contained in the plants natural oils. Also when you create an essential oil you are not just getting the compounds / substances you want but anything else in the plant that is oil soluble as well.
I believe (I could be wrong) the danger of essential oils to carnivores like cats and ferrets is that their biology has a much simpler fat / oil absorption process which cannot filter out any oil soluble substances that hitch a ride with the essential oils (the fats / oils are absorbed pretty much as they arrive in their systems). Overtime these substances build up in their organs and become toxic. You see this in nature with mercury, it affects and builds up in those species at the top of the food chain (usually carnivores) the fastest.
An omnivore's digestive system is much more complex letting them get what they need from a wider range of sources and deal with a wider range of food contaminates (toxins, fungi, bacteria, base foods, acidic foods, etc). We even have a whole bacterial ecosystem in our guts to help us digest out food.
I'd imagine a carnivores digestive system is designed to mainly handle bacterial contamination (such as from slightly "off" meat) and most likely has a much simpler level of bacterial flora / fauna. Their short digestive system and high metabolisms are designed to stripe what they need out of their food as fast as possible (with the least amount of work) and chuck the rest out to prevent a favorable environment for foreign bacterial growth.
This is one of the reasons I don't understand the use of pro-biotics in ferrets. Aren't pro-biotics designed for humans (omnivores) or are there pro-biotics specifically designed for ferrets / carnivores? I've read that the only place bacteria are generally present in a carnivore is in the colon which comes after the stage of digestion so they are not helping the animal digest it's food in any way (in essence they are not "helpful" bacteria): mustelamania.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/pet-food-safety-part-4-evolving-vs-devolving/
When making liquid smoke it is just the fine water soluble particles of the burned wood that collects in the water (remember, oil and water don't mix) and any oils in the wood would be burned off during the combustion process so no volatile essential oils remain to cause allergic reactions / toxic build up. High temperatures are used in the production of essential oils but combustion would ruin the oils you are trying to collect.
Heather - I've never seen Liquid Smoke with oil in it. All the types I currently have in my cupboards only have two ingredients (water, smoke).
I'd say in theory that liquid smoke is potentially even safer than vanilla (which is almost an essential oil / perfume, just nowhere near as concentrated).
Keep in mind that there is evidence that burned (charred) anything is potentially cancerous but that can be said of just about anything in high enough amounts these days.
Also while you are not concentrating high amounts oil soluble substances in the liquid smoke as you would be in an essential oil, there is no way to know if there are or are not any oil soluble substances in the liquid smoke it self. These could potentially bind with a ferrets body fats / oils if breathed in but again would be in much smaller concentrations than in an essential oil (by my reasoning).
As with anything unknown / untested I'd always say use your own best judgement.
I'm in the process of building a ping pong ball pit for my fuzzbuts and am planing on placing a few "Special" balls in it for them to find (liquid smoke, vanilla, etc).
Last Edit: Oct 20, 2012 6:46:05 GMT -5 by bitbyter
The information that I gave was straight from a couple of sites that either manufactured this or were giving instructions on how to create it. The use of vegetable oil was strictly their idea. I've never used the stuff myself. ciao
Heather - Sorry if my comment came out harsh in any way. I was just pointing out that I'd never run across a commercial variety that actually used vegetable oil. No offense intended.
I've also updated my post above as the original article I linked too was a bit off on some things and just as I was about the change it my internet connection died. It did force me to finally get some sleep however. ;D
Last Edit: Oct 20, 2012 6:48:25 GMT -5 by bitbyter
Well I just tried Wilma out in the ball pit and she wasn't impressed at all. I could tell she really didn't like it (probably the unstable footing). Maybe it will grow on her. Socks is sleeping but well see what she thinks when she wakes up.