Please share your raw stories here! We need as many as we can get. Who are your ferrets (ages, breeder/mill source, etc), how old were they when you switched them, why did you start feeding raw, what was the journey/switch like for you/them, and what changes/benefits have you seen since switching. Please also feel free to include whatever other relevant info. Thank you!
Please also include what your ferrets WERE eating and what they are eating now (i.e. Frankenprey, while prey, commercial group ground, etc...
Sinnead- Five year old Marshall's girl. It took about a month before she was crunching on bones Vincent- Nine month old Marshall's boy. It took about the same amount of time. Boris- Nine month old Marshall's boy. It took 6 weeks of spitting, retching, gagging, twisting, whimpering before he would even admit puree soup wasn't actually poisoning him ;D Once he accepted it he was crunching bones within another two weeks. Lucrezia- 13 week old from a mill in Manitoba. Took to raw immediately. Willow- 5m old from same mill. Took to raw immediately. Miss Emily- 5m old Marshall's. Came to me raw fed. Zeus- 3yr old Marshall's boy. Took about 2m to switch. Athena- 3yr old Marshall's girl. Took about 1m to switch. Suki- 9m old Real Canadian. Took about 2m for her switch. Mr. Frodo- 1yr old Real Canadian. Took to raw first day here. Odin- 4-5 yr old Marshall's boy. Took 6 weeks to switch. Indie- 2-3 yr old Marshall's boy. Took about 6 weeks to switch Judge- 2yr old Marshall's boy. Same as boys above. Cody- 9 m old Marshall's boy. Took about 2 months to switch.
I feed raw meat, bone, organ, and whole prey. The times I referred to above are how long it took them to be fully on this diet. Ages given are how old they were when their diet switch was started. Other than Emily, they all came to me on a variety of crap kibbles. I start their diet switch the day they come through the door. I honestly believe, through my own experiences as well as helping a number of others, that NO ferret is too old to teach how to eat a natural diet. And that diet includes meat, bones, heart, organs. One doesn't have to feed whole prey. For me it was just a natural evolution in the whole diet experience. Because they all crunch whole bones I've never had to have a dental cleaning done, nor have I ever brushed their teeth. They are naturally sparkling white. Vet comments on it every time she sees them, including calling in techs to show them what a natural diet of bone crunching does for teeth ;D
Ferrets: Contessa, Frankenfurter, Butterscotch. Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
Maisey-Mae was about 3yrs old, she took 2 months to fully switch.
Hunter was around 4yrs old, also took a bout 2 months.
Sebastian about 3 yrs old, he switched easily in about 2 weeks.
Ollie was a kit when I got him, about 3 months old, he switched within 2 weeks
Bootstrap Bill was also a kit about 3 mos old, switched within 2 weeks
Pippi was 6 months old, switched immediately.
Mabel is 6 or 7 years old, still in process, it has been about 8 weeks, she is eating soupie with slivers, larger bits getting left behind at this time
Sephiroth is about 4 years old, still in process, has been about 9 weeks,eats meat chunks, just starting bone in meats
Midna is about 3 years old, fully switched in about 3 weeks
Mabel, Seph and Midna I just got in February, they had previously been on raw but were switched back to EVO kibble by the previous caregiver.
I feed raw meat, bone in meats and organs. Some of mine do not crunch as much bone as others, I have two that require brushing of teeth. I constantly get comments asking what shampoo I use to make them so fluffy, soft and clean smelling ;D I then get the opportunity to give the speech about raw diet benefits! Litter box maintenance is half the frequency of kibble fed ferrets, although those on soupie pee more. Stools are smaller and less odiferous than kibble fed, even the high quality kibble.
Last Edit: Apr 18, 2013 10:22:23 GMT -5 by Deleted
Baine: About 1.5 years old. It took about 4 months to switch him. He honestly thought he was a vegetarian. Aspen: About 2 years old. It took her less than a month to switch over. Chia: About 4 months old. It took her about a month to switch.
I feed mostly commercial ground raw, with some bone in meats and gizzards on the side to help with keeping their teeth clean They are super fluffy and soft, and I love how their poops don't smell as bad! They all have more energy as well!
I have 2 ferrets. Koda, Real Canadian (will be 4 in Oct 2013) Kenai, Marshalls Farms (will be 3 in Oct 2013)
They were both about 8 weeks old when I bought them, and put on raw from their first day home. For Koda, I put him into the cage with a chicken leg and he immediately took to it. If I came too close he would hiss like a little demon! ;D He comped it down, bone and all, and that was that with him! Kenai was a little tougher. I suspect he was a bit younger than Koda, and I greatly suspect that he was not fully weaned. He was skin and bones with a big bloated belly. He didn't want any raw chunks, so I tried soup. Nope! I added some bab yfood and boiled chicken and finger fed him a few licks of that and he took it. Then I mixed the raw in and finger fed a few licks and he took it. Then all raw soup and he took it. (This is all over the period of about 20-45 min). Once I knew he was eating the all raw puree, I added some chunks into the mix and put it in the cage with him. He ate it overnight, and after that he ate just about anything else I gave him.
Raw has been a lifesaver for Koda. It is because of raw that I have been able to keep his IBD under control. Kenai was recently also diagnosed with IBD (though his seems to be primarily stress triggered where Koda also has allergies/sensitivities to certain foods). When Kenai was diagnosed the vet told me that the only reason his IBD was not much worse than it was, was because he was on a raw diet.
On raw my boys are beautiful and healthy. Their fur is super sleek, soft, and shiny. I have never brushed their teeth and they are pearly white with nice pink gums. They have a ton of energy. They poop a FRACTION as often as kibble fed ferrets and the poops are a fraction of the size. The poop also smells less. They do pee more though, but that is because they are actually properly hydrated! I get many comments on their smell (or lack of it rather) and in fact I am regularly asked what perfume I have sprayed Koda with. To which I proudly explain their diet. Koda is pure muscle, and super strong and healthy. Kenai has some genetic issues and never puts on much muscle, but he is always bright and happy and full of silly energy.
As a mentor I have helped to switch ferrets of ALL ages, from 8 week old kits, to 8-9 year old mill babies who have been on Wal-Mart kibble most of their lives. I have switched adrenal ferrets, insulinomic ferrets, IBD/food allergy ferrets, ferrets with nutrient absorption issues, perfectly healthy ferrets, and absurdly stubborn ferrets... A ferret is never too old to make the switch, it just requires patience and persistence on the part of the ferrent. And no matter the age or health, the ferret will reap the benefits of a raw diet.
River was four months old when I got her. While the staff at the PetCo here go out of their way to care for the ferrets as well as possible, she was still on dry "ferret food" and the horrible smelling "soup" mix they sell. (the staff pay out of their own pockets to feed the meatiest ferret food they have, and soup, and to provide toys, and if one isn't thriving, they take it in the back to be hand-fed and carried around until it's strong again) River was an easy switch, first eating the commercial raw I bought for my cat, and very quickly showing that she likes real food, thank you VERY much! She's grown quite a bit since I got her, currently a couple ounces over two pounds at six months old. She LOVES things like cornish game hens, frog legs, and pinkie mice. (I'm going to go up a size on them, we'll see how well I can handle them) Rive has a nice, light smell, distinctly ferret but not the strong musk people think of.
Kaylee was on a combination of kibbles at the rescue. They encourage raw feeding if you can get them to eat it, I can definitely see where trying to switch 20+ at one time would be nigh impossible! She was slim, no unhealthily so, just a petite thing. Her fur did feel a little dry, and she was always thirsty. Considering I only got her two weeks ago, she's making enormous strides! She now eats her meat and bones with gusto, and like River, has a definite taste for more "natural" meals. Frogs legs, smaller poultry, and pinky mice, make her eyes shine and she will get so excited for a meal she'll fall over. (seriously, how clumsy are these critters???) She feels much more solid now, having gained just a few ounces but definitely putting on muscle. Her coat is coming in softer and thicker, and her color is getting more vibrant. Kaylee is a very excitable girl and will even wag her tail for food she likes. She does definitely still have detox poops, but she's coming along so well, I don't think she's going to be a stinky girl for too long. Her own scent is not bad, though.
And, though he's not a ferret, I also feed my cat raw, and he has the most ridiculously fluffy tail you ever saw. His fur does not mat, and he barely sheds. He is a sleek muscle machine and when he moves, it is with the power and grace of a tiger. (though at meal time he does a mad dash and knocks desk chair over while he "hunts" his bowl.) Also, unlike his predecessor, when he uses the litter box, it does not bring tears to the eye and send you gagging into the bathroom. Just sort of smells...chicken-y, I guess.
While I have not fed kibble in quite a few years now, so non of my current ferrets have ever had processed food under my care I will add the things I really appreciate with the raw food.
Recovery timne from an illness. I totally credit raw food with helping Sumo's recovery when he had his amputation. I do not believe he would have recovered so quickly or so well without it.
Beautiful soft coats. When I got Jester back in August from the RSPCA his coat was coarse compared to what I am used to now (it really probably wouldn't have seemed coarse to someone who doesn't feed raw). They were feeding some sort of kibble (they told me it was ferret food but never got back to me with a list of ingredients). Now he is lovely and soft like my ferrets always are. It is especially noticeable because he is a bit mixed up and in Winter mode while the other two are in Summer mode, so extra fluffy and soft!
I originally changed to raw some years back after I had a ferret with insulinoma. I have not had to deal with that since and feel much less worried about it cropping up and considering I hope never to have to deal with it again that is my absolutely favourite thing about a natural diet!
Post by boogerybooger on Oct 18, 2017 10:59:32 GMT -5
Booger was a 3.5 years old when he started his switch to raw. He's 4.5 yrs now and let me tell you everything I read on the forum from the admin. has been true for Booger. He is completely on raw frankenprey and in great shape in all ways. It takes work so don't give up. It is SO worth it.
He started on marshalls and was quickly switched to EVO then Wysong dry and FDR. He lost hair and was very itchy. I spent 9 months giving him melatonin every day 7-9 hours after sunrise (flexible schedule thank goodness!) He looked great for that time and then the balding and itching returned and he got DES implant and 7-8 months later got his second one. He is doing great! I follow the frankenprey menu and have NEVER given him any treats of any kind for his whole life. Every now and then when traveling, I have given him a nibble of FDR while his raw is thawing.
I applaud and am so grateful for the ferret lovers on this forum! THANK YOU!!! Boogery Booger's Grandferent
Nei - Marshalls - 2.5yrs - 2 weeks using chicken and thin slices of beef. Alice - Marshalls - 2.5yrs - 1 week using chicken and thin slices of beef.
Initially I used chicken and beef to ween them off of kibble because both are easy to access market meets. However, it wasn't long before both became allergic to chicken. I found out about that Hare Today delivery and since then been giving them a great, varied regiment of meats. Their favorite is ground duck, followed by ground pork. Nei loves to munch on the tip of quail wings while Alice will just inhale everything.