Okay as for the egg shell, if you rinse it, dry it, and thoroughly grind it up it will last for years. Don't include the part underneath though, cause that has protein in it and will make it spoil sooner. The shell itself is just calcium so and long as it dry, clean, and crushed it will last quite some time. And can be stored in a container in a dry place.
Ooops - I meant 2 hearts.. I guess I was thinking of 1 liver!
Actually, we don't eat many eggs either. Could we give our ferrets the bone meal? If so, where do we get that? And how much does it cost approximately? Also, is it bad to switch between the two?
We did do that for Cyrus last night. We had her eating from the spoon (after having a little bit of oil) and she was getting very close to the dish when we had it on the spoon but I think she got tired of it or something because after about 3-5 mins of licking the spoon, she didn't wanna have any more. So we didn't quite get her eating out of the dish.
You can use bone meal, if you can find it. It has to be human-grade though. I get mine from a pet health food store (the kind that sells raw food for pets). It has to be kept in the fridge/freezer. We usually just suggest the egg shells because the bone meal is so hard to track down. You can always feed the raw eggs to the ferrets if you don't eat them yourself. But no more than 1 egg per ferret per week. They usually really like them though.
That is definitely great progress! Keep at it until she is eating out of the dish and let me know when that happens. Ferrets do have tiny stomachs and raw fills them up way more than kibble so that's probably why she seems to get bored and lose interest because she is getting full
Just letting you know that not much has changed. We still haven't been able to get Cyrus to eat directly out of the dish but I think it will come soon with a little more persistence.
If we give the ferrets the egg, do we just give it to them as is? In a dish, not broken up? We tried this once before and they didn't seem to want it.
Also, about the egg shell, it won't hurt the ferrets to have any of the thin layer inside the egg still on it right? If we use the egg shell right away and don't need it to last, is it ok to have some of the thin layer on that is too stuck on to get off?
Thanks for the update. Just keep working on her! Another thing you can try doing is removing the kibble for 4 hours, hand feeding her and then leaving some soup on a dish in the cage for a little while and just watching. Zeus will eat it but Cyrus just might catch on and join him. Otherwise just keep it up
No that part under the shell won't hurt them at all, so no worries there. You can feed the eggs as is or you can try scrambling it a little bit in the microwave (as long as its just the egg with no shell). Don't fully cook it or anything but it you stir it and zap it for a few minutes it will start to become the consistency of scrambled eggs. They might like this better, or it's possible they just aren't a fan of eggs, some ferrets aren't.
Nothing much is new with the ferrets. Zues is still loving it, but Cyrus is still being a bit picky. We have been taking her food away 4 hours in advance. Yesterday she did take a couple licks from the bowl (without knowing it) when we lowered the spoon enough into the dish that she was actually licking from the bowl rather than the spoon so I think we are getting closer. We just can't get her to repeat that!
Thanks for the update. At this stage, there's not much else to do but keep trying! It does sometimes take weeks to months to convince them to eat the raw on their own. She is eating it when you hand feed her so she does recognize it as food, it's just a matter of getting her to eat it on her own.
Try using a flat plate instead of a bowl. Some ferrets seem to hate getting soup on their whiskers, one of my mine refuses to eat it out of a bowl but will eat it off a flat plate.
You can also try putting a lot of oil of top of the soup on the plate. Give a few tastes with your finger and then see if she'll eat it herself. Do you have any ferretone? I don't like to use it every day because it has BHT (a cancer causing preservative) but it works really great for these kinds of situations and it's okay to give short term. Otherwise I only use it for nail clippings. But they love it so much it might help get her to eat it on her own.
That worked! I gave her the plate with some soup on it and some oil on top. She licked it clean Then I tried to give her more, but didn't add any oil this time but she took a few licks and didn't want any more so I had to add a little more oil to get her to keep eating. When she finished Zeus came and finished it off for her!
We will keep doing this. Hopefully we can eventually trick her into eating it without any oil.
Let's have her do that at least a few more times, then let me know once you are confident she is eating on her own.
Once you let me know that (hopefully within the next few days) we'll try replacing the kibble in the cage with soup for a little bit during the day, and then putting the kibble back at night. And then gradually weaning off kibble entirely and on to soup.
You can keep putting oil on top to get her to eat it, just slowly decrease the amount as you said. It doesn't have to be eliminated completely though, as 1/2 tsp per ferret per day is recommended anyways.
Cyrus seems to be eating the soup by herself now once we put the oil on top of it for her. She will even eat it out of the bowl rather than the flat plate.
BTW, is it alright for our cats to have a little bit of the soup - they always want to have a little bit but I didnt know if anything about it would be bad for them, or maybe you don't know about that.
So the next step is to slowly wean them off the kibble entirely. To do this, I want you to start by removing the kibble in the morning. 30 minutes after the kibble has been removed , put fresh soup in the cage (with oil on top so Cyrus will it eat too). Throughout the day, make sure they are eating the soup. If all the soup is eaten or it starts to look like it's drying out (usually after 4-6 hours), replace it with fresh soup. Do this throughout the day, but keep a close eye to make sure both are eating soup.
Then 30 minutes before bed time, remove the soup. 30 minutes after removing the soup, replace the kibble back in the cage for the night.
This will get them used to eating soup during the day, but with kibble back at night as a safeguard, in case they aren't eating enough soup during the day yet.
Yes the cats can absolutely have some raw soup. Cats and ferrets are very similar in their dietary requirements. Just watch that your cats don't eat a bunch of soup and then immediately wolf down their kibble, as this could make them throw-up.
Are you using ferretone or the extra virgin olive oil for the "oil" right now? I wouldnt give the cats ferretone either.
Justin and I were in an out a lot this weekend so we didn't start until yesterday. We are having a bit of trouble though because our cats keep sneaking in the cage and eating the soup! We finally figured out how to keep the cats out so tomorrow should be better.
So far we have been using olive oil and not any ferretone (although that is one of their favourite things!!) Is ferravite any better than ferretone?
We are just wondering though... We thought that when we feed the ferrets raw they would be having "meal times" rather than having the raw food sit out all day for them like their kibble does. Is leaving it out all day just part of the switching to raw or are we always going to have their new food out all day? Just curious
Last Edit: Aug 14, 2012 21:31:50 GMT -5 by Deleted
Stear clear of ferrevite! That stuff is FULL of sugar, which overloads the pancreas and will lead to insulinoma. Ferretone is fine but no more than once a week (say for nail trimmings). Stick to the olive oil daily, but try to limit it to 1/2 tsp per ferret.
Is there a particular reason you wanted to do meal times with raw?
Here's the thing about that...
1) ferrets aren't like dogs or cats, their stomachs are very tiny. So if you feed them two "meals" a day, then remove the food immediately, they are going to get no where enough food and you're going to have some starving ferrets on your hands very quickly.
2) ferrets are stashers and grazers. This means they much prefer to hide their food and come back for smaller snacks throughout the day than eat a large amount at once. Once we move them up to meat chunks and bones, they probably won't even eat them right away when you put them in the cage, instead they will hide them and eat them when they want to eat.
Now I'm guessing you're worried about leaving raw meat out all day. Which there's no need to worry about. Once they are up to whole chunks and bones - those stay fresh and edible pretty much up to the 24 hour mark. And to be honest most ferrets prefer to let the meat "season" before eating it.
If you're worried about meat making a mess of the cage, bins with holes cut in them can be used as feeing dens or even good old brown paper bags. If you give the ferrets a designated feeding area, then there will be less mess.
So what people do on here generally is feed twice a day. You give them just enough raw so that there will be a tiny bit leftover in 12 hours. Then switch it out for fresh at the 12 hour mark.
Just wanted to add - I spoke with the other mentors about meal times, and it's really truly NOT something we recommend. Because your ferrets are a bit older, eating consistently throughout the day is important to prevent the emergence of insulinoma as well as pancreatitis issues.
Also because they've been on kibble up until this point, they don't understand the concept of a meal time and training them to eat enough at a meal is going to be a ton of work. Not to mention you would HAVE to feed at least 3 meals a day (8 hours apart EXACTLY), 4 would be safer (6 hours apart EXACTLY) and that would make your schedule very difficult.
So between the inconvenience and the severe health risks, it's honestly just not worth it.
Plus there's really no reason why the meat can't sit out for 12 hours for them to graze on. It's not dangerous. And if you're worried about messiness, then it just requires a feeding den.