Okay. I knew it had to be somewhere NW when you mentioned Freddies. No, I am in Alaska.
Haha okay, but if they still eat around these chunks, be sure to toss them and make a new batch. That is a good sign that they are cleaning off the bones by the way. Shows they are chewing and at least eating some chunk-form meat.
I left in the chunks this morning and when I got home for lunch (very late lunch- 3:00 pm) they had eaten every last bit of them! WOOT!!!!! I took the bowl out and just now made up their dinner with chicken & hen muscle meat, lamb (from the Primal chub), 2 hearts, liver (both chopped in fair sized chunks), the hen wing tips smashed and chopped small and topped it off with a little rad cat and tiny bit of pumpkin. Looks like a dinner fit for 2 kings and a tiny little queen.
Karl (husband) took it in and Yogi dug right in! You def don't have to tell him twice that dinner has been served! Right little piggy he is! hehehe That makes me so happy! I'm going to go in and supervise the eating now to see how they are doing. I can't let them eat in the kitchen anymore because they want to go hide and eat sometimes....and they have chosen under the fish tank in the living room and under the china hutch in the dining room. I can't get under these places very well to clean, so best to feed them in their room now. I think when we start having larger pieces or whole items, they will have to eat in their cage. I really don't want to see bloody carpet all the time! hehehe
Well, they ate all but about a tablespoon of their meat and chunks. It seems like they are eating enough, they aren't losing weight or anything..... is that good enough then? They are only eating about 6 oz of meat a day between the three of them. Yogi never seems to have a full tummy but I do see him in their munching on his meats. At first I was filling their bowl twice a day, but it seems like they just aren't eating as much. I really only need to feed them once a day as their is always food left in the bowl. Maybe they have come down off the gorging period and it is now summer so they are in their slim phase?
Mickey is still itching like crazy. I saw some more blood spots on him. How long to do you think it will take for that to go away after the lupron shot? Or will it?
Sorry for all the questions! I don't like to see my babies want for anything or be uncomfortable. Mickey seems so tired all the time, but he is getting older now. I guess it's not really all the time. I was feeling icky when I got home from work so I let the babies out of the cage but shut the door to their bedroom. I think Mickey dug at that door for at least 45 minutes. When I went in to get them, they were all asleep in their cat scratcher....so I woke them up. They only played for a little while and then started hunting around for someplace to go to sleep. I think I missed their playful part of today.
Time to go to bed...my hands are so dry from cutting up their food and washing my hands a hundred times! hehehe
I thought of another question while making the babies' dinner tonight. Should I be feeding them heart and liver with each meal? Yesterday's dinner had two chicken hearts cut up in it and a little liver. Tonight I left both the heart and the liver out of the mix....just put in the cornish hen (little pieces with a bit of bone attached), the Primal lamb and a tiny bit of the rad cat. Trying to get them used to less rad cat now. it was about 60% meat..some chunks, some a little smaller with some bones attached, 25% primal lamb, 15% rc turkey, a smidgeon of pumpkin. With Mickey still losing hair quickly, I thought I should keep up the pumpkin, if even just a tiny bit.
With the reduction in the rad cat, I think I'm going to have to start looking at the menu so I can make sure to have the right mix of other stuff in the food they are getting. They aren't on the bones yet, but I can attempt to make everything else fairly balanced. Do you think I should be putting some eggshell in to supplement the what comes in the rad cat? I know that being not exactly in balance isn't as important right now, but might as well start working on getting mixes right for later and practicing up for what their eventual meal plan should be. I'll take another look at the meal plan posted in here, time for another review! Woot!
TONIGHT YOGI CRUNCHED BONES!!!!!! I heard it with my own two ears! I'm so excited!!!! I scared my husband when I ran out of the ferret's room yelling about crunching bones! hehehe Nothing from the others yet, but I keep slipping some bone in there so it's just a matter of time! Yippee!!!!!
For heart and liver, they should be getting 10% heart, 10% organs (half liver, half others). They are going to need to learn to like the taste of them individually, so why not start to gradually move your meals apart in content? Feed increasingly More organ on say Saturdays, more heart on Sundays, and less on weekdays. With the end goal being that on weekends they get one FULL meal of organ one FULL meal of heart. To truly reach 10%, they should ideally be getting 1.5 meals of organ, 1.5 meals of heart a week (on a 2 meal a day schedule). An easy way to do this is to pick 2 days (I use weekends as an example bc it is easiest), to devote to these 3 meals. So say Sat they get organs for breakfast (1/2 liver, 1/2 other organs), and heart for dinner. Then Sunday they get for breakfast a meal that is 1/2 liver 1/2 heart. Sunday dinner can then be anything, though I suggest a bone-in meal (such as turkey necks or chicken wings) to firm their poops back up.
If the balance is a little off for a bit it will not hurt them as long as it is NOT long term. Try to make 2-4 meals a week heavier in the organ and heart until they will eat organ and heart on their own. As they accept a heavier o/h content, you can decrease the o/h in their other meals.
For bone, yes until they are all consistently crunching on bones you should continue adding bonemeal or powdered eggshell powder to their meals. 1/4 tsp per ferret per day. You can add a little more if their poops seem too soft.
RE their decreased eating, I BELIEVE the average amount per ferret is around 2oz, but it can vary by individual. It is spring time so most people are finding their ferrets are eating less, and yours should be adjusting to raw and eating less because their bodies have caught up on nutrients too. Keep an eye on them and make sure all 3 are eating, and watch their weights. They will drop weight in the spring, but make sure they are not losing too much or too fast. I suggest keeping tabs by weighing in weekly. If you would feel better you can post a weekly pic of each here too. Then you (and I) have a visual track of their weight loss. You said you did not have a scale right? I would buy one. It is a good idea to have one on hand anyways, and then you can take weekly weights and make sure they aren't losing too much/fast. It is also helpful to track so say next spring and the next, you know what is normal for your babies.
Okay, I will buy a scale. It would help in figuring out how much they are eating as well as making sure that they are keeping their weight on a normal level for them.
It seems like my clan is eating about 7-8 ounces of food a day (that doesn't seem like much for three ferrets). I'm not really refilling their bowls any more. They get a full bowl once a day and when I go back to that bowl 24 hours later it is finally gone. I think weighing them would at least give me peace of mind. Last week when I took their bowl away from them at lunch and then gave it back to them with new food in it at dinner time it seemed like they ate more. But that could be my imagination too. If I'm going to start feeding them two separate meals each day, I'm going to have to adjust how much they are being fed so that I can monitor each of the meals according to the meal plan. For now, I will only give them a half of their regular amount in the morning and see how much is left in the evening and then adjust from there. I know that some days they don't eat as much as other days, so I'll have to average it out so that they don't go hungry. I can come home at lunch to check on them while I'm still figuring it out.
So for the heart/liver meals, it's their entire meal with only the liver & heart in it? You are right...they better start getting to like it! hehehe I have had a small set back with the hearts. I found Yogi picking them out and hiding them. Tonight I made the heart chunks a little smaller to blend in better, but I will progress them back up over the next few days.
Tonight I watched them eat for a while...Daisy ate quite a bit and had a full tummy when she was finished and I caught Yogi in mid meal, so I'm not sure how much he ate. Mickey came out of the bedroom with a full tummy already so I'm not sure what he ate. I will try to witness their meal time every so often just to keep tabs on them.
I will start adding the bone meal or eggshell right away since we are really cutting back on the commercial raw at this point. Tomorrow I will get some pictures of how they look now and post them for you to see. They all seem to be at good summer time weights right now. My big fat Mickey is still big and fat, Daisy hasn't changed hardly at all since I got her....she's so tiny. and Yogi is the one with the most drastic change between winter and summer. this was Yogi and Daisy's first winter....they just turned a year old a few months ago so Yogi dropped his baby weight along with this coat change. He is thinner than his winter self but his body looks proportionate when held up in the air with feed dangling. Well, I'll show you tomorrow.
My hands are getting sore (new phone, have been changing settings for hours haha) so I will be brief. No, gizzard is a muscle meat. Great for cleaning teeth though! Organs (for dietary purposes) are hormone secreting tissues. Liver, kidney, pancreas, spleen, uterus, brain, etc. Stomach wall is technically an organ though I have heard it is lower in nutrients and many ferrets don't like it. Lung is usually considered an organ too.
Their organ meal should be 1/2 liver, 1/2 other organs (kidney, brain, etc). The heart meal should be all heart. Then they should get an additional half meal of each (heart and organ). This can be fed as a half and half organ/heart meal or with other foods. One meal half heart half chicken wings, one meal half beef liver half pork chops. However you split it the idea is to get 1.5 meals worth of heart meat, 1.5 meals worth of organ (at least half of which is liver).
6-8oz sounds right for 3 ferrets in one day. Like I said average is usually around 2oz per ferret per day. Times 3 = 6oz per day total.
Right now they have food available 24/7 correct? If you can split it into 2 meals fed about 12 hours apart (breakfast - leave in cage all day, and dinner - leave in cage all night) that will ensure they have food available at all times and decrease the amount of spoilage you have. You will learn to judge how much they need roughly per meal with practice, as you are already learning. I feed to have a small bite or two leftover. Then I know they ate their fill, but there is little waste. There are still some days I toss out half a game hen's worth of meat, and some days they think I starved them to death because they gobbled it all down early in the day. I find that between 1/3 and 1/2 of a sandwich sized ziplock baggie is usually a fair average for my 2 boys.
It is a pain, but weighing each meal before feeding (write it down to keep track) might give you an idea of how much they eat (remember, leftover food will weigh less due to water evaporation!), which could help you in judging what amounts to separate out for freezing pre-prepared meals. Another way to measure is by size/volume rather than weight. This is not affected as much by drying. Did they eat 1/4c of food and want more? Every time you feed 1/2c of food is there roughly 1/8c left? Personally I just eyeball it. You will find what works best for you, just toy with the amounts and be aware that it will never be 100% consistent.
Oh good! 6-8 oz per day for three ferrets. Then they are eating what they should. That would explain why they are still the same size as normal. I think what confused me is I must have misunderstood something that someone wrote...on the fb forum I think....that they should eat 2 oz per meal or 4 oz per day per ferret. That's a darned lot of food! I can do 6-8 oz per day. I'm going to start with cutting that in half and seeing how they do feeding that amount twice a day.
the bowl I use holds 8 oz so I just eyeball it....half full twice a day should do the trick for me. LOL Yes, I leave their food available to them 24/7. I really hate to see an empty bowl because I don't know how long it has been empty...and I can't have my babies starving!!!!
LOL Thanks for typing through the hurt hands! I will be out and about today running errands and one of those is to find another source of organ meat. It's been interesting looking for the strange meat section at every grocery store...I've seen things I had no idea that the sell!
I'm excited again! hehehe I had a great trip to various stores and a butcher...got lots of meats and a scale!
To report on weight first.... I have a bunch of porkers! LOL Here are the weights as I have them: I got Yogi and Daisy in October. their first checkup was on 10/21/12.
Yogi : 10/21/12- 1200 grams (they measured in kgs so the rounding is an issue), 4/23/13- 940 g, 6/2/13- 950 g Daisy: 10/21/12- 760 g (again, they weighed in kgs), 4/23/13- 680g, 6/2/13- 731g (hehehe little tubbo!!!)
Mickey was seen 5/18/13 for his first lupron shot- 1249g, 6/2/13- 1285g. I'm going to call his regular vet and get last years weight. Just got a reminder that his rabies shot is due in two weeks...which means they have a weight for him one year ago. Since he is seasonally backward, I'm going to get his weight history to compare last year with this year. All my babies seem to be doing just fine in the weight department! Yippee!!!!!
Now for food varieties found today.... I purchased a stewing chicken at the asian market for $2!!!! They were out of the duck wings...so bummed! I saw goose or duck uterus for sale...(I'll try that next time) and they had rabbits and a small bird (partridge I think) for sale. (Maybe next time...that place is packed!!!) I bought a package of turkey necks, pork button bone (what is that anyway?), a 6 pack of quail ($10), 3 turkey legs.
I stopped by one of the local butchers...much more expensive! I bought a 4 pack of quail for $15 (boo!!) and two 8 oz containers of pork brains ($3 total)
So now I have enough things purchased to make a good meal plan out for the next week. It's going to consist mostly of what I have that's fresh...all else went in to the freezer for later on.
ON the meal plan this week will be chicken (i'm going to cut up the whole one I bought a few days ago), turkey legs, the remainder of the hen, turkey neck, chicken liver, chicken heart and pork button bone. Now to get to chopping!