Daisy reminds me a lot of Kenai. They are all adorable. And yaaaaaaay to Daisy crunching bones! 2 down, 1 to go! Once they are all chewing bones, you are past one of the biggest steps. (dance) Let me know how they continue to do, and what they think of their progressively more organy organs! haha Keep it up!
so far, the brains were not a big hit. And when I mixed up their pre-mixed dinners, I didn't put in enough rad cat. they didn't want much to do with the food in their bowl. But tonight I added their dinner portion with a little extra rad cat and they went to town. I suspect that I'm moving a little too fast reducing the rad cat mix for their tastes. I'll bump it back up a notch for a little while and see how it goes. the pre-mixed bags I was making up had 3 oz of meat or meat/bone or meat/organ and about a tablespoon of rad cat. tonight I mixed up another few bags of chopped turkey and put in 2 oz of meat and 1 oz of rad cat. we'll see how that goes. sorry for the typing....my cut finger hurts a bit and I'm having some trouble with typing.
Kenai does look a lot like little daisy. Such sweet faces!!!!
No worries! Have you tried hand feeding them some plain chunks recently? See what they think. Definitely keep reducing the commercial raws and pushing them towards whole raws. Keep increasing the size and number of meat chunks too.
Last night after I was so pleased with Daisy, I thawed two of the quail in a plastic baggie. Tonight my husband was holding the whole bunch and I stuck a little quail leg out of the baggie and presented it to all three. Mickey grabbed that leg. LOL So I cut it up a little and put it on a dish. The only one interested was Mickey who took it and stashed it. So then, since it was thawed now, I chopped it up and put just that down for them. Nothing. I took about half of it and mixed it with the tiniest bit of rad cat. Now only Daisy wanted it....and she licked up all the rad cat she could find. So I took the plate and made up their bowl with a couple of tablespoons of rad cat and that chopped up quail. I waited a while and Daisy and Yogi dug in for dinner. I heard Yogi crunching so I left them alone with it. I just checked and only some is gone. So we are in a holding pattern. That's okay....tomorrow is another day! Maybe they will finish this dinner tonight. I will check on them again tomorrow.
Another great day! And we have confirmation that Mickey is also eating bones! WOOT!!!! JACKPOT!!!! Tonight they finished up their breakfast and dug into dinner with zeal! Mickey took a fall tonight that knocked the wind out of him so I had to put them to bed a little early so they could get some rest. But before they went to bed, they were ALL crunching away like crazy! I'm a very happy momma!!!!
I fed them some organs this morning and everything was gone.....or so I thought, until I cleaned the cage. But there was mostly muscle meat in there...pieces that were bigger than they were used to. I have Muscle and organ on the menu for breakfast tomorrow and with the amount they scarfed down tonight, they will be hungry. I cut the organ meat smaller (I forgot which organ meat I added to this meal, but I think it's liver) this time so they won't pick the pieces out. I think that so far, it's been the size of the chunks that they didn't agree with...more than the taste. I have some pig brains thawed out now so I'll give that a try with tomorrow's dinner. I will report back! You know, if I could get them to like the brains, I could almost use them instead of the rad cat...they are so mushy that they would mix well into a liquid to coat some other meat....like hearts. I might give that a try next instead. LOL
The last step of getting them off that rad cat is going to be difficult, I think. They will only lick the meat when there is rad cat on them to start off with. Daisy absolutely cleans each and every piece of rad cat before going in for meat. But, they do eventually eat the meat so it is just a matter of time. hehehe Finicky, those babies!
Brains are super nutritious, so that is a fantastic option. Ugh, they are so gross though! hahaha
Your babies are all still fairly young, and healthy. Do you have a day or two sometime this week when you can be home all day to monitor them? Perhaps over the weekend? If so, I would suggest using that day to pull the RadCat Cold Turkey! Don't give them the option. Keep an eye on them and make sure they DO eat - it might take a while haha but they should do it. The nice thing about raw ferts is you don't have the BG spikes and troughs you do with kibble so it usually does not hurt them to skip a meal as long as they do not have insulinoma. I want you to ONLY do this when you can monitor them though to a) make sure they all eat, and b) so that if for some reason one DOES start to show signs of an impending low BG crash you can act immediately and prevent an actual crash. Mikey is the oldest, so he is the highest risk for any possible underlying insulinoma. Your other two are young enough that they really should be fine. I honestly think all 3 will do just fine though, but better safe than sorry so please only do this when you can be home to monitor. If you can do it a few days in a row (hand feed if necessary), all the better!
LOL The brains are kind of icky but they remind me of just another lumpy soup. I had a harder time chopping up the quail. Not sure why...turkey and chicken, no problem but taking the first chop on the quail was kind of tough for me. Probably because I'm used to handling the other meats for us to eat.
Yes, all my ferts are quite healthy now. I'm home over the weekend and I can remove the rad cat for them then. I have a feeling if left long enough they will eat their meat. After Daisy licks up all the rad cat, there isn't much left and they eat all of their meals. I haven't seen even a crumb left at the end of 12 hours in several days now. They could be hiding it though....I have found the leftovers here and there. I will try it this weekend and *saying this three times* I WILL NOT GIVE IN TO BOO-BOO EYES, I WILL NOT GIVE IN TO BOO-BOO EYES, I WILL NOT GIVE IN TO BOO-BOO EYES. hehehe
I have another question....I'm working on the meal plan and when working out the actual ounces, I've come up with a quandary. The meal plan I copied from this forum says: 8-9 meals consumable bone, 3-4 meals muscle meats (one of which must be heart) and 1 meal of approx 2 oz liver and 2 oz other organ. The final item is where my question comes in. Each of my ferrets, right now is eating at their summer levels which is 1 oz of food each per meal for a total of 2 oz each per day. The 1 meal of 4 oz of liver and organ is more than my babies can eat in a meal. In order to figure out how much they should be eating I've converted all meals to ounces but I'm having trouble converting one meal into 4 ounces. If one meal is 1 ounce each, how much liver and other organs should they be eating? Should I adjust the meal plan to accomodate 2 ounces of liver and 2 ounces of other organ and reduce equally the bone and muscle meals? At this rate, they are eating 1 oz twice a day for 7 days = 14 total ounces of food. I guess the bigger question is whether the amount of liver and other organs should stay a fixed 2 oz each per week or should it be based on the number of meals each week.
Sorry for the math, but I'm sure you are used to that! And I'm an accountant...everything planned out must return to math. LOL
hahaha DO NOT GIVE IN TO BOO BOO EYES!!!! If they are all eating the meat after the Rad Cat is licked up, then they are fine without it. They may boycott for a few hours, but they will eat it when they realize mom isn't going to give in and give them their "candy." Stay strong!!!!
Their meals do not need to be weighed. I'll be honest - everyone using ounces on here is a bit of a pet peeve of mine! haha It is a ROUGH average/guideline. Each ferret is SO different. Feed them as much as they will eat. You will learn to eyeball it well, as you already have per our previous conversations. Also, the menu is a guideline. The 4oz organ meat is to ensure anyone not going through the mentoring program (and many who do)has a minimal level of organ so they do not have deficiencies. Their diet should be 10% organ, half liver half other organs. If your ferret is a big boy and eats 4oz a day vs a little female eating 1 oz a day, 2oz a week is going to be a drastically different % of their diet! A much better way to measure in my opinion and experience is by Meals.
You feed 2 meals a day = 14 meals a week. 10% is 1.5 meals. They should get 10% organ (AT LEAST half liver, half other organs), 10% heart, and 7-9 meals containing edible bone-in meats (total edible bone should total 10-15% of their diet). If you follow this guideline, their diet will always be 10% organ, 10% heart, and they will always have their balance whether they eat 1oz a day or 20.
With that in mind, I typically recommend to people (though as long as the balance is there it doesn't have to be done this way by any means)to pick 2 days (the weekend for example) to be Organ and Heart Days. One meal will be all organ (half liver, half other), one meal will be all heart, and one meal will be half heart and half liver. So it might look like this:
Saturday am: 1/2 chicken liver, 1/2 pork brains and goat kidney pm: 1/2 beef liver (or mix of liver and other organs) 1/2 chicken heart
Sunday am: beef heart pm: bone-in meal (i.e. chicken necks) (the bone will re-firm up their poops after eating 3 meals of blood-heavy foods)
Monday - Friday should then contain 7-9 bone-in meals (or 7-8 is the last meal on Sunday has bone), and other muscle meats (gizzard is a muscle meat, not an organ - I forget if I mentioned that).
No, that makes perfect sense! I figured that was the case...
I'm starting out with measuring ounces to make sure that I have enough food rather than giving them too little. I always look after 12 hours to see what is left. Most times the bowl is licked clean. So this morning I put in a little more than three ounces of cut up cornish hen with bones. I nearly always give them too much and have a lot of waste so I decided to measure how much they are eating so I can get a little closer to the right amount and I'm not tossing things that they should be eating. I'd rather feed them extra in a day if they were hungrier than always giving too much.
I have a spreadsheet going so I can better prepare for the week ahead. I ended up having a bunch of meat go bad and throwing it out last week because I estimated too high and then didn't serve it all. At least with the ounces I can prepare a little better. My 3 ounce baggies of meals almost always ended up near 4 ounces but it's easier to have them pre measured and cut up for the weekday meals. I labeled the meals: CH (chicken) -MB (muscle/bone) or -MH (muscle/heart) or -MO (muscle/organ). In that same pattern I also have (T) turkey, (B) beef, (H) hen, etc... I bought some of those plastic bins like you put leftovers in and organized all the pre measured meals for each week. As long as all of those are gone by the weekend, they have had a balanced week of food. I was just waiting for your response to make sure that I've got enough of the organ and heart in the baggies or did I need to adjust what I did. Last week I had 3 muscle/organ meals (all are half and half except the bones is all chopped up meat with the bones attached in the baggie), 3 muscle/heart meals and 5 muscle/bone meals and 3 just muscle meals without any bones. I used those just muscle meals to add in meats and bones with new flavors for them to try. Does that make sense? LOL
Thank you for your advice! I'm going to start cutting and mixing the next week's meals this afternoon!
Don't get me wrong, weighing their food is a very useful tool, there is a reason it is used on the guideline. The problem is people get tend to get very stuck on the ounces and getting everything in exact weights. It is important to remember the bigger picture.
Last week I had 3 muscle/organ meals (all are half and half except the bones is all chopped up meat with the bones attached in the baggie), 3 muscle/heart meals and 5 muscle/bone meals and 3 just muscle meals without any bones. I used those just muscle meals to add in meats and bones with new flavors for them to try. Does that make sense? LOL
Perfect. You've got it. The only thing you are short on is bone (which is something we're still working on so it's fine for now, just remember to use the powdered eggshell or bonemeal until they are eating a full bone regimen). Overall though it sounds like a very good meal plan. You really are doing great.
Thanks! LOL I actually added that quail I bought to the muscle only meals. The weren't too keen on the quail at first so I added the chicken muscle only packet to about a 1/4 of the quail with bones. They didn't have a meal without any bone in it...although two meals were mostly muscle with only a little bit bone.
Learning from last week's rotten leftover chicken, tonight I cut up the whole cornish hen into roughly 3-4 ounce portions and baggied them (a whole hen ended up being about 3.5 days of food...not bad for $4.00!!). That way I know what's there and I will cut it up into meals tomorrow. I bought some pork button bone last week so I might try that with them. Wait....should I keep that frozen for three weeks to make sure it's safe? I'm a little unsure about the pork.
So on hand now I have: 1 stewing chicken, bag of turkey necks, bag of turkey legs, bag of pork button bone, 1.5 containers (8 oz each container- total 12 ounces) pork brains, 8 quail, chicken hearts, liver, gizzards, the remainder of the cornish hen. So as long as I mix it up well, I've got 5 proteins available. So tomorrow I'm going to get out a good mix of all of the above and get to thawing and chopping. This is kinda fun! My husband said I needed a hobby! LOL
Your variety is looking good. I would try to toss a little beef in there here and there if you can, just to add another non-poultry protein. It doesn't have to be a super regular item, but something to add in at least on occasion. Some nice fatty ground hamburger meat every now and then will give them a change in texture too to keep it interesting for them!
I love love LOVE your amount and variety of edible bones btw. (dance)
Any luck on holding out against those pitiful faces? (giggle)