Yes, I can certainly see the dilemma with ensuring multiple ferrets are getting everything they need. (Though, out of curiosity, how is this done when feeding the regular weekly menu? Wouldn't it be just as difficult to tell who is eating what? Say, Fluffy doesn't like organs so he fasts on organ day and just waits to eat his meat the next day.) Luckily I won't have to worry about that as I plan on having a single ferret.
I think the trick is making sure everyone is reliably eating the organs before you move on with the switch. At least in my experience, they will eat whatever they're given, but if they get to choose between two options, they're always going to go with the yummier one i.e. picking the meat out and leaving the organs.
Okay, I see that point. It reminds me of how rodents fed a mixed commercial diet only eat the seeds and not the kibble.
So what would you think about giving the daily portion of organs first, then following up with the yummy meat and bone in once they have finished the organs? Do you think that would motivate a ferret to eat the organs reliably?
Hmmm, I wonder if maybe they wouldn't hold out for the good stuff that's coming. They can be so stubborn and smart! There are some more experienced raw feeders on here than me that could probably give you a better answer Personally I have found it works well to just have one "thing" per meal to focus on. Then I can just give it to them at feeding time and be done. It seems like you'd have to do a lot of waiting around if you followed up the organs with the rest of their meal.
Yeah I'm sure if they did turn out to have a particular distaste for organs at first it could be a bit of a waiting game... but I feel as if they could eventually learn to choke down .2oz of organs per meal with little hassle in favor of some tasty meat lol! Seems like a basic case of classical conditioning to me. Of course I am no ferrent
P.S. The idea is that there is no good stuff coming... not until the organs are gone
Last Edit: Jul 17, 2013 22:57:25 GMT -5 by Deleted
It's worth a shot I suppose! I know mine would never go for it. As it is, they take their sweet time digging into their chicken wings if they've gotten quail the previous day (quail's their favorite) It's like their way of saying "We know you've got the good stuff, so what is this?!" Little boogers
I'd say if you have any more than two ferrets it is to much of a risk to feed everything at once. It is just to hard to make sure everyone is getting their organs. Nutritional deficiencies take a long time to show up and by the time they do there isn't much that can be done about it. Wilma will always eat her liver last so I occasionally supplement to make sure she is getting enough (freeze dried liver treats pulverized and then mixed in with their meat - FD Liver Shake & No Bake). They also get whole prey a minimum of twice a week (usually 3 times a week).
Tanks for this, can you post the ratios you use for each food type? Do you have three you combine in different concentrations or are there more like 5-6 food types? By the way my OCD approves with your preparation method. I weigh Hurleys food before and after so I can figure out how much she is eating in a 12 hr period. I do the same with water but in ml. True evaporation and food bowl digging makes the numbers more of a good guess but I figure if anything is wrong ill be the first to know .
It is the same ratios that are in the standard Frankenprey diet. I weight everything out based on how much the eat in a day (this is something you need to figure out by weighing what you give them and subtracting the difference after 24 hrs). Then I follow the ratio above when I chop everything up (bone in, boneless and heart). Then I fill the deli containers with a mix. The ratios are really only important over a week long period. If the get a bit more bone in one day and a little less the next it isn't going to hurt anything as long as they are meeting all the ratios (bone in, boneless, heart) in the long run. The have separate containers for their weekly organ amounts. So every other day I cut back a bit on their main meats and replace that with organs.
and don't worry, raw feeders are so involved in their ferrets diet they know almost immediately if someone isn't eating what they normally do. With kibble fed ferrets it is harder to notice as most people just fill their bowl every few days.