Have they had organs before and all eaten them consistently? If not, I would still make the soup with organs. Same goes for bones, if you're certain they are all eating enough bones then you can leave out the eggshells, if not I would continue to add them.
Yes, I think just feeding everything in one week would be a lot easier to remember and keep track of in the future than a rotation. No biggie on the grind, I just wanted to throw that out there as an option just in case.
I think turkey would be the better addition for this week. They might not be eating the bones as eagerly because they grew bored of the same old chicken wings, mixing it up with turkey necks might be the change they need to get back into bones with gusto. Just remember than turkey bones are a lot larger so you might/probably will need to break then down a lot more than you did with chicken.
yes they eat organs but right now I grind heart liver and kidney together. this week I'm going to try it in 3 seperate meals.
I will grind chicken and egg shells. yes they eat bones but not sure if they eat enough. we humans eat 3 dozen eggs a week so no lack of shells at my house. I will mix chicken grind with menu. here is my game plan:
Okay, I have a few comments on your menu. First, you're still at equal parts heart, liver and organ. Liver should be half a meal and the secondary organ should be the other half of said menu (they're usually fed together for this reason), and heart should be a full meal and a half. Also, you have 9 bone-in meals (correct me if I'm wrong), the suggested is 7-9, so this is fine as long as poops are fine. The only problem is you would have to adjust this (take away a meal or two) if/when you feed soup as it will count as a bone-in if you add the eggshells.
As for the turkey, I noticed you posted on the FB group and got plenty of good replies (and some tangent conversations as well lol), so I'll just echo what they said for the sake of convenience to have it here. Breast is too lean, turkey thighs (skin on) are have a decent amount of fat along with a richer concentration of taurine (still not enough to replace a heart meal though). Wings, thigh bones, "carcass bones" (the frame; ribs, back bone, hip bones, etc), and neck are all safe bone-in sources. The only issue is the fact that they're not used to breaking up the dense bones too well yet. Start by really fracturing the heck out of these bones to give them some help until they're taking to them fine, then you can increase the size of the pieces as you go. Also, with some of these pieces the bone to meat ratio are a bit off, for example, thighs are very meaty with little bone, whereas the frame is very bone-y with little meat, so you might have to portion the turkey out a bit. Give some thigh meat to the frame meals, for example, or add some wing chunks to a piece of thigh meat. You mentioned a whole turkey will be too much so I'm sure you won't have any frames to deal with, but I figured to use it as an example, since that can also go for chicken and CGH frames.
Also, I wanted to add really quick that you can feel free to shoot me a message on FB if you ever post here and need a reply. Either I can send you a message on FB with the answer, or I can try to get my phone to cooperate enough for my to post here with it (it likes to delete my posts as I write them so I try to avoid using it unless it's necessary. That's why it sometimes takes me a day or two to get to a computer and reply).
I posted on Facebook to get a conversation going. no problem with your response times. just like when I was ggoing to take Pedro to the vet and alerted you. I use my phone a lot more then computer so know what you mean.
this week I was going to make meals 6oz each. 3 oz ground chicken and 3 oz of menu. if I buy kidney and liver together that is only 1 1/2 oz of each. since I was going to leave out organs from grind that is why I separated for now. just let me know if I should combine. poops seem fine I can reduce bone meals but some of them are more meaty like when they get the big part of the wing or the legs from CGH. I was going to reduce when I add pork. let me know. I will just add another whole meal of heart since it is only 3 ox right now.
I think I answered all you questions. on my phone so can't look back at your reply.
Okay, so if you're feeding half a meal of grind (with eggshells) every day, that would equate to 3.5 bone-in meals. Now, if you actually mean you're feeding half a meal TWICE a day it would be 7 bone-in meals, meaning you can only add a max of two additional bone in (or 4 half meals) a week. Maybe consider cutting the grind down to one half meal a day, that way you have 3.5 bone meals from grind, and you will still have 3.5-5.5 remaining.
As for organs, I would just feed the organs in one full meal (6 oz - 3 oz liver, 3 oz kidney) combined and leave out the grind for that meal to make sure that organs are the only thing they can eat, otherwise some of them might not eat enough. Heart I would feed separately though. If you're feeding 6 oz a meal, then they need a total of 9 ounces a week of heart. 3 oz liver, 3 oz kidney.
If you're feeding a full wing broken down throughout the week it will end up balancing itself out, the tips are very rich in bone (moreso than is really necessary) so it will counteract the lack of bone from the meaty join section. Eventually you will be able to adjust your bone based purely on the poops you're seeing, but for now your menus will need to be based on the science and ratios of their natural needs. Also, don't be afraid to add more muscle meats to your menu than just gizzards A good, cheap muscle meat that my ferrets love is beef stew meat. It's already cut into chunks and everything which is really convenient. Then again, once you introduce pork that will likely be your "staple" muscle meat since they can't eat the bones.
Sorry, I sort of ended up rambling a bit at the end lol
Sunday am 3oz grind with shells, 3 oz chicken wings Sunday pm 3 oz turkey liver 3 oz beef kidney Monday am 3 oz grind with shells, 3 oz CGH Monday pm 6 oz chicken gizzards Tuesday am 3 oz grind with shells, 3 oz turkey neck Tuesday pm 6 oz beef heart Wednesday am 3 oz grind with shells, 3 oz chicken wings Wednesday pm 6oz chicken chunks Thursday am 3 oz grind, 3 oz CGH Thursday pm 6 oz beef heart Friday am 3 oz grind, 3oz turkey necks Friday pm 3 oz grind, 3oz chicken wings Saturday am 3 oz grind, 3oz chicken wings Saturday pm 6 oz chicken chunks
buddy 2lb 12oz, up 4oz toro 2lb 12oz, no change pedro 2lb 4oz up 2 oz penny 1lb 15 oz down 1oz
each meal this week they had 4oz grind soup plus 4 oz of following items.
they have been leaving about 2 oz after each meal. except sat am,pm, and Sunday am they finished it.
Monday CGH chicken wings tuesday chicken chunks, chicken gizzards Wednesday organ grind mix CGH Thursday CGH chicken chunks Friday CGG chicken chunks Saturday chicken chunks, gizzards, mouse ( they ate the whole thing we didn't even need to cut it open) Pedro got to hunt it and he did great. Sunday chicken chunks
ok, so I struck out on finding turkey necks. however I went to the international market and did find duck wings so for this week I will use duck wings for Turkey necks. I did find turkey legs that I could use for a meat meal? thoughts?
Okay, everything looks good right now. Two full meals of heart MIGHT be too much, if that's the case you could just give some plain soup along with it one of those days to make 1.5 meals. As for the eggshells in the soup, what you're doing is a good idea. It sounds like you're just "grinding" the chicken plain, and then adding eggshells on the days that you need them, correct? If that's the case then just keep in mind the serving size would be 1/2 teaspoon of shells to every 8 oz of meat.
Duck wings should be fine, same rule applies though, make sure you smash the bone up pretty well. Congrats on the mouse success btw Glad to hear they're eating the mice just fine now!
I think that covered everything, if I missed something let me know. I'm pretty dead tired right now lol
Last Edit: Aug 20, 2013 22:14:49 GMT -5 by Deleted: changed eggshell serving amount.
That is what the mentor program is here for Menus are definitely hard to understand at first.
Sherry said it's hard to overdose on taurine (the nutrient we need from hearts), so while you probably won't feed "too much heart", you should still make sure you're keeping things balanced. The recommended amount of heart is 1.5-2 meals, honestly the only time you'd know if it is too much is if the ferrets themselves stop eating all of it every week.
Eggs are rich in a lot of nutrients (biotin especially), but they aren't necessary if you don't want to feed them. They're mostly just used during shedding season to help pass hairballs. A good way to firm up runny poops is with bone or eggshell, but you can also just leave it out or feed it occasionally as a treat. Plain organs will also give awfully runny, tarry poops so it's encouraged that you feed a bony meal on each organ meal day (not including heart, heart is muscle and shouldn't have this kind of reaction. Maybe darker poop, but it shouldn't be too runny).
That's fine, all I recommend for this week is to focus on making sure they are all eating healthy portions of each meal and try to encourage more whole meats vs grind. Next week I think duck wings would be a good addition if you can still get your hands on them.
Also I think you're at a good enough progress that if you would like you can go down to updating ever other day unless you have questions (I'd imagine this week would be close to the same thing as last, so unless something different comes up you don't have to post if you don't want to. I'll still check on the thread just in case though.)
major problems right now. penny still having yellow seedy poops. feed her soup. she ate good. then toro had yellow seedy poop. ugh. have heart meal for dinner. Pedro just licked the blood from the bottom. toro ate. buddy tried it. then....... multiple vomits and more yellow poops, not sure who did them. only about one ounce of heart was eaten. I removed the heart. pulled soup out of the freezer.. defrosted with hot water. served them that for over night. I think we might have a bug or I am switching food to fast. stepping back to see if I can get everyone better ( without the vet) back on soup until further notice. I know they will all eat it and everyone does good on it as far as tummy issues go.