I still have not found a ready source of chicken hearts. I found a local restaurant that is saving organs for me, but I only ended up with two hearts. So, now I am beginning to worry about Taurine. I went thru and read some posts on Taurine, but still don't know if mine are getting enough Taurine on a weekly basis. My weekly menu plan, for right now is Fridays fish, including Stella and Chewys, salmon and cod. Saturday is chicken thighs with gizzards and liver. Sundays includes an egg and chicken thighs. Monday is Wysong Archetypal 1, Tuesday is Stella and Chewys, duck,duck,goose. Wednesday is Wysong again, and Thursday is Chicken thighs or drumsticks again. On the weekend, they get 1 or 2 dried hearts. Treats are N-bone ferret chew sticks and Natures Variety raw instinct bites, chicken. Does this sound like they are getting enough Taurine, should I supplement this? And if so, do you buy Taurine capsules, open them and add them to food?
Since you are supplementing fairly heavily with freeze dried and kibble you are probably okay for now. However when you transition to all raw that will not be enough. They need -0% of heir diet tone heart, on a 2 meal per day (14 meals = 1 week) that means they need one and a half meals of heart. Taurine is super vital for brain and eye function, they cannot go without it. But, while it is not ideal, you CAN supplement with taurine. The dosage is 500mg taurine per day, per ferret. You can buy loose taurine powder and weigh it on a small scale or buy capsules and break them open. You will have to supplement every day.
Thanks Katt, They aren't eating any kibble, the Wysong Archetypal 1 is the Wysong that I refer to. Since, Mika is a growing baby, I think I'll order some taurine. I haven't found any brain either. It's so ironic that in a farm community, we can't get any organs except for chicken gizzards, livers and beef liver. I'm going to check out the Asian markets in Nashville and even up north in Kentucky. I went to all the Mexican markets around, and no luck on organs either. This is the main reason that I am relying so heavily on FDR, but I really want to get away from that and go full on raw.
Last Edit: Oct 20, 2013 13:09:39 GMT -5 by Deleted
And don't just stick to chicken hearts. Also keep an eye our for beef, lamb, and pork hearts as well.
Ferrets: Contessa Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
Beef tongue is also high enough in Taurine that it can replace hearts in the frankenprey diet. You lose out a bit on other nutrients the heart provides but nothing to serious as long as they are getting a good mix of organs.
High Taurine concentrations are found in muscles that work constantly (like heart). Cows chew pretty much all the time which is why beef tongue is also really high in Taurine.
I supplement with powdered Taurine a few times a week. Due to Wilma's food sensitivities their staple meat is rabbit which is very low in Taurine. They do get plenty of whole prey though so technically their Taurine levels are probably ok. I just suppliment for my own piece of mind since they can't really OD on Taurine (it is water soluble and the excess is just excreted. High enough amounts might put a strain on the kidneys / liver though).
Last Edit: Jun 5, 2014 12:35:19 GMT -5 by bitbyter