lol Yeah I've heard the red meat theory but if duck is red meat then chicken is part white meat and part red. There is a difference between dark white meat and red meat. Duck, goose, chicken thighs = dark white meat. Beef, goat, lamb, etc = red meat. Pork is the one gray area. It is a cloven-hooved animal and thus should theoretically be categorized as red meat, but it's actually a white meat. Hope that helps!
Based on Google results, rabbit is "dark" meat, so it's basically just considered white meat. Here's an interesting article talking about the scientific difference between red and white meat animals: animals.howstuffworks.com/birds/ostrich-meat1.htm
I tried to feed them some venison canned cat food last night, Copper took a little off my finger but Reska was entirely unimpressed. I got her to taste it a little bit with the scruff and sample method before a "how dare you" squirm fest to get away. I'll give it another try this evening.
You are trying so hard to do that right thing for your ferrets. I respect that and I love when people research information. I'm still a little puzzled by the canned food concept. Is the appeal to you, its ease of preparation or the fact that its Wet food?
The scruffing is best saved for Doctor visits and emergencies. Simply hold Cooper or Reska in your arms or on your lap. Talk nicely to them and dab the food on their mouth or hold the spoon in front of them. They need to feel that this is an affectionate moment, or that something nice is about to happen.
I think you also have more success with finding one food and sticking to it, until they decide its food and eat some. If you keep changing foods and hoping to find the one food they really like, its much harder and more confusing.
Did you decide on the Magic Bullet or Oster Blender? I have the basic Magic bullet and that works fine. It comes with two sizes, two blades, lids and cups. I have a food processor, but I never use it for the ferrets.
I've certainly tried getting them to try new stuff just holding them and offering it to them or dabbing it on their lips, but when they refuse I still need to get them to sample it at least a little bit. There are some things they take to right away, like the Merrick canned food, although I should expect they would take chicken easily since that seems to be the most typical protein used in ferret kibbles.
For me, canned food is certainly an easy way to start. The meat content is higher than their kibbles (on par with the freeze dried raw) and it doesn't dehydrate them. In terms of health benefits it's probably one step down from re-hydrated freeze dried raw, which I haven't tried yet. It also allows me to know what proteins they can and will eat before I commit to stocking raw organs in a fridge.
I hadn't decided which blender to get, but if the Magic Bullet and Oster both perform similarly I may as well go with the Oster since it can make larger batches so it may be more convenient in that respect.
Somebody on a dog forum that showed up in search results said that rodents count as red meat. Another person in the same thread claimed mammals as a whole are red meat, but that's not the case with rabbit, so this info may be wrong.
Last Edit: Sept 2, 2014 22:59:23 GMT -5 by raynebc
I got them each to eat between 0.5 and 1tsp of the venison cat food for dinner, which is promising. Reska seemed much more receptive to it after it was warmed up a bit. It's funny how they make weird faces by clenching one eye closed when eating wet food.
Since they have been accepting venison pretty easily, I picked up a couple more cans at the fancy pet store so I can have them get used to a single protein for longer. I also found they had dried lamb lung, so I got a bag of that so I've have a non-liver organ treat to give them. Hopefully they'll eat it, but if they hate it, the store said they'd take it back so there's no harm in trying.
They each ate over a tsp of the venison cat food for dinner, and I'm going to try to feed them some more before bed. I also gave them water out of the dropper a couple times today for extra hydration. All it takes is a couple of drops' worth of salmon oil in their mouths and they think the next one or two tsp of water is also a treat. If I can do this every day it should help keep them less dehydrated.
Reska never seems dehydrated, but Copper sometimes does with the scruff test. Without seeing any other symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting, I can only assume it's because he eats more dry food than his sister. If I want to leave them moist (instead of dry) kibble during the day, do I need to first introduce it to them like I would a new food to be sure they eat it, or are they likely to see it as their normal food? Would wet kibble usually last a good 8 or 9 hours before going bad?
When I want to try to get them to eat rehydrated FDR for the first time, and I better off feeding the RHFDR by itself or mixed in with hydrated kibble? How much do they need to appear to like eating it rehydrated before I leave that as their daytime food while I'm at work?
Edit: They each ate another 1/2 tsp or so of the venison food, which is good.
Last Edit: Sept 4, 2014 12:42:33 GMT -5 by raynebc
They each took 2-3 tsp of water from the dropper this morning and when I washed and filled their food dish I swapped their usual chicken archetype with quail. I also finally dropped the Zupreem kibble from the mix, since I'd only been adding a really small amount for a while now, and it was the lowest quality food that was part of their diet apart from rare halves of nbone (they haven't had any of those in a week or two). I hope all goes well and they eat the new mix without any problems. The quail archetype seemed a little less dry than the chicken archetype, maybe it's because the bag was just opened.
Last Edit: Sept 4, 2014 13:28:35 GMT -5 by raynebc
They took the same amount of water from a dropper when I got home. I'm being very careful to limit how much salmon oil they get so they're only getting 4 or 5 drops per day total, and this will replace them getting larger single doses during the week. This wouldn't be too much, ie. too much vitamin A, would it? Even with the cautious estimate of 10 drops equaling 1ml (some websites suggest 20 drops is closer to the number in 1ml for thin fluids), this is still less than the recommended dosage given by Grizzly. Is the 1/2 to 1tsp oil limit per week is meant to avoid any other specific problems such as runny poops?
It appears they ate a regular-ish amount of their food during the day, and stools looked normal, so hopefully they're accepting the FDR quail well. I also put some of the lamb lung in their dish to see if they'll eat it.
They also each had 2-3 tsp of the rest of the canned venison this evening, I think it's safe to say they like this protein. I think the extra water in his diet is helping Copper, he was doing really well today and had a blast during playtime. I'll try to keep with the same protein for a while as you suggest, are they likely to be ready for wet food during the day or do I need to train them to eat it first?
They have fresh water at all times. It's well known that dry-fed ferrets have trouble getting enough water, but Copper is usually less well-hydrated than Reska. The dropper is just a trick I'm using to get them to drink more water than they usually do on their own.
I ordered a good scale, blender and a pound (probably a lifetime supply) of bone meal powder so I should have that by middle of next week. Should I try to start the ferrets on hydrated FDR or kibble first, or just try raw soup as the next step?