The best kibble out there so far is ZiwiPeak, it's expensive but if I had to feed it that is what I would choose. It's not as dry because it is air dried and not cooked, so if someone had to feed it for whatever reason I would refer them to that. Although I always will recommend raw. But since they are mid-switch I'd of course just keep sprinkling in whatever kibble they are/were eating. Orijen is one of the highest on the kibble list, but it's still kibble. The RR is a great idea for Trixie, I wish I'd have had it when Cai went thru his loss. I know it has really saved a lot of ferrets with depression or anxiety.
And that's great that the soup is so thick, I'm astonished at how far you've gotten with them in this amount of time. Let me know how it goes with the soup and chunks after you go to the market on Saturday, I'd like for you to make some of the balanced soupie just so we know they are getting everything they need during their switch especially since they hate their liver. I was lucky in my guys loving their organ meals but I know a lot of people who's fuzzers hate organs/heart. I can give you some tips to get them to eat it better.
First try warming it up next time you offer it, you can put soups in the microwave for a couple seconds safely without it cooking, I do it for 5-8 seconds at a time and just stir until it is kinda warm. If some of the edges look like it cooked just scrape that part off and put it in for less time with the next one. Warming up mines meals has been a lifesaver for my guys, they'll eat so much better if it's warm. Also try using salmon oil in their organ soups, or you can crush up a little bit of kibble and sprinkle it over the top to get them to eat it better. You may have to sit and spoon feed them it though, (if you haven't been doing that already) I know mine had to be held and spoon fed the first several organ meals before they ate it on their own then they grew to love it. Organs are a very strong smell and flavor and it can take a while to get them used to it. Also on frankenprey you'll always need to follow the, liver & heart, liver & other organ and liver, heart & other organ rather than just liver. Too much liver has the possibility of causing vitamin A toxicity (it's rare so don't worry too much about that) so for future note once you get the heart that's how you balance it out. And for the heart, liver and other organ meals, lets say for example they ate 2 ounces, you would do 1 ounce heart, 0.5 ounce liver and 0.5 ounce other organ. Heart is water-soluble (which means they'd just pee the extra vitamins and etc out) so you can never really give too much of it, the only thing that would happen if you did would be they would get dark/red runny poops or possibly diarrhea but it can't necessarily hurt them like too much liver could.
Sorry for all the long posts haha, just giving you info whenever I think of it, these are just good things to know or keep in mind, and there is so much info out there it's hard if not impossible to get it all posted at once plus it can be overwhelming so I'm giving it in bits and pieces
Just got 6lbs of chicken hearts they didn't carry any other chicken organs, and since they are just starting I'm trying to keep it to chicken & beef. I took *some* of the Orijen kibble out just in case, and gave the rest of the bag to my barn cats. My girls like Stella & Chewy FDR, so I'm going to try switching the kibble grinds for duck & rabbit FDR.
I'm making a big batch of thick & chunky soup (I think Campbells actually has a soup called thick & chunky, probably doesn't have chicken guts though ). Can I make a of soup batch and sub the 8oz of chicken meat for beef, then add the chicken heart, liver, and egg shells?
The place had 6 packs of whole quail, as well as duck, rabbit, and CGH. I'm really excited for my girls to get into raw meats and try new stuff My husband looked queasy in the meat aisle, looking at all the different guts, while I was excitedly searching for what I needed, lol.
Sorry for my absence, I spent Monday in the hospital (bad case of colitis, ack), I'm in recovery mode now, back home with my laptop lol.
How is everything going so far Klarissa? Remember that during this phase their poops will be super wacky, one time in the first week of mines switch in one day they had a yellow poop, black poop, brown poop and white-ish poop in one day, I freaked out, but they were fine, just detoxing (giggle) Of course if they have a really odd poop don't hesitate to take a picture of it and post here to make sure everything is A-Okay. I did that a lot during mines transition, lol.
Let us know how yours are taking to the chunky soup you made, and also remember to feed them as much as they will eat, if they clear the plate offer another 1 ounce or so, keep doing it until they start leaving 2-3 bites. In the beginning they'll clear out your freezer haha.
It's okay! It's been a chaotic week with our new addition Willy.
The thick chunky soup is going great, I always come back to find a clean dish! I tried adding a few pieces of gizzard - they need to be much smaller I'm going to try different muscle meat tonight, as the gizzard is a challenging piece.
Their poops are all over the place, but I'm not worried as long as there is poop, and no blood. They poop less than kibble (yay! For dietary efficiency). They already smell less. Their fur is soft/& fluffier. They haven't had any kibble this week.
Willy eats ZuPreem, and came with a big bag. He is having a hard time adjusting. He lost his pal Harry just 2 days before his owner rehomed him to me. I'm giving it a few more days before I start the switch with him. I tried on the first day just to water down his kibble and he wouldn't touch it. He is on RR & extra cuddles to build a bond before dabbing new food in his face.
Aw poor Willy, my boy took it hard when we lost Jules, I understand how tough it is to care for a grieving fuzz, I think giving him some more time is a good idea, depending on how he first reacts to the soupie we can take it from there and see how we should approach it.
How are they doing now? Any adjustments in the soup/chunk size? About how big would you say the chunks are? (ie: Quarter sized, penny sized, etc) and would you say that it's about half chunks, half soup, or less of one or the other?
And ah yes, the wonder of the softer fur, smaller and less often poops, and you may also see they have more energy/are happier in general. They'll also drink a lot less water on raw due to the content of water being so high, in kibble fed ferrets they are always somewhat dehydrated due to the lack of moisture, so on raw they don't drink a whole lot but it's normal. My guys snorkel in their water bowl more often than they drink from it (giggle)
They are all going through a rough patch, so everyone is a little less energy than normal. Bear got her furry butt kicked by Willy, and Trixie has been cold with Bear. Willy is grieving, and all on his lonesome. It's chaos
The chunks are dime sized, and its half/half. I make the soup with 4oz of meat mixed in, then the other 4oz I add as chunks. The soup is thicker than pudding. It's going well, they like it, I always come back to a clean bowl
Willy just started eating willingly again this morning so I'm going to keep him on his kibble for now until he settles in - wee boy has has a very rough week. We still give him tbsp of raw soup every 6 hours because he lost a little weight.
Willy is eating like a little fiend now, so I'm getting ready to start switching him. Since Stella & Chewys recall, its harder to get their product into Canada, which sucks because it really helped get Trixie & Bear into the soup. Luckily, Orijen has a new line of FDR treats that come in single source animal proteins & mixes source animal proteins
I picked up Orijen FDR Duck treats (duck meat & duck liver only) and Orijen Tundra FDR treats (elk, venison, quality, and trout, with meat, bone, and organ meat only). I'm going to use it to start the switch with Willy, as well as intro the girls to new protein sources. They don't contain heart so when I mix it up I will blend in some chicken heart.
That's wonderful he is eating well, a lot of times it's the other way around so that's really great. If he is accepting of it I would definitely start him on the switch, you already know how much it helps our fuzzers, little Willy is on the mend, he is lucky that you have him.
Dime sized is good, keep increasing the size as they will let you, if they get stubborn just give them a push, the trick is to increase the size very very slowly, to where they barely notice it. Drastic changes can result in picky, mad ferrets that produce revenge poops (giggle)
Since the Orijen doesn't have heart then it's 1 oz heart to every 8 oz meat, but you can't give too much heart, at the most it make some loose poops, so you can add a little extra to be sure. Taurine is vital for them, better a bit too much than having too little. You're doing a great job, and so are Trixie, Bear and now Willy is on his way. It's such a good feeling when they eat well, isn't it? My boy Caillou has always been a good eater, he's a chubby one haha. He went in to get a dental cleaning this morning, I have his favorite meal ready, Duck, for when he gets back. Sometimes you gotta spoil 'em just a little, hehe.
Bear & Trixie are already reaping so many of the benefits of raw! Its so easy to prep a week or two worth of soup on the weekend, then I just add the chunks as they progress.
The girls poops barely smell now, and they go far less often. Willy however, is my little kibble poop machine I will not miss the extra litter box cleaning that kibble fed ferrets need.
My concern with the raw food is, what do you do when you have to go on vacation, whether the ferrets go to, or if they go to a sitter? Raw meat isn't exactly great for camping, and the last time I had a ferret sitter I got a bunch of calls (while I'm in another country) that I had to come back and get them because they smell (even though I did 2 trial runs before letting these people ferret sit).
I just cleaned Willy's litter box, and holy sh*t! I have never smelled anything so wrank in my life! My fuzzbutts when they ate kibble were on Orijen, they pooped lots, but it never smelled. Willy is on ZuPreem and it smells like something died & left to rot in his litter box.
It can be difficult to plan a vacation with raw fed fuzzers, but definitely possible. We have several members here that are in Canada, I find it much, much easier to have someone sit for you that feeds raw themselves My amazing mentor Poncesmom is babysitting my fuzzers for me for almost 2 weeks while I'll be on vacation this September, she's a member (and admin, and mentor) here. I'll be prepping all of their food before we leave, we'll be meeting up and I'll keep it all in a cooler (4-5 hour drive round trip) and so food-wise she will just need to open up their reditainer and feed them. I'm not sure if you've heard of reditainers, they are great, they're freezer-safe containers that come in different sizes, I've been using them for months to keep my fuzzers food stored, and I feed out of them too. Well worth the price, I ordered 50 on Amazon for $15.
Detox smell can be really terrible, I know I thought I wouldn't make it through my Marcie's detox alive lol. It lasted 3 weeks and it was horrid. If his poops really smell TERRIBLE, then he could have an overgrowth of bacteria going on. Remind me- is Willy on full raw yet, or has he still eaten some kibble? Kibble and raw mixed can cause stomach upset/bacteria overgrowth, which is why we don't recommend feeding it together within at least 2-3 hours of each other. Usually a small amount doesn't hurt during the beginning parts of the switch, but you never know. Also a sign of bacteria overgrowth is white and seedy poops. Seedy is fairly normal, but when it's while/off-white or etc that is either a sign of too much fat/egg in the diet or a bacteria issue. Can you get a picture of his poops and post it? Odd request I know lol, but it's all normal here.
Right now he is just on kibble. We got him last Monday, his owner rehomed him just 2 days after his bonded buddy died. So he stopped eating for about 4-5 days and we were only able to get him to eat by putting kibble in his bed.
He is back to a healthy appetite, but I wanted to wait a few days before switching him & see him relax before trying to make the switch. I put a glob of raw soup on my finger & he licked some off. He gets real sick of being scruffed real fast, won't eat off my finger unless I have him scruffed. I left some raw mixed with kibble mush last night, but he just stashed the bowl. Didn't eat any
Tonight, I'm mixing FDR with some kibble mush. I find the FDR + kibble causes less tummy upset then raw + kibble. I'm going to do kibble in the morning until evening, take it away at 7pm then feed raw at 10pm, then wait until 12 am to put down his kibble again. (I go to bed @ 2-3 am everyday; weird schedule). So one meal a day, full raw. Even if I have to do a song & dance to convince him