So she IS eating the hearts by themselves? In slivers?
Let's start adding some chicken slivers to her meals also. I found the easiest way to get small slivers was to 'shave' them with a potato peeler from a frozen chunk of chicken. Make several small slivers and see if she'll take them alone. If not, mix them with her meal. Once she will eat the tiny slivers, we'll start increasing the size.
She won't eat the hearts on their own and she picks around them for the most part, but I do try my best to mix them in so well and make the pieces so tiny that she hopefully won't notice. She is interested in them but still won't eat them alone. It's just been one day, so she is protesting still. She will sniff them and lick them but hasn't attempted to eat them on their own. At least she does that much instead of hissing at me when I try to put it near her mouth. So, knowing her, it's going to be a couple of days before she gets the picture. I also have a question. What do people mean when they refer to "supplementing" with kibble? Am I supposed to be still giving her the fdr? Or is that for the people who aren't solely feeding raw?
Ah, OK. But she's trying them so that is good. She'll decide she likes them.
Raw food fed correctly does not need to be supplemented with anything. If someone is 'supplementing' a raw diet with kibble, they are not doing the ferrets a favor. If a ferret is still in the switching process, they might be still feeding some kibble but that is not really supplementing. No, you should not still be feeding FDR at this point. No, her diet is not balanced right now. No, that is not a problem. We are working toward balance and deficiencies won't happen right away. We have some time. Not a LOT of time since she's switching with straight ground meat as opposed to the balanced raw soup, but enough time to get it done.
Ok. Thanks for the reassurance. She is at least eating the heart mixed and doesn't exactly turn her nose up at it alone. She just has to get used to having to chew again since she has been eating the fdr for a few months from the nasty cheap kibble she was eating. (It was not my choice since that's the only ferret food that I could find when I first got her) And she is only getting turkey, chicken and chicken heart. I haven't added the fdr for a couple of days.
I haven't added them yet. I don't want to completely overwhelm her all at once with texture, new flavors and everything. I will as soon as she starts eating the hearts without picking around them first.
So we made a tiny step in progress today. Wisp is somewhat more interested in the hearts. She didn't take a bite of one but she did lick it and licked my fingers clean from the juice. That was without it being smeared around in her bowl first. She still acts like she isn't sure what to do with it and spits it out when I put a tiny piece in her mouth, but doesn't run away. Instead she will just lick it until she gets done and goes back to playing. So some progress. She is used to the taste, but not with the fact that she has to chew it up.
Good for her tasting it. She doesn't know HOW to chew real meat so she may need you to actually put a piece in her mouth and hold it there until she gets the hang of chewing.
Because she's not eating the balanced soup, you will need to push her a little rather than letting her just go at her own pace. If she had taken to the soup, she could move along more slowly but I don't want her to remain unbalanced for very long.
Ok. So I have a question. What about if I add egg shells to her food for bone replacement temporarily until she starts eating her meat in chunks? Also, I have been tearing her hearts into bigger chunks so she has to learn how to chew it and that's been going pretty smoothly as of the last couple of meals. So I am adding some chicken shavings today and we will see if we can't get to eating meat chunks very soon.
How are her poops? If they are consistently loose, then sprinkle some eggshell on her meals.
Is she eating just ground chicken now, or is it still mixed with turkey? And about how much heart is she eating per meal? Does she seem to like the heart? Let's try giving her ONLY heart in her dish. Cut it into pieces if you want, but leave that with her for a couple of hours and see if she'll eat it. Be tough and resist the boo boo eyes for at least 3 hours. If she has eaten some by then, leave it until it's gone. If she hasn't touched it at the end of that time, then mix in a tiny bit of ground meat.
Yeah, I have gotten a bit tough with her. I give her a heart in the morning and don't give her anything else until it's gone and not just hidden. And she isn't quite on chicken just yet. She is to the point of 4oz of chicken to 2oz of turkey. She has been doing pretty well on that, although she isn't entirely happy about it yet. I put a whole heart in her dish this morning so we are going to get her to eat it one way or the other.
So today is the last day of turkey mixed with chicken and she has been eating her hearts although still not wanting them plain, but she will eat them whole if I put them in her bowl with her meals. It's usually the last thing to get eaten, but I have been pretty firm about her eating them before getting more food. She does the same thing with the chicken slivers that she gets with breakfast. (She gets chicken slivers with breakfast and hearts with dinner) So any tips on how to get her moving forward with the switch? I have been trying to get her to accept eating just the meat pieces throughout the day by lightly scruffing her and putting the bits in her mouth and we have gotten to this point of she will only eat it last and with an attitude. Her poops still continue to be a good semi-solid consistancy although alot less. (She maybe poops 2x a day and it's a small amount each time) I know this is part of the switch because with better food comes less waste. Her urine on the other hand seems much more pungent and darker. Although, she has no other signs of any illness, so I am not sure if I should be concerned. And she has decided that her protest against me will be to pee on her blankets. She was decently litter box trained before, but now she insists on peeing outside her litter boxes now as well as rolling around in her poop. Another thing I have noticed is that she is changing color on me. Her sable mask is all but gone and her markings are nearly white now. I guess that's just what happens with the changes of seasons, and it was so fast that it was a shock to me. She has gotten so chunky and fluffy just in the past week and she definitely feels more solid. Before she was so light that she was like carrying a sheet of paper, now she is more like carrying a full grown cat. She just astonish me with how much food this tiny little girl can pack away. I kinda feel like she should be eating less, but when I try to cut her back, she acts as though she is starving. I don't know if ferrets can suffer from Polynesia, but she always seems hungry. Could it be because she is afraid that she won't get to eat again? Since her first owner hardly fed her? I would hope that she isn't afraid that I won't feed her. I've brought it up before to her vet, but all they did was give her a clean bill of health. I know I'm not crazy, but maybe it's just because she is still young and growing into her adult body.