You can smash the wing or chicken neck with a hammer to break it up. The marrow is the best part and it'll release the juices in the meat as well.
I feed in my pantry. I catch them before they can get out and put them back in. It took me a few days for them to get the idea. They have also learned that if they take food out of the "den" the cat eats it. LOL. I used to use a rubbermaid contained with a whole cut in it so they can eat the food in the dark. They loved it but it got really messy.
Its an instinct to run away with food but that doesn't mean they know why they are doing it. So she knows to grab and stash but doesn't see the dogs as a threat.
If you do make a den, you can attach shower hooks to it and then attach the meat and they have to eat it off the shower hooks. This is of course when they are eating bigger chunks.
I didn't smash the necks yesterday so they all got stashed and I'm fairly certain one of my dogs ate half of them. LOL I had given them small meat chunks too though so at least I know they ate.
Today I'm trying something different so stop me if it's a no-no.
So far they've had access to food 24/7. I started this with River because she's so slender. I know now that's just her build and she's so very active. Today they have chicken leg/thigh and I crushed the bones up and then cut them into a few large pieces. They had access to it in their cage this morning before I let them out and I'll put them in the cage with their food a few times during the day. I'm not leaving food in there all day like I have been. Then they'll have it in there all night with them. Simon seems to do almost all of his eating at night.
I figure it's worth a try and you'll let me know if I'm doing something wrong. LOL
You can most certainly go for it. I never had that option as one of my girls is insulinomic but I know others who only feed in the cage. As along as they have access to food every few hours I don't think this will be an issue. It is also a great way to see what is actually getting consumed. I have a male that also almost always eats at night. He is not a day eater at all.
I went looking for stashed food and found Simon holed up in a tube napping with a piece of pork rib end. I accidentally woke him up, so here he is on the floor chowing down on that rib end. Love the sounds of gnawing!
A note on their health and activity: We've had Simon for 3 weeks now and in the past couple days I've noticed his energy has increased. He's up and exploring more now. Compared to River he's still a lazy ferret but he's more normal now. They're both taking chunks of meat like champs and loving soft pork rib end bones and other bones that are crushed.
I've noticed that almost all boys are lazier than girls. Even my two who are the same age are night and say between energy levels. It sounds like they are doing great on bones and different meats. We kind of skipped over a lot of information because they are moving so fast. But I honestly think that you will guys will be ready to graduate soon. What I want to focus on now is balancing their diet. Have you been feeding organs or hearts at all during the week?
Yup. So far they get hearts (turkey, pork, chicken, squirrel), lung (chicken, squirrel), liver (chicken, beef, squirrel), spleen (chicken, squirrel), kidney (squirrel, chicken). I'm hoping to get more beef and pork organs, I just need to talk to my local farmers.
I try to stick to the 10% for organs. I don't have or keep a strict schedule of what I feed and when yet since I've been trying to get them to bone-in meats and I've found flexibility has been helpful. Now that they've just recently been eating bone-in meats I can do better about that.
This morning they've got bone in squirrel and I can just follow that menu using the meats I've got. I don't want to plan too far out with specific cuts/meats because I don't always have the same thing in my freezer. I figure so long as I'm getting a good variety of proteins it's all good, right?
Yes that menu is perfect. And don't worry about including all the proteins that you might use later. You can list those at the bottom of the meats you plan to use or have access too but haven't used it yet.
Friday am: chicken legs/feet Friday pm: ½ heart + ¼ liver + ¼ other organ (pork heart, chicken liver and spleen)
Saturday am: quail egg and chicken leg bone in Saturday pm: ground beef/turkey
Sunday am: quail, bone in (it's going to be new, being butchered on Saturday) Sunday pm: ½ liver + ½ other organ (chicken liver and lung)
I realize pork rib ends are showing up a lot this week. It's a huge favourite of theirs and I packed the last bunch in bigger batches than I should have.
One of these days I'll try fish for them. I've been so focused on trying to get them to eat chunks and bone in I haven't done that. Saturday we'll butcher quail so they'll get those, can't wait to see how they like them!
Simon's been much more active and playful this past week, it's been great to see! So far they aren't terribly fond of the squirrel but we're still trying that out. By far their favourite is still pork rib ends. They both love gnawing on those bones.
The menu looks great! Well done! Quail is easily liked so hopefully they will enjoy it. Weights look good. Not to much loss, how are they doing on thyme chicken bones? Still having a tough time? If they are you can feed some gizzards. It helps build jaw strength while they are working on bones.