I've been giving them gizzards cut into chunks and making the chunks larger over time. So far chicken bones aren't popular. They do better when I crush the bones up but this last time I left them whole and it was a no-go. I think I'll keep crushing them but just do less and less over time.
I think that's why they like the pork rib ends so much. It's a very soft bone and they can really gnaw through them and are loving that. So, hopefully with time they'll get stronger and can tackle those harder bones.
I've really been pushing the variety and bigger chunks and bone-in meats. Simon has done pretty well with it but River has been terribly picky! As you can see she's actually lost weight this last week. Seems like a lot to me. I pulled some of her favourites out of the freezer. Once she discovered those pork rib ends she doesn't want to seem to want anything else. I'll be giving her some chicken, ground turkey and ground pork and see how she does with that over the next couple days. She's not a fan of the organs, so I'm going to mince that up and put it in the ground meat since she'd eat that alright before we went to chunks and bone-in.
We were doing so well there for a while.
Simon is doing great though, he's at least trying anything I put in front of him and will gnaw on bone-in stuff so long as it's a softer bone (quail) or I smash the bone. He has so much more energy compared to when we first got him and overall he just looks better to me.
That's isn't a bad weight loss. It is something we should be keeping an eye on though. We don't want the trend to continue for sure. She is going to lose all that kibble weight before packing on the muscle. I wouldn't alter the menu to extremely but let's remove the pork rib ends for now so she isn't holding out for them. Weigh her meals before you give them to her and then weigh when she is done eating so we can see how much she is actually eating. This is mainly a ball park since you feed them both at the same time. But try to keep Rivers food separate so we can see where she is at at least during mealtimes.
I really am so proud of Simon, he's really come a long way so fast!
River is now at the same weight she was when I got her a couple months ago. She's still acting fine, harassing me for food though. She's just so stubborn when it comes to eating sometimes.
I'd love some advice on feeding her. Until now I just put the food in their cage. She won't touch it until she's been out of her cage for a while and then she takes a bite/chunk, runs across the house and eats or stashes it. She'll repeat this a million times (it seems LOL). I've been trying to prevent her from doing this with these bigger pieces of meat because she usually just stashes them and then the dogs eat them so I'm not sure if River, Simon or the dogs ate it.
I've been putting her in her cage when she acts hungry but she won't eat, she just climbs up to her bed and falls asleep. Both of them just go to sleep when put in the cage, there's no play or trying to get out. Of course they are free roaming from about 7am-8pm unless I go somewhere, which isn't often. LOL Simon only eats in the cage. He doesn't take food anywhere. I get the feeling that's just too much trouble for him. LOL
I did try putting River and her food in a large rubbermaid so she'd be forced to sit with the food for a while. She just tries to get out and has no interest in eating.
Is the Rubbermaid container cut open and how how big is it? I find that a container that is big enough to fit about half of the them in it, with room for the plate is perfect. Are feeding them out of a bowl? If so, try a plate. Does she have a favorite oil? You can try enticing get with it to get her started. Eggs are another enticed if she likes them. You can try warming the meat up a little in a plastic baggie under some water before giving it to her. If she isn't eating in the cage, change her eating spot for outside the cage. I have two places, one in the cage and one out of it. Just move her and Simon to the new eating spot. This way she won't just go to sleep and not eat. As for watching her eat, that might be hard. My insu girl was the same way, she rarely ate in front of me. I had to feed her three times a day with portioned meals instead of leaving it out so that she would eat. You can always try that. I did every 6 hours.
As for stashing, if you don't want her to stash, give her a box with a hole cut in it to go into or a place the dogs can't go. My ferrets have a pantry to eat in. Every time she goes to stash, put her in the box or den or an approved place. Each time. She will get it eventually.
This past week I did baby them a bit with some ground turkey but got them to eat some ground beef with it, so there's progress! They wouldn't touch beef before. I'm still crushing the chicken bones. It's still almost impossible to see what River's eating but I have seen her eating the chunks of chicken meat at least. Now they've swapped and she's eating more at night like Simon used to do. LOL I swear they're like kids, once you think you've figured it out they go and switch it up for ya.
I know Simon is chewing on the bones some but not sure about River. They're both nuts over salmon oil so I put some of that on the chicken bones (some whole some crushed) but it looks like they just licked it off.
I'm not as worried as last week since River did gain a couple ounces back.
I put a small cardboard box out as a feeding den near where River usually goes to eat and that seems to be helping with the stashing and they both seem to enjoy eating from there.
Yay for River!! I'm glad she is gaining the weight back. I want to push her onto bone. Instead of switching meats for a menu, this week just feed them bone in meat, chicken or quail and their organ meals. Every other day, crushed the bone a little bit less and weigh River daily just to make sure she is keeping on weight. If at any point you feel uncomfortable or that she isn't eating we can reevaluate but I want her onto bone because I know she can do it!
This morning they got some chicken wings and a little leftover chicken breast I had from yesterday. Last night I gave them the lower portion of a chicken back that still had some kidney and a some meat and skin on it. I did see her chewing on it for a few minutes but it doesn't really look like she ate much off of it. Definitely will push bones this week!
Here they are working on their quail this morning.
River's actually been working on bone-in chicken. She still tends to stash and not eat the bigger pieces with whole bone, but if it's crushed she'll work on it much more. She's doing so much better with it. So far that's just chicken though. It took salmon oil to get them to touch the quail this morning.
I've been using a box as a feeding den near where she usually drags her food. She still drags some off but they both seem to enjoy using the den.
I'm thinking I may have to keep sticking ground meat in during the week to get River to eat organ meats. Simon gobbles them up no matter what but she won't eat them unless they're mixed with something.
That's fine with the ground meat. Just make sure to continue to make the actual meat part less and less and the organ part more so that we can get her on organs by themselves eventually. Have you tried making an organ soup? That's how I feed my guys, they get organ soup, normally liver with kidney and brains mixed in.