Thanks! Again, more good news As planned I put in 3 cubes (roughly 2.5 oz) overnight. This morning, there was only a couple bites leftover. Both of them need a little encouragement at the start of feeding, but afterwords they're eating out of the bowl without a problem
I've been leaving soup out in the cage during the day but I think they're eating more on the cage plate than they are at actual feedings, because they're only eating around 1/2 an ounce each time I feed, and they're emptying the cage plate once or twice a day (and at night).
I know it's good to keep track of the amount they eat but I'm not always around to see who's eating how much.
Post by Aftershock on Oct 18, 2016 14:55:01 GMT -5
I'd like to say you can take out that middle of the day spoon feeding now. Honestly, I couldn't tell you how much each of my ferrets eats on their own. As long as they are both eating from the dish, they are good. The reason I asked for individual baggies was to make sure they were eating something at the very beginning. But that is something you also don't have to do anymore! I liked to chart everything on a piece of notebook paper when I started my switch. I'd put down the day, am/pm, how much it weighed before, how much the remains weighed at next feeding, if I had to add more in the middle of the day and how much. The amount of food was always for both of them (I only had my boys at that time).
Post by Aftershock on Oct 19, 2016 14:33:38 GMT -5
Just as an update so we can all see the progress in one place: The kibble has been taken away completely, right? They are just on the soup now, with two supervised feedings, one in the morning and one at night? They are both to the point of eating on their own.
Are they still leaving a few bites leftover from the night, and that was three cubes, correct? How many cubes are they getting during the day?
Seriously, you and your little ones are doing amazing!
Post by Aftershock on Oct 20, 2016 13:21:40 GMT -5
They both eat by themselves now, and I barely have to show them the bowl anymore for them to eat of own accord.
This made me extremely happy!
I promise you haven't been late on any replies. You are fantastic!
*MINI LESSON TIME!*
Eggs, they are awesome little complete packages of protein, fat, and calcium (eggshell). They also contain fantastic nutrients which help lubricate a ferrets insides. This is why we recommend one egg per week (One egg per ferret), and 2-3 during shedding season. 'But raw eggs have a chance to give me salmonella, right? What about my ferret?' A ferrets digestive tract 1) is more than equip to handle this in bacterial structure and 2) expels remaining matter fast enough that salmonella doesn't have time to settle in (it needs 12-24 hours to set in. A ferrets digestive system is only about 3-4 hours long). There are always exceptions to this, but as a general rule, it is not to be worried about. In fact, pet food has a higher chance of being contaminated with salmonella! :puke:
Since we are on the subject of eggs, let's talk about hairballs (and the dangers of them!)! First, let's look at the definition; Hairball- noun, 1. a ball of hair that collects in the stomach of a cat or similar animal as a result of the animal's licking its coat. 'Well, don't animals just puke them up?' Most do, but there are some, example: ferrets, rabbits, and cows, that usually can't do this. This means for these animals, it can become life threatening. If a hairball is left, it can become a trichobezoar; Noun. 1. trichobezoar-a compact mass of hair that forms in the alimentary canal (especially in the stomach of animals as a result of licking fur). hair ball, hairball. tangle-a twisted and tangled mass that is highly interwoven; "they carved their way through the tangle of vines". (Think of very tightly woven dreadlocks, but in the stomach, doesn't sound comfortable at all, does it?) Since ferrets cannot regurgitate hairballs eggs become very important for them. (Remember that they lubricate the ferrets internals? ) The egg every week is a preventative, not a treatment, to keep bezoars from forming. If undetected, bezoars are deadly and require surgery to remove. Wholeprey, brushing, and frequent cage cleaning are also other preventative measures.
Some Common and Severe symptoms of a hairball blockage would be: - Small, skinny poops or no poop at all, Tarry or black poop. - Lethargic / Weakness / Decreased activity / Collapse, - Vomiting / Dry heaving, - Unable or refusal to eat / Decreased appetite, - Decreased body temperature. - Weight loss, - Pawing at the roof of the mouth, - Teeth grinding. - Abdominal distension, - Shock - Death.
Also, it's time for another mini quiz! If you run out of bone, what are two substitutes and how much should your ferrets get? What are three organs aside from liver? Is it a good idea to mix muscle meat, bone in, and organs all in one meal?
On the topic of eggs, should I start training Bo and Blaze to eat those, too? I tried once, and it kind of failed haha but then again, I didn't stick with it like I am with their diet. 1 egg per ferret per week seems pretty easy to manage, ha.
I didn't know pet food had a higher chance than other foods. I'm so glad I have them off their kibble now!! I just wish I'd started earlier haha.
Okay, mini quiz- If bone isn't available, you can substitute crushed eggshell or bone meal; but with bone meal it can't have anything added and be people-grade, right? Three organs aside from liver: pancreas, kidney, brain. I'm going with yes; combining all of that would pretty much equal a balanced meal, right?
Post by Aftershock on Oct 20, 2016 15:14:02 GMT -5
Just focus on the soup for now, eggs are a whole new ball game for them and it's easier when you aren't trying to get them used to eating something else too. I end up giggling when I give them eggs and then eat eggs for breakfast. (giggle)
Yes, crushed eggshell and bonemeal are correct! Human grade bonemeal is definitely better because pet kind has all sorts of fun add in stuff. 1/2-3/4 tsp per 10oz of meat, then watch poops to know if more or less should be added. Spot on with the organs! Actually, we don't recommend feeding them all at once. Especially if you have multiple ferrets. What generally ends up happening is that ferrets have favorite meals, just like people, if you serve too many things at once, they will pick out what they like and leave the rest. Example: Gator LOVES hearts, I prepare a meal with eggs, hearts, and chicken, serve it to him and Croc, he is going to eat all of the hearts. (This actually happened to me at the beginning of my switch, I tried doing it by myself without a Mentor) This then creates an imbalance in both of their diets. Gator doesn't end up with enough bone in, and Croc doesn't get any hearts. See where this causes issues? The only way to serve all of these items at once in a safe way for your ferrets is ordering/making grinds. They aren't allowed to be picky with those.
1. Ferret's name: Bo 2. Ferret's weight: 2lbs, 2.8 oz 3. Ferret has eaten "X" amount on average per meal.: 1-2 oz 4. Stools on various proteins: currently on soup; loose consistancy and slightly stronger smell 5. Activity levels: playing normally 6. Weekly menu:
Mon: AM- Soup PM- Soup
Tues: AM- Soup PM- Soup
Wed: AM- Soup PM- Soup
Thurs: AM- Soup PM-Soup
Friday: AM-Soup PM-Soup
Saturday: AM- Soup PM- Soup
Sunday: AM- Soup PM- Soup
1. Ferret's name: Blaze 2. Ferret's weight: 1lb 12 oz 3. Ferret has eaten "X" amount on average per meal. 0.5-1.5 oz 4. Stools on various proteins: currently on soup; loose consistancy and stronger smell 5. Activity level: extra energetic 6. Weekly menu:
So, just to keep you updated, I had a family emergency today and I won't be home for 3(ish) days. My aunt will be taking over the feedings, hopefully she'll understand how to do them. (She's of the 'ferrets are rodents' people, but at the short notice, the best I can do.)
Do you mind if I let her use my account to post here if she has questions?
Post by Aftershock on Oct 22, 2016 21:06:15 GMT -5
Hi Amber! It's nice to meet you! At this point in the transition the supervised feedings are more to keep an eye on them and make sure they keep eating by themselves. The soup out between feedings is partially because 1) a ferrets digestive tract is only about 3-4 hours long, and going too long without food can cause liver issues and 2) once we get Bo and Blaze eating an actual frankenprey menu (chicken wings, rabbit ribs, duck spines, etc) they will go off of a twice a day feeding schedule and have access to food all day. so we are already on track with getting them used to having access to food at all times. The twice a day supervised feedings also have another purpose; when we begin introducing bigger pieces of meat. Ferrets can be VERY stubborn and generally don't care for change, this intensifies as they get older. So when bigger pieces are introduced to them, there is the chance that they will notice and reject the soup all over again. (We are actually right on the edge of introducing bigger pieces!) I hope this makes sense! Also, you're awesome for watching the fuzzies! No one in my family would do that for me.