Went to the butcher and sadly they were out of rabbit...but I got a duck and some quail (: I'm going to have to go back this upcoming weekend to get more rabbit, they said it will be there next week. I haven't prepped them yet because they were frozen but they should be thawed enough by the time I get back home. I'll prep those and then I'll update my menu for the upcoming week. I also plan on weighing them today!
Went to the store to grab more chicken wings today and they also had chicken necks so I grabbed those too...looked further down the aisle and they had lamb necks so I got those too...they aren't weight bearing bones so I thought they should be okay, right? I was excited to see the lamb necks...new protein source!!
Went to chop up the lamb neck and realized the bones were way too dense so I just chopped the meat off of it and will use it as muscle meat for a couple of meals. I also forgot to mention that I got pig tails as well. I chopped that up and it should be a good bone source (: sorry about all the messages!
Sorry for not getting back sooner - it's been a crazy week for me!
In regards to your menu, I count:
- 3 muscle meals - 2 organ soup meals and 0.5 heart meals (counts as 1.5 heart meals and 1 liver/organ meal) - 5 bone in meals - 3.5 grind meals
I would still recommend replacing one of the muscle meals with an additional bone-in meal, but you're really close!!
It sounds like you have a lot of bone-in variety which is fantastic. Can you take a photo of the pig tails? I've never fed/seen them before. One thing to make sure is that they still have a good amount of meat on them as a meal which is too bony can make your ferrets constipated.
In regards to chunk sizes and general prepping, there is no ideal size, but usually bone-in chunks at least as big as your thumb is good. If your ferrets will eat it you can get away with even bigger chunks (I know a lady who will give her ferrets an entire pig's head), but of course if they are too big then they are harder to portion to the right weight so you don't waste anything. Some ferrets also just prefer smaller pieces to nibble on.
It's okay!! I'm also sorry for the amount of posts. I will gladly take some pictures of the pig tails when I get home for you as well as post this weeks menu! I think I did a better balance this time around. Could you send me the link for cutting the quail and duck? I couldn't locate it in the thread. I already cut up the tails but I will do my best to get a good picture to show meat and bone ratio. The meat is very fatty though which, if I remember correctly, is a good thing!
Fattier cuts are better than lean (say chicken thighs vs breasts), but too many large chunks of fat are definitely not - you want a good amount of protein/muscle meat in there too. If you think the tails alone might be too fatty or bony, you can mix in a little bit of pork chunks to balance things out. If the meal results in whiteish poops, then it's definitely too fatty.
Cutting quail: (Cutting duck is similar, although on a much bigger scale obviously. You might want to search a video on butchering chicken.)
One thing to keep in mind is that depending on the size of the duck, some of the bones (particularly the thigh/"drumstick" bones) might be too large for ferrets to eat on their own, so you might try smashing them up a bit to start. I also have a video on smashing up bone
It's hard to tell by the photos what sort of bone ratio it might have, but the chunks look very meaty, so that's a good sign! Let me know how it goes, and just keep an eye out for constipation/bony poops.
For your menu I see:
- 8 bone-in meals - 3 organ meals (equivalent to 1.5 heart and 1.5 liver/organ meals) - 1 grind meal - 2 muscle meals
You also have 4 different proteins (chicken, pork, beef and rabbit)
Your menu looks great! The only thing I would comment on is that it's a little bit chicken-heavy, but I know that you will be adding the duck and quail soon, so that's good
Time for a pop quiz!! Don't worry if you don't know all of the answers.
1. What is the main important nutrient found in heart? Is this vitamin fat soluble or water soluble? 2. What is a healthy diet item that can be used for hairballs, and how often should you give it? 3. List 3 organs aside from liver. 4. Which protein(s) are common allergens in ferrets? 5. How many bone-in meals should a ferret get each week?
1. What is the main important nutrient found in heart? Is this vitamin fat soluble or water soluble? Main nutrient is taurine!! And it's water soluble so they pee out any extra they take in.
2. What is a healthy diet item that can be used for hairballs, and how often should you give it? Egg yolk! And depending on the size of the egg I would say 1 or 2. Loki and Meeka get 1.
3. List 3 organs aside from liver. Pancreas, spleen, brains 4. Which protein(s) are common allergens in ferrets? I think chicken is...I'm not too sure about this one. 5. How many bone-in meals should a ferret get each week? 7-9 per week