Dig boxes: I wouldn't suggest dirt from the outside. You can inadvertently bring insects into the house or exposed them to parasites. The risk is probably low (I mean don't freak out if they are outside and dig in the dirt) but I wouldn't encourage it. Dig boxes can easily be made with dried long grain rice (not parboiled), dried beans, ping-pong balls and/or packing peanuts (make sure they are corn-starch based).
As for amounts, females usually eat 1 to 3 oz a day, males eat about 2 to 4+ oz a day so you could be feeding a bit much. Kits will eat until they can't move.
So has Jezzy's bleeding stopped? I've never heard of that happening due to poor diet (not saying it can't, just never heard of it).
Today's food: Breakfast is 1/2 Chicken thigh, 1/2 beef stew meat, with an egg. This is our first attempt with beef, but the duck when over well. They ate all of that yesterday. Tiny, Jack, and Bill: 8.4 ounces Jezzy: 1.2 ounces
Jezzy's problem is cleared up.
Would it be helpful if I post weekly weights and body shots?
What information would help best?
I am working on really making a meal plan for them and ironing out all the details. I will start by cutting their food in half. Please let me know if there is anything else I should be doing.
Weekly weights should be fine unless we start to get concerned about someone (but we'll never say no to pics or videos of them eating!). Do the food cutback over a few days and see how it goes (an oz or two less a day until you think they you've got the right amount) or try the other method and weigh what you give them and then weigh the leftovers for that day. Record that for the week and it should give you a good idea how much they are eating.
Post by kattadragon on Mar 3, 2017 10:09:49 GMT -5
Separating Jezzy out turned out to be a bad idea, but in the best way. She had eaten all of her meat and when I let her out she went to eat the left over from the other kennel! All ferrets got a good run through the house last night and played tag with my son (he is 4). Jezzy and bill are the most playful, Tiny was playing with Jezzy a bit (which is new!), and Jack wants to investigate and then sleep in my jacket.
I will be leaving to go skiing tonight and will be back on Sunday night. My husband is going to feed them while I am gone. Their meal plan for the weekend is:
Friday AM: 1/2 liver (chicken), 1/2 kidney (lamb), with an egg total 9.0 ounces Friday PM: Turkey Wing
Saturday AM: Chicken neck Saturday PM: Muscle meat (1/2 chicken thigh, 1/2 beef, with an egg)
Sunday AM: Turkey back Sunday PM: Heart (chicken) (the beef heart did not go over well)
Monday AM: Rabbit Monday PM: Muscle meat (1/2 chicken thigh, 1/2 pork chop with an egg)
Do you think I could start moving them on to whole prey?
You can start introducing whole prey whenever you want. Don't be surprised if they don't take to them, though. It took mine almost a year to accept mice. Try cutting the chest cavity open a bit (NOT the guts) to encourage them.
There is a document that shows how to balance frankenprey meals with whole prey meals, I'll find it for you and link it here.
Last Edit: Mar 3, 2017 23:14:30 GMT -5 by bitbyter
I will start weighing the food out and leftovers to get a more accurate amount.
Should I start treating them with feeder mice? Should I remove the intestines on the feeder mice? Are the feeder mice available at large pet supply retailers treated with anything harmful? I was going to go down to Petco to get about ten feeder mice. I don't want a bag of 50 at a time if it will take them a while to get used to them. I figure fresher is better even though they are frozen.
Mice are usually small enough that you don't have to worry too much about the guts. It might be a little messy at first, though. I wouldn't suggest buying rodents from petco. The company that supplies them is not known for quality.
A better bet would be to see if you can find someone local who breeds for reptiles. Usually, they are cheaper and better quality.
Where are you located? I can ask on the rodent breeder group I am in to see if there is anyone near you.
They really do like quail!!! There was one piece I found had be drug off, and then there were four ferrets trying to eat it all at once! That was really awesome, Jezzy took off with the chunk first and everyone followed her.
Fed heart this morning, 4.3 ounces. I will weigh it when I get home. If they are not as excited to eat some other food and try to wait it out should I change up the food to maintain the meal plan or should I just let them finish the food that was in their kennel?
Quail has always been a favorite around here. I think it is one of the better bone-in meats. The meat is nice and dark and the bones are a really good size for ferrets. Here is the document about balancing a frankenprey menu with other meal types:
Post by kattadragon on Mar 7, 2017 14:28:14 GMT -5
YES, that is totally going in the front of my ferret log note book!!
I was looking at rodentpro and hair today, but I noticed the amount to ship(yikes). With how much they love quail would that make a good starter whole prey? I am going to have to use more of what I already have, but I am trying to plan for my next grocery trip for them.
They ate 2.4 ounces of heart. I have not yet had time to look for any stashed rabbit, but I noticed Jezzy (my lager in the transition) chewing on rabbit bone this morning! Fed liver, kidney, and an egg this morning, I did not have time to get weights this morning, but I will try to do that tonight.
You can certainly try whole prey quail. I tend to avoid whole prey model birds myself as the feathers get EVERYWHERE but that is just my choice. I get quail from a local farm that plucks them for me so I just take the guts out (leaving in the good organs). I occasionally get partially formed eggs in them as well (bonus!!).
"whole prey model" means any animal you feed that is totally intact (feathers, fur, guts, etc). So a "whole" prey animal that is just pre-killed and frozen (usually). So the plucked quail I get are not quite "whole prey model" because they don't have the feathers.
Last Edit: Mar 9, 2017 11:53:40 GMT -5 by bitbyter