Post by elliottsmama on Mar 28, 2017 21:23:31 GMT -5
My furballs have been raw since coming home with me. We have plans for a trip this summer and I have two friends who have previously had ferrets and would love to watch them. They are a little tentative about raw and I was wondering if it's okay to mix kibble and raw. Not at the same time, but maybe they could do kibble during the day and gnaw on some bone-in meat at night or something. It's not until July, but I wanted to find out options.
Is there an easy to use and not $$$$ dehydrated kibble I could use instead? I just want to make it as easy on the as possible and want options.
Since your fuzzies have gone on raw, there are 2 possible outcomes. A) It will set them back pretty hard on their raw diet, and they may stop eating raw or start refusing parts of it. B) They will not want any of the kibble and won't view it as food anymore (this is what mine did, since the cat was on kibble a while still after they fully switched and they'd all gotten the same kibble before).
Would your friends have any problems with crumbling a FDR patty and rehydrating it with water? It just looks like brown slop to be honest, most do not even smell (pheasant does). It may be pricey, but it works really easy, especially for people who are squeamish or just have issues doing raw chunks of meat.
Here's a photo of my two with one of their rehydrated FDR meals, like I said, looks like brown slop:
Why not simply package and freeze the food for them? Package for once or twice a day feedings, label by date, and all they have to do is empty the container into the cage for feeding? To make it simpler, get some appropriate sized plastic containers and all they have to do is put the dish into the cage, and remove the old one.
Ferrets: Contessa Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
I use mostly Stella & Chewy's for my FDR, I get the dog products, because the cat ones have a synthetic Vitamin K added lately, and just supplement extra hearts during the week as the dog products are lower in taurine than ferrets need. I tend to buy the big packages, either 15oz (biggest I can find in some of the flavors like rabbit) or 25oz. These tend to last me a while, it obviously depends how much your ferrets eat. Loki will eat 1 and a half to 2 patties in a day on FDR days. One patty reconstitutes to about 1.8oz for me. Obviously, if you wish to do meals for a while with it, you still need 3 different proteins, so it can be costly.
Be aware, some ferrets may get a bit pickier about their usual raw if they like the FDR too much, though I have also seen some pull up their little noses to the FDR and prefer the frankenprey instead. It could go either way. And you STILL need to wash your hands thoroughly after preparing FDR, it is still raw after all. And when you use that, you need to brush the ferrets' teeth as only actual bone-in meals clean teeth, FDR, grinds and soupies do not.
That said.. my hubby works pretty easy from my portioned out, and carefully color coded & labeled containers of Frankenprey if I am ever unavailable to feed my little buggers myself. I have a big weekly chart on the fridge that lists what meal should be given too. If they are meat eaters themselves, it should be pretty easy for them to just stick with the portioned out Frankenprey, they should just apply the same hygiene they do when working with their own food. You can tell them kibble carries the risk of salmonella too, so might as well stick with the raw, lol.
I would also tell them that bacteria is everywhere. They eat it and are exposed to it daily lol.
Human grade meats, like the ones they may consume, are very heavily regulated and unlikely to be an issue. We see more contamination issues with vegetable and salad mixes when it comes to salmonella these days or with processed foods. I haven't seen any recalls on fresh meats from butchers when it comes to bacteria or contamination.
Freezing does not always kill "bacteria." Bacteria can survive freezing temperatures and often it will just render it inactive. Even after you thaw, bacteria will be attracted to the food and multiply anyway since it is a moist surface. Food we leave out in the open will have bacteria. Yogurt contains bacteria and people eat that every day haha. If you think harmful bacteria though, if the meat was already contaminated and then frozen, it will likely come out contaminated so rule of thumb, don't feed "contaminated" food to anyone, purchase from reputable sources. Freezing can kill some parasites, not all. To kill some harmful parasites you need to freeze for a minimum of 48 hours at -4°F (-20°C) to 6 days or so. When you think wild game, it should be around 3 - 6 weeks. Often human grade meats have already been frozen anyway so they should be fine to feed "fresh."
Harmful "bacteria" or contaminates is highly unlikely to be an issue anyway if you're using human grade meats.(The industry is pretty darn heavily regulated.) The thing I am trying to say is that bacteria is everywhere and it isn't always harmful. If bacteria was an issue, we wouldn't be alive and thriving in this world. You'll find that FDR will also contain bacteria and will the moment you re-hydrate it and allow it to sit.
Kibble will also do the same, especially when it becomes moist. Commercial petfood in general is a big risk as it is the most likely to be contaminated if we were to point fingers to which would be more likely to have a recall. Most carnivorous animals and pets can carry bacteria and parasites such as Campylobacter, E.Coli, Salmonella, Giardia and Cryptosporidia in their intestinal tract. Cats, Dogs, Ferrets, Reptiles even. So even if you avoid or prevent with food, it still is a risk regardless. The thing in general is to prevent spread or exposure if the animal was to shed some of it through their stools. You can do that by taking care when dealing with ferret stool, clean up before and after cleaning poop, and basically don't eat poop. (Sorry if this is something someone was looking forward to doing, Just gotta say it.) Use the 20/20/20 rule. Wash for 20 seconds, Rinse for 20 seconds, dry for 20 seconds. Do that twice, once before feeding, and again after feeding. (Also a good idea to do that when you clean litters or clean anything animal related.) Wipe down benches with a good disinfectant and just take general precautionary measures like you would a human. This applies with every kind of food. Dry food, Moist food. You need to take precautionary measures with everything when it comes to dealing with animals. It is fairly safe bacteria wise. Our bodies are amazing things and tend to help fight against bad bacteria if they enter the body. ^_^