1. Ferret's name: Gizmo 2. Ferret's weight: 1032 3. Ferret has eaten "X" amount on average per meal. 2 oz 4. Stools on various proteins. normal 5. Activity levels: normal 6. Weekly menu: chicken, mice, chicks
1. Ferret's name: Loki 2. Ferret's weight: 1375 3. Ferret has eaten "X" amount on average per meal. 2 oz 4. Stools on various proteins. normal 5. Activity levels: hyper 6. Weekly menu: chicks, mice and chicken chunks
1. Ferret's name: Oscar 2. Ferret's weight: 1022 3. Ferret has eaten "X" amount on average per meal. 2 oz 4. Stools on various proteins. normal 5. Activity levels: normal 6. Weekly menu: soup, chicken and chicks
Looks like they are doing well and you are doing great with them! I strongly suggest investing in a blender of some kind. Organ meals can be tough and this will help immensely. Also if you do a blended organ soup and a blended organ and heart soup for that meal it makes it impossible for them to pick out only their favorite parts.
Chicks are only considered a snack, not a meal. Are you providing just mice, or rats or ASFs too? Otherwise it sounds like they are really only getting two proteins, which are mice (not sure if different ones will count for different proteins, FireAngel can likely confirm or deny for you) and chicken, and that's not enough. They need a bare minimum of 3 different proteins in their diet, but the more you can provide, the better.
You should really have at least another protein, then that should put you at the bare minimum of required proteins, and if you have troubles introducing new things to them, that's exactly why the mentors are there to help with it. One of the big reasons there should be a minimum of at least 3 proteins is that all animals vary in nutritional content levels, so while one might be lacking in certain nutrients, another might provide them with it and vice-versa. Some proteins are also very lean, and fattier meats will give your ferret more energy, so it's good to have some variety that way as well. Ferrets can also develop food sensitivities to only the same protein being fed over and over, chicken being a very common culprit.
Do you balance your Whole Prey and Frankenprey meals for the week using the balancing chart from on here?
Post by ferretdude on Jun 21, 2017 17:44:49 GMT -5
I might be able to get some hamsters in a few weeks.. As for their menu they have one chick day and the day after is mice and either chicken meat or wings. Also Gizmo has to have one extra chick a day or he starts to rapidly lose weight
Last Edit: Jun 21, 2017 17:47:25 GMT -5 by ferretdude
So, while you have made great progress you are lacking a variety of proteins and are you feeding heart meals or liver or any other organs to them? They are very important and if they are not getting them you will end up with some very sick ferrets. If you don't mind I would like you to post in the Mon - Sun format your weekly meal plan please. Here is a little quiz for you also, (if you have to look any of these things up I would highly suggest you still get a mentor) 1.) how many eggs should a ferret eat in a week? 2.) why are hearts important in a diet? 3.) name 3 different types of organs. 4.) if stools are loose what can be adjusted in their diets to help correct this? 5.) name 3 different edible bones. 6.) Are cornish game hens and chickens the same proteins or different? 7.) Why are baby or adolescent whole prey snacks and not actual meals? 9.) why is variety so important in a diet? 10.) If you feed 2 whole prey meals a week how many muscle meat, bone in and heart and organ meals should you be feeding to keep a balanced diet?
I am happy to help you if you are still wanting the help.
I still need a mentor as 3 questions I had to look up. I'm not feeding organs or heart as I thought with a mainly whole prey diet they didn't need them... Their menu is Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday 13 chicks, Tuesday and Thursday is chicken wings one meal and mice the other. Saturday is chicken breast meat and mice
Chicks are not considered to be full meals and are really only a snack, they are still a baby animal, and thus not fully nutritionally developed yet and can be especially low in calcium. And you shouldn't be feeding that many meals of chicks in the week, Sherry has posted back in April in this thread that you should keep the chicks only to a single meal max per week.
Post by ferretdude on Jun 22, 2017 12:26:46 GMT -5
is this better? the chicken wings are to add extra calcium. also i applied for a mentor 2 months ago and.......nothing so i have had to try and work things out for myself and a friend who breeds ferrets said to me a diet based on chicks was fine so.......
Monday: 13 Chicks
Tuesday: 3 Chicken Wings, 3 Mice + 1 Chick
Wednesday: 3 Hamsters, 180g Chicken Breast + 1 Chick
Thursday: 3 Chicken Wings, 180g Chicken Breast + 1 Chick
Friday: 3 Hamsters, 3 Chicken Wings + 1 Chick
Saturday: 180g Chicken Breast, 3 Mice + 1 Chick
Sunday: 13 Chicks
Last Edit: Jun 22, 2017 12:37:21 GMT -5 by ferretdude
Chicks aren't considered nutritional enough to count towards the weekly required allotment of whole prey or frankenprey meals. Taking that into account, you have 4 whole prey meals. The remaining 10 meals of the week should try to balance the target ratios of about 50-55% bone in, 25-30% muscle meat, 10% heart, 5% liver, 5% other secreting organ. Balancing across 10 meals per week makes the math easier because one meal represents 10% of the non whole prey meals.
I counted 3 bone in meals (30% bone in) and 3 muscle meat meals (30% muscle meat), leaving a deficiency of bone in and heart/liver/organ. At a minimum, you should meet the heart/liver/organ requirements by replacing one chick meal with heart and one chick meal with half liver and half another secreting organ (ie. kidney).
As previously suggested, limiting the number of chick meals per week would be ideal. It would also allow you to replace one of the remaining two chick meals with bone in to get closer to the amount of bone that is needed for the diet. Chicken is already fed quite a bit so if a different bone in meat can be used for that meal it would be preferable.
Last Edit: Jun 22, 2017 13:57:00 GMT -5 by raynebc
Remember, there are other people who also apply for a mentor, so there can be somewhat of a wait list, and you need to keep in mind the mentors are also normal people with normal everyday lives and responsibilities to take care of as well. That said, it's often suggested that while you wait you can start on the switch yourself BUT ask questions in the forum about anything you are unsure of, so that an admin, mentor, or another raw feeder can respond with help. You honestly could just have just asked, we really try our best to answers all the questions people have, but I did not see you ask anywhere about making sure if what you are currently feeding is okay or not, apart from an older thread in which you were also told chicks are not considered a meal and your suggested menu back then was actually better balanced compared to now.
A diet based on chicks is most certainly not fine and can have very severe consequences for those little ferrets being bred by your friend as they are the ones that require even more calcium than adult ferrets, something heavily lacking in baby animals used for food. Your friend might not get to deal with the consequences of that diet, so they may not be aware, but the people getting those ferrets may have a lot of troubles in store later on. Please read through this to refer to the dangers of an unbalanced diet: holisticferret60.proboards.com/thread/11600/dangers-unbalanced-raw-diet
As for needing to figure it all out by yourself, Sherry has actually told you before that you need to keep the chicks to a single meal maximum per week as chicks don't actually count as a meal, so you had gotten advice on that subject already, but are still feeding them as meals. They really are not considered a meal and your ferrets will be losing out on required nutrients. An unbalanced raw diet can be incredibly dangerous and lead to very sick ferrets with nutritional deficiencies, malformations and defects. Therefore it is very important to correct your menu so that it will be balanced for your fuzzies.
You had a much better variety in the menu you posted back up in April, did you decide against aiming for that one? That old menu included duck necks and turkey necks, which are both different proteins and would be wonderful to use for some of your bone-in meals versus just chicken.
You also need to really do your heart and organ meals, these are incredibly important for the health of your ferrets. Chicken hearts and chicken/beef liver are very easily found in most grocery stores. Some will also sell kidney, which is the easiest other organ to find most of the time. You can also go talk to a butcher and see if you can source these items from them, or if perhaps there is an online provider from which you can order these items if you struggle to find them. If you have an Asian/Ethnic store anywhere in your area, I would also try them to see what they have, they tend to be cheaper than other places too.
I'm sure FireAngel will help you get all this corrected, she is a wonderful mentor. But until then, try to look around in your area for some different proteins you could offer in their menu. If budget is a concern, shop around all over the place, go from store to store and check them out thoroughly. Plenty of us will buy the meat specials, or buy bulk to save money overall or in shipping costs and even shop the Asian/Ethnic stores for deals (I might not want to eat it, but it's still human-grade meats, so perfect for the fuzzies).
Post by ferretdude on Jun 22, 2017 17:13:14 GMT -5
Ok I will try the main problem is they won't eat necks or heart or liver or other organs even when I blend them and although the vet says Gizmo is healthy for some reason if he doesn't get at least one chick every day he starts rapidly shedding weight to the point of being emaciated even though he is still eating. I have been weighing all 3 over two months and week one Gizmo was only eating soup and he was 1072g week 2 he started eating chicks and went up to 1091g. week 4 I went down to one chick a week and Gizmo dropped to 987g. Since week 6 I have been giving him one chick a day along with that day's meal and when he was weighed on the 4th of June he had gone up to 1023g
Last Edit: Jun 22, 2017 17:14:09 GMT -5 by ferretdude