So anyways..... I had done a whole bunch of research on ferrets, their behavior, requirements in caring for, litter box and of course raw diet all before making the decision to find some fur butts to adopt as our own.
This is one of many websites that described raw diet transitioning and I felt was the best fit for our family to work on making our babies healthy and happy. I may have read too many sites however LOL since after coming back here as an official member and rereading info on this site I might not have started our transition the best way. So let me tell you what we've done and let me take your advice on the next step from here.
I didn't take any specific before pictures. I also did not weigh anybody. We have 3 1 yr old ferrets, 2 jills and a hob, all fixed and previous kibble eaters (forget the name but their previous mom had them on one by drs foster and smith). I had remembered reading about how ferrets preferred poultry and to start with that but it also had remembered reading low fat meat was bad. Apparently I got this about 2/3 right.
So I started by mixing a little ground beef (only ground meat I could find with high fat content) and tiny chunks ofliver if you can call it that cuz it kind of fell apart into goup once I cut it up and a little warm water and their kibble to start off with. The mixture was very watery to begin with as well. Sometimes I throw the liver blood in with it. I didn't know about the eggshell powder that's going to start today.
At first they didn't want much of anything to do with it they wouldn't take it for my finger wouldn't take it from the bowl even if I try to dob just a little bit under snout they would look at me like you're nuts lady. The previous owner also gave me a bunch of kibble and three bags of bandits treats (which I now know are just aweful). So in an effort to try to find any way to get them to at least give the soup I made them a chance I took one treat ground it up in my fingertips and sprinkled it over the top. This got all three of them eating and lo and behold they cleaned the bowls. I slowly decreased the amount of water increased the amount of ground beef and livers while reducing the amount of kibble and treat dusting. By day 6 they no longer needed any treats kibble or extra water in their food. This week I have continued the ground beef with liver slivers and added chopped up chicken hearts and gizzards but only chopped to about a sliver size. I have given them some chicken thigh with skin on and chicken feet to see if they would try anything that wasn't ground up in their bowl. They have run around and played with both the thigh and the chicken feet but I don't think anything is actually being chewed on or eaten.
Today I actually ran low on anything other than ground beef and mixed a little tiny bit of kibble back in just to try and give them a balanced diet until grocery shopping tonight and the darn little suckers wouldn't eat the kibble only the straight ground beef. So please fill out my shopping list and that way I can know I'm going more well-rounded and introduce things that they actually might have a chance of eating. Love the site can't wait for all the good advice
*after re-reading a bunch of info today I can't help but think our s'mores babies must be a little weird if they love ground beef LOL
Last Edit: Jul 24, 2017 19:56:55 GMT -5 by Deleted: Typos
You need to be careful with liver, it's something that can be "overdosed" on, since Vitamin A is fat-soluble, it can accumulate in the body and lead to a toxicity. Liver is only 5% of the entire ferret diet (10% organs total, half being liver). The raw soupie recipe and weekly frankenprey menu follow that rule.
Never mix kibble and raw though, this can lead to an upset stomach at best, and a bacterial overgrowth at worst, which will require the vet to give antibiotics. When doing kibble and raw.. you need to take kibble away a few hours before offering any raw, and replace it a few hours afterwards.
You can use chicken thigh meat, it's a darker meat, so more fatty than something like chicken breast. Pork is another mild meat that can go over well, so is Turkey. There are honestly plenty of proteins you ca try overall; Chicken, Duck, Turkey, Pork, Lamb, Beef, Rabbit, Quail, Pheasant, Goat, Venison, etc. But always have liver, hearts, another organ such as kidney, spleen, thymus, testes, uteri, etc. on hand as your ferrets will need their hearts and organ meals.
Have you looked at the Frankenprey weekly menu on here? Do you know how many meals of which you need in the week as you progress them onto raw? It includes some good examples of what to have on your shopping list.
I will look at the frakenprey stuff again. Must have missed shopping lists. I have worked in hospitals for 15 years and still have trouble making a balanced diet for myself, so it is a good thing I found this site. I did see the meat meal, bone meal, organ meal etc. Just confused about real world getting there so to speak. I hope I don't come acrossed as needing too much hand holding.
So rule #1: save the liver for the proper meal (check)
Rule #2: never mix raw diet and kibble in same meal (check)
Mission #1: reread franken prey menu section (on it)
It gives great examples of what to buy, as well as how your menu when finished should be formed. While transitioning your fuzzles, they likely won't quite use the menu like that yet, since at first it's usually a raw soupie, then a lot of muscle meals with added bone-meal powder while they get more used to the raw meat, and then larger and larger sizes, and then smashed bone-in meat pieces, going larger and larger until they can have actual bone-in meals normally. Younger fuzzies tend to be able to skip steps and progress much faster. But either way, it's good to have an idea of what the menu should look like.
You can also look through the archives to see how others did in their completed switches. It can be very helpful.
I did a lot of reading here yesterday. When I pick you up from your dad's tomorrow I will get you on track with the current raw diet transition plan. We will also get pictures and weights of all of our little fuzzies including Brownies so that we can better document what we're doing and how well they are doing in their transition.
Mentor's and senior members I noticed a post yesterday on the frakenprey transitioning that included basically pictures of different sized Legos as a way to put a number to the size of slivers up to minced meat that you're giving your pet and I can't find it does anybody know where it's at and I can look it up again? Super frustrated that I forgot the thread it's in.
Do you know how much ground eggshell to add to the meat? You need to do 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon per 10oz of meat. Too little will create too soft poops, and too much will create poops that are too hard and might constipate the ferret.
You can do it and see how they take to it, they might not right away, but if they do then great, just means they can switch faster. If they don't you can try again the next day, or just do it more gradually. If they ate really well like that today, then I'd try to decrease the ground a bit tomorrow. If they did poorly, I might keep it as is for another day first. This tends to be true for most of the switch. Sometimes a bit of tough love is required too, haha.
Since I will have my daughter's help today we will weigh everyone and do the math and set up a master weight and measured diet plan for reference. On the fridge so we know the proper recipe mix for all four furries (we are picking up her kitty today that was moved to her dad's house but needs to come back and we are going to transition her too).
I have decided that we will also pick up some small tupperware so my daughter and I can get the prep done all at once and have everyone's meals ready to go for a week at a time. We can't really prep more than that since freezer space is limited.
I have noticed with current meals from refrigerated meat the furries tend to leave it for a good hour then chow like crazy. I figure it is because they don't like it cold. And now that we have a 4th bigger fuzzie to transition I read that cats really don't like cold raw meat.
So my question for all the babies is how do you thaw or warm your meals since we are not cooking the meals? Should I just set it out? Should I put the tupperware in luke warm water to defrost it? What do you do?
Ferrets aren't super fond of cold food, unless to cool down on a blazing hot day maybe. Most prefer their food at room temperature, same as cats, yes. Sometimes they like food warmed a little. I have heard of some ferrants warming the bowl or plate with water. Never microwave the food, or use hot water, as both can cook the outer edges of the meat. When giving soupies or a commercial grind like FDR or frozen grinds, I also use a little warm water with the food. Doesn't work for slivers and chunks though, sadly, at least not in my experience. But I think you could probably see if the meat will warm a little when the container is placed in warm, but not hot, water for a bit.
I use multiple methods to thaw food. Generally, I will take out frozen the evening before and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. It does happen sometimes that I have less time, then I will thaw on the counter, and if time is even more limited, I will thaw in lukewarm water (you may have to change it once or twice for faster results as the water cools from the cold).
PS. Good luck on transitioning your kitty. There are some ferrants on here with kitties also transitioned to raw. I am currently still working on my own kitty, and he is just giving me all sorts of heck still. I finally got him onto only wet foods earlier in the year, but he is still being the most stubborn bugger in our home when it comes to raw. Never give up! Haha.