Sure try the quail legs and it is fine to thaw and refreeze things. Even if there is a little freezer burn on them in the end the ferrets won't care and it will not harm them. Could Momo be eating too quickly? They often gag when they are eating a meal very fast. Increasing the sizes of meat will help make him slow down as he will have to chew in order to get it down. Sometimes even with larger pieces they will try and gulp them down and gag or choke. They have been on soup a long time and hopefully we can move them along to eating solids pretty quickly. It looks like you have introduced proteins while on soup so that is good. Try adding just a little water to the whole grinds you have, they should include organs also so they are complete. There is no need to change the soup recipe at all when mixing the 2.
Awesome! Here is a little refresher for you, Today's lesson will be Variety and Balance. Variety is extremely important for many reasons and can directly effect balance. Ferrets need mental stimulation and variety in food types, sizes, textures and temperature can help provide some of this stimulation for them. It is good to have them used to many different textures of food for that reason and to keep them used to softer foods such as grinds and easy to digest foods such as soup for when/if they become sick and need to have such textures. While we never cook their meals, warming them can be helpful and occasionally is even their preferred way to eat. What counts as a different protein you ask, well this is pretty easy to answer. Any genetically different animal counts as a different protein. Examples, Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Goat, Rabbit, Mice, Rats, Guinea Pigs (Cavies), Frog, Salmon, Sardines, Tuna, Anchovies, Turkey, Quail, Cornish Game Hen, Venison, Elk, Buffalo, I could go on but I think you get the picture. Now there is a little bit of a caveat here, Chicken and Cornish Game Hen are not different enough genetically to really be considered a different protein for balancing of a diet purposes. In order to provide the basic balanced meal plans, your menu should include at LEAST three different proteins. We covered what counts as different now we need to cover why it needs to be different and that brings us to the balancing part of the lesson also. Nutrients and micro-nutrients and macro-nutrients those are the reasons variety is important. Each and every different protein we give our little carnivores provide different amounts and types of these amazing and important things and each and every one of those amazing things helps nourish and develop different cells of the body and brain. Makes sense then if we can provide them with as many different types of these magical things that we will be giving them the best chance at being healthy, right? Now there is another aspect to balancing that has nothing to do with nutrients or variety but is the muscle/organ/heart/bone balance. We use the model that resembles what they would eat in nature. Proportionally, their diet should be a minimum of 10% heart, 5% liver and 5% another organ like kidney, brain or pancreas, about 10%-15% bone (requirements can vary based on the individual ferret), with the remaining 60%-70% being muscle meat.
Here is an example menu for a week of a full frankenprey diet. Monday am: edible bone in meat Monday pm: edible bone in meat (or muscle)*
Tuesday am: edible bone in meat Tuesday pm: muscle meat
Wednesday am: edible bone in meat Wednesday pm: heart
Thursday am: edible bone in meat Thursday pm: edible bone in meat (or muscle)*
Friday am: edible bone in meat Friday pm: ½ heart + ¼ liver + ¼ other organ
Saturday am: edible bone in meat Saturday pm: muscle meat
Sunday am: edible bone in meat Sunday pm: ½ liver + ½ other organ
Basically, per week this works out to: 9 meals bone-in meat 2 meals muscle meat 1.5 meals of heart 1.5 meals of liver and another organ
You may wonder why we do not recommend that you feed a balanced meal of bones,muscles,heart and organs for each meal, the answer is that in households with multiple ferrets it is impossible to tell if they are all eating the variety they need or if one or two are eating all the hearts or organs.
Looking forward to any questions you may have about this!
I'd like to see you do a mock menu for a week please
Oh that last part with not being able to tell which ferret is eating what! What about whole prey? That's still alright? Eventually when we get to whole prey, would I need two mice, one for each ferret? Or can they share? So far my menu being still on soupie is the 8ounces of protein- Lately since they've been on chicken, I gave them 30% chicken thigh and 70% lamb/turkey for the protein. Then for hearts, I use chicken. I read that I should be putting in 1 oz of heart so that generally is about 2 hearts per soup recipe. Then the 1/2 liver and 3/4 tsp of bone meal! Does that all sound correct?
I tried the quail! Round one was somewhat successful. I put yolk on the pieces and they kind of ate it..they each got a couple pieces with bone in, I got so happy when I heard the crunch! Today we tried the meatier parts of the quail without the yolk.. They both turned up their noses so I tried the scruff and stuff. Appa will eat it if he's mildly scruffed (feet touching the floor) And Momo was Not about it! So I poured their leftover soup containing chicken thigh, lamb and the rest of the essentials over the leftover pieces. I'm hoping that once the meat turns to jerky with soupie as dressing, it'll be more appealing. As for the remainder of the week's menu, I'm picking up pork/beef tomorrow to slowly throw in with the soup. Would you suggest I try the scruff n stuff trick with the red meats? Or wean the taste in by soup only? I'm afraid to not introduce it correctly and they dismiss it entirely. Also, is there any spcific parts of cow/pig that have the best nutrients for them as the protein in the soup?
I would Start with one mouse per ferret and see how that goes, I give 3 mice to my Sir and Missy and 5 to Blake Belladonna, George and Belle for a meal. You will find they will fight over a mouse even if there are 3 others available to them lol. This is normal. I have NEVER scruffed one of the ferrets to feed them, I just hold them and continually put the food to their lips and rub it on them until they lick, eventually they eat. I also have used the method of adding small amounts into the soup and increasing the amount until they are switched to the new protein. Cow tongue is high in taurine, but in general the fattier cuts are better just like in chicken.
I’m sorry it’s far in between me replying! Work has been crazy. So Appa still isn’t eating on his own. I see him approach the bowl then walk away so that’s when I let him sit on my lap to try to feed him. He won’t eat still :/ it’s more like pinching the skin on the back or putting my hand under his belly for him to know that he can’t not eat. I do wait about 7 hours to feed him so I know he’s gotta be hungry! Does that sounds alright? I tried putting food on his lips until he eats but he pushes me away. He’s pooping and peeing/playing as normal so I don’t think anything is wrong but he does have ulcers so I don’t want him to go without eating.
No worries about the wait, a day or 2 is not gonna kill me lol! I totally understand life taking over. You are doing great with the transition. You are also correct in not letting Appa not eat, he needs the food in his tummy. With Loki I find offering food every few hours on my lap off a spoon works well when he is being a silly ferret that does not want to eat on his own, the spoon gets lower and lower until it is in the bowl and he is eating out of the bowl (he has insulinoma and does this often) it usually does not take long before i notice him at the bowl eating on his own again. If you are home and can do it every 3 hours that would probably be best for Appa and his ulcer. Again you are doing awesome!
You're right! I forgot about that trick! That's how I was able to get them to eat the soup in the beginning so I'll definitely try it again. Thanks for the reassurance ^_^' I worry I'm messing up quite often, especially since we've been on soup for so long. I didn't know about the info bit to feed appa every 3 hours for ulcers! Makes sense. I'll try to do that as often as possible. I notice that he chews on things a lot when it's been a while since he's eaten. When I can, I try to feed him any time he starts chewing on stuff he shouldn't be chewing on and that's usually when he puts up less of a fight. I'm going to keep at it with rubbing food on his lips. Hopefully he takes to it! How is your Loki doing? When was he diagnosed?
A ferrets digestive tract is short so it only takes about 4 hours for their tummies to be empty again, empty tummy can produce extra acids making a sicker feeling beastie. Works the same in humans too, that is why if you have acid reflux they say eat small frequent meals. Freeze dried hearts can be used as treats, or you can re-hydrate them in water and then use them. I suggest introducing them the same way you would any new protein, slice em small and hide them in what they already like and incrrease the amount as they eat them
Perfect! Are there any other freeze dried treats you’d recommend? They’re eating so well now! I got grass fed beef grinds and mixed it in the chicken in the recipe, then poured thawed chicken soupie mix watered down to a gravy consistency on top and they loved it! They even ate chunks of the heart and chicken!
Sardines would be easiest to grind into a soup or anchovies. Yes the bones are fine. We usually say only give them fish once a week as a meal mostly because not only does the meal stink but it makes poops stink too! lol
Noted! Lol their poops smell tons better than it did on kibble! You'd be so proud, I got a quail wing and started playing with Appa with it and he started munching on it! He won't eat any other part though. Momo is offended when I put it near him D: Also, I noticed Appas back tooth is grey.. Is that a cavity? Or plaque? And how should I go about fixing it? Is there something I can do at home to take care of it or would the vet have to do the teeth cleaning?