They ate all 5.5 oz of soup last night. I'm not sure who ate what but I refilled their bowl with 6.5 oz this morning and I saw leela and nibble both eating! I will offer more tonight since they are eating it all. I didn't leave the chicken wing in last night. Instead I tied it to a string and tried playing with them. Nibbler liked chasing it but neither tried to bite it or eat it. Not sure what you mean by quiz but i have no problem answering any questions or what not.
I am so glad to hear that Leela is happily joining us now! Give that girl a kiss from me, and Nibbler too for being such a good boy. I would definitely add more food in to see if they still clean the bowls out. Usually if there's a bite or two left in the bowl at the end, everyone definitely got their fill of food, whereas if it is clean someone may still have been a bit hungry. Likewise, if there is quite an amount remaining instead, then you are likely offering too much and can cut down again.
So, for the quiz, it's just a few questions to see what you know and may still need to work on learning, which will help you throughout your ferrets journey of raw. When the time comes for you to graduate as a raw feeder, you will have to pass a final exam of questions along with your menu. These pop quizzes will help prepare you.
First try to answer these without looking it up, afterwards if you get them wrong or have questions, we will properly discuss them. We'll start with some easy ones.
1. You have run out of hearts! Which two things can you use instead? Is this only temporary or can it be permanent? 2. Does freezing degrade Taurine? 3. What percentage of the diet should be organs? Explain. 4. Name three sources of organs, aside from liver. 5. Is it okay to cook meat for ferrets? Explain. 6. Which bones are safe for ferrets, raw or cooked? Explain.
1. You have run out of hearts! Which two things can you use instead? Is this only temporary or can it be permanent? I think I've read beef tongue. Not sure what else and I'm assuming temporarily otherwise hearts wouldn't be so importnant.
2. Does freezing degrade Taurine? Not sure but guessing no since most people freeze their meat when prepping.
3. What percentage of the diet should be organs? Explain. 10 to 20% not sure off the top of my head but I know the bone in meals are the majority based off looking at the example feeding schedule.
4. Name three sources of organs, aside from liver. Gizzard, brain, kidney
5. Is it okay to cook meat for ferrets? Explain. No because it takes away a lot of nutrients
6. Which bones are safe for ferrets, raw or cooked? Explain Raw. Cooked bones are too hard and not safe.
Good job! You did well on some of the questions. I've included the correct answers to those that were incomplete or incorrect, as well as added some extra info to know to some of them.
1. Correct on the beef tongue and that these sources are simply temporary. The other source is Taurine powder. It should be human-grade and can easily be purchased online from Amazon. The dosage is 500mg per day, per ferret split across two meals, so 250mg in the AM meal and 250mg in the evening meal.
2. Correct. Freezing does not degrade Taurine, but heating (cooking for example) does.
3. Only 10% of the diet is organs. Half of this amount (5%) MUST be liver, and the other should be another secreting organ. If you cannot provide another organ at the time, you can give liver for the full organ amount, but should try to still get an other organ.
4. 2 out of 3. Gizzard is considered a muscle meal.
6. Correct! Cooked bones are also incredibly brittle, so they break off into sharp pieces and these can cut and pierce, making them very dangerous.
How have Nibbler and Leela been eating today? How are their energy levels?
The 6.5 oz left in there this morning were gone. I put 10oz in for tonight but at least 2 oz of it was water. I added 3 quail eggs to the mix which is the same as last time leela ate it. I think today might have been the first time they weren't as crazy hyper when letting them out for play time but still a high energy level. They only got two hours of play time today but tomorrow and Sunday they get to be out a lot more. Their stools are very small and they barely have any. Today they were pretty red in color and not very smelly compared to when they were eating kibble. Is the red due to the organs? What would the stools look like if leela is allergic to chicken or is it difficult to tell since they are adjusting to new diet and may have detox poops. I just want to know if I should be looking out for anything in case I should stop offering it. Should I just judge by activity level and weight? So far I feel like she is doing fine but I'm not sure what I should be looking out for.
Also, when I am posting feeding schedule for weekly post, is that of what I feed the week prior or what I will be feeding the next week so you can check to see if I'm missing anything?
Both ferrets don't seem to eat when they are out of cages so I'm still having difficulty determining who is eating what. Nibbler seems to be eating enough to where he doesn't seem interested 8n food when I come home from work, he will lick at it but try to run away after to play. I forgot to put cat food up when letting them out at first and he didn't even try to eat it. They know it's play time when I let them out and that's all they are really interested in. How important is it that I know how much they are individually eating? The only thing I can think of is putting them in separate cages until they eat after playing but I feel like that may be stressful and confusing for them.
Also gave them each about a tsp of ferretvite today on their belly so I could cut their back nails (they were getting pretty long). I got their front paws the other day but they are too wiggly to be able to do the back without a treat and I keep forgetting to look for oil at the store. Is there a type that ferrets like best and where is the best place to get it?
Could you get me a picture of poops like that? The red-colored ones?
As for the menu posting, it'll work easiest if you post the menu you plan to feed in the coming week each time. That way if there's a problem we can fix it ahead of time. And don't worry about it looking like a perfectly balanced menu just yet, we will work to that stage.
They may get to a stage where they will no longer see any kibbles as food. My ferrets switched to raw before our cat, and the kibble mix he ate was one I made mixed for all of them. Once they got onto raw, they didn't bother touching the cat's kibble anymore. This happens to some ferrets, not all, but it isn't uncommon either.
As for knowing who eats how much.. It can be helpful in detecting problems, loss of appetite can be an early warning sign to several issues. It can also bring you peace of mind at the changes of the seasons in the future. Ferrets will eat more in the winter and can gain 40% of their body weight, but come the spring and summer, they eat less and can lose that much too. This can be quite shocking for new owners.
I get my Salmon oil from the holistic pet supply we buy from, or online from Amazon. I prefer using Grizzly or Alaskan Naturals as a brand for the Salmon Oil.
No, heart due to its importance in the menu counts as its own thing. Technically, heart is a muscle meat. But as I said, it's so important in a ferret's diet we count it by itself. Heart is 10% of the diet.
I wasn't feeling very good yesterday so I slept most of the day and forgot to post. They ate all 10 oz that I left with them overnight so I decided to try giving them chicken wings in the morning. I only gave 4.5 oz since it was their first time and checked on it periodically throughout the day but they were sleeping most of the time. Evening came around and I heard some fighting coming from upstairs. I thought it was my older cat fighting with my new kitten because it was pretty loud so I ran upstairs as fast as I could and to my surprise, it was Leela making noise at Nibbler while she was chewing on some chicken. There was plenty of pieces for both of them left and I never seen her act that way so I kind of panicked. I figured she must be starving (since this was their first time without soup or kibble) so I offered some fresh chicken wings and two whole chicken hearts and set some raw soup out to warm up in the mean time. I wasn't really thinking since I panicked so I didn't weigh what remained or what I gave them as far as the chicken wing or hearts. There were a descent amount of bones left and from the 4.5oz and a couple pieces of chicken that looked chewed on but mostly there. I'm guessing maybe 1-2 oz was gone... Leela continued to chew on the chicken and Nibbler went to sleep so I decided to leave the hearts and wings in there overnight. When I woke up there was about half of the chicken gone and probably would have been more but I didn't cut the chicken wings into smaller pieces or crush bones (I did this the first time) so the bigger ones looked untouched. The hearts looked like they were moved but didn't really look chewed on. I figured they must be starving so I gave them 14 oz of raw soup. This is the last of the soup that I have and I wanted to make sure they are getting enough organs, bone and heart since I feel like they might take a little while to eat it by itself.
I will post my schedule below but my next question is what do I do if they don't eat a meal. Should I try it again next meal and push back the schedule? For example, what do I do if they don't eat the organs or hearts since they are so important? Is there a certain way I should prepare them? My plan is to stop serving soup starting tomorrow but I'm nervous.
. Ferret's Name: Nibbler 2. Ferret's Weight: 2 lbs 7 oz Include a photo of the ferret dangling.
3. I'm not sure how much he has ate on average. 4. Stools on various proteins: Pictures at the end. small, reddish for a couple days. The pictures are of recent stools. 5. Activity Levels: Nibbler still has a lot of energy. Had to give them both baths today. He decided to play with toilet scrub brush that was just used and splashed the water all over himself. Just used it with chemicals earlier today so wanted to make sure he didn't get any on him. He was super fluffy and full of energy after that. 6. Weekly Menu: Menu should be in Mon-Sun format, showing AM & PM meal.
1. Ferret's Name: Leela 2. Ferret's Weight: 2 lbs 3 oz Include a photo of the ferret dangling.
3. unsure but I have seen her eating raw every time it is offered-more so than Nibbler but I feel like that now he has been eating it for a while he isn't in the initial faze where he has to make up for all the nutrients that he wasn't getting on kibble (I'm pretty sure I've read something about this on a post here... I've read so many I'm not sure where I've seen that or if I just made it up) I feel like Leela is now in this "faze" and she runs to the bowl when I refill it. When I gave them the 14oz of raw soup they didn't seem as interested in it which is why I think it's time to try doing whole pieces. 4. Stools on various proteins: Pictures below. I didn't see anything like I was seeing on kibble so I'm not certain If she does have an chicken allergy yet. I understand that their stools are a lot different on raw so let me know if the pictures below look okay to you. 5. Activity Levels: She plopped on the floor during playtime today initially but I think she was just waking up. Overall I'd say activity levels are similar to before. Should I be seeing a change in levels, or does that not always happen? 6. Weekly Menu: Menu should be in Mon-Sun format, showing AM & PM meal.
These first two pictures are the freshest. They decided to both go next to the litter box on my carpet during playtime. So one is from Leela and one from Nibbler but since I didn't see them go, I'm not sure which is whose. They were in two different areas upstairs and usually they don't go twice when let out so I'm assuming they are from both.
I'm guessing this one is leela's since she was loving the chicken wings and I seen her multiple times chewing on them.
They have been choking for occasionally for a couple seconds but nothing to the point where I would need to intervene. This is normal right? I just don't want to worry about something bad happening when I'm not here. At this time I'm not worried but thought I would mention it to you. It's more like a cough but they continue to eat after it so I feel like they are fine, just learning how to eat it.
This one is possibly from late Saturday night or Sunday morning. It looks like a chunk of raw meat that wasn't chewed.. What do you think? When I mentioned the red stools previously, this is not what I meant but wanted to know if this was normal. THe ones that were reddish were kinda similar to the first picture i posted above but more red and obvious. I didn't take a picture before cleaning it up but it's not consistent so I figure it's fine. If I see any more that are red to that depth, I'll let you know if you think it's important.
This is another one I wasn't too sure about. This is from Nibbler from before playtime.
I will post the schedule for the next week in the next post here shortly. I have to see what all meats I have and compare them to the example schedule. Posting this one now so I don't lose everything I already wrote. If you see this before I post schedule, just know that I am working on it right now!
question, when I am crushing the bones in things, will they be too sharp? I was looking at picture I posted above and the piece hanging out of the right side looks pretty sharp? That can't do damage to their insides, can it? I crushed it with my knife like in the video someone posted on here.
Sunday AM:Turkey wing Sunday PM:chicken liver and Beef kidney
Let me know if I need to change anything. Also how many ounces should I do? If I leave too much, since they are whole pieces can I leave it with the PM meal or can I put back in fridge? Should I get more ground meat for soup incase they don't eat or do I just try cutting up smaller instead of going back to beginning? lol I feel like i'm doing this wrong
That's alright, we all get days when we feel off or things get too busy to do everything, I totally understand. As for the chicken wings, that's actually really good news! You don't have to panic, ferret food scuffles are pretty normal. "The piece you have must obviously taste much better than my piece, so I want it!"
Bones - In the beginning when they are first starting out on bones, you may see larger amounts of leftover bones and as they get better at it, they will be leaving less behind. Though you may still get to clean up some collected boneyards once in a while. You also mentioned choking a little? How small are you crushing the bones? There is kind of a stage where it might be too small to bother chewing, but too big to simply swallow and can sometimes cause this. I'd try and make sure the bits of bone are a size where they need to crunch at them a bit before they can simply swallow. You will also see some bits of bone in their stools from time to time, that's normal.
Missing/Ignoring a Meal - So, your ferrets are still young, missing a single meal shouldn't do them any harm. I usually leave for the next meal what I have given mine if they haven't eaten from it at all, or if they've eaten some of it then I'll add some of the new meal to it. This is also why it is kinda important to know how much they eat, that way you don't overfeed on their meals that they would have lots of leftovers remaining at meal changes.
Organs & Hearts - So, personally for me, I puree all heart and organ meals and end up spoon feeding those particular meals to my bunch. For us it is a nice bonding experience and since I have four of them, I like to be sure they all get in their required hearts and organs. I know my ferrets, and they preferred to stash the hearts and organs when given full (and even slivers sometimes), which even with a home at 69F ends up mostly rotting instead. But that's my personal preference and experience. Many other raw feeders have no issues feeding whole hearts/chunks/slivers at all, same with organ pieces.
Menu & Amounts - So, for amounts, that is going to be how much your ferrets eat on average. Remember when I said to keep a journal and weigh before and after for a while to get their average amounts (per meal/per day)? This is why it is helpful to know, even if it is for both of them combined versus on their own. Usually, the best way to figure it out is to do that for a week or two to get a more consistent average. Weigh when offering, weigh the leftovers by the next meal change, and if there's a lot left over, decrease how much you give. If there are no leftovers at all, offer a little bit more. It can look a bit odd when offering the pieces since sometimes you'll have like only two or four chunks of something in a bowl for a meal, but it will be the correct amount in weight and that's all that really matters. Menu is looking good to me, hopefully they will take to the turkey wing and duck neck without issues too. You will want to smash those up some at first though as they are both tougher bones than the chicken wings currently. And if they don't take to it as you offer it, then we will just make it a bit smaller first before resorting back to a soup/grinds stage.
Energy Levels - So, as they continue on their raw journey, you'll start noticing more energy in them. Sometimes it takes a little bit, and during winter time, fuzzies are generally more lazy than in summer too. But you will notice the change as they go along. Their coats will also overall become softer and glossier. They will smell much nicer themselves. And the poops DO get better, I promise, after all the detox ones are over they will smell way less than kibble stools and obviously smaller too.
Poops - To me they look like regular detox poops. I'm also going to consult with Katt though, as she has the most IBD experience. I'll get back to you over that. PS. That red poopie.. if you look at it really hard, it looks like a dead bunny sprawled out flat on its stomach, haha. The curse of being a ferrent, we examine more poops than anyone else, talk about poops more than anyone else, post ALL of the poop pictures, and then make fun of them too.
You are doing just great! I'm really proud of you and your two wee fluffballs, especially Leela who has just shown us she's not afraid to nom some raw versus just slurp soup.
I'm a nanny to toddler triplets so poop talk is like a daily thing for me lol. Combined they ate 6 oz of soup yesterday of the 14oz so I way over guessed that one. I offered them about 8oz in the early am today and together and 5oz were gone a lot of the larger bones were gone. Stools weren't too messy like previous pictures so they must be getting enough bones. I ran out of chicken bones so the plan was to give turkey wings or duck necks but they were frozen. Luckily I had a whole Cornish hen almost defrosted in fridge so I cut that in half took organs out and gave them 6.5 oz of it and will give them that in am as well. I figure the bones will be easier for them since they only really have been eating the tiny bones of chicken wings. I will also offer the organs in place of of organ meals instead of whatever I wrote but will still be doing pureed chicken heart for heart day. They seemed skeptical when I first gave it to them but I played a little with nibbler and a wing from hen and he is currently happily chowing down on it. Leela ran to plate but after sniffer seemed uninterested so I scuffed a dab just for her to get a taste and feel pretty confident I'll catch her eating it in the morning before work.
Sorry I am late to the party here. * Linda will (obviously) be rocking your switch, and I will be hanging out in the backseat and popping in as needed.
I'm excited to work with you and Linda! Rather than copy the whole Meet your Mentor spiel...a little about me - I'm currently in my medical residency (for people lol) and expecting a tiny skin-kid soon so life is crazy, but I am always available if something comes up - Linda knows exactly where to find me. I'm from Alaska but in Washington right now for my residency. I had 2 adorable boys named Koda and Kenai who started my journey into raw. Currently I have two rotten little brats I mean adorable and perfect angels named Juuzou and Zero aka The Ghouls; they are both intact males from Misty Mountain Ferretry (our very own admin Heather) and are currently raging little balls of hormones thanks to some errors in lighting on my part. lmao I utterly adore them and they definitely keep me on my toes! haha As I said above, I will be taking a back seat on the switch and Linda will be running the show (she's fantastic!!) but I will be checking in periodically.
You are already off to an AWESOME start. I don't have too much to add right now other than to confirm that those poops look just fine to me. Raw fed poops are much softer and more moist than kibble poops (and soupie poops even more so), and you will see a lot more variation depending on what they eat. To keep it even more exciting - strange poops are par for the course during the transition process as they adjust to the new diet. As long as everyone is eating and playing fine, I wouldn't worry too much.
Also for maurc, if you need to tag me ever use @ hurricanekatt