Day One: Made a thick puree and introduced them to it. Zoey ate right away but Zeke didn't want any. I've been doing the "scruff-n-stuff" with him, as well as dipping PureBites chicken into the puree and giving him the treat and he eats it. I didn't weigh the food today since I was just wanting to get a feel of how each ferret would react, but I'll likely start tomorrow.
I did have a question though. Since I have two ferrets who free roam around my room all day, how can I tell how much each one eats? And how long can I keep the puree out before giving them their kibble back?
Other than offering separate bowls and keeping an eye on them or feeding in separated areas, it's pretty hard to know with multiple ferrets who is eating how much.
Here's the timeline for how long each form of raw can stay out, keeping in mind that if it's in a hot or humid temperature, the timeframes will definitely be shorter.
HOW LONG TO LEAVE RAW OUT FOR: Soups: 6-8 hours Grinds: 8-12 hours Chunks: 10-24 hours (depending on size eg. the bigger the chunks are, the longer they'll last) Bone-in Meats: 12-24 hours (again, depending on size) Whole Prey: up to 48 hours
Once they are eating from the dish on their own, you can try leaving off the kibble entirely. Expect appetites to increase a LOT shortly afterward
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'm sorry, I didn't leave you! This weekend has just been crazy, and yesterday our ferret room got flooded, so I've just been caught up trying to deal with all that. Sherry's given you a great bit of advice there.
As for your question about refrigerating the soup, yes you can totally refrigerate some (I've used up to 2 days after making it without any issues, day 3 would be the limit I'm sure). I wouldn't dish all the soup made into a bowl and then refrigerate the leftovers after it's sat out, but you can offer several ounces of it, and refrigerate the remainder.
Something to keep in mind as you move along in the switch: If your ferrets are cleaning their bowls, it means you might not be giving enough, so then increase what you give. If there's loads remaining, you may be offering too much and can cut back to avoid a lot of wastage. Ideally, by the time meals change there should only be like a bite or two remaining in a bowl.
How have they been doing with the soup since? Any better?
Blue Nope, they are very miffed about it. They'd like the fools who were supposed to check the sprinkler lines to know that ferrets are FERRETS, and not otters. We've had to move them out of their room into the open area downstairs, while trying to get the carpet dried. They are quite unhappy about it, I even got them a tunnel from Home Depot to try and cheer them up a little, poor babes.
I hope everything is okay! I’m sorry to hear about the flooding 😢
I didn’t give any raw yesterday since my alarm never went off to switch the kibble out but today Zoey ate the soup as soon as I put it down for them. Zeke still won’t touch it so I’ve been mixing in purebites chicken and he seems to pick at it but I know he’s going to be very difficult to switch. I also measured out how much I gave them and will measure again when I get home from work to see if they ate any, but I won’t know how much each one ate..
Hmm, well, see if you can maybe put in some extra time with Zeke. Just so you have it, I'm gonna post the Grab'n'Dab method on here again. It generally works the easiest I've found, especially if you are dealing with a ferret who hasn't yet learned that scruffing is usually used for nice things. If you can through however many sessions through the day whenever you have time before or after work get him to eat at least 2oz of soup daily, you should be alright to not offer kibble. There are also other incentives you could offer if he's really fighting you, such as a small drizzle of salmon oil or raw egg over the soup (if he has accepted either of those items before).
Grab'n'Dab Method Grab your ferret and place them in your lap. Dip your finger in the soup/oil or pick up the piece of meat. Dab onto your ferrets mouth/nose/gums. Wait a moment for them to start licking themselves clean. Release them.
NOTE: This method requires patience and persistence. It may take several tries before they will start willingly licking from your finger/the item. You can practice this method throughout your day or even in smaller sessions of 20-30 minutes, dabbing every 5 minutes.
I’ll definietly have to try that. I put out 2.5 oz today and when I got back only 0.5 oz was eaten and they went wild when I put the kibble back in. I’ll start just leaving the soup and work with them as much as I can before and after work. And Zeke’s poop is greenish and mucousy, should I be concerned?
I'm still concerned about the meat staying viable through the day. I'm attaching a pic of what it looks like to see if it's still good or not, and it becomes very warm. I live in Kentucky so it's starting to get pretty hot out and my room can get pretty warm too, so I'm not comfortable leaving the meat out for long periods of time, and unfortunately I can't just leave work to swap out the meats. I'm feeling like I'm kind of at an overwhelming standstill, so I'm holding off on the switch until I get all my questions answered, last thing I want is to make my ferts sick because I'm not feeding them correctly.. And additionally, I freeze their meals since it's more convenient for me (I have a freezer in my room specifically for them) and I'm wondering if it'd be okay to put the food out while still frozen and then they can start eating it as it dethaws, or should I wait for it to fully dethaw?