Post by rileyferret on Nov 19, 2018 10:35:48 GMT -5
I'm getting a pair of ferrets soon, and I am looking for the right food to switch them to. I am open to raw feeding, but I'm very wary about it. My main questions are how long do foods last (how often would I need to buy) such as the wysong epigen 90 digestive support, or the wrong epigen archetype freeze dried. Also, for those who feed raw, how much do you spend monthly? Thank you
Post by abbeytheferret6 on Nov 19, 2018 10:59:08 GMT -5
(from my mentor ---way back when)
Raw meat is safe for ferrets to eat. A ferret’s digestive tract is very short and bacteria doesn't have enough time to set up camp in there. And, surprisingly, raw food can be safely left out for several hours at a time, depending on the ambient temperature: “Soups” - 6-8 hours (for soup recipe, see below) Grinds - 8-12 hours Chunks - 10-24 hours depending on the size (larger chunks last longer) Bone-in meats - 12-24 hours, again depending on the size Whole prey - up to 48 hours
With soups and grinds, in general, trust your nose - if it smells off, it likely is and should be tossed. You will find that the bigger chunks of meat typically go through a few stages. During the ‘safe’ hours it will dry up and the surface may feel tough or leathery; it is still safe to eat at this point. Then it goes through a stinky, greasy phase during which most ferrets will not touch it. This is usually when it gets tossed because it smells awful, but occasionally a piece or two will get stashed well enough and missed. These pieces continue to dry out and become fairly odorless, making what we call ‘ferret jerky’. Most ferrets can’t resist this and will eat really nasty looking stuff with relish. If they’re eating it, it’s either not too far gone, or it has been successfully stashed and jerkified.
I feed mostly whole prey---rats mice, frozen guinea Pigs, chicks ---but some lamb muscle from the store, pork loin and chicken and chicken hearts. My cost is a little high(whole prey and shipping of food). Kind of watch out in getting ferret math because the less you have the less strain moneywise in devoting to healthcare and food costs(unless money is no problem). I have 4 and have to keep my male separate because of fights.
Post by caitmonster on Nov 19, 2018 15:26:45 GMT -5
I have it in my head that when I was feeding kibble, a 5lb bag would last a little less than 3 months. This was for only a 1lb female, though. I was only supplementing with FDR at the time, not feeding it exclusively, so I don't have any personal experience with that. Stella & Chewys has in the Amazon Q&A for their FDR chicken formula these approximate conversions for how many cups are per bag (measuring in ounces):
3.5oz Bag - 2 cups 9oz Bag - 5.5 cups 18oz Bag - 11.25 cups
Since the Wysong Archetype comes in 7.5 oz bags, I'm guessing that would be about 4 cups? I believe the general serving size for FDR is about 1/4 cup, assuming two or three servings a day, depending on age.
As for "frankenprey" raw, I would estimate my cost to be around $35 a month. This is with a young 4lb male ferret eating around 5 to 8oz a day. I usually end up getting a pack each of turkey necks, gizzards, ground beef, and bone-in chicken pieces once or twice a month from Walmart. Once a month I'll make a trip out to the Asian market and pick up a pack of duck wings or feet ($1.99 a pound), and my organs (two each of heart and liver for $2.99 and $1.99 a pound, respectively--other organs as they have in stock).
I am in a low cost of living area, and make use of the cheapest cuts, but overall frankenprey raw is absolutely still the cheapest because you're not paying for all the additional ingredients, processing, and storage of commercial raw. It takes a bit of getting used to (my first session of meal prep took me an hour and a half, now I have it down to about 20 minutes), and I would highly recommend a good butcher knife and mallet, but once you get used to it, it's no biggie. Normal sanitation practices for human food preparation are all that's in order, if that's a concern. And the payoff in terms of ferret health is exponential--my guy has the best fur and body condition, and most low-odor poops, that any of mine have ever had.