Pixie tended to do that, too, during her switch. I didn't like it, either, so I just held her during her feedings (generally braced to where her back legs rested on my thigh, but her upper body was held against my chest with her paws resting on my hand, thumb side). She'd resist some the first few times, but she got used to it pretty quickly, and from there it wasn't hard to retrain her to eat on her own. Either that, or maybe confining her to a small carrier or cage during meals, that way it's just her and the bowl and not much else.
Post by trippyferret on Mar 8, 2011 11:10:04 GMT -5
Today has started out much better. Salem ate all her soups. I had to start her with a spoon, but was able to get her to eat the rest from the bowl. The big kids had rabbit. They love the stuff! And guess who likes it too?
Woo! Her first new meat outside of chicken and CGH! I'm so proud. I don't know if she ate any of the hearts last night, but I'm hoping. I tried cutting it into tiny pieces, putting salmon oil on it, putting soups on it, and ended up scruffing and stuffing. She did eat two teeny pieces on her own from my finger. So that's better than nothin. Tonight they're having goat. I hope she will eat it.
That's great! I'm always amazed when ferts eat rabbit (I've had such a hard time with my guys with it), but then I remember the Tetrad isn't the end all be all, and rabbit is usually a favorite of ferrets, so I'm glad we've got another option
Just wanted to pop in and say you guys are BOTH doing really well I'm so happy to see your guys doing as good as they are, Morgan And you've got yourself a fantastic mentor!!!
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
Post by trippyferret on Mar 11, 2011 21:12:18 GMT -5
You are doing a great job, I think you will make a great full-time mentor. Salem is doing much better on the soups, so I'm considering adding little chunks back in again. I hope we don't backslide again, that was worrisome. Considering her age, what if she never actually graduates to a whole raw diet? I'm not trying to be pessimistic or anything, but what if she never moves off the soup and is on it for the rest of her life(however long or short that is)? Ok, I really do need to be positive here, and keep trying. But what if I end up doing this for many months with her still not eating anything outside soup? She's been on the soup a month or so now, I think. How long can she be on soups without developing any kind of deficiencies(or is the soup mix pretty complete?). I'm just concerned she's been on them a while now.
Seems good to start adding chunks in again. Just start small and bland (again) and see how it goes.
As for long-term: it can take a year or more to switch some ferts, so just in over a month isn't bad (I mean, hey, you GOT her on soups! If you look at it, that's a HUGE step for an older ferret). It's like Gwen's switch, but in slo-mo, so don't get discouraged yet.
A soup/thick paste consisting of meat, organ-in-ratio, and some type of calcium powder (bone or eggshell or switching between the two), is complete. It's just a mush diet of raw. I know some older ferrets who stay on this diet (because of teeth/other health reasons) and with a little hygiene intervention on your part (tooth cleaning) I don't see why she couldn't stay on it, if needs must. I'll say this, though, that if it begins to look like a serious possibility, I will talk in depth with the other mentors about it, and we'll find something that works!
BUT since we aren't quite at the surrendering stage we're good. Another idea - because texture can still be an issue - have you tried ground meats with her (ground turkey, beef, chicken, etc)? It might feel better to her than even little chunks.
Hang in there, Morgan, I know it's tough, but you and your guys are doing very, very well!
Post by trippyferret on Mar 12, 2011 21:25:51 GMT -5
Salem has been eating some chunks that naturally come with the soup, usually the fat from the thigh meat I use. But she's weird about it because as soon as she gets a chunk in her mouth, she runs off, eats it, and then I have to bring her back to the bowl and get her going again. It's aggravating, I know she's eating them but it takes forever for her to eat and I really like to keep an eye on her to make sure she eats plenty. I'm glad to know she is still getting good nutrition and can possibly live off it if need be. I didn't want to ever have to go back to kibble with them, if I hit some kind of brick wall with her. We'll keep trying, like you said some ferrets take forevvvvver. I was wondering about the organ ratio though, since she's only getting liver would it be a good idea to cut out half the liver and put in some kidney or something as well? Would that be better for her? I have tried some ground meats with her in the past with somewhat good results. So that might be a good idea to try.
It definitely would - liver should be about half of the organs you feed and the other half (if it's feasible) should be something like kidney, etc. They all do different things and so their nutrients/trace minerals and the like all vary.
I know we've talked about this before, but have you tried Salem in the feeding den or the like? Somewhere contained that she can eat at her leisure, but that's easy for you to watch and see what she does? Sherry brought it up again as a possible answer, and if Salem'd be willing to eat in there, it would be a solution to that specific problem! (there might be some hesitation, but you could redirect her, hopefully. And if it *doesn't* work there's still handfeeding, for now)
Post by trippyferret on Mar 14, 2011 16:34:31 GMT -5
We tried the feeding den last night and it kinda worked. But once she got about halfway through she was trying to run off elsewhere. This morning I fed her normally and she did just fine, ate the whole bowl with no problems. It's strange how she will bounce back and forth with this, some days she eats great, others I'm having to spoon feed. Next batch of soupies I'll mix in some kidney. I'm hoping it will go well with Salem.
Post by trippyferret on Mar 16, 2011 9:52:46 GMT -5
Isn't liver pretty strong tasting too? Maybe she won't notice when I change half the liver to kidney. Well, I can hope! Annie, I cannot tell if Gwen is eating anything outside of chicken, cgh, quail, and rabbit! It's always gone when I get up in the morning and I put enough for three ferts, but what if it's just Bomber and Evie being fatties, eating it all before she even thinks to try it? She is losing weight but she is also shedding so it could just be she's slimming down for spring. It's hard to tell.
Liver is strong tasting, but everything I've read and heard about, it's not (and I'm generalizing here - your guys might be kidney lovers ) as off-putting as kidney (and mainly, with liver, it's the texture more than the taste that stops most ferts).
Besides separating Gwen from the other two to monitor her eating behavior, my only other suggestions are to rearrange feeding *time* so that you feed them at a time where you can stay and watch for maybe 10-15 minutes to see how she's getting on with it. The second is to feed a bit MORE - you're basically feeding what the average three ferts would eat, right now. Perhaps your guys need some extra (I always feed to where there is a small amount of leftovers at the next meal. This way I KNOW everyone had access to the food. One or two ferts, no matter how glutton, could not eat the whole bowl, and the leftovers are simply due to satiation)
And you're right, the slim down can definitely be due to shedding, but keep an eye on other signs like poos and behavior.
Last Edit: Mar 16, 2011 19:53:37 GMT -5 by Deleted