Yay! Keep offering them the kibble soup. Try to get all of those who will not willingly eat it to lick it off of your fingers daily as well - even if it means scruffing them and stuffing them. Have you tried Scruff N Stuff on the resistant ones yet? Often once they taste it they realize hey..that's not too bad at all... lol You might have to scruff N stuff a few times, but they will get it.
;D It makes them so much less stubborn when they aren't grouchy from being waken up.
Today has been great for feeding. The meat eaters ate an entire chicken thigh with leg, bones and everything. And for the soup eaters, oh god, haha. They somehow managed to finish four bowls of it today. I didn't want to feed them so much of it, but Ozzy decided today that he was going to try it and he loved it so much, I'm sure he finished off most of the four bowls. I've been all over the place today and haven't gotten the chance to see if Eleanor or Harley have been eating though. I'll see if they eat any tonight or else tomorrow I'll mix in a bit of kibble.
haha yay! Let them eat as much as they want. They will eat a LOT more than normal for the first few months on raw because their bodies are trying to make up for the lack of nutrition in the kibble by getting as much as they can. After a while they slow down and start eating normally.
Let me know if the other 2 are eating the soup and how that goes. If they eat it, then mix little chunks of meat into the soup. In the meanwhile I will post some info about balancing menus tomorrow if I can, for those who are eating raw bones. We'll work on getting your menu sorted out, and then when the others will eat their meats, you'll be all set and ready to graduate!
I put in a few chunks yesterday and they ate it fine. I'm still having to mix in kibble when Eleanor and Harley want to eat though, they aren't too fond of soupies yet. I'm going to try scruffing and stuffing them again today, see how they take it.
Ok if they are eating the chunks okay, we need to start working on bones. Get some chicken wings and use a hammer, scissors, knife (whatever combo works best for you) to smash up the bones. You want it to be a meaty pulp with the bone marrow pretty well mixed into the mangled meat. Then cut the mangled mass into "chunks" roughly the size of the chunks that they are eating already. You might have to scruff and stuff a little of the marrow (with meat) a few times to get them to taste it, but usually once they do they are pretty happy to gobble it up. Marrow is delicious!
Feed them heart at least 1-2 times a week so that they are getting the taurine that they need. And organs should be 10% of the diet - what organs do you have/have you tried thus far if any? Ideally the organ meat should be half liver, and the other half a variety of things such as: kidney, spleen, and brain.
Here are some example menus. Your final menu should look something like these...
SUNDAY: AM- Cornish Hen: Wings , rib cage and diced meat PM- elk tendons and commerical Duck patties (pretty sure the Duck patties have bone in them, not sure about organs - yet to pick them up)
MONDAY: AM - Organs (chicken liver, hopefully other types of liver, beef organ patties eventually and pork brain - what other organs do they need? spleen? kidney?) And I realize they are going to have nasty poops ;D Do I give a whole bunch of organs at once or alternate them each week? Is it better to split this into two meals? PM - Cornish Hen: Legs, back and diced meat (basically the rest of the cornish hen from Sunday)
TUESDAY: AM - Pork Muscle Meat (depending on what I have on hand this will be one or more of the following: pork tenderloin, pork chops, pork ribs - they don't really eat the bones so it counts as muscle meat, pork belly sliced - it looks like unseasoned bacon, the closest thing I could find to what you described) PM - Hearts and chicken necks(Chicken hearts for now, but hopefully I can get pork and beef hearts too)
WEDNESDAY: AM - Goat meat (stewing goat chunks/some bone, commercial ground goat/includes organs) PM - Chicken wings and chicken backs
THURSDAY: AM - Turkey Necks and split turkey wings PM - Hearts and chicken gizzards(hopefully a different kind of heart from what they had earlier in the week)
FRIDAY: AM - Lamb meat and bones (commercial ground lamb/includes organs, and lamb bones to chew on - don't think they can eat these, just suck the marrow out) PM - Whole Quail (bone in) cut into smaller chunks
SATURDAY: AM - Hearts (hopefully different from whatever kind of hearts they got earlier in the week - if I could go pork hearts one meal, chicken hearts one meal and beef hearts one meal I think I'd be set and wouldn't have to supplement with Taurine? Or should I get taurine supplements anyways?) PM - Commerical rabbit meat (ground carcass with bone- I too think this includes organs but let me know if you find out)
I do want to get Beef in there somewhere too once I can get them eating it. I actually bought veal cutlets and am going to try them with veal first and then work my way up to the beef ;D
Also possibly work frozen thawed mice in eventually, but I think for now that's a decent menu?
Ohhh.... I totally misunderstood about heart. I thought it fell into the category of 10% organs! I dunno how I missed that. I have not been feeding enough heart then! They have been only getting it about once a week.
The market down the street has duck, chicken, and pig heart. I can get some tomorrow.
So how does this sound, next week's diet second draft: Monday morning - Mousey (whole, jumbo mice) Monday night - Rabbit legs or ribcage (I forget which I have left) Tuesday morning - Chicken hearts Tuesday night - Chicken wings Wednesday morning - Turkey neck Wednesday night - Turkey back and ribs Thursday morning - Duck hearts Thursday night - Pig heart Friday morning - Pork stew meat, skin & fat Friday night - Pork stew meat, skin & fat Saturday morning - Beef heart Saturday night - Beef heart Sunday morning - Chicken liver Sunday night - Turkey liver and gizzard
I noticed the local market has duck feet and head, as well as pig face which appears to have meat, fat, skin, and cartilage. My fuzzes already love eating the bones in chicken feet so I bet duck feet would be a no-brainer. I could incorporate those, to get this:
Third draft: Monday morning - Mousey (whole, jumbo mice) Monday night - Rabbit legs or ribcage (I forget which I have left) Tuesday morning - Chicken hearts Tuesday night - Chicken wings Wednesday morning - Turkey neck Wednesday night - Turkey back and ribs Thursday morning - Duck hearts with chicken feet Thursday night - Pig heart with chicken feet Friday morning - Chicken back & breast Friday night - Pig face Saturday morning - Beef heart with duck feet Saturday night - Beef heart with duck feet Sunday morning - Chicken liver & gizzard Sunday night - Turkey liver & gizzard
Okay sounds good, I added more bone to the menu, I was so glad to hear that I could use them more than once For some reason some meats (even the obvious ones) are hard to find here Oh well, let me know what you think, again
Fifth ferret menu. Monday: turkey breast, turkey necks, heart Tuesday: gizzards, pork loin chop meat, chicken wings Wednesday: chicken feet, salmon Thursday: heart, veal- only meat, chicken drumstick or thigh (bone broken up) Friday: liver, chicken ribs Saturday: heart, chicken or turkey neck Sunday: chicken wings, heart, and beef sirloin
I will also switch out some of these meats for bison, lamb, and other fish (such as whitefish, halibut, and tilapia)
Just a few examples. The ratios should be roughly (as a reminder) 10-15% bone, 10% organ (at least half liver), and 75-80% muscle meat (including heart, and gizzards).
Alright sounds good! Would this be ok? Also for the organs, how much should I feed them?
MONDAY -Chicken wings/chicken legs -Pork chops/pork ribs
TUESDAY -Turkey necks -Chicken hearts
WEDNESDAY -Chicken breasts -Chicken wings
THURSDAY -Beef ribs -Pork chops
FRIDAY -Chicken wings -Turkey gizzards and chicken hearts
SATURDAY -Lamb meat -Chicken legs
SUNDAY -Boneless turkey breast -Pork chops and turkey liver
That is a good start, but we will do some tweaking. The bone content is low depending on whether they eat all of the bones that you have. For example the pork ribs - some ferrets can and will eat those bones, other ferrets find them to be too big. With necks and leg/drumsticks the same things is often true. Typically if you smash the bones a bit so they are cracked (giving them a starting point) this helps. They definitely need more organ. 10% so think of it this way... If you are feeding 2 meals a day x 7 days a week = 14 meals a week. 1 Full meal = about 7% 2 full meals = about 14% So you could do one meal of liver and kidney, and another meal of say liver and heart (heart = muscle meat). Heart should be at least 2 meals. Also,can you get any more variety in there? You have the basic 3 plus a little more so that is good, but the more the better! The more balance there is, the more nutritionally complete their diet will be. I would look around for things that you can rotate in here and there every now and then... Commercially ground raw is a good way to get meats that don't show up in the human store so often. (like pheasant and quail)
Not sure if I posted this already but these are good meats for ideas (italics for the ones you already have) Chicken turkey pheasant goat lamb duck rabbit venison veal fish (whitefish, halibut, salmon, mackerel,gold fish, minnows) quail pork beef bison (buffalo) cornish game hen goose rodent (mouse, rat, hamster - frozen for several weeks to kill bacteria, guinea pig, gerbil, degu, etc)
And any parts of these! Gizzards (muscle meat, good for the teeth), hearts (necessary for taurine) liver, kidney, spleen (organs), brain (organs also high in taurine), wings, feet and necks (great bone sources), backs, breasts, chunks, ribs, etc. Commercial ground raw you should check the ingredients if you can. They are not always all-inclusive. Some have bone, some do not. Some have heart, some do not. Some have organs, some do not.
Sorry for a late update, my laptop has been breaking down a lot lately.
As for the meats, I would only be able to use chicken, turkey, beef, pork, veal...and if I can get my hands on some, I can use quail, rabbit and lamb. Would that be enough variety for them?
I'll re-do my weekly feeding list tomorrow if I can.
And as for the newbies, they're doing great. They are currently eating ground beef - not blended or mixed with anything. Tomorrow I'm going to try them on larger chicken chunks and see how that goes. I've seen them all eat except for Harley. If I wake him up during feeding time, he gets very uninterested and goes back to sleep, so I'll have to try feeding them all when he's already awake.
I'll try getting in some more variety, if I can find goat, buffalo, duck, etc...I'll add some in there! I could also try giving them a rat or a mouse here and there but I'm not too comfortable with seeing a ripped open mouse in my cage just yet. ;D When I get more comfortable with prey, I can get some frozen rabbits at my reptile store, I'm sure they would enjoy that.