Not bad! I'll submit your menu to Heather and she'll give some feedback. And yes as long as you have a minimum of 3 proteins (i.e. chicken, pork, beef) then you are okay, but the more variety you can get the better. Also veal and beef don't really count as different proteins, but it is still good to offer both as it's good to feed "prey" of all different ages.
How is everyone doing? Are they ALL Eating chunks and bones now or are the newbies still behind?
Sounds good. And for the newbies, I've been having a harder time with switching them all. Harley (my senior fert) is VERY uninterested in any soupies or meats of any kind. I haven't even seen him come out of his bed all day yesterday when I had soupies in their cage, today I mixed in some kibble and he came down to pick out the kibbles that weren't touching the soup and than went back to sleep.
Noah, Eleanor and Ozzy are doing better with it, they can eat ground beef, but I switched them to pork chunks and they refused them. I will try chicken chunks tomorrow!
As for my older ones, they are still doing great. I hear one of them currently chewing on a chicken bone. ;D
How old is Harley? Sometimes older ferrets are that much more difficult because they are REALLY imprinted on their food. Try scruff and stuff a few times a day. Also, you might want to try blending some kibble into the soup and trying it that way to see if he likes it any better. The Most "Beginner" soup you can use often contains kibble, and boiled chicken rather than raw, and then in some cases baby food and pumpkin, and even a little oil for flavor. Feel free to experiment with recipes and see what he likes the best...or rather. dislikes the least. It could be that he does not like chicken - have you tried say a pork or turkey soup? But a lot of it is just time. Just keep working on it.
Your menu is approved by Heather by the way! Now we just need to get the newbies Eating chunks and bones and you'll be all ready to graduate!
He's about 6-7 years old. I've tried him on pork, beef and chicken so far and he won't take it. Just this morning he was eating the kibble bits that aren't touching the soup, and he accidentally took one with soup on it and he freaked out for a whole two minutes, spitting and sneezing and everything just to get rid of the taste. ;D I'll try really blending the kibble in so he can't be picky, and see if he likes it!
Also, sounds good! I'll try finding somewhere where they have organs and hearts and all and stock up!
Make sure that you keep kibble available to him since he is not willingly eating the soup yet. Keep trying different soups and scruff N Stuff. If he reacts less badly to one, then stick with that one and go from there. It will probably take a long time and lots of hand feeding before he will start to eat it. Some ferrets are just trickier than others.
I'm still having problems with Harley. I've been giving him all sorts of soups and feeding them to him by hand, scruff and stuffing him, but he flat out refuses to eat any. Noah and Ozzy are actually refusing kibble now and won't eat their soupies if there is any in them which is at least good.
I'll try a soup with 80% kibble, 20% soup and see if he will eat it. I can even add some ferret-vite on it as he loves the stuff, maybe it will help him realise soups taste good too!
Try that, and then stick with it. Don't make any more changes until he accepts the kibble soup. Keep hand feeding him the soup by scruff and stuff a few times a day, and try drizzling it over the kibble (you might even try scruff n stuffing a piece of kibble covered in a little soup).
Oh and definitely add a little ferretvite into the soup, and/or even a little bit of oil (olive oil or salmon oil depending on what he likes) to make it tasty tasty.
If after a few days you are seeing NO change, then we can go back even more. And feed pure kibble soup - to get him used to the texture. Just kibble and water and maybe a little vite. Then once he eats that, you can slooowly start to sneak in other ingredients.
Just a thought, have you tried offering him a little chunk of meat? (or a tiny chunk of meat covered in a little dab of 'Vite) Some ferrets just don't like soup, and it never hurts to try to jump them ahead a step or two. IMO even if a ferret likes meat and just hates soupies, it is still important to get them accepting soup. Often this means working backwards. But it is good so that if they ever get sick you aren't stressing them out by forcing a new food.
The other three are eating small pieces of chicken. Not in big chunks but small bite sized pieces and are doing fine on it. I tried harley on small pieces of meat and he still refused, but tomorrow I'm going to buy some chicken thighs as he seemed to have more of an interest towards thighs than any other meat. I'll try making him soups with chicken thighs, feeding him chunks, putting vite on it, oil, any possibilty I can think of with him.
Do you feel confident that you can get him and the others eating bones and organs and whatnot on your own? Now that you have completed a menu, you are eligible to graduate if you would like - I just wanted to make sure that you got little Harley with the program first. I am more than happy to keep working with you until the remaining few are fully switched in case you hit any road bumps if you are unsure at all. Just let me know.
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.