mine never like the soup too pasty either, what you can do is make the soup "chunky" rather than pasty. Or if they just aren't interested in the soup anymore, you can feed them just the chunks plain (this would be the next step in the switch). As long as we get them eating some bone, they don't necessarily need the soup anymore. What do you think?
The other thing you can do is freeze the soup in an ice cube tray and offer them the cubes (my girls prefer cubes to loose soup).
Let me know how the chicken wings go. If they eat them, let's keep offering more solid meat (be it chicken pork or lamb if you can get some) and more bones, I feel like were kind of wavering between the chunks and the soup instead of moving forward. You can still use the soup (a less pasty mix) on top a a gravy to get them eating the chunks but I just don't want them getting stuck on the soup and deciding chunks are too much work.
for baby legs, just keep on him. let him eat what he will off the plate, then when he stops, take some on your finger and rub it in his gums, see if he'll start again. Will he eat more if you hand feed him? Like put the soup of your finger and let him lick it off?
Did you ever decide to try the freeze dried Stella and cheweys with baby legs? The sooner we can get off that kibble the better.
How much is baby legs eating of the soup on his own? a couple licks at a time or more? We could start sneaking some soup into his kibble to see if that helps, I just don't want him to refuse to eat his kibble too.
And dont worry, it sounds to me like they are getting enough food and nutrients with the raw it's all USEABLE nutrients so they need WAY less of it than the kibble.
Are you still putting hearts and liver in the soup mix? If you are, they are getting the taurine from the hearts and the good stuff they need from the livers, and the calcium from the egg shells so they are getting a fairly balanced diet so no worries there
Now we just gotta get them eating more chunks and bones if we can
But we are moving along at a very good pace so no worries, they are doing great and im glad to hear you are noticing the positive effects of the raw! Lots more energy and better health overall
They do not like the paste at all so i add a little water to the plastic bag and let it thaw that way and it makes it more liquid and they are loving it. Baby Legs will not eat anything at all. Even the soup must be masked by something else like pumpkin so we are still doing that.
They all eat the soup but they eat a few chunks and hide the rest (bones and bigger pieces) but they never go back for what they hide.
I put chicken pieces in the food bowl last night (in the cage with paper bags too) and i dont think they touched it all night. Cici and Dids eat the soup just fine about 5-6 ice cubes a day that weight cold about 2.5 for a set of 3 cubes. They eat chunks no matter what it is but i almost have to hand feed them the pieces or they wont eat them. They always just hide them. They aren't much for the bones either. I cut the chicken wing bones into about 1/4in pieces with food still on them (too big? maybe because they aren't eating them).
We have not tried giving them frozen cubes yet. I will try that right now. About how long could i leave them out for? Like put the frozen ones in the bowl overnight? Cause that would be nice to not have to worry about it.
I'm not sure if its time to put soupie with his kibble just yet. We might be getting close. Tomorrow i'm going to mush up his kibble and see if he eats it in smaller chunk because its pretty moist now (no crunching when he is eating it). He is super curious of the soupie though, he is always smelling it but just wont take the leap of faith yet. I do think i'm going to separate them because Dids is still eating kibble, almost more now than at the begging.
I am putting 1 liver (some of them seem really big), 2 hearts, 8 oz of chicken and 1/2 teaspoon of eggshells.
Hmmm, all right, I think we're going to try a bit of a different approach, if that's all right with you
Go ahead and separate them, because I think Dids really needs to have no access to kibble. He is eating the soup on his own, so he'll get all the nutrients and calories he needs from that and without the kibble he should have more of an appetite.
Cici sound like she's a bit more willing but is still wavering a bit so I'm going to have you try to new approach with both her and Dids.
So with the new approach instead of feeding the chunks and the soup we're going to just feed the soup (ice cube or soupy - which ever they end up prefering) and we're going to SLOWY increase the thickness and the chunkiness of it. So what I'll you do is make a batch that's quite thick and freeze it in smaller quantities. Then add the water like you explained you just did to make it the consistency they will eat. Every day or every few days, depending on how they do, increase the thickness of the soup and add little chunks of meat to the soup (very tiny to start, like the size of a penny to begin). Then we'll slowly work them up to eating thick soup with chunks in it and then just chunks consistently.
I know it might seem a little like going backwards, but because they are now refusing a lot of the meat or only eating a little bit if they are hand fed, we want to get them to a point where they will eat chunks of meat on their own.
Actually to start - see if you can pick up some ground chicken breast. This is the first meat my girls tried and sometime they have an easier time with the ground than the chunks to start. Since they are already eating soup on their own - start sneaking in little pieces of the ground chicken into the soup and making it thicker over the next few days and let me know how that goes
You can definitely leave soup ice cubes and soup in the cage overnight for sure. it shouldnt go bad and if it does, they won't eat it. So separate them (watching for signs of stress) and remove Dids and Cici's kibble completely, but make sure there's fresh raw soup in the cage at all times.
As for Baby Legs, that's perfectly fine if he'll only eat the soup with pumpkin or olive oil, we'll keep working on him. Do pick up some ground chicken and just for fun, offer some to baby legs (mixed with pumpkin and oil) and see what he does. I'm also thinking that you should try offer some PLAIN chicken soup to Baby Legs (just chicken, egg shell and water mixed together) and see what happens. It's possible that Baby Legs can smell/taste the liver and heart in the soup and that's why he's being so picky. This isn't necessarily a balanced soup, but he's still eating the kibble so it's fine.
Does that sound okay to you? I know this can be a little frustrating, but I think if we take this approach we'll have Better results with them eating more consistently and that removing the kibble completely will really help too
Also, this might sound a little strange, but try feeding them off a plate (or other flat surface) instead of a bowl (not sure how deep your bowl is). My girls are so weird about this and will only eat soup or ground meats off of a flat plate (they hate sticking their heads in bowls for some reason - I think their whiskers touch the sides/soup and it freaks them out). See if that helps with them eating more.
I have given them chunks in smaller shallow bowls and Cici will pick right out of it but Dids will not. I have just separated them .. i dont think stress will be too much of an issue since they all play together outside of the cage and only sleep there. we will keep an eye out though.
So no more chunks. I will give them the rest of some pork, its almost shredded its so small, so i dont have to refreeze it. I will put more soupie in the cage than normal. 4 cubes is about 4oz .
since the soup is more thick i will try and put it on a plate for them instead of the bowl. Yeah ive definitely noticed they'd rather eat off a plate. The soup gets on their wiskers and they shake their heads.
I can get some more chicken today for sure. This sounds like a plan.
Perfect Let me know how they do with the thicker soup with ground chicken in it.
I think if we can very slowly wean Dids off the soup he will more willingly accept the chunks.
Cici seems to be the easy one of the bunch to switch so she could probably switch a little faster, however with Baby legs already switching at a different pace, I don't want to make it too complicated and have them all switching at a different paces so let's keep Cici and Dids moving at the same pace
Also Take a bit of the ground chicken breast, make it soupy and see if Baby legs likes the taste better than the current soup and let me know.
also wanted to add loose soup will stay fresh for 3-4 hours so you should probably be changing it 3 times during the day if possible (it's okay to have no soup in the cage when they are out playing).
So if they like the ice cubes, those are best to leave out overnight as they will stay fresh longer. You can leave the loose soup out overnight, just don't give them a ton, just enough for them to eat within a couple hours time.
They'll be a bit hungry in the morning - which will be the best time to offer them thicker soup with more solid pieces in it
for the thicker soup, should i just puree the hearts, liver and water then add some ground chicken to that? When i made the thicker soup it was a paste and i dont think they are going like the paste. If its very liquid soup with ground chicken in it i think they will eat that before the paste.
I will just make a small amount of the soup without the hearts and liver, for Baby Legs.
Good to know i can leave the cubed soup in the cage all night. Should i not put any chunks of food in the cage? in a separate bowl or plate? Cici does eat the chunks but she hides most of it in the paper bags and i tossed most of it out this morning.
I would do exactly that keep the soup the current consistency and add the ground chicken (with further grinding it up).
That sounds perfect for baby legs, I'm hoping he'll take the plain soup better. Then we can sneak the heart and liver in later.
If Cici is eating chunks you can definitely still offer them. Maybe offer smaller pieces or even soup plain ground chicken (without soup) and see if she eats more of them. if you find you are wasting a lot, simply add less chunks until she's eating almost all of the amount you're offering.
You should see an increase in the amount Dids is eating now that he's not eating kibble, but do let me know if you don't think he's eating enough.
Weighing them once a week is always a good idea too
Other than that I think we are on a good track now, hopefully the ferrets will agree
For the chunks - you can give them plain or with some soup on top (whichever way Cici likes them better). The chunky soup step is more for Dids than it is for Cici but hopefully it will convince Cici to eat more chunks eventually too
Dids was being kinda bad this morning and didn't seem to wanna eat much, he kept going upstairs to Baby Legs room and looking for kibble but he got none. My girlfriend informed me that he did eat some soup on his own but she had to put some kibble in it and he was just licking up soup to get to it. We will keep up this as long as it takes for him to start on his own.
Baby Legs is eating some pretty soft kibble. We tried to get him to eat some ground chicken breast but wasn't having none of that. Should i put a little soup in the soft kibble or should i be mushing the kibble up first? I'm not going to let him starve but i was thinking maybe putting another bowl in there with some soupie on bottom and a few pieces of soft kibble on top so he gets used to the smell but doesn't have to taste it exactly. Then that way he will have some food to eat but if he really is hungry he can pick out of the other bowl what he wants.
he isn't too fond of the chicken soupie either. He is the spoiled baby, i mean he came from the pet store but he didn't live on cat food for 4 years like Dids. Cici was living in the smallest cage with wood chips and no place to poop, she just pooped anywhere in there. So that is why he is our spoiled baby, also the youngest although not by much.
Not sure how weird this will sound but he is very hard to scruff. He doesn't seem to have much neck fat or loose skin to grab. Even the vet said that when she scruffed him he didn't even seem to react to it, get all sleepy and calm. He kinda just flips out everytime we scruff and put soupie in his mouth. Sometimes we just give up because he flips out so bad and we dont wanna stress him out. He doesn't seem stressed or anything that boy has so much energy and playful that its crazy.
Cici is still being very well behaved and knows how to eat the soupie and chunks by herself.
Your ferrets are going to make me work aren't they? Actually what you've done is perfect We don't want Dids starving himself, but we don't want him switching back to the kibble either, so if you have to use a bit of kibble to get him eating the soup, so be it. Let's just focus on getting Dids eating the raw soup consistently, my guess is the little sneaker was eating a lot more kibble than you thought and is just rebelling a bit now cause he's mad you took it away
So Don't bother adding chunks or ground chicken with Dids for now, just focus on getting him eating that raw soup and work the kibble out of the mix.
Let Cici keep eating whatever she will eat, she's a good girl
As for Baby Legs, i think it's time we got a little sneakier, he's being a real hold-out. I like your plan of mixing some kibble in with some raw, so let's give that a go. If he's still not willing to try that, I think were going to have to start putting raw soup in his regular kibble bowl (just a few drops to start). But try your idea first and let me know how that goes
As for the scruff - I completely understand. My girl Sophie has a non existent scruff also and it makes it tricky for sure to "scruff and stuff". Just make sure you keep up with rubbing the soup on the nose/gums at least once a day because EVENTUALLY this method will work, I promise The sneaking soup into the kibble will just hopefully make this happen sooner
Keep up the good work! And remember you know these ferrets better than I do so if you feel like there's something you think will work better - by all means I'm open to suggestions, I'm just your guide, your the one who's ultimately in control of this switch
I agree with the part about Dids. He is eating the soup but i can tell he doesn't want to. But that is all he is basically eating now so in a few days i hope to have him off it completely.
I got Baby Legs good this morning with three separate gum rub soup with not too much resistance by the third he was a little annoyed. There isn't much soup at the bottom its almost all kibble but i just hope he can get used to the smell. It is their number one sense afterall. Do they eat based on smell more than texture? If that is the case this should help : D
All right... so I think I've got your ferrets figured out
I actually asked Sherry to review the thread (you are only my second mentee so I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything) and her conclusion is that your ferrets are being stubborn little brats because they know you will cave and give them what they want eventually ;D
So... it's time for some tough love.
Here's the plan I want you to follow, and be firm about it because I promise you they aren't going to starve, they just really need some consistency and structure right now.
1. Since they are separated anyway, babylegs ONLY gets kibble at night. He can be in with the others during the day. It's not going to hurt him.
2. When you gives him his soups, feed him on your lap. Use a bowl and spoon. Do NOT let him down the first time he turns away from the bowl. If he's licking at it- he KNOWS it's food. Keep coaxing him to eat it by keeping the spoon in front of his mouth. Licking is usually almost compulsive at that point.
DIDS AND CICI:
1. Offer small slivers mixed in with the soup. They'll likely just lick the soup off the first couple of times. Leave it in there with them. You must leave the food in the cage so the fuzz have access to it all the time.
2. Change it out for fresh soup 3 times a day for now. If they've eaten nothing after an hour of placing the soup down - hand feed by spoon.
3. Once they are eating the soupie slivers, increase the size of the slivers. Slowly work the size up every two or three days.
Right now, they know someone will cave and give them what they want- something they don't have to work at to eat
So, are you all right with getting tough? I agree with Sherry (those steps were all from her) completely that they are totally just being naughty because they know that they can. ;D
And I'm pretty sure babying them will cause them to just keep going backwards.
Now for Dids, I want you to take the kibble away overnight completely tonight. You can leave the soup out overnight for both him and Cici. Even if Dids does not touch the soup overnight on his own, he will be hungry enough in the morning that he will eat the soup WITHOUT kibble - though you may have to spoon feed to get him started.
For Baby Legs, leave the kibble in overnight, but take kibble out completely during the day and let him back in with Dids and Cici so that he has access to the soup all day and keep on him with the spoon feeding.
You can still put the raw soup in the cage overnight with Baby Legs too as well as the kibble. Ferrets are pretty sensitive about smell (mine HATED beef at first because of the smell), so having the raw soup there overnight can't hurt.
Let me know if you are okay with and committed to this plan. I promise you it won't hurt any of them and that we'll get much better success, much quicker.
Last Edit: Sept 1, 2011 16:41:44 GMT -5 by Deleted