Ferretlove67's Switching Thread/Heather Mar 21, 2012 20:14:49 GMT -5
Post by Heather on Mar 21, 2012 20:14:49 GMT -5
HF Forum Username: ferretlove67
1. Where did you first learn about natural diets for ferrets?
research, "Ferrets for dummies" and other information from breeders
2. Please describe the type of diet you would like assistance in switching your ferret(s) to. Be sure to include if you are interested in feeding whole prey (live or frozen-thawed) and if you are wanting to FULLY switch to a natural diet or PARTIALLY. If you are unsure what kind of diet you want to put your ferrets on, please express that and we can help you find the best type of natural diet for your ferret.
If There can be a way, whole prey will meet or exceed the nutritional values of a kibble, I am all for it and doing it solely. If it needs to be supplemented, I choose Wysong epigen 90. I am unsure of the whole raw diet, I like the idea of feeding whole prey. Suggestions welcome. I want to feed Frozen to eliminate the extra hazards of parasites. If I had the energy, time, etc to breed my own, I would; however I have dedicated a room already to the my ferrets and think it might be better to order. Whatever is healthier, works for them, and me is perfectly fine and within financial limits being a plus. I'd so much rather save the extra funds for a vet fund. Hope that made some sens of it.
3. Why are you interested in switching your ferrets to a natural diet?
They are carnivores in the wild and in captivity and I want to provide the best diet I can to maximize their health and nutritional needs.
4. Do you understand that switching your ferret to a natural diet can be a lengthy, arduous process? Its not an overnight switch. It can be a commitment of several weeks or even months. Your HF Mentor will be more then happy to assist you in switchng your ferret(s) to a natural diet, but you need to be equally as commited. If you aren't willing to tough out a potentially lengthy switching process, or if you have major life changes approaching (baby on the way, moving, starting school, getting married/divorced, etc) then it might be a better idea to wait on switching your ferret's diet until you have more time. Are you willing to make the commitment?
Yes! I sure will give it my best shot!
5. How many ferrets do you currently have? What are their names? Ages? Genders? Do they have any health problems? Are they overweight? Underweight? How long have you had each ferret for?
6 ferrets. Carlisle, Esme, Rosalie, Jasper, Alice and Jacob. Approx 1-2.5 years in age depending on the ferret. No health issues, tested ADV negative even and I did that just for myself. UTD on vaccinations and active lil monster they are I have some ferrets that are bigger but not overweight. Its their bloodlines. The females are of course smaller but all are a great weight. New to ferrets, not to exotics. I have a pretty good grasp on their needs.
6. What diet do you currently feed your ferrets? (Please include all treats, supplements, etc)
Probiotics, Epigen 90 and Archetype-1, nupro and the 8 in 1 ferretone
7. Have you ever tried to switch your ferrets to a natural diet in the past? If yes, what happened?
Yes, the dry natural worked well, especially archetype-1
8. What additional information about yourself or your ferrets would you like to share? Passionate owner, have a medical background studying now for, hope to make a difference!
9. How often during the week do you have access to a computer?
currently all week usually except any vacation days etc,
10. Please post a picture of each of your ferrets (if possible).
I'm Heather, and we're going to be working together for the next little while trying to convince your furbabies to change to an even healthier diet
I've been feeding a raw/natural diet for a little over 15 yrs. I have a small private rescue/sanctuary, just outside of Toronto, Canada where all ferrets turned into me are switched immediately over to a raw diet that consists of ground raw/whole meats or frankenprey/ and prey diet. At present every ferret eats this full range of diets. I don't keep kibbles in the house, if I can possibly avoid it. Too many little kibble addicts . All my furbabies are free roaming and have access to an outdoor play area that they can access at will. At present there are 9 little fuzzbutts who call this their permanent home. They range in ages of about 1 yr -- little Minion to Odin, who is 9 or 10 yrs, a late alter that was turned in 5 yrs ago intact. I would like to say my most difficult switch was a little senior who was turned in at 9 yrs of age (she by the way has been my biggest raw switch challenge, until recently, which had me at times wondering why I was doing this to her) She eventually was completely switched and putting on a beautiful dark black coat, teeth that were nicely cleaned up, and she actually has a lot of fun investigating the house (she used to do nothing but sleep when she first was turned in). She has made me aware that every ferret no matter how old, can get a new lease on life by eating a species appropriate diet. She eventually passed on at 11 yrs of age to complete organ failure....old age. Raw soupy is my favourite switching tool and one that I've had the most success with. I will be honest I have little knowledge about dried and freeze dried meats (other than they need to be hydrated )
You can try to get them to eat a raw soup immediately. You will need a blender/food processor, and the following raw items:
8 oz raw chicken thigh meat (including skin and fat)
1/2 tsp of crushed eggshell powder (take a raw eggshell. Rinse it out. Let it dry. Crush to powder)
1 raw chicken heart
1/2 raw chicken liver
Water or broth(use more to make it soupier, less to make it thicker)
I've also started adding raw goat milk, about 1 tsp to this mixture, they seem to like it.
Blend ingredients together. Some prefer it at room temp. Try putting a dollop of "soup" onto your ferret's nose and they probably will lick it off. I use my finger. Sometimes this takes a little bit trying to convince them that you're not trying to poison them. I find within a very short time they're licking this off my finger. When I see that they're willing to eat freely off my finger then I use a small spoon to try and get them to eat from that. Try to get them eating the soupy on their own. It might pique their interest.
Most ferrets will willingly eat the food once they actually TASTE it, so the only struggle you *should* encounter is them not wanting to taste it. Don't be surprised if your furbabies' initial reaction is to gag, spit and look at you like, what are you trying to poison me with but don't let them get away with it The hardest part is to insist and be consistent. Please also be aware that after years of kibbles they aren't aware that what you're offering them is indeed food. Once they willingly eat from your finger and spoon, work to try and get them eating this out of a dish or plate.
Each time you make your soupy, use a little less water to make it thicker/chunkier. Replace soup with fresh soup every 4-6 hours. You can make a large batch if you like and freeze into ice cubes or cupcake trays. Then you just thaw a portion and serve. OR you can put a frozen "cube" into their bowl and let it slowly thaw.
This is a good way to slowly ease them into wet foods. I use this method to switch all my furbabies and I've personally switched over 30 ferrets of my own in the last few years.
I will let you read through and if you have any questions please ask.