Generally, you needn't worry about offering him something he can't handle. They have a pretty good sense of what they can handle and what they can't. Sometimes, you get hardcore eaters who will hurt themselves (trying to crack too big of bones and cracking teeth instead, etc) but that's pretty rare, and it doesn't sound like that fits your guys ;D so you're good.
For the eggshell, as powdery as possible, which is pretty hard when doing by hand (I do it that way, too, and have gotten just fine results with still having bits of eggshell in there). Having bigger bits of eggshell in there does limit the amount of calcium absorption, so make sure to include it with every meat meal, so they'll get an adequate amount.
I will keep grinding it up until i can get it as powdery as possibly. I grind it, leave it for a day and let it dry out more, then grind again and so on
Gomez has kept losing weight (cant remember if i mentioned this) but plumped back up after an egg&LF milk treat Had one really green poop inside today but I've been checking everyone and they all seem fine and it was just that one poop. Today they had around 250-300g of chicken giblets as well as 2 tsp each (four ice cubes) of pumpkin
I don't believe they sell raw at the store, but that's fine Organic's nice, but I'd just get what they have (it's generally better for their digestion, like I said). So no, not really looking for any special detail about it (for once, I know!).
the last few days we've been having very runny poops so I've been giving them pumpkin with eggshell in it... I don't think they got enough bone this week but now I have written up a menu and tomorrow when I bag everything up I will bag it by day for convenience.
Can the menu change for each week or should it stay as consistent as possible? I have it written up in my planner and I'll post it tomorrow to see what you think (by tomorrow I actually mean later today i cant sleep right now)
also, is it ok to give pumpkin everyday? I don't really want to be giving it to them everyday regularly but whilst they have runny poops i'd like to.
Gomez is also back up in weight at the moment. everyone has been sleeping more but i think that's because the weather has been warm/muggy.
Sorry for the late response! My sister's been having some ongoing problems with her pregnancy, so I've been with her and my nieces a lot :C
Giving pumpkin every day is fine, definitely. Generally, if you see orange poos, you're giving too much in one setting (which is fine and what you want when using it to flush them out, not so much for firming up poos, though). You can also use probiotics (generally a cat dose is suitable). I use benebac, 1 g size (I just give them the whole thing) - it's great at correcting mild GI distresses.
Post, post, post away. How you create the menu is up to you - I tended (until Pix's health issues) to switch it up a lot. It keeps the ferts from getting "used" to any of the foods, but once again - as long as you have at least 3 sources, enough bone, organ and heart - the actual construction of the menu is all yours, so there's no wrong way to go about it!
That's great to hear about Gomez! And it probably is the weather, but just keep an eye out for anything else peculiar (sometimes, especially during switches, or when you KNOW you have an older, or frailer ferret, it pays to keep a little notebook and pencil to right down symptoms, when they started, when/if they ended, antecedents and what you did to treat etc , as they occur. Ferrets - they like to make their humans work!)
Sorry I didn't update with the weekly menu/feedings yesterday, it got very hectic and i forgot
We've still got runny poops so I think it is a lack of bone I bought lamb necks and pork necks with the aid of the shop assistant as she said they'd be soft enough but they I'm not sure they will be there's a lot of meat on them though so they will have pork and lamb meat
Last week they ate 2 giblet meals 1 liver meal 2 heart meals 2 carcass meals 2 chicken neck meals 2 beef mince meals over monday to yesterday (sorry i dont have exact days) quantities were around 200-300g per meal. Lacking the bone (only 6 meals) so i think thats why the poops are runny
today we ate hearts mainly and some of chicken carcasses.
everyone's energy seems to be down at the moment because of the weather, its been mainly hot and Weight is still generally stable for everyone despite the runny poops
Yesterday I bought: Chicken feet Chicken carcasses Lamb necks (with HEAPS of meat) Pork necks ox liver chicken hearts
so the menu i was thinking up was Monday: Carcass/lamb necks tuesday: feet/chicken necks wednesday: pork necks/hearts thursday: ox or chicken liver/giblets friday: beef mince/carcass saturday: feet/carcass sunday: feet/chicken necks
I still need to find more bones in meals with different proteins but atm its just hard :/ Boxing day or christmas day I will hopefully go and get some cheap turkeys
Okay, well - chicken feet shouldn't really supplant regular bone meals. Going back through some older threads of other mentors, they recommend no more than one meal of chicken feet a week, actually.
I'm not going to count lamb/pork neck because once again - size of bone (at least, not until you've had a chance to monitor. Once again, if they are able to eat the majority of the bone you've given, it can count, if they gnaw or "clean" it but can't shear and chew it, it's a meat meal). HOWEVER, those sound like amazingly good meat meals (and the ferts should get a lot of stimulation shredding the meat off!). Do you have access to pig or ox tail? Those generally work for bone in meals.
Like I've said before, right now you're going to have to load down on chicken bone in meals. It might lack variety, but you NEED those bone in meals now, and having all chicken bone is much better than only 2 or 3 bone meals a week.
If you can, picking up bone less pork and beef chunks may be a good idea too.
So, an example menu would be:
Monday: carcass/[lamb/pork neck sections, or mince] Tuesday: chicken neck/hearts Wednesday: liver and feet/carcass Thursday: [pork/lamb neck sections, or mince]/neck Friday: chicken neck/giblets Saturday: carcass/hearts Sunday: neck/[pork/lamb neck or mince]
In this menu, you have 8 bone in meals, and by giving a bone in meal with the liver, you'll help prevent some nasty poos. You also have 2 meals of hearts (if you can't get hearts enough to make 2 meals, take one off and supplement with taurine. Or brain [which is one of the better sources of taurine, besides heart]. If you can't find brains, supplement with the taurine, and add in another mince/giblet/lamb or pork neck sections, or what meat meal you've got ). But see how I also balanced the amount of chicken? It's still a lot, and not quite ideal (those turkeys are a great idea!) - but your guys are still getting variety in their other meals, and that's what's important in balancing the menu. Work with what you've got and make the best of it.
Things to keep an eye out for, next time you go shopping (it never ends with these guys, does it?): pork tail pork chunks/beef chunks BRAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINS
(and my sister's better, the baby's just trying to see the world a bit earlier than we'd like, this time :\ )
really? how come?? Ok i will make sure that only one meal of feet is given per week.
also, with the back bones, its ok if i blend them up right? cause that way they can eat the majority of the bones I was wondering about the ox tails, they can eat them then? Mum and I weren't too sure Is two heart meals too much? I have plenty of access to then and I bought 3kgs of them this time.
the shopping never ends Im always on the lookout for a good deal and unfortunately over here good deals on meat don't really happen that often.
I'm also a bit concerned. We have extremely runny poops still and some are a little bubbly or foamy (which according to the poop chart is normal in a diet change?) But I noticed today that one of the girls seemed to be... burping? if you could call it that. it's not quite a hiccup not quite a burp but a bit of both after she's eating. Everyone's energy seems to have plateaued as well so I'm a little paranoid. They're still eating quite well but ever since the switch there has been little things that I've noticed that normally get my "sick" alarm going. And since Marley's passing I'm more paranoid than ever. I know there is nothing that they could get and eat to block them up but I felt Morticia's stomach (she was doing the weird burp/hiccup) and it felt a little hard and she tried to wriggle away from me. Everyone is eating and pooping fine (apart from the runs)
No, two meals of hearts is perfect (generally that's the minimum ideal amount for taurine requirements), so if you have access that allows two meals, definitely go for it!
Hmm ... the poos do sound like the normal transitional poos, but the burping sounds like gastric upset/IBD/food allergy to me (honestly, when Pixie would have her IBD episodes, she'd be gassy all the way around with noxious poos and vomit). You can do a check to see if it's a temporary thing - a regimen of probiotics, pumpkin, and famotidine (1 ten mg tablet in 2.5 ml water, give .25 cc daily) to give your girl some relief and see if it treats it and the symptoms disappear and stay gone.
If it's continuous, you'll have to isolate meats and "test" each one, by feeding it exclusively for a while and recording results (do symptoms remain, worsen, or abate?) and acting accordingly (if they worsen/remain the same, discard that protein. If they abate, keep it in and add in a new protein and test the new protein for awhile and recording results, on and on until all proteins are tested out.
Keep an eye on hydration, either by scruffing over the shoulder blades and checking elasticity or by pressing on their gums (if it remains white for more than 2 or 3 seconds they're getting dehydrated).
As for the back bone, if blending it works, that's great, it's not going to do much for their teeth, but it'll get them the nutrients (maybe try a ... light pulverization? Where there's still a bit of sizeable bone chunks at least [but of a manageable size]?)