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 my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup???
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Xaiyu

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my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Thursday, June 18, 2009 10:27 AM
Ok so I have been trying for the past two weeks to get my 2 little monsters Killer and Jucifer to eat raw meat and duck soup. I have tried 2 different duck soup recipes on here with no luck. They sniff it but won't try it. I even ordered some duck soup mix off of ferret.com and no luck with that either! I have tried raw chicken as well and they won't touch it, it was just the meat off of a small chicken wing. Their normal kibble is a mixture of Evo and Zupreem. I thought about buying them a feeder mouse but I don't want to do that if they are only going to play with it and kill it but not eat it...but I guess I will never know if I don't try. Am I doing something wrong or are they just being picky? How am I supposed to get them to eat things that are healthier for them? They are both Marshall's from Petco so I doubt they have ever had anything like soups or raw meat and are use to their kibble...
Snapper13

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Re:my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Thursday, June 18, 2009 11:08 AM
It  won't happen overnight.

I'd say wait on the feeder mice until they get used to other raw meats.

My guys converted to raw using the soupie method.  I soaked kibble over night, and then in the morning smushed it with a fork and added warm water.  I fed that to them.  first i put al ittle on their nose.  then spoon fed them, and then eventually they would eat from the bowl.  They didn't like getting their whiskers wet, so i needed a bigger bowl.

Then i started adding a bit of chicken puree to the kibble soup.  Gradually I added more and more chicken puree.  Eventually there was very little kibble in the soup.  Then I made the chicken puree chunkier.

My kids get soupies in the morning and the evening.  I use commercial raw patties.
They have ziwpeak (commercial dry jerky stuff) in the kibble bowls 24/7.

As for the Uncle Jim's soup mix... mine never really took to it either.  But, like most ferrets, they were finicky.  We never really worked on converting them to uncle jims, but instead used it as a "seasoning" to the kibble soups we were making.
Xaiyu

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Re:my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Thursday, June 18, 2009 11:26 AM
 Good I figured I should wait on the feeder mouse. I'd feel terrible if they killed it thinking it was a toy or something. Killer is vicious with his remote control mouse which is how he got the name "Killer".
I haven't tried soaking the kibble in the soup mixture yet. I will definately try that. I had been putting it in a blender and adding it to the soup without really giving it time to soak. What part of the chicken or turkey do you suggest I use? I can pretty much get anything from the local butcher he throws away scraps from chicken all the time and said to let him know anytime I needed some of it. And is beef ok to feed to them? 
weeksl08

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Re:my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Thursday, June 18, 2009 12:26 PM
I tried for about a week on my own to get my babies to eat raw and it just wan't working for me. Finally I decided to get a mentor on the holistic ferret forum. My mentor heather was amazing. Since i had picky eaters, she first told me that beef (what I was trying to feed) was to rich as a starter food. She told me to get some ground chicken, roll it into balls (very small, the size of kibble) and cover it with crushed kibble. Over time I made the pieces bigger and bigger. the bigger they got, the less kibble I used. She also had me blend a whole egg with a little ground chicken. They would not eat egg or chicken on thier own at that point, but they would eat them blended together. I eventually got them on ground chicken. Once I did that, I slowly mixed ground turkey in to get them used to turkey. They eventually ate just turkey. After I got them switched, I started ordering whole ground chicken, turkey, and duck off of hare-today.com. Hope my story helps :)
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Extreme Wardance

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Re:my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Tuesday, June 23, 2009 8:11 PM
Here is a link to the holistic ferret forum. http://holisticferret.proboards.com/index.cgi  There are tons of experienced people (not saying the ladies who answered aren't, they know what they are talking about) but like weeks said she had a mentor help her switch. So if you haven't already go check it out and see if you can get paired up with a mentor  
furbaby87

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Re:my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Tuesday, June 23, 2009 9:43 PM
Maybe its an American thing but why do you feed your ferrets raw??? My girlfriend wouldn't dream of it, they get cooked meat all the time if they have fresh stuff. Has no one ever heard on here that it could be life threatening for them to have raw?? They're not their wild cousins and ok, if you get them on it early on they may be fine eating it but would you eat raw meat?? I didn't think so! And you can't give me any of that rubbish that "oh well they're an animal who can eat raw meat" so are we, but is it healthy? No!

Healthier to stick to their dry food and throw in some boiled meat like chicken or minced lamb, and boiled egg too. They won't be missing out, dry food gives them what they need and doesn't risk their lives.
sinnead

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Re:my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:11 PM
Actually, ferrets are what's called an obligate carnivore. Their stomach acids have no problem digesting raw meats/whole prey at all. Very different from what we are, which is an omnivore. Check out sites like The myths of raw feeding: http://www.rawfed.com/myths/ . Or natural ferret diets- whole prey and raw: http://exoticpets.about.com/od/ferretcare/i/naturaldiets.htm  Mine have been on raw and whole prey for a long time, and the improvements are amazing! Just do your research for yourself.
CCretarolo

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Re:my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Wednesday, June 24, 2009 2:20 AM
furbaby87


Maybe its an American thing but why do you feed your ferrets raw??? My girlfriend wouldn't dream of it, they get cooked meat all the time if they have fresh stuff. Has no one ever heard on here that it could be life threatening for them to have raw?? They're not their wild cousins and ok, if you get them on it early on they may be fine eating it but would you eat raw meat?? I didn't think so! And you can't give me any of that rubbish that "oh well they're an animal who can eat raw meat" so are we, but is it healthy? No!

Healthier to stick to their dry food and throw in some boiled meat like chicken or minced lamb, and boiled egg too. They won't be missing out, dry food gives them what they need and doesn't risk their lives.


As a raw feeder, I can personally say that the benefits of raw greatly outweigh the possible risks. Ferrets were actually designed to eat raw meat. The reason that it's unhealthy for humans to eat raw meat (most of the time anyway) is because our digestive tracts are too long and give food borne bacteria a chance to settle in and cause food poisoning. In the case of a ferret, their digestive tracts are very short and the food moves very quickly. A ferret only takes 3-4 hours to turn food into poop. A human's digestive tract takes 24 hours to process food and turn it into waste. Since they have such a short digestion time, even the most opportunistic bacteria doesn't have time to attach to anything and cause problems.

Raw feeders also make a point to offer fresh human food grade meats to their raw fed pets. Although their wild cousins will eat week old carcasses, we just don't want to risk the consequences for ourselves that would be related to giving old meat. Ferrets will stash away meat and often eat it several days later when it's all dried out and leathery with no adverse effects.

And it's definitely not an "American" thing. Only a very small percentage of ferret owners in the States even consider a raw diet as a viable option. On the other hand, raw diets are much more popular in the UK and throughout Europe where there are less commercial pet food options. Raw feeding is also popular in the countries where ferreting (hunting with ferrets) is legal.

I should add, what do you think people were feeding their domesticated ferrets before commercial pet diets became available? The only option until around 50 years ago was a raw diet. While several generations of ferrets have been born since then, 50 years is not nearly enough time for any animal to make any significant evolutionary changes such as a switch from carnivore to omnivore. The digestive system of the modern ferret is exactly the same as the digestive system of the ferret of 100 years ago. To stretch things even further, modern domesticated ferrets have the same digestive system as the European Polecat.

Sorry to say, domestication does not change the nutritional requirements of any animal. Take the horse into consideration. All horses are herbivores. The very idea of feeding a horse meat is just wrong. They also happen to have the same nutritional requirements as wild horses and even zebras do. Domestication has made no difference whatsoever on the nutritional requirements of any domesticated animal.

Please do your research before talking about raw feeding. Many members of this forum have been at least supplementing their ferrets' diet with raw meat for several years with no adverse reactions. Coming here and making statements with no backing evidence is one of the best ways to get people angry at you and to make others lose respect for you.
Snapper13

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Re:my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Wednesday, June 24, 2009 9:10 AM
I agree with the other posters:  raw food will not hurt a ferret as it would us humans.  Our digestive tract is 24 hours long, a ferret's is 3 hours long.  Salmonella, e-coli, and toxoplasmosis isn't possible with such a short transit time.

The reasons why we feed raw is to get the food in it's most natural form, without the fillers and additives.

Now, even though furbaby87 was a bit more aggressive in her post than we are used to here on this forum, she isn't saying that feeding a natural diet is unhealthy, she just questions why we feed raw.  She and her girlfriend prefer to boil their food before feeding it to their ferrets.  In all honesty, there are other raw feeders who feel the same way, not knowing exactly how the meat was handled before getting to their house.  So they will quickly par boil the meat before serving.

She, like many others, feel they are giving the most complete diet via kibble.  That these diets have been formulated for 100% nutritional completeness and they know they are giving their ferrets wholesome goodness.  Then she will supplement with boiled meat.  Many people on this forum do this as well.

Snapper now puts on her moderator's hat:  please remember that this forum is a place to exchange ideas.  Please do not belittle or demean people for sharing their opinions.  Don't be rude.  Don't be argumentative.  And don't start board wars.  Thank You.
Polecatty

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Re:my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:08 AM
furbaby87


Maybe its an American thing but why do you feed your ferrets raw???

People from many different countries feed raw. It is very common in the UK and Australia. People feed raw because it is an extremely healthy diet for a ferret.
 
furbaby87

 My girlfriend wouldn't dream of it, they get cooked meat all the time if they have fresh stuff. Has no one ever heard on here that it could be life threatening for them to have raw??

 
No, it isn't. Ferrets are more likely to suffer from health problems if fed dry food. Insulinoma. Cooked meat is alright for a treat or to supplement a diet, but cooking does destroy nutrients and nothing can beat a whole prey diet.
 
furbaby87

 They're not their wild cousins and ok, if you get them on it early on they may be fine eating it

I have switched older ferrets to raw and it has only improved their health.
 
furbaby87

 but would you eat raw meat?? I didn't think so!

 
Sushi and steak tartar. :)
But that's irrelevant, as humans are not obligate carnivores. We have a significantly longer digestive tract and do not have the highly acidic stomach acid that allow carnivores to digest a high content of raw meat, organs, skin and bone.
Apples and oranges.
 
furbaby87

 And you can't give me any of that rubbish that "oh well they're an animal who can eat raw meat" so are we, but is it healthy? No!

They are obligate carnivores that can eat raw meat.
It is healthy for them.
furbaby87

Healthier to stick to their dry food and throw in some boiled meat like chicken or minced lamb, and boiled egg too. They won't be missing out, dry food gives them what they need and doesn't risk their lives.

Dry food is fine if it's a high quality product such as Innova Evo. But quite frankly, most dry foods are garbage. Full of preservatives, grain, filler and other undigestable matter.
I suggest you read up on Bob Church's findings regarding this. He found that kibble fed ferrets suffer the highest rate of Insulinoma, and naturally fed ferrets suffer the least.
Personally, when I switched my ferrets from kibble to raw I noticed an improvement in energy, health, odour, temperament and over all vitality. Their teeth are much cleaner also.
 
Xaiyu

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Re:my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:18 AM
I will have to disagree with furbaby87. After the extensive amount of research I have done online, through books and the help of this forum I couldn’t agree more than raw is the way to go…With that being said I have an update on Killer and Jucifer. They have been eating raw meat for the past 5 days now and it’s going great. I have noticed some really good things…Killers coat seems to look more healthy and Jucifer is gaining weight which is awesome because she was a scrawny little thing. The odor from the litter box is almost non existent now.
Now that I have them eating raw meats getting them to eat the soups now are a breeze.
And Snapper I have checked into the local shelter’s you suggested and me and my husband are going to look at a 2 year old silver female named Pickle today. She is beautiful and we can’t wait to see her in the shelter! We are also taking Jucifer and Killer to see how they get along with Pickle. I can’t wait to giver her a new home!!
lnsybean44

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Re:my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:20 AM
I would also like to add we had a four and a half year old foster who was on the verge of insulinoma and we switched to freeze dried raw and he has gained almost half a pound in muscle, he runs and plays and hasnt had any hint of insulinoma since. It was a pretty incredible transformation.

As far as switching, I would strongly recommend the holistic forum mentioned above. That was where I went for my switch. Granted I switched to freeze dried raw which I personally think was a bit easier of a switch, but the forum helped me greatly and helped to teach he how to safely feed raw to my privately bred girl who was already eating mice. They can also help you plan out a complete diet that includes everything your little ones might need from their diet and potnetial help where to find these ingredients.

Goodluck!
Snapper13

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Re:my babies wont eat raw meat or duck soup??? - Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:22 AM
Xaiyu!  That's wonderful news!

It's great that your furbabies are taking to the raw diet.

And thank you for visiting the local ferret rescue and perhaps saving a special lil girl!

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