Sunday, December 20, 2015

How to switch a ferret to raw food

Ferrets are quite difficult to introduce a new diet to. Patience and consistency matter the most when switching your ferret’s diet. The process will take several months during which you can't go back to feeding the old food.


How I switched my ferrets. The soup method.


1. Begin adding some hot water to the kibble. Wait till it gets completely absorbed, than give it to your ferret. Start from just a few drops and add more water each day as long as your ferret is willing to eat the food.

2. Once the ferret is eating the kibble with enough water, mash the kibble up with a fork before feeding. The mashed kibble will look almost like canned food.

3. When the ferret is eating mashed kibble without a problem, add a tiny bit of the raw ground meat and mix it in very well.

4. As long as your ferret eats the food,  mix in a little more raw meat every day. Remember to mix well.

7. When you get to the point when a there is lot of raw food in the bowl, start reducing the amount of kibble until it's completely gone.

Important!

Make only very small changes to the recipe. 
Move to the next step only when your ferret is consistently eating the current food. If he often refuses to eat it, do not move forward.
During the switch, never go back to feeding dry kibble. A healthy ferret can go up to twenty-four hours without eating, in the wild, a ferret wouldn’t eat everyday, so do not panic if your ferret refuses to eat the new recipe.  If your ferret refuses to eat for more than twenty-four hours, try adding little pieces of his favourite treats, or small amount of mineral oil. If it does not work, go 1 step back to the previous recipe.
If your ferret is insulinomic, underweight, or immune system compromised he should be able to eat every 4 hours. Withholding food is only ok for young, healthy ferrets!

Using ground meat from the store is ok for switching but bone and organs are needed for a balanced diet.  

To switch your ferret to eating raw meaty bones:


1. Chop the raw meaty bone such as a chicken neck or wing into as smallest pieces you can and mix it into the ground meat that your ferret is eating. If you have a meat grinder that can chop bones, use it.

2. As long as your ferret eats the meal as usual add the chopped bones every day. Every other day chop the into slightly larger pieces.

3. Once the chopped parts are quite large, just give your ferret whole wing.
For a balanced raw diet feed chicken necks/wing, livers and hearts from any animals, raw eggs, mice (live or frozen), frozen whole chicks or rabbit parts, certain kinds of fish (check each one if it is safe for ferrets), shrimp.

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