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[AFA Ferret] Re: raw foods diet

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  • Kim
    Hi Darlene, I find plain lard in the Hispanic ingredients section of the stores. Our WalMart super enter carries it. Usually on the bottom shelves. My guys
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 31, 2011
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      Hi Darlene,

      I find plain lard in the Hispanic ingredients section of the stores. Our WalMart super enter carries it. Usually on the bottom shelves. My guys have never refused it, but sometimes it takes them longer to finish off the blob. Probably because their fat intake needs are being met by their raw diet at the time.

      Unsalted butter is always polished off whenever offered so it could be a taste preference too.

      I use a George foreman grilling machine and if the meats I've grilled for myself are free of pre-grill spices or solutions, I'll pour the fresh drippings onto the ferret platter and they seem to enjoy the new treat.

      Olive oil has never been turned down, neither has sardine oil (unsalted of course).

      Heavy cream is another tasty high fat treat.

      Just keep trying and offering, eventually they investigate and taste.

      Cheers,
      Kim
    • Kim
      Hi Arica, NO, feeding raw and whole prey will NOT make your ferret more aggressive! That is a myth perpetuated by kibble proponents. Quite the opposite
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 31, 2011
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        Hi Arica,
        NO, feeding raw and whole prey will NOT make your ferret more aggressive! That is a myth perpetuated by kibble proponents. Quite the opposite happens! Ferrets converting from a kibble diet to a natural diet that tend to bite soon stop biting. I firmly believe this is because they get to use their teeth in the way nature intended. Ferrets are domestic animals and definitely know the difference between human flesh and dinner flesh! 5 of the 15 ferrets that have been rehomed with me came my way because of biting issues. Coupling the natural diet, free roam, and persistent repetitive mostly positive reinforcement soon showed these habitual biters they had no need to be aggressive! They all give kisses on the lips, beg for cuddles, and will snuggle with me! The other 10 kibble crunching converts that didn't bite before their change, didn't bite after their conversion either!

        Feeding naturally satiates many innate needs within the ferret; not just dietary needs, but psychological, social, emotional, physical needs as well. So when these needs are met the domestic side of the ferret blooms!

        I can hold any of my raw or whole prey offerings and the ferrets have NEVER mistakenly bitten me or growled at me! They know full well which is hand and which is food. Even the blind ferrets are un-erring in their aim!

        Venturing into the raw realm will NOT turn your beloved fuzz 'ems into a vicious animal!

        Cheers,
        Kim


        --- In AmericanFerretAssociation@yahoogroups.com, "Arica Hill" <hill_arica@...> wrote:
        >
        > I have a question about raw food for them. I have read a few things. And some thing made me a bit uneasy. So my question is:
        > Can feeding the raw/prey diet make ferrets more aggressive?
        >
        > Arica
      • Kim
        Please keep in mind that feeding ground up raw animals, while a step up nutritionally, from kibble is NOT the same as feeding whole prey or raw hunks of
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 31, 2011
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          Please keep in mind that feeding ground up raw animals, while a step up nutritionally, from kibble is NOT the same as feeding whole prey or raw hunks of animal. Eating ground raw will NOT exercise the ferrets jaws and body nor will it clean their teeth properly. When Bob Church did his research he discovered that ferrets eating predominantly ground raw meals had some of the worst periodontal issues.

          All kibbles start from raw animal grinds.

          Raw grinds also spoil faster than whole prey or whole hunks. Raw grinds would be good to keep in the ferret repertoire for emergencies, illness, or alternate temporary caretakers; but don't use it as their mainstay diet.

          Cheers,
          Kim

          --- In AmericanFerretAssociation@yahoogroups.com, "J.Michelle" <jevanci1@...> wrote:
          > Hi Gregg,
          > If you are within driving distance of Coatesville
          > (western Chester county) there is a place that routinely grinds raw animals for pet feed to order; turkey, rabbit, beef, chicken, at reasonable prices. However they do not ship.(Pm me for their info)
          > If your ferret is getting the whole animal- innards, bone, skin, etc.,then there should be no need for supplements aside from very lean meats such as venison or rabbit.
          >
        • Kim
          Please keep in mind that feeding ground up raw animals, while a step up nutritionally, from kibble is NOT the same as feeding whole prey or raw hunks of
          Message 4 of 17 , Dec 31, 2011
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            Please keep in mind that feeding ground up raw animals, while a step up nutritionally, from kibble is NOT the same as feeding whole prey or raw hunks of animal. Eating ground raw will NOT exercise the ferrets jaws and body nor will it clean their teeth properly. When Bob Church did his research he discovered that ferrets eating predominantly ground raw meals had some of the worst periodontal issues.

            All kibbles start from raw animal grinds.

            Raw grinds also spoil faster than whole prey or whole hunks. Raw grinds would be good to keep in the ferret repertoire for emergencies, illness, or alternate temporary caretakers; but don't use it as their mainstay diet.

            Cheers,
            Kim

            --- In AmericanFerretAssociation@yahoogroups.com, "J.Michelle" <jevanci1@...> wrote:
            > Hi Gregg,
            > If you are within driving distance of Coatesville
            > (western Chester county) there is a place that routinely grinds raw animals for pet feed to order; turkey, rabbit, beef, chicken, at reasonable prices. However they do not ship.(Pm me for their info)
            > If your ferret is getting the whole animal- innards, bone, skin, etc.,then there should be no need for supplements aside from very lean meats such as venison or rabbit.
            >
          • Kim
            While cats are carnivores, they are not considered obligate carnivores such as ferrets. Cats do have a small functioning caecum and can deal with plant matter.
            Message 5 of 17 , Dec 31, 2011
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              While cats are carnivores, they are not considered obligate carnivores such as ferrets. Cats do have a small functioning caecum and can deal with plant matter. Ferrets do not even have a caecum which is why kibble create so many dietary problems for them.

              the recipe offered on the cat food site could be considered dangerous for ferrets. Firstly ferrets NEED more calcium than cats do. That author advises against high bone to meat ratios and specifically mentions avoiding chicken necks. Next, the recipe calls for additional salt something ferrets do NOT need added to their diet! The author states that fur & feathers are not fiber - hmmm.... Really? Feathers & fur are indigestible but work marvelously to enwrap bone shards, teeth and claws from whole prey so then this mass gets safely passed through the digestive tract and easily expelled. The recipe calls for psyllium to add "fiber" and the author adds guar gum for at least one of her cats; both are plant items which ferrets don't need, can't digest and are common ingredients in kibble!

              Lastly the site recommends grinding and feeding ground. This is not recommended as a mainstay diet for ferrets. Raw grinds do not promote good oral health.

              As an aside, the author speaks about preparing this ground mix in advance, then freezing it and even feeding some a year later. While I am not adverse to frozen food practically all my raw was at one time frozen. You have to keep in mind that freezing does deteriorate many nutrients, especially Taurine and grinding opens the flesh to further faster oxidation so freezing a grind for that length of time will result in a LOT of lost nutrients.

              When grinding bones how do you know the proper size to grind? ferrets jaws know how much pressure to induce to crush the edible bone in order to eat it safely. A grinder will crush practically all but the larger bones, but some unsafe pieces will get hidden in the ground meat. Unless you physically feel through all the grind your pet runs the real risk of swallowing a harmful bone shard. Animals eating a grind scoop and gulp whole mouthfuls. Animals eating whole raw have to slowly bite, tear and shear off the meat, then they leisurely gnaw the edible boney parts!

              No, sorry, but that site's author's cats as well as her visitors' cats would be much better served if the whole raw hunks were offered. As for a decent alternative ferret food; yes, I'll agree its definitely a step up from kibble. And it is very likely that many animals will exhibit a positive change. But ideally, such a grind should just be used as a stepping stone to whole raw hunks.

              Conversions typically go from kibble to soup to grind to mince to chopped to chunks to hunks and hopefully to whole prey. But if the ferret doesn't take to whole prey that's no biggie. Treats can come in the form of freeze dried meaty items, air dried and occasional ground.

              The FORM of the raw food is the influential factor, not just that it is simply uncooked.

              something curious about that site's encouragement to grind raw meats, then mix other ingredients, then package, then thaw to feed is that this is somehow more convenient than feeding kibble? The one fact will remain that kibble feeding is the ultimate in convenience food. But I don't feel very inconvenienced by simply say thawing a Cornish game hen, using poultry shears to cut off appendages and put the hunks on a plate for the ferrets. As stated in a previous post I feed a wide variety of raw whole items, these are all purchased from the grocer or butcher shop and cut using poultry shears. I only have to handle the raw meat once - when it gets cut to feed, which is a LOT less than anyone creating a grind. No grinder to buy, set up, clean or replace parts. No ingredients to mix. No containers to buy, fill and wash. No cutting to fit into grinder. No mashing into containers. No portioning thawed grind. Nope, just cut a hunk with the shears and plop in front of ferret. Done! Easy!

              Cheers!
              Kim


              --- In AmericanFerretAssociation@yahoogroups.com, "JoanV" <jvick62@...> wrote:
              > For those who really don't want to try raw, there is nothing wrong with trying a homemade cooked/ semi raw meal too. You can eventually go all raw/ prey but it just doesn't work for all people.
              > http://catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood
              > Another good thing about making food is you know! what is it it for sure. I try to use organic/ farm raised as much as possible.
              > I also plan on doing some blood work on the older guys, just to make sure things are ok.
              >
              > We have become a world of convenience, from prepackaged food to drive-thru, to its just as easy opening a bag of kibble for our pets. Hardly anybody sits down to a homemade meal anymore. Our health reflects thatÂ…. and it shows in the health and well being of
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