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post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
two questions regarding the feeding of mice to my babies-

1) they're reluctant to recognize the (prekilled) mice as food. i've dangled them, dragged them, rolled them in chicken and livers, everything i could think of. no dice. they've the dragged the mice out of their bowls, pawed them around the feeding mat, and licked the chicken juice completely out of the fur, but don't seem to be aware they can bite it. any other ideas? (i can't grind the mice in with their other meats because my grinder won't do bones.)

2) how long can i leave a thawed mouse sitting out before it's no longer safe to eat? i know wild cats don't usually eat the freshest meat and that kitties are much less likely to get food poisoning than we are, but i'm still concerned. their normal raw foods don't usually sit out for more than fifteen minutes before they're gobbled. if they're going to take so long to recognize mice as food, then i just simply won't be able to afford to keep buying them until they do. =(
post #2 of 8
Have you cut the mice open at all? My understanding is that sometimes until they smell 'the' smell if you will they don't know to bite and eat.

As for how long you can leave it out, many on the raw forum leave it out for many hours. I don't let it go for more than an hour here.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
no, i didn't cut them. i've thought about it, but while i have no issues with giving them mice, handling dead mice, handling raw meat for them, and prospectively discarding of bloody mouse remains, i can't imagine myself actually cutting the poor thing.

i guess i'll throw these ones away and try again in a few days. (we won't mention the shame i'll feel for wasting the lives of two poor, helpless, innocent mice lol)

edit: oh, another quick question for those who grind their cats' food meats without bones- how much bone meal, porportionally, should be used? as i said above, i can't grind bones in my grinder (v.v but know they need the calcium and other nutrients.
post #4 of 8
May I ask why you're grinding meat and not just offering in pieces?

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
i'm still transitioning them. they're finally eating the meat without any canned food, and they happily eat the chunks of meat mixed in, but so far, they still look at me like i have three heads when i just put down chunked meat. this is the first batch that's strictly raw meat. i'm going to hand-mix in chicken wing tips and have already put down the ribs from the turkey breast i just ground- so far, they've licked at it, tentatively gnawed at it, and sniffed it a lot. i'm just concerned that they won't get the calcium they need until they start actually eating the RMBs.
post #6 of 8
We used chicken ribs first and they were perfect--very easy to chew--plus you can leave a fair amount of meat on them to help. We buy split chicken breast and they come with ribs usually at least around here.

My understanding is that most people stray from bone meal in the transition and actually use egg shells instead.

Have you just tried smashing the bones with a meat pounder thing?

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
i don't own one. perhaps i ought to. thanks for the suggestion. =)

(sounds like a great way to work out day-to-day frustration and be productive at the same time! lol)
post #8 of 8
If they won't eat solid chunks of meat yet they probably aren't ready for mice. Maybe some wiggling pinkies if you could stand feeding something still live. Otherwise you'll probably have to get them eating raw chunks of meat especially with bone still in it before they'll recognize something whole as food. Unless they get a chance to kill it themselves they probably won't be interested until they are used to raw food.
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