After several months of working with Flower we have him down about 6 lbs. He dropped weight rather quickly at first just from calorie control and then he has slowly lost more weight through a mix of diet and exercise. Since I have been asked by several skunk owners, here is my diet regimen for him.
I feed my skunks based on a calorie diet. I have been weighing Flower every 3-4 days and I feed him 11-12 calories per pound per day. I broke that up into several smaller meals (usually about 4) to get his metabolism working better. I try to avoid too many fruits/sugary vegetables because they make him avoid the bland veggies and I use those for filler to keep his stomach full. Veggies I feed on a regular basis:
- Yellow squash
- Butternut squash
- Brussels sprouts
- Hearts of romaine
I also feed him mazuri omnivore zoo feed a. I couldn't find any calorie counts on it, so since it contains porcine protein as a large portion of the pellet I calculate them as "pork" when counting calories. I feed a few pellets a day.
I also feed proteins. About a quarter of a hardboiled egg (and the shell dried and powdered for calcium) or a bit of boiled chicken, a little fish, bugs, etc.
Bugs I also have problems calculating calories on, so I often just throw one or two in and call it a day. Since a healthy and active skunk needs 14-15 calories a day to maintain weight, and I am feeding 11-12 for a lazy skunk, I have a little wiggle room.
The reason for the frequent weighing is to make sure the weight is coming off and to continually adjust your calories. If he plateaus (stops losing weight) you have to break it either by increasing activity or decreasing calories.
Which brings me to activity. I try to keep Flower active. I have him swim in the tub, I make him walk a fair distance for his food. I take him outside. If I can entice him to play, I play with him. He tires easily, but he is more and more active as the weight comes off. The swimming has been especially helpful for him in the beginning since he was too large to walk and support his weight. He drug himself almost all the time, standing only to use the restroom.
It's just a slow steady management of how much they eat.