Feeding Ferrets - Which Is the Best Food to Feed Your Ferret?

Ferret Eating Food
Creative Commons License photo credit: Heungsub
Feeding ferrets requires you to make some decisions. There are a plethora of opinions about which is the best food to feed a ferret. We have tried to present the different options below. You will have to evaluate each one and decide which is best for your pet and your style of life.

Raw Natural Diet

Ferrets are carnivores and, therefore, feed on meat. Animal fat and protein are the principal ingredients of a ferretÂ’s diet. Due to short digestive tracts, these animals these animals are unable to extract sufficient nutrition from vegetable proteins.

There are two ways to serve up a natural meal. One, you can supply raw meaty bones, boneless meats and organ meats for your pet. Beef, chicken, turkey and lamb are all good options.

Two, you can place your ferret in a feeding tank with live mice for your pet to catch, kill and eat. These mice can usually be purchased at a pet store. The advantage is that your ferret will expend more energy and feed in a more natural way. The disadvantages are the higher cost, greater mess and more intense smell.

Cooked Food Diet

Many ferret owners have created special recipes for their pets. The advantage to this diet is that it provides more natural foods without the bloody mess. The disadvantage is that it consumes quite a bit of time to prepare. Below is a recipe based on Bob Church's chicken recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 fryer chickens (with giblets)
  • 2 cups chicken livers
  • double handful, about half pound, of fat trimmings
  • 4 eggs (with shells)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 to 3 tbsp ferretone
  • 2 to 3 tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 tubes nutri-cal, or nutri-stat
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • (optional, a whole rabbit can be added, but increase water to 6 cups)
  • (optional, chicken hearts or gizzards or neacks or backs)
  • (optional, ground kibble)

Preparation:

  1. Separate the meat from the bones.
  2. Run the meat through a grinder on the highest setting.
  3. Place the meat in a large cooking pot.
  4. Use a cleaver to chop up the bones.
  5. Run the drumsticks though the grinder.
  6. Beat eggs in a blender until the shells are well broken.
  7. Add fat trimmings, extra gizzards, livers, and hearts.
  8. Process mixture until everything is ground up
  9. Heat up, and serve!

Processed Foods Diet

There are quite a number of processed foods available for ferrets. You can purchase these at most pet stores. If the nearest pet store does not have ferret food or you live far away from one, you can also purchase this online.

MDFerretPaws.org provides a table which examines and evaluates several brands of processed ferret foods. The highest rating is 10 out of 12. Six different brands of ferret food received this rating. They include 8-in1 Ultimate (Ferret), James Wellbeloved Ferret Food, The Ferret Store Superior Choice Natural, The Ferret Store Superior Choice Original, Wysong Ferret Archetypal I and Zupreem (Ferret).

Not only did the 8 In 1 Pet Products SEOH413 Ferret Ultra Blend Diet top this list, it proved to be a favorite of many ferret owners.

Another processed food that is frequently given to ferrets is cat or kitten food. There is much debate as to whether this is healthy or not for a ferret. Each animal has special dietary requirements and these foods are made to meet them.

Some pet owners mix cat food with ferret food on a regular basis. Other only provide this as an alternative when no ferret food is available to them. Between cat and kitten food, the latter provides more protein.

So, Which Ferret Food Should I Use?

The answer to this question must be made by each ferret owner. Each option has pros and cons. Evaluate the options. Choose one that fits your lifestyle. Coupled with a lot of affection, you will enjoy your ferret.

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