A ferret can be the best pet but not for everyone. You cannot offer ferrets anything like your dog or cat. A ferret requires customized high-quality food every day.
On the whole, your ferret needs a protein-enriched diet. They are pure carnivores and they prefer to eat the whole prey. Keep in mind that your ferret needs 32 – 38 % protein and 15 – 20 % fat every day.
The majority of your ferret diet must be meat or chicken. Don’t even think about offering fruit or vegetables to your ferret. Unlike other animals, Ferrets have a short intestine and they cannot absorb the nutrients effectively. They can easily digest the meat dissimilar to other foods.
Fruits and vegetables are complex carbohydrates that are rich in fibers, on the other hand, your ferret struggles to digest the fibers. So, avoid fruit and vegetables.
Foods to eat
Best raw meet to offer your ferret
- Chicken wings and stripped carcasses
- Turkey necks
- Game birds
- Minced beef
- Lambs heart
- Raw animal bones for calcium and for cleaning your ferrets teeth
Whole prey to provide your ferret
Foods to avoid
Ferrets must not eat any foods that contain complex carbs. Ferrets lack cecum, which produces the bacteria to digest the complex carbs. An excessive carb intake will increase the glucose level in the ferret’s blood, which can lead to insulinoma (cancer of the beta cell, that is situated in the pancreas).
Vegetables contain vegetable proteins, which are hard for your ferret to digest. Too many fruits and vegetables can lead to bladder stones, gastroenteritis, and ulceration of the skin.
- Lima Beans
- Pigeon beans
- Pink beans
- Pinto beans
- Small white beans
- Winged beans
- Brussel sprouts
- Green Beans
- Kiwi fruit
- Split peas
- Dried plums
- Sweet potato
- Peanut butter
Food for baby ferrets
Offer food to your baby ferrets 4 times a day. Ferrets try to recognize their food when they are young and get adapted to the food and it’s hard to change their eating habit when they grow up. So, provide different foods to avoid such problems in the future. As a treat, you can offer soft dry foods or water-soaked foods occasionally.
Quantity of Food
The amount of food to provide your ferret ios solely based on
- Activity level
- Reproductive status
- Health status
- Base diet
Usually, free-feeding is best for ferrets, but you may find you need to restrict their daily intake if they are becoming overweight.
How often to feed the ferret
An adult ferret needs to be fed 6 – 8 times a day. As they have a short intestinal tract and have a high metabolic rate. In wild, a ferret eats 5 – 7 % food of its body weight on daily basis.
Treats to the Ferrets
You can give your ferret meat or eggs (one to two a week). You can also feed baby food with high meat content. Any treats should be high in meat protein. Sweet, complex carbohydrates or dairy products can be harmful.
Treats should also be in small quantities to avoid filling her up too much, due to her small intestinal tract. If you want to give your ferret specifically designed ferret treats, make sure that they don’t contain complex carbohydrates. Some products sadly do, which can be harmful to ferrets.
Providing tap water
You can provide tap water to your ferret. But know that, if your ferret raises its nose up then it can sense the presence of chlorine. Provide filtered water in that case. A ferret can get thirsty sooner, so offer lots of freshwaters.
Changing a Ferret’s diet
Ferrets can be very fussy where food is concerned, and if they don’t identify a food type as edible early on, it can be difficult to get them to take to it. Changing a ferret’s diet should always be done slowly and carefully – add a little more of the new food item, and take away a little more of anything you want to replace every day.
This slow transition can take several weeks, but patience will be worth it. Ferrets can be very stubborn and cannot be starved into eating something they don’t want.
Urinary tract stones in ferrets
Calcium oxalate is the compound in stones that can form in a ferret’s urinary tract. They’re very painful for ferrets and are caused by eating plant-based proteins, dog food, and poor-quality cat food. The stones are most common in ferrets aged three to seven years.