{FEEDING YOUR FERRETS}

 

             Ferrets thrive on a diet of fresh raw meat!! There are many myths regarding the feeding of ferrets, a popular myth being that feeding raw meat will turn a ferret aggressive... this is completely untrue! Ferrets are obligate carnivores so can ONLY digest meat and animal proteins. Feeding your ferrets a diet of mixed raw meats will keep your ferret full and happy. When training kits, I urge new owners to keep up with their raw meat meals, as a kit with a full tummy is much less inclined to have a nibble at your fingers!​

 

         All of our ferrets at Fairoak are 100% fully Raw Fed a balanced raw diet. Raw actually makes ferret coats shinier, keeps them active and keeps up a good overall muscle tone. We feed a variety of meat in minced form from our Online Raw Pet Food Supplier. We also feed "chunks" including raw chicken wings, legs and carcass, raw pork belly and shoulder slices, raw beef mince and chunks, raw turkey drumsticks, necks and carcass. We also feed Whole Prey that we buy frozen from our local Raw Pet Food supplier. These include large mice and rats, quail, day old chicks, small fish (sprats, herring etc), and wild rabbit.

        If you are feeding your ferrets a raw meat diet (which is the BEST and most appropriate diet you can feed!) then please ensure the food is balanced. A ferret meal should consist of 80% meat (flesh and heart), 10% raw bone (NEVER COOKED), and 10% offal (such as liver or kidneys). The easiest way to achieve these ratios is with feeding adult whole prey animals. Ferret raw diets are very similar to cat raw diets, so Google videos of how to prepare these. If you would like your raw meat meals already pre-made and minced for you, have a look at buying from our supplier "RAW PET SUPPLIES" who deliver all over the UK:

        Although a raw diet is the best diet you can feed your ferrets, many people do feed  "kibble". Ferret kibble is a dry biscuit mix with a very high protein count. Kibbles do contain meat, but in order to keep it dry and in a pelleted form, it is also mixed with foods that cannot be digested by ferrets, such as corn and wheat to make the biscuit. These undigestible foods will cause your ferret to poo a LOT more than if your ferret was on a raw diet. Some people feed dry kibble of a morning, and then a raw meal in the evening. This can work well for those who are not able to feed a 100% raw diet, but still want to feed their ferrets well.

       DO NOT feed your ferrets dog food or cat food (Unless you chose a "premium" diet of cat kibble...). It may look similar in appearance, but dog food especially contains a lot of plant and vegetable matter that ferrets cannot digest and can actually make them ill. "Normal" cat food does not contain as much protein as ferret food so again is not a sufficient diet for ferrets. "Premium" cat foods, such as Applaws or Orijen brands, can be used for ferrets as these diets contain very high levels of protein and meat content. However, these brands can be considered expensive.

        When purchasing kibble, look for a ferret food with a protein count of 35% at the very least. Vitalin ferret food has 40% protein count, so is regularily used by ferret owners who feed kibble. Ferrets can become fussy over time, so it is always best to mix two or three brands of kibble together. For more information of ferret Kibble diets, have a look at the UK Ferret Info page for a breakdown of available diets:

         When it comes to treats, we tend to just feed little chopped pieces of chicken breast, slices of raw liver or "Ferret Oil". Ferret oil or "Ferretone" is simply a blend of oils such as Rapeseed, Sunflower, Salmon and Cod Liver oil with a few vitamins and minerals. Ferrets LOVE oil and will often do anything for a lick of it! When we need to check a ferret over or take a ferret to the vet we always bring along some Salmon Oil. A little splash of oil on a table and your ferret will stay totally still trying to lap it all up..... the only time a ferret stays still is with ferret oil! Many preparations can be found on eBay. We suggest trying "Fluffy Retreat Ferret Oil", a favourite with our ferrets, and the profits help the ferret rescues!

        NEVER feed your ferrets fruits or vegetables. Many people claim a little bit here or there wont hurt but ferrets by nature cannot digest these things being obligate carnivores, so no matter how much fruit or veg you feed it will be doing more harm than good. None of our ferrets get fed fruit or vegetables. Ferrets seem to like sugary foods, but again these can cause many illnesses in ferrets. Never feed sugary treats like chocolate, jelly, crisps and especially never give alcohol. Ferrets are susceptible to an illness known as INSULINOMA, which eventually is fatal. Insulinoma is linked to inapropriate diets, which is why it is very important for you to research what you are feeding.

        If you wish to feed treats, stick to small pieces of non processed (not bacon or sausages) raw meat, or if you must, cooked meat. Cooked meat has little nutritional value to ferrets hence why raw is best, but as a treat a little cooked chicken isn't harmful at all. A raw egg between a couple of ferrets is another treat ferrets enjoy, simply crack the egg into a bowl and let your ferrets lap it up!