Ferret food: What do ferrets eat?

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July is National picnic month so we’re talking all about ferret food! This week, we’ll look at an overview of what ferrets eat and will go into detail later in the month.

It is very important to get your ferret’s diet right for the sake of their health. Not feeding a ferret well can have consequences on their own health and that of their kits. There’s a lot of misunderstanding and bad guidance around ferret food, so I want to put to rest some ferret food myths.

Swimmers disease

Some ferrets are born with something that is informally called swimmers disease. This often happens because the mother wasn’t fed enough food, or the right things during pregnancy to enable her to develop the kits. As a result, they’re born with deformities in the skeleton. Caught early, this deficiency can be rectified but too often it’s ignored.

What do ferrets eat?

They are obligate carnivores. They are not rodents – they are mustelids – and so they only eat meat. By obligation, they must only eat meat.

DO NOT give them fruit, veg, grains, sugar, salts – even as a treat. These are dangerous for their health.

Feeding raw food

As a quick overview, they eat raw chicken (even on the bone), whole rabbits (or chopped up), and birds. If you’re feeding raw like that, you’ll need to keep an eye on the health of your ferrets for issues like fleas and worms. But the fur and bones are all great for your ferret. If you are planning on changing the diet of your ferret always seek the advice of a ferret knowledgeable vet who will give you further guidance.

Feeding cooked food

The important thing to remember with bones is that all raw food is fine on the bone. But if you’re giving them cooked food, it must have had the bone removed.

The reason for that is that cooked bone become brittle which can severely damage a ferrets gut. You can give your ferret raw meat of any kind, although if you’re giving them offal, only do so in small portions.

Raw eggs are fine for ferts too – yes, the whole egg, in their shells. It’s fun and it’s good for them.

Kibble or biscuits are fine as long as they are specifically ferret biscuits/kibble I’ll say it again.

Ferrets are obligate carnivores. They. Eat. Meat.

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