Ferrets are highly social, intelligent, and fun-loving animals. The average lifespan of these adorable curious creatures is 4-7 years. They are one of the best animals to adopt especially if you have young children at home.
What Do Ferrets Eat?
However, like any other carnivores, ferrets come with potential health risks. Hence, one should know things like what do ferrets eat, what human food can ferret eat, foods to avoid, preferred snacks, etc to make their life better.
What do black-footed ferrets eat?
The black-footed ferrets which are also known as black-eyed ferrets are the only species native to North America. They have a very specific carnivorous diet including hunting mice, squirrels, and other rodents whereas wild prairie dogs amount to 90% of their diet.
What can ferrets not eat?
Ferrets have shorter intestinal tract as compared to other animals which helps them to absorb more nutrients effectively. As a result, their diet should contain higher amounts of meat-based protein and some fat. As per various researches, a ferret’s diet must consist of 32-38% protein and only 15-20% fat.
They cannot eat vegetables (except pumpkin), fruits, chocolates, grains, bread, peanut butter, lentils, beans, nuts, dog food, slated, or candied treats. In addition to this, also avoid salted or sweetened processed meats like salami or bacon, etc.
What do house ferrets eat?
Much like wild ferrets, your pet ferret also enjoys a low in fiber and high in protein diet. You can also go for packed high-quality ferret food or the second finest option which is cat food. However, always check the ingredients before buying the latter.
Human graded raw meaty bones are also a good choice as they are free from preservatives and provide good exercise for their teeth. Moreover, make sure to give only purified, fresh water and keep additional supplements away as they do not need them.
What meat can ferrets eat?
Although fresh meat and flesh are the primary part of a ferret’s diet, you can also feed organs such as the liver, kidneys, intestines, and brains, etc. Ferrets like hunting wild prairie dogs, small squirrels, and other rodents. You can also feed chicken bits, wings, pork, beef, rabbits, pigeons, lamb, and occasional eggs, and fish.
What fruits can ferrets eat?
You can give fruits that do not contain generous amounts of sugar such as:
- Fresh cucumbers
However, always remember to feed only a small amount of these fruits to ferrets.
What do baby ferrets eat?
Baby ferrets require a combination of meat and low lactose milk in order to promote health and growth. Owing to their fast metabolism, baby ferrets tend to eat often in small portions.
For breakfast– Clean water and small bite-size meat chunks
Lunch and dinner– Any type of fresh meat will do the work.
Always remember that ferrets are lactose intolerant and feeding milk on a regular basis can cause diarrhea and dehydration. Baby ferrets start to bond with their food from a very young age and thus, it is important to familiarize them with variety. It is always good to encourage them into eating high in protein baby food and other soft soaked ingredients.
What vegetables can ferrets eat?
Although fruits and vegetables are not a good choice to include in a ferret’s diet, you can still introduce them in small portions.
- Deseeded peppers
- Boiled broccoli
Always peel the vegetables to remove as much fiber as possible and cut them in 1/2 inch in diameter. You can also mash the above-mentioned vegetables to make it easier for them to swallow and digest.
What snacks can ferrets eat?
Focussing on the fact that ferrets are obligated carnivores in every sense, the best treatment options for them include
- Raw or boiled eggs
- Small chunks of cooked or raw chicken
- Premium quality kitten food
- Commercial ferret pet food
- Unsalted jerky
- Bugs including crickets, cockroaches, and earthworms
What can I feed my ferret to gain weight?
The easiest way of making your ferret gain weight is by increasing his amount of treats and portions of food. You can include commercial ferret nuggets in their diet as they are not only delicious but also bring a change in their regular diet.
Feeding a whole small animal such as a baby rabbit or chicken is another effective method of putting on weight. According to some research conducted, ferrets love vitamin paste and coconut oil. Start by giving them only a small amount as a treat.
You can also feed them a high-calorie supplement which is popularly known for fattening up ferrets. The nutritional value of boiled or raw eggs also makes them a suitable choice if you are trying to make your ferret put on some weight.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best ferret food?
Answer– Since ferrets are pure carnivores, they enjoy all sorts of meats including
- Minced beef
- Whole chicken or chicken wings
- Stripped carcasses or bones for necessary calcium
What should ferrets not eat?
Answer– You should feed complex carbohydrates or fiber-rich foods to ferrets since they cannot successfully digest them. In addition to this, avoid feeding other food items including
- Blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries
- Fruits like apple, pears, guavas, kiwi, oranges, dried plums
- Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, sweet potato
- Lentils, split peas, and all types of beans
- Dog food and treats
- Dairy products like cheese, curd, or milk
What human food can Ferrets eat?
Answer– To your surprise, humans share a major part of their diet with ferrets. As a result, ferrets can eat anything from raw minced meat, eggs, fresh fish, to pumpkin, pork, chicken bits, and organs, etc.
Can ferrets eat bananas?
Answer– The answer to this question is two-folded. Although bananas are full of vitamins and essential nutrients, too much of anything can cause problems. Moreover, since ferrets come under meat-eating creatures, they are more likely to leave a mess behind if you feed bananas.
In addition to this, bananas have comparatively higher quantities of sugar and complex carbohydrates which can cause indigestion, obesity, diabetes, or other gastronomical problems.
You can still feed nibbles of bananas as a treat but lookout for any possible allergic reaction.
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