I no longer use this blog, but I'm leaving it up for archival purposes. Feel free to ask me ferret questions, though, through email instead. (See most recent post.)

 

Wellp

Carnivores are gross. 

Tossed a pre-killed fuzzy mouse in the ferret room on top of their raw mash. Didn’t really expect them to eat it, honestly, but I had an extra one left over from my snakes. 

I went back into the ferret room about an hour or two later to say hi. I found half of the mouse all chewed in half, the top half nowhere to be found. Charming. But I’m glad they’re eating it! It’s really good for them and I’m happy they ate it with no Ferretone dressing. :) 

Ferret Diets that Don’t Suck

I’ve had quite a few folks ask me about food for their ferret. What’s good, what’s better, best, etc. And in my opinion and experience, these are my thoughts on different diets, kibble or otherwise. 

WYSONG - http://www.wysong.net/ferret-food.php Can be bought at holistic and natural pet stores, from what I understand, but most folks buy it online. It is raw, so it’s extra healthy. I am considering switching mine to this food. 

ZIWIPEAK - Not sure about this being their 100% staple diet, but I mix it with Zupreem with great results. Be sure to get the cat one, as it has taurine, an essential amino acid. It’s not a kibble, actually, more of a dried soft jerky kind of texture. Some ferrets may not take to it right away but they will eat it eventually. http://www.ziwipeak.com/products/cuisine/daily-cat-air-dried-cuisine/lamb/ Sold at my local natural and holistic pet food store, Mud Bay. Call around and see if it’s sold where you are. If not, you can buy from their website! 

ZUPREEM, 42% grain-free and 40% - A good food for the price. If you don’t have a lot of money, Zupreem offers a high protein content without a $40 bag. http://www.zupreem.com/our-food/ferrets Can be bought at Petcos. 

EVO - http://www.ferret.com/item/evo-dry-ferret-food-66lbs/650912/ Brags about being 88% meat and dairy products. Not sure why they’re tooting their own horn about the dairy, since ferrets are lactose intolerant, but I have had several seasoned ferret owners recommend this kibble. 

TOTALLY FERRET - http://performancefoodsinc.net/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=6&zenid=48752656fai9kar794rtb1mqg0 A fine food. Little too much grain for my taste, but it’s better than most. 

Anything not on this list means it has too high of a carbohydrate content for my comfort. That does not mean other foods are not nutritionally complete— but it sometimes does. Stay away from foods like Kaytee brand, Marshalls brand, and 8-1. They get the job done in the same way that eating McDonalds three meals a day will get the job done for humans. It is sustenance, but not healthy or properly balanced. 

Last but not least… RAW AND WHOLE PREY DIET! 
Ferrets do much, much, much better on a whole prey and raw diet. I have found a site that perfectly addresses the benefits of a raw/whole prey diet. This is taken from http://exoticpets.about.com/od/ferretcare/i/naturaldiets_2.htm. I’ve bolded the cool parts.

  • Better control over the quality of foods and ingredients — can choose very high quality proteins and fat.
  • Whole prey diets automatically provide well-balanced high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Carefully formulated raw diets can provide the same.
  • Natural diets are high in moisture content, which is considered beneficial too.
  • Whole prey (and well balanced raw diets) more closely replicates the diet of the domestic ferret’s wild ancestors
  • Whole prey and raw foods/bones promote better dental health
  • Owners who have switched whole prey or balanced raw diets report their ferrets have more energy and seem stronger, with healthier teeth, healthier fur (and less fecal output and smell) on teh whole prey or raw diets.

More About Ferret Diets 
*New Ideas in Feeding Ferrets - By Dr. Louise Bauck (good look at requirements, not a proponent of natural diets) 
*Rethinking the Ferret Diet - By Susan Brown, DVM 
*natural Ferret Care - By Christie Keith 
*Natural Ferrets Yahoo Group - will need to join to see messages or post
*Holistic Ferret Forums - Here you can learn about natural diets and even apply for a “Mentorship”, which is someone who feeds raw to their fuzzies helping you on a case basis on switching your fuzzy to a better diet.  

I’d like to be awesomely clear: FERRETS ARE CARNIVORES, FEED THEM MEAT. 

Hope this helps!! If you ever have any questions I did not answer in this post, ask. :) I love to help. 

This is how ferret feeding time ideally should look like. Granted, some folks aren’t able to commit the time necessary to convert and keep their ferrets on this diet, but in the long run it’s worth it. 

Eventually I’m going to switch mine over to a whole prey diet of mice and chicks. 

http://www.rodentpro.com has them for cheeeeeaaap. At least 1/10th of what Petco sells them for (ssshhhh). 

(Source: holisticferret.proboards.com)