Ferrets belong to the order of predators from the marten family, therefore, like any predator, the basis of its diet is meat. In the wild, ferrets feed on small rodents, but at home, the issue of feeding is perplexing and gives rise to the problem of choosing the type of feeding.
Before considering the pros and cons of possible feeding options, it is necessary to consider and take into account some facts of the physiological characteristics of ferrets. Ferrets require proteins of animal origin. Such a need for animal proteins is associated with structural features of the gastrointestinal tract of the trochae. It must be borne in mind that when cooking meat and offal, their digestibility decreases. It should be noted that ferrets have a very fast metabolism, food is digested on average in three hours, in accordance with this, about 7 meals are consumed per day.
There are two types of feeding – natural food and prepared food. Diets intended for cats and dogs are not suitable for ferrets, this applies to both types of feeding. This is due to the fact that the need for basic nutrients in them is significantly different.
If you decide to adhere to a natural type of food for your ferret, then you need to:
- thoroughly study the ferrets rations and feeding rates, depending on age, physiological condition and season;
- purchase electronic scales for weighing minced meat components;
- be prepared for continuous monitoring of stocks of products;
- have time to buy ingredients and harvest minced meat.
The basis of the feed of fur animals consists of animal products – the meat of domestic animals and birds, which fully meets the animal’s need for most minerals. Pregnant and lactating females, young animals in particular, must additionally be given iron, calcium and phosphorus.
Fish is a valuable food for ferrets, so its presence in the diet should be regular. Not every fish is useful; mackerel, horse mackerel, flounder and trout are suitable for feeding ferrets. Feeding with the inclusion of one of these fish in the diet positively affects the growth of the ferret, the quality of its fur and reproductive function. Other fish species can cause poisoning, helminthic infestations, vitamin B1 deficiency, and even anemia. Fish should be passed through a meat grinder along with bones and head.
Fat (vegetable and animal) should be included in the diet, since without it it is not possible to consider a balanced diet.
When buying meat ingredients, you need to choose not frozen fresh products. The ferret mincemeat is suitable for: rabbit, turkey, chicken stomachs and hearts, beef liver and heart, beef or veal (flesh), chicken breast, ham or thigh (filet), chicken heads and neck, chicken fat and skin.
Before passing the meat through a meat grinder, it must be washed. To remove skin and fat from chicken meat, to separate from bones. Rinse the chicken stomachs, if there is a yellow film, then remove it. From the skin and fat removed for the minced meat, choose the “cute” pieces, discard the rest. The rabbit is suitable chilled or frozen. We act like a chicken – we separate the meat from the bones. Next, all the meat, fat and skin grind in a meat grinder.
From cereals, give preference to rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, millet or corn. Grind the cereals to a flour and cook porridge from it. Let the porridge cool, then mix with the ground meat. Fat-free cottage cheese or with fat content not more than 2% (in packs or by weight) can be added here. We mix everything well (it’s better to do it by hand), pack in portions on polyethylene bags and send to the freezer.
A serving of minced meat per day for 2 feedings is 120-190g for females and 200-290g for males, depending on age and time of year. Add to the thawed portion:
- Quail egg – 1 egg 1-2 times a week
- Fish oil – 1-2 cap every other day, in courses (you can instead of fish)
- Bone meal – ¼ tsp in a day
- Sunflower or olive oil unrefined – 1/8 tsp each. 1-2 times a week, it is better to give along with vegetables (pumpkin, zucchini, beets, carrots)
- Vegetables. grate on a fine grater and give in raw form once a day for ½ teaspoon, including in one feeding (zucchini, cucumbers, beets, pumpkin, watermelon).
Of course, the process of making minced meat takes a lot of time. In addition, in order for a pet’s diet to be balanced, many factors must be considered. For many breeders, preparing food for their ferret at home is too problematic, so feeding pre-cooked (dry) feeds is becoming an optimal alternative. It is best to choose a food specially formulated to feed ferrets. In such feeds, the percentage of protein is up to 50%, fat – 20-30%, fiber no more than 3%, vitamins and minerals are necessarily included. It is worth giving preference to dry food, rather than canned food. When choosing a brand of feed, it is important to know the stability of its supply to your city. You can feed a ferret food intended for kittens or pregnant cats, since it is closest in composition to a hot diet.
Whatever the food, but its class must be SUPERPREMIUM !!
Dog food is not suitable.
Do not mix dry food and homemade food, give food from the table !! An additional intake of vitamin and mineral preparations is not required.
Whatever type of feeding you choose, remember and be guided: proper nutrition is the key to health!