Tips On How To Feed A Ferret At Home
The nutrition of the ferret is extremely important, since the duration of its life and general condition directly depend on the animal’s diet. The ferret’s menu is quite complicated, and often causes a lot of controversy, but the breeders agree in one opinion – the more varied the animal’s nutrition, the longer the pet will delight you with its presence.
What can I feed?
Ferrets are predators in nature, and the basis of their diet is protein. Fiber, which is found in vegetables and fruits, is hardly absorbed by the body of ferrets, therefore, based on this, it is possible to compose grocery list, which ferrets are allowed and useful:
- poultry meat (80% of the diet);
- rabbit meat;
- lean beef;
- low-fat fish (15% of the diet);
- boiled quail or chicken eggs (5% of the diet);
- cereals (buckwheat, rice, pearl barley: 15-25% of the diet);
- vegetables and fruits (cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, apples, bananas, pears: 1-2% of the diet);
- low-fat dairy products (5-10% of the diet);
- dried fruits (very rare);
- "Minced meat" (a mixture of chopped meat and cereals).
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If the ferret’s diet is still dominated by cooked dishes and fresh products, it is best to heat them.
Do not think that when eating raw food, the pet will become more aggressive and begin to bite painfully. To heat-treat “raw materials” is for safety reasons, because in many products and meat surrogates and, sometimes, rather dangerous additives are added.
Spicy ferret foods are extremely contraindicated, they can entail very strong stomach upset , sometimes even leading to death.
Ferrets should never be used:
- bread and bakery products;
- nuts and seeds;
- borscht, soups, stews and all those dishes that were cooked “to the table” and not specifically for the ferret.
Sometimes ferrets can be quite picky in food, preferring a particular dish. To accustom the animal to a new taste, you can use, for example, fish oil, dropping a few drops on food.
Ferrets are characterized by molting, usually 2-3 times a year, and during this period the pet needs to eat as varied as possible. It will not be superfluous to add liquid vitamins to the feed, which will help strengthen immunity.
Video: feeding instructions
How many times a day?
For a ferret, there is no specific dosage of feed. So this is a rather playful and moving animal, it is better that there is always a small amount of food in the bowl. The ferret never overeats, he always eats exactly as much as he needs.
If for some reason there was no food in the bowl, and the ferret needs to eat, then he can let him know about it: to rattle the bowl, wear it in his teeth, as well as in many other ways. It looks pretty funny.
If there is no time to control the constant feed presence in the cage, then the optimal solution would be to fill the bowl 2 times a day: morning and evening. The ferret’s stomach digests the food eaten for about 3-4 hours, so a bowl filled with enough food twice a day will not allow the ferret to experience hunger.
A ferret is not a cat or a dog, so you should not leave his bowl in an open room on the floor. Firstly, the animal has habit of pulling out food from the bowl, and secondly, can hide pieces of the remaining food.
It is best if the food bowl is firmly attached to the walls of the cage so that it cannot be torn off or knocked over. To associate the ferret’s home with a safe and comfortable place, it is better to feed him in a closed space.
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Depending on the age of the animal, the food is either crushed or cut into cubes. If it is supposed to introduce “minced meat” into the diet, then it usually has a rather thick consistency: cooked meat and cereals are mixed and twisted using a blender or meat grinder. Other times not worth it grind heavily food so that the teeth and gums of the ferret do not weaken.
Sometimes, in order for the ferret to sharpen his teeth, he can be given chicken heads, necks or paws. A small predator can easily cope with small and large bones, and such a “charge” for teeth will only benefit him.
Video: feed the pet
There is another alternative way of feeding a ferret, close to its natural conditions.
Of course, in domesticated ferrets, the instinct for hunting is present, but it manifests itself more in a playful way. Nevertheless, as entertainment or a game, followed by a “snack”, feeding can be considered live birds, feed cockroaches, mice, flour worms.
There is debate about the ethics of such feeding, because not every breeder will like to watch the face of his pet in the blood, and the "bird is sorry." But such food is most consistent with that which the ferret obtains in the wild. It contains vitamins and all the elements that help maintain good animal health for many years.
However, in urban conditions, feeding a pet in this way is quite problematic.