What do ferrets eat - how to make the right diet?

Keeping tiny predators in captivity is not easy, you need to know exactly what ferrets eat, and only then acquire a new funny pet for your family. Inexperienced people are able to kill furry animals by offering them sweets or other food from their table, not all ready-made pet food is suitable for our beauties.

What do ferrets eat in nature?

The best way to understand what ferrets eat is to learn about the lives of their closest wild relatives in their natural habitat. The relatives of our heroes are stoats, weasels and minks, they all make up a beautiful but predatory mustelid family. There are steppe and forest ferrets, whose habitat ranges from Siberia to Central Europe, and the American black-footed ferret, living in the United States and Canada.

Even the largest steppe species of animals does not exceed 56 cm in length, so it is not surprising that ferrets in nature like to eat mainly small animals – gophers, spitting, rats, mice, toads, ducks, young hares, rabbits, large species of insects. Domesticated ferrets are descended from forest ferrets, the body length of these animals is up to 51 cm, they were mainly bred to exterminate harmful rodents.

What do ferrets eat in nature?

What to feed a ferret at home?

Understanding what ferrets eat at home, you must always remember one important thing – our heroes are obligate (specialized) predators. In nature, they feed mainly on animals of comparable size, therefore, for our pet, a diet of venison, wild boar, cow or ram meat is not the best option. Young veal or lamb, some types of offal are better absorbed by ferrets.

What kind of food to feed a ferret?

Many fanciers don’t care much about what ferrets eat, buying prepackaged canned or dry rations for their cute predators. These animals in captivity are more difficult to meet than a cat or dog, so it is sometimes not easy to purchase specialized feeds at a local pet store. Some products with photographs of a ferret on the packaging are poorly formulated, doing more harm to pets than good. On the question of what kind of dry food to feed a ferret, it is better to follow the advice of experts who recommend products from the Evo Ferret and Bosch Totally Ferret brands.

The best specialized food for ferrets:

  1. Totally Ferret Baby – an excellent diet for young individuals, ferrets eat it perfectly in any phase of development.
  2. Totally Ferret Baby

  3. Totally Ferret Active – If you are concerned about the quality of nutrition of adult animals over a year old, then this German food will be the best solution.
  4. Totally Ferret Active

  5. Totally Ferret Senior – This food is optimal for a ferret that is at a respectable age.
  6. Totally Ferret Senior

  7. Evo Ferret is one of the best grain-free foods for professional grade ferrets, ferrets love to eat it.
  8. Evo Ferret

Cat food for domestic ferrets:

  1. Orijen Cat and Kitten – Canadian product, in which from 75% protein, completely grain-free. Experts do not recommend offering this product to animals with white fur.
  2. >GRNADORF rabbit with sterilized rice – Belgian product with reduced grain content, high protein content, can be fed to white ferrets.
  3. Flatazor Crocktail Chaton – French diet from the best raw materials, specially designed for pregnant and lactating females.
  4. FELIDAE, Grain Free pure ELEMENTS is a grain-free, high-protein, holistic grade, made in the USA, based on quality poultry and ocean fish.
  5. GO! natural. Fit + Free – food class holistic, contains poultry and salmon.
  6. Eukanuba Kitten Chicken & Liver – a balanced composition with a normal protein content, it is allowed to give pregnant and lactating individuals.

What vegetables can ferrets?

Solving the problem that ferrets eat better, pet owners often offer a variety of plant foods to their pets. The intestines of our predators do a poor job of breaking down fiber, so ill-conceived experiments in this matter can lead to bad consequences. As an addition to the main dishes, it is allowed to occasionally give animals certain types of vegetables, after cutting them into small pieces.

What vegetables do ferrets eat:

  • tomatoes;
  • cucumbers;
  • pumpkin;
  • broccoli;
  • radish;
  • Bell pepper;
  • melon;
  • watermelon.

What fruits can be given to ferrets?

Fruits occupy an extremely small percentage of the diet of furry predators, so in the question of what domestic ferrets eat, it is better for them to play the role of a rare delicacy. Sweet varieties of fruits are dangerous, the stomach of our pets hardly digests sugars. We solve the problem of how to feed a domestic ferret, carefully, we offer them plant foods rarely and in small quantities.

What fruits do ferrets eat?

  • apples;
  • pears;
  • bananas (excluding dried fruits);
  • mango;
  • pineapples.

Meat for a ferret when feeding

Natural habitat conditions are the best option, but not all owners will be able to provide pets with a natural diet, looking for live mice, worms, cockroaches, and young chickens for animals. Professional feeds are expensive, so amateurs with average incomes in the matter of what they can feed a ferret prefer personally prepared homemade food.

What meat do ferrets eat?

  • duck;
  • chicken;
  • turkey;
  • young beef;
  • rabbit;
  • offal;
  • trout;
  • mackerel;
  • flounder;
  • cod;
  • horse mackerel;
  • quail eggs (a couple of pieces per week);
  • boiled chicken eggs (one in two weeks);
  • shrimp (a couple of pieces per week).

How many times a day to feed a ferret

The accelerated metabolism of these agile predators is different from the digestive processes of cats and dogs, they need to constantly replenish their energy reserves. Inexperienced lovers transfer them to 2 meals a day, having little understood the matter of how many times a day you need to feed a ferret. This approach leads to starvation and deterioration of the condition of active animals. It is best to provide pets with open access to a bowl of food throughout the day.

How many times a day to feed a ferret

What should not be fed to ferrets?

Ferrets are fed mainly with products that contain a high percentage of valuable protein and with a small amount of grain components. For this reason, buying dog food is not recommended, and grain-free cat diets are suitable for our pets. It is advisable to avoid economy class feed, they contain a huge percentage of cereals and potatoes. It is not recommended to feed the following types of fish to ferrets – pollock, blue whiting, capelin, sprat, roach, carp, pike, crucian carp, burbot, perch, sardine, sea bream, smelt.

What Not to Eat Ferrets:

  • milk;
  • sour cream;
  • pork;
  • sausage;
  • smoked meats and fried meat;
  • dishes with spices;
  • citrus;
  • flour products;
  • candies;
  • grape;
  • dried apricots;
  • figs;
  • spices;
  • mushrooms;
  • nuts;
  • onion;
  • garlic;
  • salty food;
  • soy products.

Pet ferret diet

There is a lot of controversy among hobbyists about how much a domestic ferret eats per day. According to the observations of experts, ferrets can come to the drinking bowl and feeder from 7 to 10 times a day, consuming food in small portions, so you need to constantly keep the bowl filled. Sexually mature individuals require up to 400 g of food, young animals consume half as much food. It is desirable to distribute the main products as follows:

  • ferrets eat at least 35% animal protein;
  • up to 22% – fats;
  • up to 20% – carbohydrates;
  • up to 3% – vegetable fiber.
  • Pet ferret diet