Feeding Your Ferret
What do ferrets eat?
In the wild, the ferret is a “whole carcase” feeder. It is an obligate carnivore with a very short gut and so is unable to deal with much, if any, fibre or carbohydrate in the diet. While some cat foods are OK, it is best to use a specialist ferret food that is high in protein and fat yet low in carbohydrate and fibre.
This can be supplemented by the occasional egg or bone to chew on.
How often should I feed my ferret?
Ferrets have a relatively low body mass and high metabolic rate so they need to feed frequently. This is most easily accomplished by leaving food available for them 24 hours a day. Be careful that the ferret is not “stashing” food. This is common when they are being overfed.
Obesity is also a problem. While it is normal for ferrets to gain a lot of weight in Winter, there is a limit! It is best to check bodyweight and condition regularly and feed accordingly.
Do I need to give my ferret vitamins?
If your ferret is eating a high quality premium diet, extra vitamins are not essential. However, there are brands of high fat, high vitamin supplement that may be fed as a treat, or to convalescing ferrets. They are also excellent for persuading ferrets to take pills or to distract them during examination!
What about water?
Water should be provided in a conventional dripper bottle with a spout. Some prefer water in a bowl in which case it should be a heavy bowl that is not easily tipped. Some ferrets will persistently soil a water bowl so water needs to be changed regularly.
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