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Ilavanti
01-10-2008, 06:43 AM
I started trying to get Caspian to eat eggs. All he's really doing is licking the Ferretone off of it and occasionally getting some egg in his mouth. I'm just going to be consistent and hope he'll start eating the eggs. I also wanted to know before I began feeding Caspian other things. I don't want to give him something he shouldn't eat.

What type of meat can he eat? I see all the time about people feeding their ferrets "chicken tenders" or "I cooked chicken for my ferret last night" and also I read a lot about feeding their ferrets baby food.

So, can they eat any meats? As in chicken, ham, turkey and liver? That's all that I really provide in my household. And how does it need to be prepared or does it matter? Chicken strips probably wouldn't be okay because it's breaded. Could I pick off the bread and feed him just the meat? If I got some KFC, for example, and I pulled off the breaded parts could he digest THAT meat?

I've look at the baby food and see a lot of "chicken dinner" or some label like that but after reading on the back it says it has carrots or other vegetables. Can they eat any meaty dinner baby food as long as the back label does not have a vegetable listed?

Thanks. I want to start feeding my baby meat and I want to be sure I'm not feeding him something I shouldn't.

Colleen
01-10-2008, 07:08 AM
Ferrets will do very well on a raw diet of chicken, chicken livers,chicken wings in the bone(just make sure you don't cook with the bone in) As far as cooked meats like KFC, I wouldn't chance it---too much salt and spices. Same with ham--salt and spices! You can make soupie out of boiled chicken thighs gizzards, livers. Just DO NOT add any salt. When the meats are cooked debone them and place in a blender with some chicken stock, even add an egg and blend away! Be sure to freeze any left over and feed once a day.

Ilavanti
01-10-2008, 07:19 AM
Thanks a lot. What about beef? Such as hamburger meat? Can they eat that or should I just stick with chicken stuff?

Thorsmemory
01-10-2008, 07:34 AM
I would have to agree. If you are feeding baby food, make sure it is the meat only and not the meals. I believe it is only available in Stage 2 foods here in the U.S. Organ meats such as heart, kidney, liver, etc. is very high in protein and good for them. Mine will not touch beef at all. None of them. Chicken or turkey is their favs. I would love to try rabbit but I don't know of any place around here that carries it.

Pingford
01-10-2008, 07:42 AM
Great questions!

Mine will eat beef, beef liver and beef fat. But lord knows if I don't mix it in with chicken and turkey they won't have a thing to do with it! Be patient, it takes time to get your ferrets used to a new food. They imprint on their food so it may take them awhile to realize what you're offering actually IS food.

I like to have my ferrets ready to eat a variety of foods in case someone gets ill and they need a food with higher than usual nutritional value. I'd try a blend of chicken, beef and beef fat just to keep it simple at first. Texture and temperature have a lot to do with your ferret's tastes. Try gently heating your soup, allowing it to cool and then feeding. Put some on your ferrets nose or tongue if he refuses to eat. Keep doing this until he decides "HEY! THIS IS GREAT!" Also do a search for recipes here. There are a lot to choose from.

Good luck!

lasher
01-10-2008, 07:54 AM
Processed meats are not good for them, so things like KFC would be a definite no. Basically if you shouldn't be eating it then neither should they. Because a ferret is so small the additives in those meats are compounded and will do much more damage much faster.
My general guidelines for selecting ferret meat is keep it simple and clean. I look for fresh whole meats. If it's chicken, fish, beef, etc. and that's all that is in it then they are safe for them. The ferret can eat the organs, bone etc. and if the meat was a major part of their diet (25% or more) then they will need organ & bone included but if it's just a treat rather than a meal then meat rather than organs and bone are acceptable. Fruit, vegetable, etc. are not needed and in general should be avoided. Since you are feeding a kibble I'd say never to add any - it's only a complex answer for those who feed raw or evolutionary diets.
As a treat you don't need to offer much anyway so really the idea is if you are making a chicken breast take a thumbnail sized peice and offer it. Just by smelling it the ferret learns something, but by eating it they learn much more.

With baby food you want to get the ones with just meat, no vegetable ingredients. The vegetables are carbohydrates which in turn are converted to sugars. In ferrets these sugars are assumed to be one of the leading causes of Insulinoma, a type of cancer of the pancreas which is not only difficult to control but often deadly. So avoiding fruits and vegetables is very necessary for the long term health of your ferret.

I hope that helps shed a little light on the subject. :)

By the way since I do feed raw to my ferrets my kids love a variety of meat and they all have their own tastes. It's interesting to know that each ferret has preferences and tastes just like we humans do. Do ferrets like Beef? Some do some don't. I have some that LOVE ostrich meat, rabbit, elk, moose, salmon, tuna, octopus, squid, cornish game hen, mouse, rat, cricket, etc. and then some that hate those same meats. Just like children I'll put a bit of meat on the table and some come running happy that mom brought home a favorite meal and the others pout and complain that mom brought home this icky food. That's when they'll go to the kibble bowl or the Wysong instead as they don't want to touch the 'catch of the day'.

Connie
01-10-2008, 08:49 PM
yep, stay away from processed meats, too many additives and too much salt.

I've used all kinds of meat in my soup-we buy a pig each year from a 4-H kid, and I've used the meat as well as internal organs of the pig. I also use rabbit (neighbor raises them and gives the to us when he has to many) and venison in my soup. I haven't used beef since we don't eat beef, but I think it would be fine for them.

Ilavanti
01-11-2008, 04:58 AM
Thanks so much every one!! I tried just googling meats that ferrets could eat but it seems like there's always the wrong information about every subject dealing with ferrets that I run across. When I read that ferrets can live long and healthy lives off bread and milk alone I just decided to come to the place I know I can trust. Thank you everyone! And thanks lasher for the in-depth response. I understand much better now! :yes:

punkin
01-11-2008, 12:58 PM
You posted about giving egg.Don't know where I heard it but ferts can only eat the yolk or cooked egg (think scrambled.). We have one on semi-barf and he LOVES his raw yolks. Also pinky and fuzzy mice/rats, gizzards, hearts, livers(chicken), beef heart, fish, chicken, rabbit. I would start with small pieces then give larger as he becomes adapted to it. Good luck and please keep us posted as to how he does with it!

Jane
Dook-n-Dance Ferret Shelter:wave2:

WMoonR
01-11-2008, 08:33 PM
You posted about giving egg.Don't know where I heard it but ferts can only eat the yolk or cooked egg (think scrambled.). We have one on semi-barf and he LOVES his raw yolks. Also pinky and fuzzy mice/rats, gizzards, hearts, livers(chicken), beef heart, fish, chicken, rabbit. I would start with small pieces then give larger as he becomes adapted to it. Good luck and please keep us posted as to how he does with it!

Jane
Dook-n-Dance Ferret Shelter:wave2:

Wait a minute - are you sure? I think they can have whole eggs... raw or cooked. I just throw the whole egg in the blender - shell and all - when I'm making soupie.

kfarlee
01-11-2008, 09:41 PM
If you're supplimenting their kibble with meat, then any straight (no additives, no spices etc.) meat is OK.
If you're going for a mostly or all meat diet, remember that you need to try to get as close to a natural diet as possible. Weasels in the wild don't eat only muscles - they eat all of their prey, and the balance is important. Meat, fat, organs, bones (calcium) all are needed. Whole prey (frozen/thawed day-old chicks or mice, or similar) is one good way to get that.
Cooked bones are OK in ONE circumstance: If you cook them down to where they will easily crush in your fingers, and then run them through a meat grinder/blender so that there are NO bone pieces big enough to see/pick out. In that case they're safe, and a good addition to the diet.

punkin
01-12-2008, 08:00 AM
Hi. Just a quick update. Bob Church had a post on the FML today about eggs today. He said that the white can have something in there that the ferts may be allergic to-some do, some don't. Also, there is a lot about his barf diet at ferretlife.com. Just letting you know.

Jane
Dook-n-Dance Ferret Shelter

lasher
01-13-2008, 01:11 PM
If you're going for a mostly or all meat diet, remember that you need to try to get as close to a natural diet as possible. Weasels in the wild don't eat only muscles - they eat all of their prey, and the balance is important. Meat, fat, organs, bones (calcium) all are needed. Whole prey (frozen/thawed day-old chicks or mice, or similar) is one good way to get that.
Cooked bones are OK in ONE circumstance: If you cook them down to where they will easily crush in your fingers, and then run them through a meat grinder/blender so that there are NO bone pieces big enough to see/pick out. In that case they're safe, and a good addition to the diet.

I believe that's a simplified explanation, and for clarification I hope you don't mind Kevin I'm going to expand that a bit.
I think it's always important to mention that if one is going to feed an Evolutionary (RMB, Prey, or whatever you want to call it) diet then you need to do extensive research.
Feeding whole prey is great but often people think that buying day-olds is a good way to do it and it's not. Day-old chicks, mice, etc. are not developed prey and do not have the nutrients necessary to provide proper nutrition for a ferret. Ferrets need adult prey in order to provide the full spectrum of nutrients necessary for healthy development.
In addition cooking the bones will destroy some of the vital nutrients found inside the bones and again you'll lose much of the nutritional value. So even if you are making your own powder to prevent the splintering you are not providing necessary full spectrum nutrition.

This is why it's so important that anyone thinking about providing an evolutionary diet do their research first, one could do more harm than good even though they start out with the best intentions.

kfarlee
01-13-2008, 03:29 PM
You're right.
There's a spectrum of foods which range from very simplistic (just muscle meat like Gerber's baby food etc.) to very thoroughly researched diets that include all of the essential trace nutrients. It's also important to have a good ferret vet monitoring your kids to catch any deficiency early, before it causes harm.
Almost anything short of a wide variety of live whole prey is going to be some form of compromise, and realistically, we all have various places along that spectrum where we can go. For some, kibble is well-researched nutrition, and gives more time for other caregiving activities. For others lots of kitchen time is rewarding both in itself, and in knowing you're providing well for your kids.

Just know what you're feeding, whether it's your own soup or a commercial diet.
Choose what will be best for your kids.

FaunaFreak
01-15-2008, 11:06 AM
I just bought some chicken liver from the store today (Whole Foods Grocers, and the meat guy said there were no additives to the liver) and tried to give a little bit to Oatmeal. He didn't seem to interested, and when I cut a *tiny* portion to scrape onto his teeth, he reacted like I'd stuffed a jalapeņo into his mouth :( . Should I not worry about it, and resign myself to feeding him kibble (and start looking for liver recipes for myself, since my husband won't touch the stuff any more the the ferret - or cat, for that matter - will)?

lasher
01-15-2008, 01:28 PM
all my ferrets think I am trying to kill them when I try a new food, I give it 4-5 attempts before I write it off. Typically on attempt 3 they realize that I'm not killing them and will taste it but are still suspicious of the new stuff. Then it's a matter of they may swallow or not but will start tasting or licking it to see. If it's the first time they've ever tried a new food and the texture is different then I have to try a lot longer or maybe mix it with something similar to their usual food but if they've been adventurous for awhile (eating lots of variety) then they will trust me sooner and say okay mom I'll try but I won't promise to like it.

FaunaFreak
01-15-2008, 06:13 PM
Ok, good. I also got him some Ferretone, which he licked right off of my fingers (prompting me to coat another tiny piece of liver with it, and resulting in a wasted sliver of meat and a bit of Ferretone). I'll keep trying with the liver. He doesn't seem too interested in eggs or goat's milk, either, so I suspect his diet has pretty much consisted of kibble. A separate question I have, though, concerns vitamins. I have some Oasis Vita-drops for his water - is it ok for me too put the vitamins in his water AND mix the ferretone into his food/use it as a treat, or should I just use one supplement at a time?

fuzziesr4me
01-16-2008, 02:15 PM
I believe that's a simplified explanation, and for clarification I hope you don't mind Kevin I'm going to expand that a bit.
I think it's always important to mention that if one is going to feed an Evolutionary (RMB, Prey, or whatever you want to call it) diet then you need to do extensive research.
Feeding whole prey is great but often people think that buying day-olds is a good way to do it and it's not. Day-old chicks, mice, etc. are not developed prey and do not have the nutrients necessary to provide proper nutrition for a ferret. Ferrets need adult prey in order to provide the full spectrum of nutrients necessary for healthy development.
In addition cooking the bones will destroy some of the vital nutrients found inside the bones and again you'll lose much of the nutritional value. So even if you are making your own powder to prevent the splintering you are not providing necessary full spectrum nutrition.

This is why it's so important that anyone thinking about providing an evolutionary diet do their research first, one could do more harm than good even though they start out with the best intentions.

Lasher, where are you getting this information from? DOC's are quite an excellant nutritional source if given whole and not de-yoked. Word of mouth? Though the one thing that anyone that feeds prey needs to undestand is that there needs to be variety. I feed DOC and mice of different sizes. I do feed raw meat upon occasion but mostly whole prey.


I'll pass on something from the Raptor forum. One of the premier avian vets of the UK has studied and found that the above is true. It's an excellant souce of nutrition again, as long as the yoke is intact. Take it's raptors.. but it's about the quality of nutrition. Those raptor people are worse than we are about our fuzzies. Raptors require high quality prey in their diets to thrive. Some that are mentioned are quail, DOC, mice etc.

Last year I did the "Raptor Health and management for longevity" course with Neil Forbes. He told us that DOC had always been regarded as a poor quality food. However he then went on to say that following some recent research, it was found that chicks providing they had not been deyolked were a very nutritional food source.

Ditto...

I went to a very informative talk given by Neil Forbes (probably the leading avian vet in the UK) last night on health issues for captive birds of prey.

Neil devoted a whole slide of his presentation to make the point that day old chicks are an excellent food source, so long as they were not de-yolked. He said that they had an excellent calcium/phosphorus balance and lots of vitamins and gave a good whole body diet. He said that even with yolk in they were no higher in fat than many other food types, but that by de-yolking you reduce the calcium balance and the vitamin content.

So from the big man himself - DOCs are great food and don't deyolk them if you can."


I think word of mouth is one of the worst things we can rely on. There are still some into feeding whole prey that denounce DOC as a good nutrional source when in actuality the opposite is true. This is old news... it's been going around for ages from sources who think that the prey must walk around a bit first. But, they'll stick to their guns based on simply word of mouth and not fact. Just thought i'd pass along something that has been studied and noted by a very experienced vet. Whether it be birds of prey of ferrets both required the highest quality optimally balanced in nutrition in their diets to thrive. Both being carnivorous and all :)

I edited to add information from Rodent Pro's site on scientific evaluation of the nutrional value of prey for anyone interested. If you keep scrolling down, you'll fine calicium, phosphorous, mag/ etc along with the protein, fat, ash etc content of whole prey :)

What a dork.. I forgot the link :)
http://rodentpro.com/qpage_articles_03.asp

lasher
01-22-2008, 09:20 AM
Actually I'm not getting my information from word of mouth but rather from scientific research. :) If you'll read my post it's not that I don't say you shouldn't feed chicks but rather that people feeding prey need to do their research as you cannot feed just day old chicks as they are not a nutritionally complete diet, variety is necessary in order to balance the diet. That is true in all animals in all stages of life.
I'm sure you're already aware that you cannot feed one food to an animal for their life and think it will be balanced and complete as every animal including humans go through developmental stages in their lives and their body composition is different at those stages, that means that if they were food their nutritional values are different.
To turn the tables think of humans as food, if you were to feed human meat to your ferrets which would you prefer to feed to your ferret? Babies are fairly fatty, but not very meaty so they'd be lacking in protein. In addition they'd be lower in certain essential nutrients that develop when horomones start to affect development. Now there is a reason that adult multi vitamins have different values of things like selenium, mg and calcium our bodies process them differently. Then take elderly humans, bone density is an issue, they have all different composition than younger humans. So which do you think would meet 100% standards? Or would you feed a variety of hoomins to ensure that they are getting a good balance?

I was hoping to attach a chart with Mouse values for reference but I've been waaayyyy to busy to have the time to convert it and without a .pdf crack on my work laptop I just don't have the time to transcribe such items (nor do I care to - I don't type). So if anyone is interested in transcribing some or all of it then by all means either follow this link (http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/ECGWR3lbjky9oo1p9HWJ7oX9iuBaUpLi7bLV0meJPQe5YbtOv-YbhWBfPGPWHSMEt6pYiHbA0zZKQN2-A8tCWLzPMdVq-QrSWA/WholePreyFinal02May29.pdf) (it's in Natural Ferrets you'd have to be a member) or message me and I'll send you a copy of the article when I am free.
Have a good day all! :)

fuzzy sue
01-22-2008, 01:33 PM
just sit back and think what do they eat in the wild ,do they start fires to cook there food no they dont ,they eat a mixture of rabbit , mice , birds and eggs they dont have the teeth for hard dry biscuits.keep you ferret happy and healthy with fresh meat fur and feathers too

BadgersMama
01-22-2008, 02:05 PM
just sit back and think what do they eat in the wild ,do they start fires to cook there food no they dont ,they eat a mixture of rabbit , mice , birds and eggs they dont have the teeth for hard dry biscuits.keep you ferret happy and healthy with fresh meat fur and feathers too
Domesticated ferrets are not wild, they cannot survive on their own. Are you talking about BFFs or polecats maybe?

ferretzrule
01-22-2008, 02:14 PM
Folks, please remember to keep your comments respectful and impersonal. The food debate tends to get rather heated, and this is not what LF is for or about. Scientific papers can be found virtually anywhere online that either support or denounce kibble, RMB, WP, etc., etc. diets. I have yet to read any conclusive and/or definitive studies regarding diets; and as with adrenal and other diseases, the jury is still out when it comes to the study of our fuzzy rug monkeys. It is sufficient to report what studies you have read and the researcher's conclusion drawn from that study, then let those who have an interest in the subject do their own research. It is also sufficient to report your own personal experiences, stating it is your personal experience. Turning a topic into an argument over who is right or wrong is unacceptable and fruitless in any medium...and it most especially violates our rules here at LF.

We all have opinions and are entitled to voice those opinions, but no one here is entitled to bash another...regardless of what you know or think you know.

Back to the topic at hand.
I think I would prefer to feed my ferrets a natural diet. However, because I do not have a PhD, or any other advanced training in mustelid nutrition, I would be hesitant to proceed with this diet without appropriate guidance. Time, storage and expense would be other factors for me to consider.

For now, I supplement my ferrets kibble diet with egg yolks, cleaned shells, cooked meats and baby food. It works for us :)

bobsmom
01-22-2008, 04:26 PM
Folks, please remember to keep your comments respectful and impersonal. The food debate tends to get rather heated, and this is not what LF is for or about. Scientific papers can be found virtually anywhere online that either support or denounce kibble, RMB, WP, etc., etc. diets. I have yet to read any conclusive and/or definitive studies regarding diets; and as with adrenal and other diseases, the jury is still out when it comes to the study of our fuzzy rug monkeys. It is sufficient to report what studies you have read and the researcher's conclusion drawn from that study, then let those who have an interest in the subject do their own research. It is also sufficient to report your own personal experiences, stating it is your personal experience. Turning a topic into an argument over who is right or wrong is unacceptable and fruitless in any medium...and it most especially violates our rules here at LF.

We all have opinions and are entitled to voice those opinions, but no one here is entitled to bash another...regardless of what you know or think you know.

Back to the topic at hand.
I think I would prefer to feed my ferrets a natural diet. However, because I do not have a PhD, or any other advanced training in mustelid nutrition, I would be hesitant to proceed with this diet without appropriate guidance. Time, storage and expense would be other factors for me to consider.

For now, I supplement my ferrets kibble diet with egg yolks, cleaned shells, cooked meats and baby food. It works for us :)

Well said!!!:yes: :yes: :yes:

We all have different opinions and experiences. Some live feed, some raw feed, some mix kibble feeding with soupies. Each person has their own approach. As long as the ferret is getting a blanced diet without too many sweeties or carbs, so be it. It is the responsibility of each ferret owner to educate him or herself as to what is the best way to provide the correct nutrition for their particular animal. Whiether it be live, raw, meat, kibble, etc. is an individual decision.

In my house we combine different kibbles along with cooked soupies made with bird (right now the soup is made with phesant), vitamins, nupro, whole eggs, and water, but minus the bones. Sometimes we suppliment with baby meat but not very often. The soupies is plenty.
When we have bad dirreaha we use basby pedilite to resture electrolites. other don't do this. It works for me. The advice thsat I give is basied on my experience and research. I am always willing to have aomeone dissagree with me or have a different point of view. Life is too short to argue.

Some of my friends raw feed some live feed. It is up to the individual to choose the feeding method.

LISAR
01-23-2008, 06:55 AM
I believe it was last year we had a few members who raw feed their ferts. If you go back ont he ferret nutrition you will see posts done by veggiemama, or something close to that.
She is a vegetarian herself and only raw feeds. She also had her own website that gave an awful lot of information regarding raw feeding.
This is something you really want to investigate thoroughly before trying. And no, we cant compare our domestic fuzzies to the BFF's or polecats. There is a big difference.
So for everyones well being, please do your homework. Its for your benefit as well as your ferts.:singers:

3DGFAN
01-23-2008, 10:10 PM
I feed my girls a complete raw diet that consist of whole chicken, mice, quail, squab, duck, rabbit, and a bit of turkey as well. I feed them the bones, meat, and organs. It's vital for their nutrition.

fuzziesr4me
01-24-2008, 10:51 AM
Im sorry if it seemed heated or dirrecting however I was simply asking a question to Lasher based on what she posted as she did not state that she was referring to feeding day old chicks alone etc.

"Feeding whole prey is great but often people think that buying day-olds is a good way to do it and it's not. Day-old chicks, mice, etc. are not developed prey and do not have the nutrients necessary to provide proper nutrition for a ferret. Ferrets need adult prey in order to provide the full spectrum of nutrients necessary for healthy development. "

I think we all have to be very careful in our wording and maybe I wasn't. I appologize.
But after re-reading my response to the thread I was simply questioning her statement and where she got that information. That to me, is vital information for anyone. And I agree with Lasher that once source of prey does not meet the nutritional requirements. But stating that DOC do not without again stating that *meaning as stand alone source of food* can be misconstrued by others wishing to try a prey diet. And stating that they do not meet the specific nutrional requirement without proof (name etc that does not back it up) can also be misconstrued.

Again, I appologize. I try and research the best I can and share information with sites, names etc. And I totally agree with Lasher that no once source of prey is a complete diet. But again,based on evidence by a vet that did a study on DOCs disagree that they are not a good nutrional source.

After all, I believe that's how we all learn. I am not heated with Lasher or her beliefs only questioning where the information came from as I'd like to investigate it myself further.