Author Topic: What people foods can ferrets have?  (Read 7955 times)

Offline BlueChaos

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What people foods can ferrets have?
« on: August 21, 2013, 06:47:10 PM »
 :help:
By people food I mean meats and such, not Doritos or ice cream.

My sister had ferrets given to her by someone who couldn't care for them anymore. We're trying to look online on how to take the best care of them amd wasn't sure about some of the info we found.

Offline mutewolf

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Re: What people foods can ferrets have?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2013, 08:13:26 PM »
Hi there and welcome to ferrets!  :wave2:

Regarding "people food", ferrets are carnivores and should only be fed meat or protein rich kibbles. I personally feed kibble due to various reasons but many people successfully and happily feed raw food. This forum is dedicated to raw food feeding and will be able to help you out plenty if you want to feed your ferrets raw food. Organs should be feed 2-3 times a week, if I recall correct, and egg yolks are great for coat supplements. Never give your ferrets cooked bones but boiled chicken is a great way to introduce them to meat and as treats. Plain pumpkin is another people food that is acceptable to give to ferrets when they are having tummy issues.

Don't be surprised if the ferrets don't eat the meat out of your hand or whatever. Ferrets imprint on food when they are very young. Sometimes they even imprint on the shapes and flavor of the kibble they are fed. It takes a lot of time and patience but raw feeding is absolutely great if you can do it. If you want to keep up with kibble feeding or just improve the quality of kibble they are eating while teaching them about raw food, take a look at this chart. It ranks cat/kitten and ferret food from best to worst. It's a good idea to feed your ferret at least 2 kinds of kibble at any one time so they get used to switching around brands and flavors in case there is a recall or something and you can't get your usual brand.

I HIGHLY recommend picking up a copy of Ferrets for Dummies (Amazon always has it). It is one of the best books you can read regarding ferret care. Also, consider joining the American Ferret Association Group on Facebook - there are a lot of seasoned members on their who have been owning ferrets for longer than I've been alive and give excellent advice.

Please feel free to ask any other questions or PM me if you need anything!

Offline BlueChaos

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Re: What people foods can ferrets have?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2013, 10:09:24 PM »
Thanks bunches mutewolf, that was extremely helpful! That chart is just what I needed. I have no pet store nearby, and the food sold at WalMart is crap. I was able to find a good kibble that's readily available at the nearby Tractor Supply! I'll be switching them over tomorrow, slowly.

Offline BlueChaos

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Re: What people foods can ferrets have?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2013, 10:39:33 PM »
I was also wondering about some extras, like maybe scrambled/hard boiled eggs or some canned tuna. Packed in water of course.

Offline mutewolf

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Re: What people foods can ferrets have?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2013, 10:54:09 PM »
Eggs are actually best raw because you want to give them just the yolk. I tend to cook up the whites for the rats and give the ferrets the broken yolk  in a dish.

I did a little Googling and would say that tuna is okay as a treat but it can make their poops a little smellier so I wouldn't use it as a supplement but maybe once a week or so.

Offline Critter Crazy

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Re: What people foods can ferrets have?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 02:24:50 AM »
Entire eggs are safe :) It takes roughly 14 egg whites (zero yolks) each week for s single ferret over the course of 2-3 months to achieve hair loss. A whole egg is good though, mine have a dozen each week, sometimes a few more.
Pumpkin is only to be used in case of a blockage, eg your ferrets ate plastic. Tummy upsets kefir or plain, unflavoured and unsweetened yoghurt is good.
Otherwise, human foods other than meat are a big no, no. Meaty, bones, organs and prey items all the way. I don't feed kibble and don't like it myself, but a quality kibble is also good (or a mix of kibble and raw).
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Offline Critter Crazy

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Re: What people foods can ferrets have?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2013, 02:26:12 AM »
Also, tuna has high mercury levels. Keep to small bait species like sardines, anchovies, mullet. Makes their poop smell, not them. I offer fish once a week.
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Rodentry, Ferretry & Specialist Rescue

Offline mutewolf

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Re: What people foods can ferrets have?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2013, 11:34:07 AM »
Entire eggs are safe :) It takes roughly 14 egg whites (zero yolks) each week for s single ferret over the course of 2-3 months to achieve hair loss. A whole egg is good though, mine have a dozen each week, sometimes a few more.
Pumpkin is only to be used in case of a blockage, eg your ferrets ate plastic. Tummy upsets kefir or plain, unflavoured and unsweetened yoghurt is good.
Otherwise, human foods other than meat are a big no, no. Meaty, bones, organs and prey items all the way. I don't feed kibble and don't like it myself, but a quality kibble is also good (or a mix of kibble and raw).

Thanks for the correcting regarding eggs! I had always heard that egg whites were just not unsafe but couldn't figure out why so skipped it as a just in case.