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Feeding ferrets

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Tammera | 15:32 Wed 04th Jan 2006 | Animals & Nature
7 Answers

My female ferret i got as a baby about 5 years ago. i always fed her james wellbeloved ferret food untill about 1.5-2 years ago, when i went to a ferret rescue place and they told me that i should be giving them raw meat as it is better for them and thier teeth and coats, i also left with another ferret as they said she would prefer the company, but she infact hates him with a passion and still does. so i started giving them meat, she wasnt that impressed with it at first but she seemed to tollerate it. my male has always had a nice healthy looking coat summer and winter, yet my female only looks really nice with her full winter coat on. the only time i give them dry food is when i go away for a couple of days as my neighbours are to scared to feed them.

this christmas i went for a week and left them dry food (with a friend that lives further away topping it up half way through the week incase you think i just left them for a week) and now my female will not eat the meat i give her even the chicken which is her favorite of all the meats. i gave her some dry food today to see if maybe she was ill and not eating at all and she ate some. they have been eating the dry food for about 2 weeks as i didnt go meat shopping till a few days ago. this past year or so ive noticed she looked a bit more scrawny than she normally does, ive sperated her from the male because im sick of the smell when they fight and because she was more scrawnier she was able to get out of the cage and was trashing the house (and its not as cute as it sounds waking suddenly up to a ferret licking your face, aswell as the cat suddenly making all sorts of noises at the ferret joining her on my bed) in the last week or so she looks remarkbly better alot fuller shapewise,



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(wrote to much again)

and im not sure whether this is down to seperating them and her getting more food (he takes most the food and hides it if i dont feed him first, i have a 2 story cage she was fed at the top him at the bottom) or because shes had 2 weeks of dry food and she prefers it, or because the cold spell has caused her to get into a full winter coat, she always looked healthier in her full wintercoat but this time she looks even better. both of them have nicer poos on dry food. ive read many websites on feeding ferrets and they all have differing opinions on dry food, raw meat pieces and whole carcasses (being a fews prefered choice). so not sure what to do. does anyone else keep ferrets (pets not workers) and what do they feel is better to feed them. one website said mice, rats and chicks are really good for them which would make me feel better about the whole carcass thing, as being vegitarian i dont like the thought of having to throw away half an animal thats been killed to eat.

i just wondered what i should do food wise, i always worry im not doing the right thing. also she loves potatoes and makes a beeline for mine when shes out of her cage, would it be bad to treat her with potato or the skins?

Hi, raw meat and carcasses are better for them as this is what they would eat in the wild but the same could be said of dogs. James Wellbeloved is nutritionally balanced to give them everything they should need, so it's a toss up really! I think the best thing you can do is pick a food and stick to it, it can unsettle their stomachs to change their diet, you could feed them a mixture of both of you are unsure which to go for but just stick to one menu. The reason that she could be looking a bit more scrawny could be due to the fact that she isn't happy with him around seeing as you say they dont get on.
I have kept ferrets before and found them to be quite sensitive little things when it comes to changes in environment and diet.
Just as an aside, I used to feed mine on JW and give them a pinky or two every couple of days and they seemed to do well on it.
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i have some fuzzies left over from when i had my snake, i may try her with one.
I used to feed my ferrets with James Wellbeloved,they always seemed healthy. I also gave them day old chicks which I fed my birds of prey,i gave them whole and the ferrets loved them. They do like company,prehaps try getting another female for her,she could have looked unwell due to stress if she faught with the male,if you are still concerned,a check up with a vet wouldn't hurt!
I have 3 ferret jills of varying ages that all live together I have only ever fed them JWB with the odd dog biscuit when they steel them from my dog and they get cat milk every morning they go mad for it, I have never fed them raw meet as this gives them the taste for fresh meat and could make them more aggresive towards me. normally Jills and hobs don't meet unless to mate so I'm sure she hates having your hob around all the time no one I know has ever kept them together all the time only for breeding, you would be better off with another jill or keeping them housed separtely. hope this helps :-)
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i also thought giving them meat would make them agressive but i must say this isnt the case with my two and all the ones i saw at the resue centre. my two have alway been very good natured, even when one unfortunate day i wasnt paying as close attention to my daughter as i should have been. she found their nail clippers and got my female out and tried to cut her nails like she has seen me do. i was in my lounge and heard a squeal ive never heard before and couldnt make out what it was, then i hear another and rushed into the kitchen as and found my daughter with my female ferret and two bleeding nails. she could have quite easily bitten her after the pain that must have been she has never squealed even when ive accidently trod on her when shes been under my feet when im doing things. my male ferret has never been agressive either.
My ex partner had working ferrets. They were fed liver and roadkill (mainly rabbit). Seemed to thrive on this diet.

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