Your ferret should regularly receive a bare minimum of 3 proteins. However, the more variety you can offer the better! Even mixing in new meats on occasion is better than never. Some meats are seasonal so we understand that you may not be able to feed everything in the menu year-round. A minimum of 3 proteins should be fed year-round (for example, pork, chicken, and beef). Most meats sold as fit for human consumption are okay to feed ferrets as long as they are NOT processed, seasoned, or injected with saline (read labels carefully). Also, some meats not “fit” for human consumption can bed fed as well, these include meats such as commercial raw made just for pets, whole prey, butcher scraps etc. Ferrets should NEVER be fed processed meats, seasoned/flavored meats, meats with additives, meats injected with saline to preserve freshness.
Start trying to add in as many new meats as you can find. The more variety the better! Also, seeing as how it is unrealistic to keep an entire farm in your freezer, start just trying to locate new meats so that you have an idea of what you have access to, and where you can find what. When you find them feel free to try them out!
Any human-grade meat that is non-processed, non-seasoned, and non-preserved (read labels – many meats contain saline preservative) is safe for your ferrets to eat. Additionally, many non-human grade meats are also safe (raw pet foods, commercially ground raw, whole prey, etc).
Below is a list of food suggestions:
- beef (also veal)
- bison (buffalo)
- fish (mackerel, salmon, halibut, goldfish, etc also, fish oil is very good for them)
- venison and game meats
- rodents (mice, rats, african soft furred rats, guinea pigs, etc)
- cornish game hen
Some parts that are good to have of all of the above animals:
- heart (is a muscle meat but vital for the taurine)
- liver and other organs
- tongue (a muscle meat; beef tongue specifically is extremely high in taurine)
- brain (VERY nutritious organ meat – high in taurine and other nutrients)
- lung (great source of iron and Vitamin B, feed as a minimal part of “other organs” Read More)
- gizzards (is a muscle meat – great for cleaning teeth)
- chicken feet (good bone source – i.e. for a bone-in meat you could feet pork chops and chicken feet)
- necks (also a good bone source, may need to be smashed up)
- ribs (pork ribs have edible bones – usually that is right on the line of thickest bones they can eat, some ferrets can handle pork ribs other can’t eat the bones but can often still get the marrow out depending on the cut)
For weight gain if you ever need it, look around for some pork side, pork belly (not stomach, but the meat), or uncured bacon. It is all essentially the same thing – very fatty pieces of pork. Duck is also high in fat. In some places Duck is seasonal, but I find that my Asian market carries it year round. Their natural diet should be pretty high in fat naturally so unless you are feeding fatty meats as their primary diet you shouldn’t have to worry about them being too fattening. If anything they make up for the leanness of chicken.
Shopping for Meat:
Read more in Shopping for Raw
- Check Asian markets, Halal meat markets (African markets), other ethnic markets, and butchers. You can always ask if anyone can save scraps or special order for you.
- Look around too for a pet store that carries commercially ground raw meats. These are a GREAT way to add variety as they often have proteins that you won’t find in the store, and they usually have organ, heart, and bones ground into them (but not always so be sure to check). I can get commercial ground: pheasant, rabbit, chicken (Koda can’t eat this), turkey, beef (also a no-no for Koda), bison, quail, tripe.
- Also if you have trouble finding anything, there are other routes you can take. There are online providers where you can order commercially ground organ meat patties and other products. As a last resort, there are supplements that can help fill in the gaps temporarily. We recommend visiting the forum to ask for help if you are having trouble sourcing organs.