How to Start Raw Feeding

How to Start Raw Feeding – A Roadmap

Starting the journey to raw feeding can be intimidating at first, but we are here to try to make your journey as smooth as possible. Below we have created a helpful roadmap for the diet info on this website. Click on each link/page title for more info!

Critical Reading:

Natural Diet – a very brief topic review

Raw Diet – The MEAT of the Site – a list of some of the key Raw Feeding pages on the site

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The Switch – a step-by-step review of the entire process of switching your ferret to a Raw Diet

—- Transitioning from Grinds to Frankenprey – a guide to help you switch from Grinds to chunks of meat and bones

—- How to Hand Feed a Ferret Raw Meat – explanations and videos on the “Scruff and Sample” and other hand-feeding methods

Raw Soup Recipe – the recipe for making a balanced Raw Soup

Basic Frankenprey Menu – a “plug and chug” menu, with explanations, for you to build your ferrets a properly balanced Raw Diet

Balancing Frankenprey with Alternative Meals – a chart to help you balance the Frankenprey Menu above with whole prey and balanced grinds

Variety – a blurb on recommended variety and a list of some of the many types of meat you can feed your ferrets

Organ Meats – what does and does not constitute an “organ meat” for your raw diet

 

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Gather your Supplies:

Before staring your switch, you will want to have some basic supplies, listed below.

Kitchen scale for weighing your ferret and meat items

– A good blender

– Cutting tools – suggestions include: Ulu knife, Meat Cleaver, Poultry Scissors

– Something to crush bones – suggestions include: Ulu knife, heavy-duty meat mallet, or a regular hammer

– If you plan to use powdered eggshell, you will need a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle

– Meat storage: ziplock bags or plastic tupperware containers to store prepared meals in the freezer. Optional – ice cube tray to freeze cubes of pureed raw soup.

– Ingredients to make raw soup (see link to recipe above), unless your ferret is already past the soup stage. This includes chicken (or other meat), liver, heart, and bonemeal (preferred) or powdered eggshell.

 

Shopping for Raw – some tips on finding the meats that you need to feed a balanced raw diet

Raw and Whole Prey Providers – a list of online retailers who sell raw meat, whole prey, raw grinds, and freeze dried raw products for your ferrets

Soup for switch:
8oz chicken (or other meat)
1oz liver (about 1/2 of a chicken liver)
1oz heart (about 2 chicken hearts)
1/2 to 3/4 tsp bonemeal or powdered egg shell

 

Defining a “Meal:”

Please note that when we refer to a “Meal,” we refer to the total amount of food a ferret will eat in a 12-hour period. This means that the AM (morning) meal is breakfast and all food eaten during the day, and the PM (evening) meal is dinner and all food eaten overnight.

Determining How Much to Feed Per Meal:

Note that the amount of food a ferret will eat each day will vary from ferret to ferret, season to season, and day to day. Ferrets typically eat significantly more during the fall/winter, and less in the spring/summer. Males typically eat more than females. Kits and young ferrets eat significantly more than adults.

  • On AVERAGE adult females will eat 1-3oz per day, and adult males will eat 2-4oz per day.

Raw fed ferrets very rarely over-eat; they are great at self-regulating. Unless you have a ferret who is overweight, they should be offered as much food as they will eat. A good rule of thumb is to always offer enough that there are a few bites leftover by the next meal. This ensures that they get enough food, while minimizing waste.

To determine how much your ferret needs each meal, we recommend weighing the amount of food offered each meal, and then weighing the leftovers before the next meal. (Subtract the two to see how much they ate). Do this for several days to get an idea of how much your ferret eats per meal in order to determine how much food you should prepare. You may want to do this in the winter and again in summer to get a feel for your ferret’s seasonal variations.

Reviewing Weekly Balance:

Weekly amounts that ferrets require in Percentages:

  • 10% organ
    • 1/2 (5% total diet) liver
    • 1/2 (5% total diet) other organ
  • 10% heart
  • 10-15% EDIBLE bone
  • 65-70% muscle meat

Weekly amounts that ferrets require in Meals per Week:

  • 1.5 meals organ (1/2 liver, and 1/2 other organ)
  • 1.5 meals heart
    • Note: many find it easiest to offer 3 meals per week that consist of a Blend of 1/2 heart, 1/4 liver, and 1/4 other organs. This will add up to the required 1.5 meals of heart and 1.5 meals of organ (half liver, half other).
  • 7-9 meals bone-in meat
  • 2-4 meals boneless muscle meat

 

Start The Switch:

The Switch – a step-by-step review of the entire process of switching your ferret to a Raw Diet