Introducing Raw Soup and Hand Feeding

Introducing Your Ferret to Raw Soup

Once you know how to make your first batch of raw soup, please read through the following pages to prepare for the next step:

 

My Ferret Acts Like Raw is Poison…

When first introducing your ferret to raw soup (or sometimes any new food) it is very common for them to act like you are trying to poison them. Gagging, retching, and head-shaking are all common reactions when first introducing raw soup. This DOES NOT mean that your ferret can’t or won’t be switched. Ferrets imprint on their food between 9-12mo of age (some imprint even earlier). A ferret raised on kibble has to be taught that raw is edible. Your ferret has NO IDEA that raw meat is food. If someone put a bowl of crickets in front of you and said “eat up!” you would think they must be nuts – crickets aren’t food! Yet crickets are a great source of protein and are a staple diet in many countries – most of us simply haven’t been raised to view crickets as food. Similarly, a ferret imprinted on kibble has to LEARN that raw is not only edible, but delicious. Teaching them this is a gradual process that takes a lot of patience and persistence. But don’t worry – with determination and patience, and following our Switching Process one step at a time, even the most difficult ferrets can be switched. If you run into roadblocks, join our Facebook group to get troubleshooting help from our admin team.

My Ferret is too Old or too Young to be Switched…

False! Any ferret can be switched to raw with enough patience and determination. We have successfully switched ferrets from kithood to 9 years old. Ferrets can start eating raw meat as early as 4 weeks old, at which age Mamma-ferret will start teaching them to eat real food. They can start eating raw soup at around 4 weeks, and whole chunks and bones as early as 6 weeks.

Albino kits at 4 weeks eating raw with Mama Ferret. Photo Credit: Heather Downie; Misty Mountain Ferretry
Poley kits at 4 weeks eating raw soupies. Photo Credit: Heather Downie with Misty Mountain Ferretry
5 week old albino kit eating raw meaty bones. Photo Credit: Heather Downie with Misty Mountain Ferretry
Poley kits at 4 weeks eating raw soupies. Photo Credit: Heather Downie with Misty Mountain Ferretry
Albino kits at 6 weeks demolishing a rabbit quarter. Photo Credit: Heather Downie with Misty Mountain Ferretry
All that was left of a whole turkey leg after being left with a litter of 6 week old kits. Photo Credit: Heather Downie with Misty Mountain Ferretry
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While it can be more difficult to switch an older ferret due to them being imprinted on their food, and increased health issues in older ferrets, they can always be switched. Ferrets can start eating raw at ANY age of adulthood, no matter how long they have been on kibble. And no matter how old they may be, their health will absolutely benefit from the raw diet including improved muscle mass, improved hydration, cleaner teeth, more stable blood sugars, and overall better health.

Kota: age 7 when switched, now age 13! Photo Credit: Rosie Woodman
Sprite - switched at 6yo. Photo Credit: Rosie Woodman
Mousie - switched at 8yo. Photo Credit: Rosie Woodman
Lucy, Sprite, and Jareth - ages 7, 6, and 7 when switched. Photo Credit: Rosie Woodman
Koda and Mousie - ages 7yo and 8yo when switched. Photo Credit: Rosie Woodman
Logan - age 6-7yo when switched. Photo Credit: Jana Seliger
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