Basic Frankenprey Menu
Last Major Revision: 01/24/18
- Monday am: edible bone-in meat
- Monday pm: edible bone-in meat(or muscle)**
- Tuesday am: edible bone-in meat
- Tuesday pm: muscle meat
- Wednesday am: edible bone-in meat
- Wednesday pm: heart
- Thursday am: edible bone-in meat
- Thursday pm: edible bone-in meat (or muscle)**
- Friday am: edible bone-in meat
- Friday pm: ½ heart + ¼ liver + ¼ other organ
- Saturday am: edible bone-in meat
- Saturday pm: muscle meat
- Sunday am: edible bone-in meat
- Sunday pm: ½ liver + ½ other organ
For the Visual Learners:
– Read more on Balancing Frankenprey with Alternative Meals
**These two meals can be either bone-in or muscle meat depending on the consistency of your ferret’s poop. Dry, chalky and firm you should reduce the bone-in meals and feed muscle meat instead. Loose, unformed and overly liquid, increase the bone-in meals. Do not change the menu beyond these two optional meals or you could affect the nutritional balance of the diet.
Edible bone-in meat (7-9 meals per week):
Meat with bone included. It is NOT bones with just a bit of meat on them (ie: most of the meat removed) – if you fed bones like this you will throw the balance of the menu off. See below for some acceptable bone-in meats:
- Bone Sources:
- Chicken: any / all *except feet, which do not have enough MEAT to be considered a “bone-in MEAT”
- Quail: any / all
- Rabbit: any / all
- Turkey: necks, ribs, and wing tips
- Duck: neck, ribs, spine, and wing tips.
- Frog: any / all
- Any small, adult bird: pheasant, partridge, ptarmigan, etc: any/all
- Cornish game hen (CGH): any / all. NOTE: CGH is a young chicken with potentially immature bones and thus NOT acceptable as a primary source of bone in the menu. It should only be used as a bone-in meal for a few (1-3) meals per week maximum.
- Any commercial frozen raw with 10-15% ground bone.
- Any freeze dried raw with 10-15% ground bone.
- A note on Pork: Please note that pork ribs are NOT edible for most ferrets. If your ferret does not eat the bone, it does NOT count towards their bone content. However, some larger ferrets can handle pork button bones or rib ends.
Muscle meat (2-4 meals per week):
Any boneless meat that has not been processed (smoked, pickled, cured, preserved, injected with saline). Examples include chicken (including gizzard), turkey, duck, lamb, goat, beef, Cornish Game Hen (counts as chicken), venison, elk, etc.
– Note that gizzards are considered a muscle meat, NOT an organ.
See our page on Variety for more ideas!
Heart meat (1.5 meals per week):
While heart is a muscle, we include it in its own separate category because it is ABSOLUTELY necessary for adequate taurine. Lack of taurine in their diet can lead to neurological diseases, eyesight problems and other very serious health problems. Heart from any animal may be used, though we do not recommend rabbit as a main source of their heart content due to the generally low content of rabbit.
Beef tongue may be used in a pinch as a replacement for heart if you are having difficulty locating heart meat. Other sources of heart include online raw food providers.
IF you must supplement to replace heart, we recommend 500mg Taurine Powder per ferret per day, divided across meals. Supplementation is not ideal for long-term, as supplements are thought to be less well absorbed than dietary sources of taurine. However, if you cannot find heart or beef tongue, then you MUST supplement with taurine or you risk your ferret developing very serious medical problems due to taurine deficiency. We recommend always having some powdered taurine on hand when raw feeding in case you are ever faced with a local shortage of heart meat.
Organ meat (1.5 meals per week):
Note: At LEAST 1/2 of the total organ content should consist of liver.
Liver, kidney, thymus, pancreas, reproductive organs, lung, brain, basically any part of the body that secretes. Read more HERE.
Organ Replacement Supplement
In a pinch, you can use Pet G.O. Powder as a TEMPORARY replacement for organ content if you are unable to find organs in your area. However, you should continue to search for a supplier of raw organ meat for an optimally balanced raw diet. Check out our page on Raw and Whole Prey Providers.
Fat is an important part of a carnivore’s diet as this is where they get their energy. It works for them in the same way carbs do for humans. Make sure to pick fattier cuts over leaner cuts when buying your meat (thigh vs. breast, shoulder vs. tenderloin, etc)
For optimal health a minimum (more is preferable) of 3-4 different proteins need to be in the diet. At least one of the minimum 4 proteins needs to be something other than chicken/game hen, rabbit, or fish. This is to ensure enough Vit B, iron, and a good base of taurine in the diet (most taurine comes from the heart in their diet however). Additionally, it is strongly recommended that at least one of their proteins consist of a red meat (beef, goat, venison, lamb, etc).
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 (If the bone is too thick or strong for a ferret to chew and digest, their body won’t be able to use it toward their calcium requirements)
- 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