Raw “Soup” Recipe
Last Major Revision: 7/25/19
*NOTE: This “Soup” recipe is a switching tool meant for ferrets older than ~10 months of age. Younger ferrets, especially young kits, have not yet imprinted on their food and should accept pretty much anything you give them. Please use the Frankenprey Menu if you are trying to switch a ferret younger than 10 months.
- 8oz boneless raw chicken (thigh meat preferred)
- 1 oz raw chicken liver (or other raw liver)
- 1 oz raw chicken hearts (approximately 1-2 hearts) or 1 oz other raw heart
- ½ to ¾ tsp bonemeal or crushed egg shell (air-dry egg shell then crush with mortar and pestle or in a clean coffee grinder)
How to Make Soup:
- Weigh out your meat and organs. It is helpful to chop the meat into small pieces first.
- Add bone meal or egg shell.
- Add water until about the consistency of thick cream (no thinner!!). Blending up in a food processor is the easiest.
Warning: Do NOT put whole tendons or bones in your blender or you will break your blender!!
PLEASE USE HUMAN GRADE BONE MEAL POWDER! You don’t want to know what they put in the bone meal that they sell for pets…
On the Holistic Ferret Forum, if you read through the stickies in the raw feeding/mentoring section you can see how to hand-feed a ferret raw soup. Also see our page on the Scruff N Sample technique. This is recommended to start. We also use a little bit of salmon or fish oil (no more than 1 tsp total over the course of a week), and/or whole raw egg (no more than 1 chicken egg per ferret per week) to entice them to try to raw at first. Ferretone is not recommended because of the BHT (carcinogen) but you can mix 1/2 ferretone / 1/2 salmon oil to start and then wean the ferretone out of the mixture if you end up with a super picky ferret.
Generally weekly amounts that ferrets require (our weekly menu is based on these ratios):
- 65-70% muscle meat (heart, while a muscle, is included separately to ensure adequate taurine intake)
- 10% organ (1/2 liver, and 1/2 other organ which includes kidney, spleen, brains, etc.)
- 10% heart
- 10-15% EDIBLE bone
** Please note, we no longer advocate adding pumpkin to their diet due to insulinoma risks. The only time pumpkin should be used is in an emergency blockage situation. Read more on A Rant About Pumpkin.
Kibble can be used to “coat” the raw at first (i.e. kibble crumbs on the raw) but if you end up getting a kit, they should take to the raw no problem, older ferrets are definitely a bit trickier though. (CRUSH the kibble into tiny pieces and then “bread” the meat with it). this will not create a problem because the kibble is only “coating” the chunk of meat and the kibble is in very tiny pieces. if you can grind the kibble up in a clean coffee grinder, even better).
Taking away the kibble for 2-3 hours before offering the raw is recommended but only if you KNOW your ferret is healthy and does not have insulinoma (only really a concern if you get an older ferret with unknown health history, but getting a kit or seemingly healthy adult examined by your vet before the switch is also always recommended).
It is typically recommended to avoid mixing DRY kibble and WET raw due to concerns that kibble may alter the chemistry of the ferrets digestion which MAY create a potential for bacterial overgrowth which MAY cause funky poops and upset tummies.
Our soupy recipe is not to be used on pregnant jills and infant kits without proper direction or dietary supplements