Shopping For A Frankenprey /Whole-prey Diet
Author: Jason Raynor
Also see the Google Doc Version
Depending on where you live, finding some of the food required for a balanced Frankenprey menu can be difficult. Organs and off cuts, once easily found as cheap meat sources for people, have decreased in popularity in recent decades. Below we will list some strategies for finding what you need.
Standard Grocery Store
Usually has a good selection of muscle meats and bone-in meats a ferret can eat. Some of the less popular poultry may be in the frozen meat section (quail, duck, etc). They may or may not have chicken hearts, livers and kidneys. Beef/calf liver should be available. Depending on your store you might also find beef heart and kidneys.
NOTE: Don’t be afraid to ask at the meat counter. They might be able to order stuff in for you if they realize there might be a market for it.
Butcher / Small Meat Processor
Often have off cuts and more flexibility in ordering specific things for you. Can be cheaper or more expensive depending on your area. Some even cater to raw feeders.
Asian and Latin markets often have a better selection of organ meats, poultry, and various unique proteins than standard grocery stores. Often cheaper prices than standard grocery chains. If the staff don’t speak English, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a fellow customer who might speak both languages. At 6” tall and 400 lbs I often feel out of place in Asian markets 😉 but still manage to find lots of friendly people willing to help if needed.
Some slaughterhouses have a small retail office attached and will sell directly to the public. Depending on what they process they should have access to just about everything you need (maybe not bone-in meats if they don’t process poultry). Some have specific pet food sections in their retail areas. Prices are usually very good because there is no cost to ship and store product.
Raw Feeding Co-Op
In some areas, raw feeders pool their resources and actually make large purchases straight from a slaughterhouse and then divide up the meat. These groups are usually for dogs but they can be a great resource of information if nothing else. Usually found online in your area if they exist. Prices are usually good due to bulk ordering.
Can be a great resource for meat for your ferrets. Especially organic or hormone free if that is what you are looking for. Much cheaper than what you’d find in the stores. Prices are usually very good because there is no cost to ship and store product.
If you know people who hunt they often have scraps or organs that they do not use. Ask ahead of time and they may be willing to give you some. Also, make sure you know the laws in your area. It may be illegal for a hunter to actually “sell” you part of their kill. They may be open to barter or a trade of services however.
NOTE: Make SURE to read our document “Can I Feed Wild Game Meat?” before deciding to approach hunters.
Online Frankenprey / Whole Prey Resources
Also see our page on Raw and Whole Prey Providers
U.S. Rabbit Breeders
Ontario, Canada Rabbit Breeders
Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow (U.S.)
My Pet Carnivore (U.S.)
Casey’s Hidden Pantry (US)