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Old 07-10-2009, 06:34 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Default Ferret Owners

I had to run off to the pet store today to by some litter and ferret food. I know that there is many different types of food out on the market. I also know that with ferrets, no ferret food company is really made for what a ferret needs. Nobody really knows what exactly they need in a diet, which is why it is usually suggested to use multiple types of ferret food. Because even food companies that are great for most dogs, like Evo, really doesn't know what ferrets need either so really, they aren't much better. Actually, I have heard many people have bad things to say about Evo ferret food.

So I was just wondering, what kind of food do you guys feed your ferret(s)? Have you found that "winning formula" for your pet?
Do you give supplements?
Do you mix ferret and kitten food?
What kind of litter do you use?
Treats?

I, personally, feed Rascal Ultimate ferret food mixed with Whiskas kitten food. I have tried all food that is sold, and Rascal was always underweight and didn't have as much energy. Now with this mix of food, his coat looks great, he has tons of energy and "spunk", and he is a perfect weight for him He also gets chicken and broth baby food every week, to help with the coat shine and with the weight.

He also gets supplemented with FerretLax, FerreTone, and FerretVite. FerretLax is for hairballs and to make sure he doesn't get them, FerreTone I mainly use for cutting his nails, and FerretVite gets used for the vitamins.

I use a litter called "Premium Ferret Litter". It is 100% recycled newspaper. It's the same thing as Yesterday's News, but a cheaper price. (I have used yesterday's news, it looks and feels and smells the exact same even lol). I also use this baking powder formula that is sold for cats under the litter. It absorbs the urine, therefore decreasing the scent.

Rascal gets Whiskas temptations and Meow Mix drumsticks for treats. He will not eat ferret treats, no matter if its chicken flavored or not.
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Goodbye, Rosey. You were the best girl I could have asked for. 10/15/96-03/08/13
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:25 PM
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Labyrinth Labyrinth is offline
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I feed Feline Innova Evo. I've heard nothing but good things about it. I think minimum amount of protein you want for a ferret food is 36% but Evo has 50% minimum. Usually it is recommended to feed a mix of a few different foods in case the formula gets changed your ferret may decide to starve themselves rather than eat the new formula, but I've always been lucky and haven't had any picky eaters. Occasionally they'll get my "duck soup" which is boiled chicken, softened kibble, raw egg (shell included), and water. For laxative I use vaseline. It's basically the same as ferret lax, but without the unneeded sugars. I have Ferretvite as a sometimes treat, but mostly it's just for my insulinomic ferret to supplement his medication. For every day treats I give them N-Bones, they absolutely LOVE those things.

For litter I use Yesterday's News (from the cat aisle, they charge more for anything in the ferret aisle), but I don't use any powders in it since that's easily inhaled especially if you've got a litter snorkler like I do

And just a couple of quick pictures:

This is Charlie, my youngest. He's about 3 months old in this picture.


This is Munky. He is 5 and a half years old. He has adrenal and insulinoma.


This is Pipsqueak. He is 5 years and 5 months old. He has adrenal.
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:12 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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I feed raw. I didn't realize how much its changed Izzy's skin and coat until I took her to the vet and the vet went on and on about it. And now that we have a new addition, I can see the comparison.
I have "supplemented" with innova EVO feline. That's what she was on while I was switching to raw. I did a lot of research on food before I got a fert, because I didn't want to feed crappy food. I'd picked up a bag of marshalls and I think 8 in 1 and read the ingredients and was not happy! I applied what I learned about dog food, did research for ferrets and picked the EVO while switching. I still have some of it, and I offer it now with the new addition. I was keeping it in the cage because I was afraid they would go too long without food when I fed raw in the morning and then in the evening when I get off of work. But she wasn't eating it once she was switched to raw, she preferred the meat!
I use ferrevite &/or ferretone (sp?) but usually just for when I attempt training, or for cutting nails
I also use yesterdays news litter (the HUGE bag in the cat aisle at my locally owned pet store is the same exact thing as in the ferret aisle, but cheaper lol. I buy in bulk and its cheaper for me). I have tried a couple other litters but hated it!

I need to get a more recent pic of Izzy!
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:17 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brattina88 View Post
I feed raw. I didn't realize how much its changed Izzy's skin and coat until I took her to the vet and the vet went on and on about it. And now that we have a new addition, I can see the comparison.
I have "supplemented" with innova EVO feline. That's what she was on while I was switching to raw. I did a lot of research on food before I got a fert, because I didn't want to feed crappy food. I'd picked up a bag of marshalls and I think 8 in 1 and read the ingredients and was not happy! I applied what I learned about dog food, did research for ferrets and picked the EVO while switching. I still have some of it, and I offer it now with the new addition. I was keeping it in the cage because I was afraid they would go too long without food when I fed raw in the morning and then in the evening when I get off of work. But she wasn't eating it once she was switched to raw, she preferred the meat!
I use ferrevite &/or ferretone (sp?) but usually just for when I attempt training, or for cutting nails
I also use yesterdays news litter (the HUGE bag in the cat aisle at my locally owned pet store is the same exact thing as in the ferret aisle, but cheaper lol. I buy in bulk and its cheaper for me). I have tried a couple other litters but hated it!

I need to get a more recent pic of Izzy!
I wanted to go raw... Rascal will NOT touch meat. Unless its baby food, or 100% chicken treats. I even pureed chicken, and he wouldn't touch it. I wish I had gotten him while he was younger.

Rascal got very, very sick on Evo. Now he eats it sometimes (when he's at a playdate), and he does fine, with the little amounts. I read some more into kibble, and really for ferrets, they are all crap. Thus being why I wanted to switch to raw... if Rascal wasn't so picky about his food
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Goodbye, Rosey. You were the best girl I could have asked for. 10/15/96-03/08/13
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2009, 03:47 PM
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Chewbecca Chewbecca is offline
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I SO WISH I could own a ferret.
I have yet to meet a ferret I didn't ADORE.

Where do ferrets originate from in the wild???

They remind me of meerkats (or vice versa).

Speaking of Evo Ferret kibble, I ran to the store to get some cat kibble for my tortoise (go figure!), and I ALMOST got Evo ferret food for him instead.
I think I stuck with the evo feline because it had taurine and ferret food does not.

Ferrets will really starve themselves than eat food they don't like?????

How long do ferrets tend to live?
How come much isn't known about their diet?
I can relate, though, as not much is known about redfoot tortoise diet, so I'm running into issues of knowing what kind of animal protein is best to feed him.
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:49 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbecca View Post
I SO WISH I could own a ferret.
I have yet to meet a ferret I didn't ADORE.

Where do ferrets originate from in the wild???
It is thought that they originate from the Mediterranean area, but it has not yet been confirmed.

They remind me of meerkats (or vice versa).

Speaking of Evo Ferret kibble, I ran to the store to get some cat kibble for my tortoise (go figure!), and I ALMOST got Evo ferret food for him instead.
I think I stuck with the evo feline because it had taurine and ferret food does not.

Ferrets will really starve themselves than eat food they don't like?????
I bring Rascal to Allie's house to play with her 2, and she feeds them Evo. Until recently, Rascal would not eat and fast himself (even when we were there for 2 or 3 days), then would eat lots when we got home, if I didn't lock him up and give him his own food. Now, I'm not sure if he was just too excited and forgot to eat when he was with the other 2, or what. Ferrets imprint their food before 6 months of age, after that age, most will not try new things, as it doesn't register as food to them.

How long do ferrets tend to live?
This all depends on the ferret themselves. Usually they say about 6-8 years domesticated. However, after 3 years of age, ferrets are considered "seniors" and it is very rare for a ferret to not have a health problem by this age.

How come much isn't known about their diet?
Ferrets being kept as pets is fairly "new". Nobody knows what for sure ferrets will eat in the wild, thus meaning that nobody knows what they need to live happily and healthily. While some ferrets will strive and do awesome on one brand of food, other ferrets will do bad on it. It's also all about substituting vitamins for them and such, also which is why they suggest you mix different types of ferret food and kitten food, and keep switching around until you find your ferrets "perfect formula".

I can relate, though, as not much is known about redfoot tortoise diet, so I'm running into issues of knowing what kind of animal protein is best to feed him.
Feel free to ask any more questions as they arise! I'm fairly new to ferret owning (have had my guy for 3 years this September), so I'm still learning, but I'm sure even owners who have had them for 15 years still learn new things! They sure are awesome little buggers to be owned by
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Goodbye, Rosey. You were the best girl I could have asked for. 10/15/96-03/08/13
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:18 PM
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Linds Linds is offline
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I don't post a lot on here but couldn't resist with the talk about ferrets

I've got six (five males and one female) and I feed a rotation of different foods. I don't like to mix like so many ferret people say and much prefer a rotation of food. I feed Wellness Core, Orijen, Evo, Blue Buffalo Wilderness and am thinking of adding Instinct Rabbit to it even though it's a little lower in protein than I like to go.

It's worked well doing a rotation and I've never had trouble getting them to eat new food, even if they've never had it before. The most that I've had is one of mine (Loon) will have a tantrum and dig the new food out of the bowl looking for what he wants.

I've heard and experienced nothing bad with Evo. Evo and Wilderness are my gangs favorite.

I also add in some raw meat and whole prey when I can. With six ferrets I would have to start my own breeding colony of rodents to be able to feed it all the time.

It's going well, all my weasels are happy and healthy without any illnesses so far. My oldest at 7 is still going strong

I use yesterday's news for cats also.

I don't give them treats unless it's some Nature's Variety or some Canned food but I don't really see them as treats
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:57 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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Jess if you google the Holistic Ferret Forum, they have a switching to raw mentor program - its pretty awesome. A mentor is assigned to you, and some of the dedicated ones will not only exchange e-mail but phone # as well to help assist you in switching to raw. I've read some past ones - and there were a couple where I would've given up on but they are successfully eating raw now! But I'm not bashing the non-raw diet. Each person/animal is an individual so its impossible to say your pet needs to eat X brand of food or they will suffer
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:25 AM
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dobesgalore dobesgalore is offline
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We feed our two ferrets Zupreem ferret food, with a small about of canola oil. We use either Aspen litter, or the marshall ferret litter.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:56 AM
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FoxyWench FoxyWench is offline
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i used to do a rotation of foods for mine but always wanted to go raw...

now im going to be living with 2 again who are marshals fed (yucky) so im going to try and convince them to switch over to raw, (or at the very least a better kibble)
i HATE marshals food, fish = stinky and not natural for ferts.

my uncle used to have ferts still used them for rabbiting and they got to eat what they caught, 10 ferts ravaging a rabbit carcas was an impressive but grusome sight.

there related to weasles whos natural diet in the wild would consit of small rodents, birds (particularly young) eggs, insects (usually the likes of crickets) and rabbits, theyll even eat snake if they can catch them.

ferrets in the uk are still used to flush rabbit warrens even now and usually whatever the farmer catches they get some of.
you see a huge difference in ferrets when you compare a british bred/kept ferret and an american bred/kept ferret side by side, the brittish bred are much larger stockier ferts with a thicker coat, raw feeding in the uk is much more common and farm bred ferrets less, so im assuming thats what makes the difference.
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