What makes ferret food good quality?
The ideal ferret food should be made from high-quality ingredients with all the supplements your ferrets need to stay happy and healthy.
A single component diet, in the form of ferret kibble, pellets or nuggets is beneficial, as it helps prevent selective feeding and ensures your ferrets get all the essential vitamins and minerals they need in each tasty bite.
Choosing easy-to-feed ferret nuggets is also clean, and convenient – it does not attract flies, as can happen with fresh meat, which sometimes also contain harmful bacteria. A high-quality complete ferret food should include:
- High levels of protein and fat for obligate carnivores
- A natural prebiotic to stimulate the beneficial gut bacteria and aid healthy digestion
- Natural antioxidants to support the immune system
- Zinc, biotin and taurine to support all-round health
- Linseed for coat condition
- Vitamins A, D3 and E for healthy skin, coat, teeth and bones
- No artificial flavours or colours
- No added preservatives
Don’t forget to provide lots of fresh, clean water. Water bottles with a metal spout are ideal, but ferrets can also drink from a bowl – just make sure it’s a heavy, ceramic one that they can’t tip over while they’re dashing about their accommodation!
Why do ferrets need a specialised diet?
Ferrets have very specific nutritional requirements, which is due to a number of factors:
- Ferrets have a high metabolic rate and turn food into energy very quickly.
- They have a short gut, which means food passes through them quickly and they need to eat every few hours.
- Ferrets are strict or ‘obligate’ carnivores – which means, like cats, they have to eat meat to survive and thrive as it contains important nutrients they can’t get from other types of food. However, feeding a ferret diet of just meat without calcium can lead to the softening of the bones.
- Ferrets can’t digest lactose (a sugar found in dairy products such as milk and cheese) or carbohydrates (found in starchy foods such as rice, potato and bread) so it’s best to avoid food with these ingredients. In addition, certain foods, including, grapes and raisins, are poisonous to ferrets.
The solution is to choose a high quality ferret food that contains a carefully balanced mix of all the protein and supplements these small carnivores require.
Treats in small amounts can be provided occasionally – such as a little cooked chicken or half a boiled egg. Be aware that ferrets like to stow food away, so always remove any secret stashes!
When should I feed my ferrets and how often?
Because ferrets have a very high metabolic rate, and a short digestive tract, they process food very quickly. This means they need to eat little and often. Leaving ferret pellets out throughout the day will allow them to eat at will. Follow the on-pack instructions and weigh out all their food each day, so you know they’re getting the correct amount
How can I make feeding my ferrets more fun?
Active, curious and clever, ferrets are natural puzzle-solvers and will enjoy foraging for their food. Measure out their daily allowance of ferret nuggets and hide some of it in tunnels or in paper bags around their ferret housing, so they can have lots of fun searching for it.
You could also try filling a Kong toy or treat ball with some of their daily ration, so they can keep both mind and body busy figuring out how to get their paws on their tasty titbits.
How do I switch from another brand to Burgess Excel ferret nuggets?
If your ferrets haven’t eaten Burgess Excel Ferret Nuggets before, you can safely transition your ferrets’ diet over a period of 7-10 days by gradually reducing the old food and replacing it with Excel ferret food.
In the first few days, measure out your ferrets’ normal food intake for the day. Take out a small amount and replace with the same amount of the new nuggets. Mix them together so that your ferrets eat a combination of the two.
Each day, slightly reduce their old ferret food, and replace it with slightly more of their new food. At the end of the transition period, your ferrets should be eating their new nuggets happily with no issues!
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