As pure carnivores, ferrets need raw meat more than anything. You can find a wide range of food options but nothing can compare to the nutrients raw meat and whole prey have. If you decide to feed your ferret anything else, you need to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need and use supplements for the ones the food lacks.
Cheap raw meat comes from weird places and the one that is 100% safe can be a bit pricey. This is why many people prefer getting cheap meat and cook it to make sure the ferrets don’t get sick (with Salmonella, etc). But this method of feeding has both advantages and disadvantages.
Can ferrets eat cooked meat?
Raw meat and whole prey contain everything your ferret needs, not just to live but to thrive as well. But it can be expensive for some and a bit disgusting for others, especially vegans. A raw diet means you need to offer your ferret whole prey, like mice, hamsters, rabbits, birds, etc. This can be very disturbing for some people.
And while the chicken is the most used type of meat for ferrets, you will also have to give your pet intestines, organs, cartilages, a rabbit foot from now and then, etc. This is basically giving them a whole prey while splitting it in various meals over the week. And if you don’t have the time or stomach for this, then you can resort to the next best thing, which is cooked meat.
Cooking the meat is a lot easier for many people, while owners who feed raw diets find cooking as unnecessary extra work. It’s extremely important to keep in mind that some of the nutrients of the meat get destroyed during cooking. This means you will have to talk to your vet and find supplements that can replace them.
There are various types of meat you can choose from but some are more ideal for ferrets than others. For example, while fish is still meat, it’s actually completely useless for ferrets as their bodies don’t benefit from any of the nutrients a fish contains. You should also avoid giving them cured meats, such as pepperoni.
Can ferrets eat cooked beef?
One of the most popular types of meat is none other than beef. It’s very delicious and most of us have it in our house anyway. Ferrets will love it both raw and cooked. But it’s not the best meat for your pet as it’s a little bit too dense for its digestive system.
Ferrets have very short digestive tracks, which means they have a short time to absorb all the nutrients they need from the food. The more dense the meat is, the harder it will be for the ferret’s body to take what it needs before it gets passed out.
Cooked beef is a good option but you will still have to make sure the ferret gets everything it needs with the help of supplements.
Can ferrets eat cooked chicken?
This is the to-go meat for any ferret owner. It’s very affordable and it contains everything your ferret needs, including taurine, which is extremely important for their bodies. Raw chicken is the best food for your ferret but cooked chicken does the trick as well.
Cooked chicken can also stay a bit longer in the cage so your ferret won’t get sick as easily if it stashes a piece and eats it later. Make sure you’re getting your chicken from a good source as extremely cheap chicken can be very dangerous. It’s better to pay a bit more than a fortune on vet bills.
Can ferrets eat cooked pork?
Pork is the same as beef. It’s pretty dense and it’s not really recommended for ferrets, although as an occasional substitute it can work very well. Pork can also be extremely fat and you need to remember that the meat your ferret eats needs to be only around 18% fat.
Cooked pork usually has a lot less fat and is actually a better choice. But make sure that you’re not using any pre-cooked meat as it’s salted and seasoned. You should also never use salt or anything like that when you’re cooking the meat for your ferret.
Are cooked bones OK to serve?
Ferrets need to chew bones to maintain their teeth clean and healthy. But they should only be given raw bones as the cooked ones can easily splinter and harm the ferret’s mouth, teeth, throat, intestines, etc. While their stomachs have the necessary acids to deal with the bone once it gets there, until it reaches the stomach, a splinter can do a lot of damage.
If you can’t get a raw bone, you can use bone powder in their food so they can still benefit from some of the nutrients.