Generally, when you’re asking yourself what the proper diet for a pet should be, it’s a good idea to find out what they would be eating in the wild. Birds are definitely on the menu for ferrets, so YES, you can feed them quail. Read on, to find out how you should do it.
Quails are small birds, which are raised in large numbers for their eggs mostly. They’re not a common bird in a Westerner’s diet, but they can be fairly easily found. Due to their size, they are a good choice if you want to feed a ferret with the whole prey diet. Both the birds and their eggs are useful for a ferret owner.
Can Ferrets Eat Quail? What Are Its Advantages?
Yes, ferrets can eat quail. This bird is often used as part of a whole prey diet, being given to the ferret in its entirety. The idea is that you give the ferret food in the same form as it would find it out in the wild.
The advantages of quail meat are numerous, and they’ve been mentioned in relation to the human diet as well. Below are a couple of advantages and benefits that the quail brings when it’s included in a pet’s diet, either as meat or eggs.
- Better Eye Vision: this is coming from the quail’s eggs, which have vitamin A, luthein and zeaxanthin. The ferret’s body uses them to keep the eye safe from blue light.
- Helps the bonus become stronger: the reason is that there is calcium and phosphor in the bird’s meat, both of which are useful for bone density and strength. You don’t get this advantage from too many other sources that a ferret would eat, so this is a big reason why you should include quail in a ferret’s diet.
- Skin care: thanks to the presence of Vitamin E in its meat, the quail is also going to contribute to a ferret’s skin care.
How About Quail In A Whole Prey Diet?
Feeding a ferret quail carcasses is often done as part of a whole prey diet. The quail is fed raw, with bones and organs. It’s up to you if you leave the feathers as well, and you might not be able to find the birds in that form anyway.
The idea is that you’re feeding a ferret the same way as it would eat in the wild, and so it’s getting the same nutrients. It allows ferrets to have a balanced diet.
As carnivores, ferrets will eat a variety of carcasses of birds, mammals and amphibians, so you should try to replicate that diet for your pet as much as possible.
Quail is a great option to include in a whole prety diet, but it shouldn’t be the only one used. Add other types of carcasses that you can get from pet shops or regular shops.
You shouldn’t cut it up for them. Ripping the meat and bones apart is part of the process, and ferrets enjoy doing it. It also helps clean their gums and teeth, and exercises their neck and jaw muscles.
Are Quail Eggs OK To Eat?
Yes, you can feed quail eggs to your ferret. However, it should be done more as a treat, rather than a staple of their diet. Since they’re rich in fats, you should only give ferrets up to 5 quail eggs per week (they’re smaller than chicken eggs, so you can use more of them). They can be offered in whole form.
During shedding season, the number of quail eggs can be doubled or tripled. Pay attention to the ferret’s stool, to figure out if it causes them any stomach upsets.
A single quail egg will weigh about 9-10 grams, will have 14 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 1 gram of protein. It’s about 2 inches/5 cm long.
How Often Should Quail Be Fed To Ferrets?
Quail meat can be included in a ferret’s diet on a daily basis. It should be given to them in raw form, as a whole prey carcass, for them to do as they please. They will typically leave just the beak, claws and feathers behind.
If the ferret doesn’t enjoy quail meat that much, then you can give them something else, such as chicken, rabbit, rats, mice (small birds or rodents generally). However, because quail meat includes a couple of vitamins and useful substances that are difficult to get from other foods, you should still include it in their diet at least once per week.
Quail meat can be obtained from supermarkets, butchers, or from quail breeders (quail eggs are a delicacy enjoyed in many parts of the world).