I believe that kibble fed ferrets need to have their food available for themselves almost all the time. Most I believe free feed. Raw fed ferrets because of the better use and absorbtion of nutrients can be fed 2 or 3 times a day ciao
Post by carpetsharks37 on Nov 14, 2011 0:34:27 GMT -5
That's the unfortunate thing about kibble I would make sure you give him access to it outside the cage too or put him back in the cage once every 2 hours during play time to eat. Change it once a day too, as the stuff goes stale pretty quick with air.
AS has been mentioned but can't be said enough - natural fed ferrets don't have to have food in front of them all the time - 2 feedings about 12 hours apart is more than adequate. Because of the high nutrient content and total digestible nutrients of natural raw and whole prey it just isn't necessary to keep food in front of them all day long.
That being said, I know in my house I do give them a raw or whole prey meal in the morning. Leave for work and will often leave some sort of freeze dried or dehydrated item behind - if what I gave them was more meat than bone. These items give them something to gnaw on. When I come home they get another raw or whole prey item . I work long hours so there is usually 12 hours between feedings.
I do leave out a lard lick for them and of course fresh water in a crock.
My only non convert was a confirmed kibble cruncher and he came to me on a vet prescription kibble. but even as a prescription diet it was ground corn and corn meal based. IF your kibble is grain, rice, corn, oat, barley based and has fruits and veggies in the ingredients your ferret will have to eat mounds and mounds of it to even get a few nutrients. Eventually this will cause health issues for the ferret.
But it is possible to offer better quality kibble and the first thing you'll notice is the ferret's intake will slow down.
Don't judge the quality of the kibble by its price. Plenty of high priced kibble is grain based and full of fruits and veggies or sweeteners. Choose ones that list real meat sources in the the first 5 ingredients,preferrably ones that have multiple real meat sources and ones that are "low carb".
Check out the change in DaVinci from the vet prescription diet after three weeks on a Grain Free mix:
I leave Pixel her food at all times in her cage or else she gets angry and chews the cage bars or knocks her food bowl over or dumps over her water dish. She is only in her cage when me ad my husband are sleeping or are at work though.. other then that she is free around the house.
She eats Purina SMART BLEND kitten chow (1st ingredient is real chicken!) (:
Post by freyamarie on Nov 14, 2011 11:47:49 GMT -5
Right now my kids are free-fed Epigen90 kibble, and get soupies 2x day (mix of epigen90 and arch1, soon to include freeze dried raw). They def. chow down on the kibble, but God help us all if they don't get their soupies! spoiled fuzzies!
Here are the ingredients of the kitten chow sassyful(not including all the chemicals):
Chicken...meat- good for nutrition
chicken by-product meal... Chicken by-product meal, like poultry by-product, is made of "dry, ground, rendered clean parts of the chicken carcass" according to AAFCO and may contain the same ingredients as poultry-by product. Chicken by-product can vary in quality from batch to batch. Chicken by-product costs less than chicken muscle meat and lacks the digestibility of chicken muscle meat
corn gluten meal...Corn gluten meal (often simply called CGM) is a byproduct of corn (maize) processing that has historically been used as an animal feed. It can also be used as an organic herbicide. It is also known as a cheap filler, since it's totally non digestible by a carnivore and has been known to contribute to blockage risk.
brewers rice...Brewers rice is the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice. (AAFCO definition). Brewers rice is a processed rice product that is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground rice and brown rice thus reducing the quality Brewers rice and second heads are one of the many byproducts that rice milling creates. Second heads are milled rice kernels that are one half to three quarters of the original kernel. Brewers rice is a milled rice kernel that is one quarter to half the size of a full kernel. Second heads, depending on their quality are used to make rice flour. "If the quality of the second heads are poor, they will be sold for pet food or dairy feed. Brewers rice is sold for pet food and dairy feed exclusively. It is also simply filler, and non digestible by carnivores.
soybean meal... Soybean meal is a flour made by grinding the solid residue of soybean oil production. It is widely used as a filler and source of protein in animal diets, including pig, chicken, cattle, horse, sheep, and fish feed. Also a filler, and non digestible by carnivores. Soy is also known to cause allergic reactions.
animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E)...Can use this, but is far down the list, meaning there is a minimal amount. And it's preservative is a non digestible.
fish meal (source of DHA),...Can use this, but again, very far down the ingredient list.
whole grain corn...not only non digestible, but has been known to increase blockage risk in ferrets. Used only as a cheap filler, and to increase protein counts in pet foods.
poultry by-product meal... Poultry by-product meal (PBM) is a high-protein commodity used as a major component in some pet foods. It is made from grinding clean, rendered parts of poultry carcasses and can contain bones, offal and undeveloped eggs, but only contains feathers that are unavoidable in the processing of the poultry parts. Poultry by-product meal quality and composition can change from one batch to another. Again, so far down the list as to be negligible.
animal liver flavor...All I can find on this is that it's non toxic to humans. Given that they say "flavor" instead of actual "liver", I have to assume it's a chemical.
soy protein isolate...Again, another non digestible for carnivores, and as stated before, known to trigger allergic reations. Soy also contains artificial female hormones so it is inadvisable to give too often.
Ferrets: Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Cody, Lucrezia, Suki, Aristotle. Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie . RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
Post by miamiferret2 on Nov 14, 2011 15:55:13 GMT -5
kibble fed ferrets are usually standing at their food bowls like every 3-4 hours. and that is why you get a ton of poop to clean up. my ferret (raw meat diet) eats two big meals a day (approx 7:30 a.m. and at around 8:30 p.m.) he get freeze dried raw (dry form) in his bowls to snack on in between meals. I notice that during the day he will sometimes go 8-12 hours without eating. he snacks alot more at night though. when i wake up i notice that there are a few pieces of freeze dried gone.
oh... I recommend that you ditch the Kitten Chow. i dislike any kibbles but there are much better ones than kitten chow.
if you must feed kibble, I would feed the Wysong FERRET Epigen 90.