Q: Can my ferrets eat eggs safely? I’ve read conflicting information in a ferret forum I’m on. About half of ferret owners say eggs are fine and healthy for ferrets’ coats, and half say eggs (raw or cooked) are not safe in a ferret’s diet.
A: I too have read conflicting information on this. There are lots of ‘groups’ that love to boast about feeding ferrets raw meats and eggs and there are other ‘groups’ who feel it really is unsafe.
In my opinion, it is possible to feed ferrets whole eggs. When they’re older, around 6 months old, you’ll be able to give them one raw egg in 7 days. Provided they’re not given over 1-2 eggs in one week as they can cause constipation. Some do it raw, and some cook the eggs.
There are no nutritional benefits to feeding raw eggs – plus they can cause a big mess. When we give our ferrets eggs, we just scramble them in a little bit of oil, and the ferrets go nuts for them.
Good treats you can give your ferret are:
- baby food that contains PURE meat (gerber chicken baby meals is nice)
- raw eggs.
- fried eggs,
- hard boiled eggs, (leave the shells on for added calcium),
- cooked/boiled meat with a LITTLE fat on it,
- duck soup,
- coconut oil,
- uncooked meat. frigid feeders (mice), live mice or small animals.
- some canned pumpkin pie filling, which helps them pass intestinal obstructions.
- ferret treats.
- ferret kibble. .
I feed my ferrets a diet of cat/kitten foods because most do have plenty of protein in them, and ferrets need a diet that’s at least half pure protein. Also, never give your ferret fruits, grains, or starches.
Egg Yolks? The Yolk’s On You!
Here’s what my breeder says about feeding ferrets eggs:
“Though eggs are incredibly beneficial for the ferret in any way, shape, or form, the yolk isn’t the best thing to give him. Simply give him the white of the egg. Also, don’t give more than 2 eggs in one week- they can make him constipated. If possible, hard boil the eggs, take off the shell casing, and let him have fun with it. Then, if he breaks the shell, he’ll get a yummy treat inside!”
Some owners say that you should only give them the egg whites, but I personally give my ferrets the whole cooked egg. Don’t just feed whites by themselves. Egg whites have high amounts of avidin which can cause biotin binding and deficiency. Egg yolks actually have a great deal of biotin so if you just keep the egg whole it shouldn’t be a problem.
Won’t My Ferret get Salmonella?
Salmonella is actually not a problem for ferrets. Ferrets’ bodies are designed to manage microorganisms. They have low to no risk of getting salmonella, thanks to their short intestinal tract, which passes food before bacteria can become an issue. And even people also eat raw eggs (like in cookie dough as for instance), without getting sick. I wouldn’t cook them. Eggs are healthier for ferrets uncooked. In fact, a raw prey diet is healthiest for them, but requires lots of research and time before undertaking it.
Do Wild Ferrets Eat Eggs?
In the wild, they would eat mice, chicks, small lizards, week-old carrion, and bird eggs, and whatever they could find, all without getting sick. Just Like cats, pet ferrets have a natural instinct to hunt down and chase anything which might be a potential meal.
In nature, a ferret will roll an egg in their paws or along the ground, until they can break it open, and lap up the deliciousness inside. I don’t recommend you letting them do this in your home, unless you want a huge mess. Just cook the eggs, fried, scrambled or boiled, and put them in their favorite food dish, and watch them go to town.