Q: I’m new to ferrets, and just want to know before I end up making my babies real sick.. What kind of treats are ok for them? Are mealworms ok, or some vegetation? And what food should I avoid?
A: No veggies or fruit!! Ferrets are obligate carnivores, they don’t have the enzymes in their guts to digest fruits, grains or veggies.
Ferrets don’t actually NEED treats, but n-bones; ferretone; oils like olive, emu and salmon are good. The following are 2 recipes that I’ve used for homemade ferret treats, that my ferrets eat and love with no problems.
Here are 2 homemade treat recipes my ferrets absolutely love:
1.) Homemade Ferret Jerkey
This is a recipe for pet safe jerky, costs less than what you pay for at a pet store and you know what you’re feeding your pet is safe AND healthy because you’re making it yourself! The best part is, it doesn’t require a dehydrator, so any one can do this! It is, however, time consuming and may take an entire afternoon. Plan on doing this only when you have a whole day to do this. Never leave an oven unattended!
- Cookie sheet(s)
- Parchment Paper
- Paper Towels
- Rolling Pin
- Cutting Board
- Meat – partially frozen (for cutting; thawed if pre-cut)[/center]
- Place oven racks as high up as they will go.
- Heat oven to lowest setting – no higher than 200 degrees F
- Take your meat, whatever you wish to use, and slice into 1/4th inch thick slices. It’s easier to cut when it is partially frozen. You can also ask a butcher to do this for you.
- Pat the meat dry with paper towels if wet.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment. Place meat on paper until sheet is full (leave a little space in between each piece of meat). Place more parchment paper over meat.
- Take rolling pin and flatten meat.
- Place cookie sheets in the oven and leave door cracked slightly to allow moisture to escape.
- Leave alone, but check often as the meat dries out. May take upwards of 8 – 10 hours. May take as little as 4 hours.
- When meat is fully dried, remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Store in air tight container.
2.) Raider Chomps
I have a homemade jerky recipe that’s healthier and cheaper than Bandits or Dingos, and it’s easy. I love them because that’s what I’ve trained mine to come with and do a couple tricks. Also, it’s great when taking them to the vet or car rides and you’re trying to have a well behaved fuzz. I just keep them in a pocket or zip lock.
Raider loves Dingo’s chicken jerky but I read it has corn sugar and salt. So, I came up with a recipe he loves just as much:
- 2 organic chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon ferretone
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Boil chicken breasts until cooked.
- Slice into bite size bits.
- Place into bowl.
- Mix olive oil and ferretone together.
- Pour mix onto chicken.
- Stir GENTLY or you wind up with mush.
- Spread chicken onto cookie sheet and bake at 175 degrees for 2 to 2 1/2 hours depending on bite size or when chicken looks dried up.
That’s it. Easy!
*Note* You can substitute any meat other than chicken, and it doesn’t have to be organic. You can also substitue flax seed, canola or fish oils instead of ferretone.
I know what’s in my recipe is healthy, without any CORN, SUGAR and SALT. Even without the preservatives, Raider Chomps lasts forever too.