Ferrets are strict-meat eaters, which means that they require a diet of high-protein, high-fat animal-based foods. Fresh deer meat is only available during certain hunting seasons; however, it is a type of protein for ferrets that they enjoy and can digest relatively well with no adverse effects on their health.
So the answer to your question, “can ferret eat deer meat?” is YES. Ferrets can and should eat deer meat if it is available to you.
Is Deer Meat Poisonous to Ferrets?
No. Ferrets are obligate carnivores. That means that they eat meat to survive. A diet that does not include enough meat or high-quality meat-based kibble will lead to a ferret’s death. When a ferret eats deer meat, it fills its nutritional needs and provides them in ample amounts.
Deer meat is also high in protein which means that the required nutrients to keep your pet healthy are there if you offer it regularly.
Deer Meat Is Not Deer Meat!
As a responsible pet owner, it is essential to make sure the products you buy are of the highest quality. This means that it is best to purchase your meat from a butcher. The quality of meat at grocery stores is often lower than what many butchers sell.
The ideal would be meat directly from a hunter, but many hunters will not sell directly to the public. You may also choose to purchase organ meats and other parts of wild animals if that is what you prefer.
It is crucial to keep in mind that deer’s circulatory, respiratory, and musculoskeletal systems can be infested with parasites. These infections don’t typically impact deer more will they affect your ferret.
What Type Of Deer Meat Should You Give to Ferrets?
“Raw soup” is the best way to introduce venison to most ferrets. Raw meat can be blended with water and some salmon oil. It’s best to experiment and encourage your ferret to try some new flavors.
Once they got used to it, you could cut up some small pieces of muscle flesh and feed it as a raw diet or freeze it for later. Chunks of healthy deer meat will provide all the vitamins and minerals a ferret needs.
What other Meats can a Ferret Eat?
Basically, all fresh and qualitative meat is suitable for your ferret. This could be game bird, beef, pork, rabbit, chicken, lamb, and so on.
The Ideal Ferret Diet
Ideally, ferrets eat an excellent mixture of quality meat every day. This could be kibble with meat meals, small amounts of chicken, and a little bit of salmon oil.
With venison and other meats, you don’t have to worry about feeding too much protein since these meats are very rich in protein anyway.
And also, remember: Pet ferrets should not eat cooked meats or bones because the bone can splinter in their stomachs and injure them.
For a young ferret, I would recommend meat at least once a day. It will also help him grow fast and healthy since he’ll get a lot of quality protein every day.
If he’s older and used to be fed commercial kibble, you could try just feeding it 2-3 times a week. But obviously, daily fresh meat will give him better digestion and better absorption of nutrients.
Many ferrets sold by pet stores are not used to eating fresh and raw meat. They grew up on a kibble-only diet. They do get all the vitamins and protein they need for a healthy life – But why not bring some variety to their diet and give them something else that can change their digestion and overall health for the better?
Kits will have no problem switching from kibble to fresh meat. But my suggestion would be not to introduce any kind of new or raw meat to your mature ferret if he isn’t used to it. You have to do it gradually.
Start off slowly by mixing kibble in with the daily meat portions. If your ferret doesn’t like raw meat, then you need to try different things.
Some people like to mix venison (or other meats) with soft cat food. That way, they can add water into the kibble/meat mix and create a ‘soup’ that ferrets love.
Regarding the wet cat food: make sure that it does not contains sugar, fillers, starch, wheat, grains, artificial flavor/colors, and so on.
Avoid Sugar, Fruits, and Vegetables
Sugar is terrible for your furry friend! Sugar intake in ferrets is a cause of diabetes. Ferrets should not consume any fruits because they contain many sugars that are not good for them.
Insulinoma occurs in almost 25% of all ferrets – usually between 4-5 years. Insulinoma is a tumor in the pancreas that causes high levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Clinical signs for insulinoma are:
- weight loss
- and eventually death
Insulinoma can be treated with surgery, but sadly most ferrets that suffered from insulinoma die within 500 days after the surgery.
Sugar is believed to be the main trigger for insulinomas – Do your ferret a favor and avoid sugar at all costs!
Vegetables contain fiber. Ferrets can not digest fiber. Fiber is not a good thing for ferrets! Their digestive systems are not made to process fiber, carbohydrates, or plant material.
It is of no use to them! It even might lead to internal blockage of the intestines!
Ferrets should be on a diet that consists of quality animal-based foods and fresh meat. Ferrets should have access to quality food that provides the protein, fat, and vitamins they need.
Fresh deer meat is a healthy and natural food for ferrets. It is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and iron – It is high in quality protein and a perfect meal for your ferret!