Ferrets are carnivores and will generally eat anything meat-based that you offer them.
It is typically recommended to feed them high-quality meats, wet foods, or high-quality dry foods. The problem with lunch meat is that it is processed.
So, the answer to the question, “can ferrets eat turkey lunch meat” is NO. Do NOT feed your ferret with any processed food.
Free of Seasoning, Preservatives, Additives?
If you are going to give your ferret processed lunch meat, you must be careful that it does not contain any type of preservative, seasoning, etc.
If it does, there is a high probability that it will make your ferret sick. Since processed lunch meat contains a high amount of salt, this can make the ferrets’ blood pressure go up and cause them many health problems. Also, do not feed your ferret lunch meat that contains sugar of any kind.
Salt is terrible for ferrets because it can over-salt their bodies, and they cannot regulate the amount of salt in their body. This can cause them to go into cardiac arrest or have a stroke, which is why it’s important not to give your ferret processed lunch meat.
Salt, as with any other type of seasoning in a food item, can raise blood pressure and cause health problems. Just think about how small your ferrets are – so much smaller than you. So amounts that would be okay for you will be much higher quantities for your ferret.
Salt is bad for ferrets!
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Also, if the meat you feed your ferret contains any sugar, it will make your ferret sick. Sugar can cause sugar diabetes problems in ferrets.
Many ferret owners have experienced problems with their diabetic ferrets because they fed them with sugar-rich processed foods.
Insulinoma is a kind of tumor, and it is usually found in the pancreas but can also be found in other places like the liver. In ferrets, these tumors are developing if you feed with foods containing sugar.
And by the way, do not give your ferret any other artificial sweetener. Artificial sweeteners are toxic for ferrets and will cause many serious health problems.
Sugar is bad for ferrets!
Fruits & Vegetables
Do not feed your ferret with vegetables or fruits! Those things hold no real nutritional value for ferrets. They can not digest the fiber found in plants, and the sugar in fruits will make them several sick.
And while your furry friend may steal a piece of apple here and there, it won’t harm him instantly – but nevertheless, you should try to prevent this from happening! Don’t encourage your ferret to eat fruits!
The fruit sugar will make it sick! Sick up to the point of cancer! Do not feed your ferret fruits and vegetables!
Ferrets are lactose intolerant. They cannot digest milk (or butter). This means that dairy products will make your ferret sick – and in most cases, it will cause them to feel very unwell (Diarrhea).
And don’t be fooled. It is not all milk that contains lactose. Other foods do too.
What to Feed your Ferret?
It is essential to understand the nutritional requirements of this little carnivorous mammal. In brief, they essentially need meat to thrive and live a healthy life. Not all ferrets are used to a raw diet.
Especially if you got your ferret from a larger pet store, their diet was likely to exclusively dry food. And while ferrets can live on a dry food diet – why not allow them some fresh meat once in a while?
Plus, raw meat is healthier, more nutritious, and closer to what a ferret would encounter in the wild. I bet you would not want to eat the same stuff every day, either?
Meat you Could Feed your Ferret
- chicken wings
- turkey and turkey necks
- whole prey such as feeder mice, chicks
- game birds
- organs (liver, …)
- tuna (sometimes)
You could also give them a raw egg every once in a while! Basically, ferrets can eat almost all the meats available. It needs to be fresh and of good quality.
Remember that your ferret needs at least 32 – 38% protein and 15 – 20% fat in its diet. ANd we are always talking animal-based proteins! No vegetables! None!
How to introduce you Ferret to Raw Food?
Ferrets are imprinted to the foods they eat by the age of 4-6 months. If they have not been offered raw meat by this age – you’ll have to introduce them step by step to fresh meat.
Step-by-Step Raw Meat
- Mix 3/4 kibble with 1/4 raw mixture at the beginning
- Gradually increase your raw mixture to 1/2, then 3/4 raw mixture
- Finally, 100% raw mixture
When you add the new food to your ferret’s diet, add it slowly, and if it refuses to eat, reduce the amount of the raw mixture until it eats again. Then increase the percentage of the raw mix again.
The most important thing a carnivore eats is meat, and another way to get this in a ferret diet is to feed it a lot of meaty bones.
Ferrets, like all animals, have different personalities. Some love high-quality meats, while some do not like them at first. Be patient.
The benefits of a raw diet are worth the effort. If you want to find out more about feeding a raw diet, check this article here (https://sites.google.com/site/holisticferret/)
Do not feed processed foods to your ferret. While turkey is healthy and good for your ferret – it is so only in a raw form. Not canned or cooked, seasoned, etc. Ferrets need a diet with a high percentage of protein and fat. At least 32 – 38% and 15 – 20%. Ferrets should not be fed fruit, vegetables, milk, or any sugar-added foods.
The best way to feed your ferret is a raw food diet. Consisting of various quality raw meat sources. And while it may be hard at first to introduce a “kibble only” ferret to meat – the benefits of such a diet outweigh the drawbacks.
Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API