Recently, I was walking down the street near my home when I saw a greeting card on the newsstand outside a bookstore. The picture on the card caught my interest – a cat eating a boiled egg. I stopped by the shop, picked up the card and thought to myself, “Can my ferret eat an egg?”
How cute it would look if it did.
As soon as I got back home, I read several books and searched various sources on whether I should feed eggs to my sweet little buddy. If so, in what ways and in what quantity?
I have found out that no two people hold the same opinion over feeding eggs to ferrets. While some would say that it is totally fine, others would contest that feeding eggs would probably be my worst mistake.
I find that it is essential to know everything about adding eggs to the diet of ferrets as well as the quantity of eggs so that many myths can be busted and you can feed your lovely pets the best food without having second thoughts.
Can Ferrets Eat Eggs?
Yes, ferrets do eat eggs and that, too, with pleasure.
These carnivores are known to enjoy food that is rich in protein. Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means they can eat anything related to animals including meat, organs, offal and eggs. In fact, eggs make a popular treat for them.
Therefore, eggs can be incorporated into their diet since they have a high nutritious value as well. A single egg contains 6 grams of protein, which makes it a good treat for your ferret.
What Types of Eggs Can I Use?
You can choose eggs from different kinds of birds. Most ferret owners prefer to feed chicken eggs to their ferrets, but you can even choose duck and quail eggs. However, keep in mind to gradually introduce a new kind of egg so that it does not disrupt the diet of your pet. After all, ferrets can be a bit picky about their food.
Another thing to remember is that they usually imprint on the food they get during the early stages of their life. Hence, it is best to make them used to eggs early on.
Here's a video of a ferret eating an egg!
Eggs as Supplements and Not Dietary Staples
Though eggs contain about 13 essential nutrients and minerals, they cannot be used as a staple food for ferrets. You need to make sure that your ferret is getting its nourishment from proper food sources and not solely from eggs.
Meat is the only staple food for a ferret. Chicken, lamb, turkey and beef are some of the meat types you can give to your ferret. Eggs can be a treat or nutritious add-on but never a staple food for your pet.
3 Ways To Serve Eggs to Your Ferrets
Raw, boiled, scrambled – you name it! There are so many ways to be creative while preparing an egg for the animal you so love, but those are my 3 ways.
Eggs never disappoint when it comes to variety. While you have to be cautious about the quantity of eggs you feed to your ferret, you have the leverage to be as innovative as you like when preparing egg-based dishes.
Serving Them Raw
One way to serve eggs to a ferret is by serving them raw. When serving a raw egg, do make sure that it is fresh. Eggs which are old or may have gotten stale are bad for your ferret. Besides, it is advisable to feed only the egg yolk to the ferret instead of the egg white. That is because egg whites may lead to biotin deficiency, which can cause your pet to lose its fur coat.
How to Serve a Raw Egg to a Ferret
Crack an egg out of its shell into a bowl and whisk it until you get a smooth mixture. Now, serve this mixture to your ferret in its feeding bowl. Either that, or you could simply crack an egg directly into your pet’s serving bowl.
Please make sure you do not leave any eggshells in the serving bowl as they can be dangerous for your ferret. Diligently examine the bowl after cracking the eggs to make sure no shells are left.
The most delectable treat for a ferret is to have a hard-boiled egg. Not only do ferrets look adorable while eating a boiled egg, but it is also their all-time favorite snack. You can give a hard-boiled egg to your ferret on a weekly basis. Just make sure you do not give too many eggs.
How to Serve a Hard-Boiled Egg to a Ferret
- Boil an egg in a pan full of water on moderate heat for five to ten minutes.
- Take out the boiled egg and remove its shell.
You can give this egg to your ferret as a whole or even slice it out if need be. If you are one of those who like to watch a ferret crack an eggshell on its own, try that. However, just to be on the safe side, ensure that your fuzzy friend doesn’t eat huge pieces of the eggshell.
Scrambling Them Up
Scrambled eggs are a great way to diversify the dishes you can make out of an egg. Just as humans like scrambled eggs, so do ferrets. Before scrambling an egg, make sure it hasn’t gone stale and its freshness is still intact.
How to Make Scrambled Eggs for a Ferret
- For scrambling eggs, you need to beat them in a bowl.
- After that, cook the beaten eggs in a pan on low heat. Do add a little oil for cooking the eggs.
You can serve them by cooling them to room temperature and feeding them to your ferret off your hand. Ferrets love to have nice, warm scrambled eggs and eating off their owners’ hands.
Optimum Quantity of Eggs to Feed Your Ferrets
You can give one to two raw eggs each week, but you can increase the number to three or four eggs per week during your ferret’s shedding season. Do keep in mind, though, that eggs are known to cause constipation, so avoid giving out more than two eggs per week. Remember, moderation is key to most things in life.
Your ferret’s health must always be your top priority.
They get almost all the nutrients they need for proper growth and health from meat, so the only purpose of eggs is to add variety to their diet. Hence, don’t unnecessarily overdo things.
Raw Eggs or Cooked Ones?
While ferrets generally like boiled eggs, raw eggs tend to be more nutritious. That said, go for the kind of eggs your pet likes the best.
There are many experts out there who would rule out giving raw eggs to ferrets. However, while ferrets have some of the most distinct digestive systems, being obligate carnivores, they can easily digest meat and eggs. Hence, it does not make a lot of difference whether you cook an egg or not as long as you are careful about the number of eggs you feed your ferret.
Eggs for Kits
Eggs for kits are a big no. You cannot give eggs to baby ferrets. During that period, you can only give food which has a liquid consistency instead of hard foods like eggs. After weaning the ferret, you may go for solid food alternatives but definitely not before that.
A kit should ideally grow up near its mother. As a baby, a ferret needs only milk and no hard foods. You should avoid adding any other food to its diet as it can be risky.
Can ferrets eat egg shells?
You can feed eggs to your ferrets along with shells, but be careful that your ferret does not eat bigger pieces of shells. It is best if you remove the shells first and grind them to a powder. You can serve these powdered shells by mixing them well with raw eggs and meat.
These energetic little creatures will grow on you if you already haven’t fallen in love with them. You need to take care of them, which means you need to ensure your pet eats what’s best for it. Hence, you must take care you do not feed too many eggs to your ferret or eliminate them from its diet altogether.
Try to strike a balance between the number of eggs you give to your ferret and the requirements of your fuzzy friend’s diet. By doing so, you can keep your pet happy and content while ensuring its health.