Recently, one of my close friends got himself a ferret after playing with my furry creatures, with almost little to no idea on how to take care of it or how he’s going to feed it, what food it likes and what kind of food can keep it happy. One question that concerned him the most was about ferrets eating chicken, as chicken is an easy-to-cook and easy-to-serve form of meat.
So, I decided to write this article to answer this question for everyone in the same situation as my friend. With chicken being one of the most widely eaten meats around the world among humans as well as some animals due to its richness in protein, phosphorus, vitamin B and other important nutrients, many ferret owners have thought at some point.
“Can ferrets eat chicken?”
In short, yes they can! As you read on, you will find that we have discussed all the details regarding chicken as a ferret’s food in this post.
Chicken is an amazing meal for your ferret and you should definitely feed it if you haven’t been doing that yet. It works as a great healthy treat when served in small portions because it provides your ferret with all the vital nutrients it requires in order to live a long, happy life.
Although ferrets are domestic animals now, they come from a wild background where they would roam free, hunt for their food and eat it. This has made their digestive system really strong, and they can easily process and digest their natural food. That is why you need to feed your ferrets food matching their actual diet.
Ferrets are pure carnivores, which means they get all their nutrients from animal protein. They can eat plants too, but that doesn’t do them any good because they can’t properly digest the plant matter, resulting in more harm than benefit.
Wild ferrets were known to eat rabbits, birds, rats, and even snakes, so chicken is a really good alternative for them as it is close to the type of meat that they are already accustomed to.
Chicken is a healthy meat. It has a good amount of fat which is an excellent provider of energy to keep your ferret active and energetic throughout the day.
It is also full of proteins, which ferrets need in great amounts due to their carnivorous nature and Chicken also comprises of taurine, which is an important amino acid that aids in metabolizing the fat and, hence, producing energy so that ferrets can go about their lives.
What’s more is that chicken can be served in various ways like soup, cooked or raw.
Obviously, raw chicken is the most favorable as that’s how ferrets eat in the wild.
Raw or Cooked – Which Is Better?
Serving either raw or cooked chicken has its own benefits and drawbacks. Here is what you need to know to decide whether your ferret should be fed raw or cooked chicken.
Can Ferrets Eat Cooked Chicken?
As mentioned before, chicken can be served in various ways like as a soup, grilled or boiled to give your pet a healthy variety. Some domestic ferrets have never eaten raw chicken in their lives, so for them, cooked chicken is the best option. They might also be more familiar with cooked meat.
However, with cooked chicken comes the danger of added preservatives that are harmful to ferrets, so make sure the chicken being served is fresh with nothing added in it.
Cooked chicken can also be less nutritious as compared to raw chicken since some of the protein is cooked off. However, that should not be too much of a problem because most of the protein is still retained.
Can Ferrets Eat Raw Chicken?
For owners who are not a fan of preparing food for their pets, raw chicken is the go-to option since it’s very easy to feed with a lot of nutritional value. Due to the wild history of ferrets, their bodies are also better at processing raw meat. Therefore, they are able to better digest and extract nutrients from the raw chicken as compared to a cooked one.
You can also feed different organs of chicken that contain high amounts of nutrients but are normally disregarded by humans such as the liver, which has a great number of vitamins and minerals. Such organs will make up a healthy variety for your pet!
However, feeding these organs, especially bones, can be a little risky because they might choke on it. Ferrets are fine with bones that don’t break while being eaten such as the neck. If you are not completely sure about your ferret’s ability to eat bones, it is always better to be present when it is eating.
Feeding your ferret raw or cooked chicken is a great way to meet its nutritional needs, but for some people, it’s just not feasible. As a result, many owners choose to feed their ferrets kibble, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They come with a variety of essential nutrients and proteins which are as beneficial for your ferret as the usual cooked or raw chicken.