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General Discussion  [ general questions and issues relating to ferrets ]  
Ferret meals chicken bones

I give Chomper (our ferret) chicken carcasses. I break the carcasses up with a cleaver which means some of the bones are smashed and sharp. I am concerned that this is dangerous but cant think how else to break them up. Any ideas anyone? I used to feed him mince and his teeth had to be scaled as they got so dirty and he is not good with dry ferret food.

2 responses          biddy & sam
 Fri 01 Jun 07

 
Responses  
Great that he is getting chicken carcasses - they are fantastic ferret food.

The less us humans process their food the better, so yes chopped up pieces are more of a risk than untouched carcasses. However ferrets (and other carnivores) are designed to deal with raw bones - injuries from bones are a very small risk.

I use meat scissors (available from most home/kitchen stores) as they are easier to use than knives/cleaves.

Chicken wings and necks are also great, and ferret-sized so the bones don't need to be chopped up.

Necks can be fed whole. I cut wings into the 3 segments (at each joint), and this can be done by snipping the meat around the joint then twisting the wing until the joint pops apart (ie no bone is cut).

I feed necks, wings and chopped up chicken carcasses and have never had a problem.

Other ideas could be rabbit meaty bones - prepared rabbits (skinned/gutted) can be bought from many supermarkets/butchers - I cut each one into 6-7 meaty bones using the meat scissors.

Whole prey (mice and chicks) are excellent as well and even closer to their natural diet of whole animals.

Nothing in life is without risk, but the benefits of feeding a natural diet far outweigh the potential risks. And vice versa - the health problems involved with feeding a processed food diet (biscuits/canned/mince) far outweigh any benefit (convenience, etc).

Great that you've thrown away the mince! The "dry food cleans teeth" thing is a complete myth, so they wouldn't have been any help with his dental disease problem even if he did eat them.

Stick with the diet of meaty bones (and whole prey if you want, and occasional organs) and periodontal disease prevention will be up and running, and clean/scaling (ie prevention failure) will be a thing of the past!

:)
shona
  shona
Mon 04 Jun 07

   
My ferrets only occasionaly get chicken but the good news is that my babies By the time they have their adult teeth @ 7weeks can get through a whole chicken carcass without breaking it up. By 10 weeks they quite happily get through lamb ribs. Other things good for teeth are really grissly thing like chicken gibblets, beef/lamb hearts, ox tounge, and brisket. Some of mine will even chew on small rawhide chews and liver jerky just check the salt content on the jerky as salt can be toxic to ferrets.   nikki
Tue 18 Mar 08

   
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