Chicken Soup for Noodles!
Why soup? It's a delicious treat, easy to digest, masks the taste of medicine, and helps them to maintain or gain weight when sick. It is not to be used as their primary diet. I give it twice a day to my ferrets with insulinoma, and every other day to the healthy ones.
I can't stress enough how important it is to give your ferrets soup before they get sick.
Often sick ferrets will only eat soup. It's warm and comforting and easy for them to digest. If you get them to look forward to it regularly before they get sick, their road to recovery will be much smoother. As we all know, ferrets are picky eaters. Trying to force a sick ferret to try a new food is unpleasant for all parties involved.
This recipe was taught to me by Zoo from Zoo's Ferret Sanctuary. Please consider donating if you find it helpful.
- Bone in, skin on chicken thighs*
- 1.5 cups water per lb of chicken (1 lb ≈ 500 g)
- Pressure Cooker
- 3 cups of soup per lb of chicken
- We use 1/2 cup per meal for 5 ferrets
- Add chicken and water to pressure cooker.
- Cook for 45 minutes at high pressure, high temperature (steam valve closed).
- Place pot in cold water to cool.
- Remove bones.
- Blend everything else thoroughly.
- Store in the freezer.
- Thaw in the fridge.
- Keep in the fridge for at most 2-3 days.
- Reheat in the microwave.
- Add water if necessary to get a liquid consistency and stir.
- Prednisolone and some other meds can go in their soup when it's lukewarm.**
- *Why chicken thighs? Because the bones slide out easily. Don't use breasts or wings!
- Warning: smells awful. Don't make soup while guests are visiting.
- You can use less water when cooking (which means less space in the fridge), just make sure to mix in more water after reheating. Ferrets prefer it to be completely liquid.
- Most ferrets will turn their nose up at first. Try adding Ferretone/salmon oil and finger feeding. I've never met a ferret that didn't come to love it.
- **Be careful with this. Only add meds to soup if your ferret is finishing the soup down to the last drop. Some GI meds such as metronidazole taste horrible and unfortunately the soup isn't strong enough to mask them. Don't add those meds either, as that will backfire and your ferret will begin to distrust the soup. For any other meds, try it once first and see if they notice the difference in taste.
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