Treats

An enrichment toy for ferrets

by ferretpapa Jul 25, 2021


Keeping ferrets happy is a never ending task. Toys that challenge them both mentally and physically are hard to find.

One of the best toys I've discovered recently is this treat puzzle toy!

It has varying levels of difficulty - the center white bone pieces can be removed, so that just the red ones slide left to right. So the easiest level is just to hide treats under the red pieces.

ferret enrichment treat puzzle toy

Next is that the red pieces also are hinged. It's a little tricky for ferrets because they only open in one direction. Mine could smell the treats and knew that they were inside the red boxes, but it took a while to learn how to open them. It's something they still struggle with a little bit (but that's a good thing - if it were too easy they'd get bored quickly).

And finally, the most difficult thing is to put the white bone pieces back in and put treats underneath them. It's not easy for ferrets to remove these. In fact so far none of mine have been able to, but I'm sure they'll figure it out eventually

The best part is that you can hide treats in different areas every time, so that they always have to do a little work to get them out. So far it's been a couple weeks and the toy hasn't gotten old yet. They get excited and run for it as soon as I let them out and start sniffing and nudging the pieces around.

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Easy Soup Recipes for Ferrets

by ferretpapa Oct 29, 2019


All of these soups are best served warm. Be careful when microwaving - always stir it afterwards to make sure that there aren't any hot spots. Preferably with your finger so that you can feel the temperature and make sure it's safe to eat.

Evanger's

Evanger's sells canned cooked chicken. The only ingredients are chicken, water, liver, and guar gum.

Mix 1 can of Evanger's with 1.5 cans of water, and blend. You can pour it into small cups and place them in the freezer. Thaw one container at a time, and, as with any cooked chicken, make sure to store it in the fridge and use it within 36 hours at most.

They also offer other canned cooked proteins such as duck and turkey. Just make sure to check the ingredients labels on those before buying them.

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Carnivore Care

Carnivore Care comes in powder form which can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

The nice thing about powdered soup is that you can make it as you need it, unlike Evanger's where you need to either make the whole can at once and store the extra in the freezer or throw it out.

All you need to do is mix the powder with water to form soup! Some ferrets prefer it thicker while others prefer it very liquid. If your ferret isn't going for it, trying adding more or less water the next time. It contains eggs, which some ferrets love, and is great for putting weight on.

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Uncle Jim's Duk Soup

Duk Soup is another powdered soup, so the same instructions as Carnivore Care apply.

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Chicken Soup for Noodles!

by ferretpapa Oct 28, 2019


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.

Ingredients

  • Bone in, skin on chicken thighs*
  • 1.5 cups water per lb of chicken (1 lb ≈ 500 g)

Tools

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Blender

Makes

  • 3 cups of soup per lb of chicken
  • We use 1/2 cup per meal for 5 ferrets

Instructions

  1. Add chicken and water to pressure cooker.
  2. Cook for 45 minutes at high pressure, high temperature (steam valve closed).
  3. Place pot in cold water to cool.
  4. Remove bones.
  5. Blend everything else thoroughly.
  6. Store in the freezer.

Serving

  1. Thaw in the fridge.
  2. Keep in the fridge for at most 2-3 days.
  3. Reheat in the microwave.
  4. Add water if necessary to get a liquid consistency and stir.
  5. Prednisolone and some other meds can go in their soup when it's lukewarm.**

Notes

  1. *Why chicken thighs? Because the bones slide out easily. Don't use breasts or wings!
  2. Warning: smells awful. Don't make soup while guests are visiting.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. **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.