Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means they rely 100% on meat for their nutrition. Ferret’s diet would mainly consist of small animals such as mice, rats, rabbits, squirrels, birds, frogs, lizards, snakes, insects, worms. But the ferrets we know and love are not wild animals; they rely on the foods we provide them with. The only “wild” ferret is the Black-Footed Ferret of the American Northern Plains.
That’s why the question of ferret eats owls only applies to their wild relatives, the Black-Footed Ferret.
The answer is yes. If a wild ferret has the chance to eat an owl, it certainly would. But, in reality, it’s instead of the other way around! Ferrets are prey to Owls!
What Do Wild Ferrets Eat?
The Black-Footed Ferrets’ primary food sources are Prairie dogs and other small rodents. You can read more about the Black-Footed Ferret here.
What Do Domestic Ferrets Eat?
As mentioned above. Ferrets are strict meat-eaters. They are not limited to one type of meat source. In fact, most ferrets will happily munch on anything from grasshoppers to fish or even cat food (dangerous!). Here are some examples of meat sources that can be fed raw to your furry friend:
- chicken wings
- game birds
- liver, heart, etc.
- turkey necks
- whole feeder mice
- raw bones
The list could go on forever… but you get the idea.
What about Dry Food
Ferrets can also enjoy dry food. Kibble for ferrets is something relatively new to the pet food market. 10 years ago, people gave cat or dog kibble to ferrets. Which is a bad idea! Ferrets can not digest vegetables, fillers, starch, or other additives. They do need a unique kibble – made specifically for ferrets.
This kind of kibble contains all the nutrients needed by a healthy ferret, is low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fat. By the way, your ferrets’ diet should consist of a minimum of 32 – 38% protein and 15 – 20% fat.
Can Ferrets Have Vegetables?
No. Do not let your ferret eat vegetables. I know some people believe that apples or bananas are suitable for their ferrets. But that is definitely not true! Ferrets can not digest vegetables (or any other plant matter) properly. They are not meant to have these types of diets. It may cause digestive problems like diarrhea or vomiting.
In some cases, the fiber that is part of any vegetables could cause an internal blockage. And in very severe cases, a surgical procedure might be required. So don’t give your ferret veggies.
Can Ferret Eat Fruits?
No. Do not give your ferret any fruits at all! Firstly they contain fiber (see above paragraph), and additionally, fruits contain sugar (fruit sugars). Sugar is something your ferret must avoid all together! Many ferrets are prone to developing diabetes if given too much fruit.
This condition requires medical attention. Some ferrets develop a condition called Insulinoma. Which is basically a tumor in the pancreatic cells, and some studies suggest that sugar could trigger this condition!
So do your furry friend a favor and avoid sugar in their diet as much as possible.
What About Cheese?
Ferrets are lactose intolerant. Therefore cheese, milk, yogurt, or any other dairy product won’t work well with them.
How often Should you Feed your Ferret?
Ferrets have short digestive tracts. That means they need a constant supply of energy (food). They are what is called “free feeder” and need food and water available to them throughout the day. Ferrets will eat around 5-8 times per day.
This may vary depending on how much activity there is during the day. A ferret needs something like 5-7% of its own body weight in food. Every day.
How Often Should Ferrets Drink?
As with food, ferrets need constant access to fresh and clean water. You could either provide water in a bowl or install a ferret-proofed water bottle. Do not give regular tab water to your furry friend! The water we drink is enriched with Chloride and Fluoride – good for us and potentially bad for ferrets!
Buy bottled water for your ferret or install a system to filter your tap water. If you are looking for some suggestions regarding bottles or other options, check out this article.
Do ferrets eat owls? If the owl would be small enough, possibly. Keep in mind that the ferrets we love are not wild animals. They have been domesticated around 2000 years ago. Wild ferrets such as the Black-Footed-Ferret could eat an owl, but in many cases, ferrets are rather preyed on by owls!
(Pet) Ferrets rely on a meat-only diet. Additionally, you could supplement their diet with dry food (kibble). Make sure to provide them only with ferret-friendly foods – Avoid vegetables, grains, fruits, fillers, and starch.
If you are unsure, read the ingredients list – or buy food made specifically for ferrets.