can ferrets eat raw chicken

Can Ferrets Eat Raw Chicken?

Written by: Akeem Eletu
Last updated on:

Unlike cooked chicken, raw chicken may contain bacteria, which could cause illnesses.

This piece answers the question and discusses other important concerns about feeding your pet raw chicken.

Can Ferrets Eat Raw Chicken?

Yes, ferrets can and should eat raw chicken. Chicken is a great source of protein. Chicken breasts contain about 27 grams of protein and are the leanest part of the chicken. 

Also, in the wild, these carnivores hunt and eat many small critters they catch, including birds. They eat the birds raw, so raw chicken is natural and ideal for your ferret.

But it is important to know the source of the chicken. The raw chicken may contain harmful bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, and many others that can adversely affect your pet’s health.

You want to ensure that you feed raw chicken from a reliable supplier who raises them in sanitary conditions. You also want to cool the leftovers in the refrigerator at about 40°f or lower,  within 2 hours after serving your pet. 

This will prevent the growth of bacteria on the leftover raw chicken, making it safe for your pet to eat again later.

If the leftovers are big chunks of raw chicken flesh, you want to cut them into smaller chunks to hasten the cooling process. This will also help to reduce the possibility of bacteria growth.

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Why You Should Feed Your Ferret Raw Chicken

Raw chicken is lean meat that provides a great deal of protein and enough calories with an incredibly small amount of fat. It is a great source of nutrition if you want your ferrets to stay nourished without adding weight. 

Taurine, an essential amino acid for ferrets, is also present in chicken in reasonable amounts. Although ferrets have this beta amino acid in their biles and muscle tissues, they require a diet that incorporates this beta amino acid because they cannot store taurine.

They have to depend on a diet that supplies them with taurine to maintain their daily supply as it holds enormous benefits.

This beta amino acid plays a key role in strengthening the pumping muscles in the heart to prevent enlarged heart diseases. It also holds other benefits as it plays a key role in the development of some neurons that their central nervous systems depend on. 

So yes, feeding your ferret raw chicken is a good idea. 

What Part of the Raw Chicken Is Edible for a Ferret?

It is safe to feed your pet meat and bones. In fact, deboning the chicken before offering it to your ferret is not recommended. 

The bones are the calcium deposit, and calcium helps your pet grow healthier and stronger bones. It would also limit the chances of metabolic bone disease.

This is especially important for kits as they need calcium for developing a proper skeletal structure.

Also, because ferrets have highly acidic stomachs, you shouldn’t be concerned that your pet can suffocate on bones or develop blockages or intestinal injury. They have a relatively high metabolism, keeping them fit and active. Additionally, unlike cooked bones, raw bones do not splinter.

Ferrets enjoy chicken thighs, legs, and wings. The organ meats of chicken liver and kidney are also excellent.

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How to Feed Your Ferret Raw Chicken

Keep in mind that moderation is vital while giving your ferret raw chicken. It would be best to offer only a few pieces of meat daily.

You want to avoid feeding raw chicken directly from the refrigerator. Your ferret may not find frozen meat appealing. Thaw the chicken first.

You want to ensure that the chicken is thoroughly washed and clean. You can help your pet by tearing the raw chicken into smaller chunks. Remember to leave the bones in the meat. 

What Risks Are There in Feeding Your Ferrets Raw Chicken?

The best part about including raw chicken in your ferret’s diet is that chicken is very healthy. But you want to pay attention to what you feed your ferret so that you do not expose it to bacteria and parasites.

A ferret digests food in a very short time, which limits bacteria growth. But there is a high possibility of exposing your ferrets to parasites and bacteria like salmonella and many others when you feed raw chicken that has come in contact with the bacteria. 

You also want to remove the intestines to ensure that your pet does not come in contact with the fecal matter of the chicken. This will ensure that any parasite in the chicken’s intestines is not introduced into your ferret’s system.

Since older ferrets may experience difficulties quickly digesting the food they are used to, you can limit the possibility of bacteria growth by cutting the raw chicken into smaller pieces. 

What Other Raw Meat Can Your Ferret Eat?

The following list contains some of the other food you can interest your ferrets with, apart from raw chicken: 

  • Pigeons
  • Rabbit
  • Lambs heart
  • Turkey necks
  • Minced beef
  • Lamb
  • Offal
  • Raw animal bones that provide calcium, and at the same time clean your ferret’s teeth

Ferrets may also eat whole prey like;

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Chicks

Final Thoughts

If someone new to owning ferrets as pets asks, “Can ferrets eat raw chicken?” the answer is yes, they can and should.

Raw chicken holds so many benefits for ferrets, especially the kits. They need the protein for muscle growth and bones for calcium to grow strong skeletons.

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