Message Number: FHL14558 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2012-01-17 23:10:49 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Re: Fat Ferret

Except when there are problems like malformations the typical transit time for food in a ferret is going to be about 4 hours. So, although it can be longer in some, going without access to food for much longer is asking for problems, especially if certain health difficulties are beginning but have not yet been spotted, for example, ones such as insulinoma in which case a long time without feeding can cause a crash even early in the disease (and, yes, raw fed ferrets certainly have gotten insulinoma).

Leaving out food that can spoil easily asks for other medical problems, so you are using a smart approach by having the kibble available between the feedings.

Wild relatives of ferrets, including polecats, stash food and use those stashes when they can't hunt down food fast enough. They don't do the wolf or lion thing of bolting a huge meal and then fasting for a long time. (BTW, recent studies show that the folk lore of more lion kills of humans after a full moon is accurate. It is because lions are far less likely to have successful kills during the light of the full moon so once it is darker some are hungry enough to go for any easy prey.)

BTW, our ferrets had fun with raw egg yolk yesterday. To reduce the risk of bacterial disease we use pasteurized eggs for that. We used to pasteurize our own, but more stores carry them now:
To protect them from biotin and thiamine deficiencies we do not give them the raw egg white; that is mine to eat cooked.

On Jan 17, 2012, at 3:10 PM, J Clark wrote:
> Our group of 5 eats twice a day raw (every 12 hours) and they do snack on kibble in between......I think their digestive tracks process food so fast that they should always have a little something in between.
> I just like to give them the choice, ya know?
> Jilli + 5

Sukie (not a vet)

Recommended ferret health links:
all ferret topics:

"All hail the procrastinators for they shall rule the world tomorrow."
(2010, Steve Crandall)

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