How much you feed depends on how many mouths / bellies you’re feeding and how much the ferret(s) as individuals consume per day or per meal. It may also depend on the size, weights of the whole prey on average. Smaller the prey animal the more you may need to feed. The larger the animal, the longer it will last. Wholeprey is safe to leave out for 24 to 48 hours.
If you’re feeding outside and it is hot, you may choose to replace for freshness. Don’t freak out if flies get eaten or lay eggs and/or you find maggots in food within the 24 – 48 time frame. Usually these make a good protein treat, kind of like how many of us humans like the sprinkles on ice cream or the chocolate chips in the cookies. (I probably shouldn’t be comparing maggots to chocolate chips, I’m sorry!) What I am trying to say is that the odd fly, or odd maggot being accidentally consumed, shouldn’t hurt the ferret.
Examples when feeding wholeprey:
- A rabbit weighing 250g may last a day or two per ferret if the ferret was to consume 50g per meal.
- An adult mouse weighs around 28g on average so for a ferret who consumes 50g or more a per meal may need 2-4 mice each.
Kits eat more so may require more prey or larger prey items per meal compared to an adult ferret. Adult ferrets tend to cut back on food at around 6 months to 1 year of age. Pregnant or lactating Jills may require more food. Growing animals, pregnant and nursing animals, they all require more food = more nutrients since they need to support reproduction and growth. Extra calcium and extra protein especially. Ferrets during transitions may eat more then cut back within a few weeks, that is normal as they are making use of the more easily digestible nutrients. Ferrets in general may eat more in winter and less in summer. Females in general eat less when compared to males who can easily eat 2-4x or more than that of the female.