When a ferret gets sick or has surgery, it usually stops eating kibble. Or when a ferret is a baby, sometimes it can’t eat hard kibble. They will usually still eat soup/gravy. It is a good idea to feed a soup to your ferrets regularly so they are used to eating it if they get sick or need surgery.
Also, when giving medication like Prednisone, it is very important the ferret eat a good amount of food to keep the medicine from hurting the stomach. It’s not always possible to make sure a ferret will eat enough kibble to protect the stomach, so it is best to give soup with the medication for good protection.
Ferret rescue ferret soup: Mix together different ferret kibble and grind it in the blender til it is a fine powder. (Better to not use just one or two kinds of food. The ferrets don’t take to it as readily.) Take about two cups of the ground food and mix with about 3-4 cups of water, so that it makes a thick soup mixture. (The rescue sells soup supplies: mixed kibble $5 per pound, $4.50 for three pounds or more, salmon oil (enough for two to three batches) $3, probiotics (enough for 4-5 batches) $2.)
Add 1 1 ½ cups of cooked, ground chicken (see below). If you prefer to not use cooked chicken, use a jar of chicken or turkey baby food (w/ or w/o gravy). Add one tablespoon of salmon oil and one teaspoon of probiotics.
Stir well and let sit to see if it needs more water added. It should be a thick soup consistency, but the spoon shouldn’t stand in it. Once mixed, run the soup back through the blender. This combines it all better and makes it smooth. Otherwise, it’s still grainy and the ferret is less likely to eat it.
Put about two tablespoons in a bowl and heat til warm but not hot. If it’s too thick, add some water and mix with a spoon, then add water to the batch of soup. Use a mixer to mix it in well.
If the ferret likes Ferretone, Ferretvite or some other product, put a little on top to entice the ferret to eat the soup.
The food is good for five to seven days refrigerated. The prepared amount may be more than you will use in that time. If so, freeze some of it.
Some ferrets take right to eating soup. If yours doesn’t, hold the ferret in one arm and hold the bowl of soup in front of the ferret with the other hand. If this doesn’t work, use a baby spoon (not metal) and try to feed the ferret with that. For some reason, they like to eat off those types of spoons. (The rescue sells these spoons for .50.)
If this doesn’t work, stick your finger into the soup and hold it up to the ferret to get it to lick the soup off your finger. Do this several times, then as the ferret is licking off the finger, slowly lower the finger to the bowl to try and get it to lick out of the bowl.
If you still can’t get the ferret to eat soup and it is sick or isn’t eating kibble, then consider force feeding the ferret with a syringe. Use a large baby syringe and draw up the soup into the syringe. Hold the ferret in your arm and try to get a small amount of the soup into the mouth. Always put just a small amount of soup in the mouth, and always from the side of the mouth, never from the front. From the front, the ferret can choke or inhale soup into the lungs. If the ferret inhales the soup, it can get pneumonia and die.
If you can’t get the ferret to take the soup this way, then give me a call and let me walk you through the process. The syringe I use is an American Red Cross soft tip dispenser, available on-line and at some Bed, Bath & Beyond stores. (The rescue sells these syringes for $6.)