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Vitalin ferret food is the second most recommended food for Ferrets by the British Ferret Club. Their first recommendation is raw prey consisting of rabbits, chickens and other small creatures (with fur and bones still intact), however, as ferrets need to eat every 4 hours this isnt a feasible option for ferret owners who also have jobs. So in other words, if you're feeding a dry diet, Vitalin ferret is the best you can get!
A ferret is an obligate carnivore who needs a high level of protein and oil in his or her diet, and as a result the feeding of dog food to a ferret is insufficient...if anything, kitten food is a better choice, cat food is still too low protein for young ferrets. Ferrets need a food that is over 36% protein and 15% oil.
Vitalin ferret is 40% oil and 20% oil so is great for young to middle aged ferrets. After the age of 4 some people recommend switching to a lower protein food such as cat food, a mature ferret food (these are only available in America and are costly to import), or a mixture of ferret and cat food so not everything the ferret eats is very high protein.
The ingredients in this food are: Fresh Chicken and Chicken Meat Meal, Whole Rice, Herring Meal, Whole Egg, Chicken Liver & Sugar Beet, Vitamins & Minerals.
A lot of pet owners dont like feeding foods that contain "meal" to their ferret...this basically means the meat is overprocessed and recooked, so it will lose a lot of nutritional value. Sadly there isn't nearly as much demand for natural ferret food as there is for natural cat and dog food, so a "fresh meat" dried ferret food is yet to come on the market. There is some evidence that meat meal can cause health problems.
Aside from this, the ingredients list is very good...there are no unpronounceable compounds and no coy terminology like "meat derivatives from various sources", everything is clearly stated on the packet. Yucca extract is included to help with the delightfully stinky ferret whiff, and the food contains lots of taurine which is as essential for ferrets as it is for cats.
The packaging is also quite attractive, it comes in a bright orange bags in 2kg, 4kg, 7.5kg or 15kg bags, with a little line drawing of a ferret on the front, its not too fussy and looks neat.
Vitalin ferret, despite being the most highly recommended food by a lot of people, is not the most expensive, James Wellbeloved ferret is far more pricey. According to the packaging, a normal ferret will eat 40-60 grams of food a day. with 60 being more indicative of hobs, male ferrets who are much bigger than females. So, based on my three females eating 150g a day between them, a 2kg bag lasts almost two weeks...at £6.99 a bag ordered into a pet shop, it would cost me 50p a day to feed my three jill ferrets. Of course, as you buy in bulk the cost gets cheaper, 4kg direct from the website (this includes delivery) costs £15.16, 7.5kg costs £21.03, and 15kg costs £33.29. So it is a very good value for money food. I havent really experimented with other brands cost wise, but who could complain at 15p per day per ferret!
The food has a very oily feel to it, but this is only natural, and most importantly, it passes the taste test, my ferrets gobble up every last crumb!
Because I am concerned about the inclusion of meat "meal" rather than fresh meat, I'm considering switching my ferrets to one of the premium kitten foods, but I'm still in the deciding stages. If you are looking for a dried ferret-specific food however, you cant get better than Vitalin!
A nutritionally complete balanced premium ferret food in kibble form.