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Currently, my ferrets eat a mix of raw beef, hen, chicken, pork, and the bones & organs. I usually purchase these on sale from the supermarket.

I've started ordering from a new place because it's already prepared and balanced for me. But a couple of my ferrets haven't been eating it that much. It's the same meats that I've been giving them. It just has all the organs and bones ground up and mixed in.

A couple of my ferrets are not eating that much of it, so I've still had to rely on their previous diet (which is a lot more work). I've tried putting Ferretone on the new stuff and mixing it with bits of the old. The change has been gradual over the past few days.

I know ferrets imprint on food at a young age and it is difficult to change their diet as adults. I think they're just being stubborn and fussy since they do eat little bits of it. Is there anything else I can do to get them to eat more of the new stuff? Or do I just need to keep at it and make sure they still get their old diet?

  • This is just my experience, but once your ferret passes childhood, it is impossible to change diet. It probably depends on the ferrets since each one will have their unique character, but I had no luck with mine. – Quillion Nov 22 '13 at 18:05
  • This is an interesting, well thought, and well written question. Bravo! – user9 Nov 22 '13 at 18:06
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+50

You're on the right track, the best way I've found is to gradually start mixing in the new food. That way they won't notice it overtaking their old food until they're used to it. The real trick is to do it very gradually.

I started with just a spoonful of the new food mixed into their old each time I refilled it. After about two days, I added two spoonfuls. Another two days, about three. You see where this is going.

The beauty of this is if they start to catch on, you just go back a spoonful for another day or so until they get used to it; then keep going.

Another trick I've come across is to give the new food as a treat. Then, once they associate it as a treat, they'll be super excited to have it for dinner all the time. I haven't had luck with that myself, and I assume that's what you were trying with the ferretone.

Here is a pretty good article covering it, hopefully that will give you some ideas too. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=2069

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