Insects That Ferrets Could Eat (You probably didn’t know)
The ferret is full of surprising facts, especially when it comes to its diet. Despite its tender appearance and the fact that it is known to be a carnivorous mammal, you might be surprised at the kinds of bugs a ferret is capable of eating.
Although there are different species of ferrets and it is also important to note that domesticated ferrets may undergo changes in the adaptation of their diet, ferrets can eat crickets, worms, butterflies, centipedes, cockroaches, and a large number of insects that may surprise you.
Although eating insects is not a habit among mammals, the reality is that many of these insects are full of protein and do not represent a danger to the ferret’s health.
What insects can a ferret eat, and do they pose a health concern?
Ferrets in the wild are known for their omnivorous capacity and since in their natural environment they usually take refuge in humid and dark places, they usually find cockroaches, which are part of their food.
Although the cockroach could represent a protein food, in reality, it does not provide anything good, on the contrary, cockroaches are sources of bacteria and parasites, even if the ferret has a very strong digestive system could be affected by the ingestion of cockroaches.
The fact that a pet ferret eats a cockroach does not mean that it can be affected directly and immediately, the problem could arise when this action becomes a habit and it does it constantly.
Grasshoppers are recognized as edible insects due to their high value of protein, vitamins, and minerals, ferrets can eat crickets without problems and in fact, they are very beneficial for their health.
Crickets can be part of a ferret’s healthy snack, crickets contain protein levels even similar to traditional meats such as chicken and beef, I am not saying that you should deliberately feed crickets to your ferret, but rather, that in the event that the ferret ingests a cricket it does not pose any danger of being toxic.
The ferret is not the only animal that can eat a centipede, some birds and rats also eat them, and it is not unusual for a ferret to hunt and eat an insect such as a centipede.
The centipede is an insect that in comparison to other insects has a considerable size, for a crawling animal it can be quite fast, but anyway, it is not able to evade the hunting instinct of a ferret.
I read about cases of people who have ferrets as pets, they say that their ferrets, when they see any butterfly, hunt it and eat it effectively.
The fact that a ferret eats a butterfly does not benefit it at all, they do it only for their hunting instinct.
It can be dangerous for a ferret to eat butterflies because there are some butterflies that are poisonous, especially butterflies with colored wings.
Although spiders are not really classified as insects, many people understand that spiders are insects, the fact is that ferrets can eat spiders.
This does not represent any harm to the ferret, although this type of insect is usually difficult to ingest.
Which insects can be safe food for ferrets?
As ferrets are carnivores, some people often offer them some insects as snacks.
Ferrets can safely eat mealworms, fly larvae, caterpillars, cicadas, and grasshoppers.
Insects are consumed whole, crushed or as flour, the latter form of preparation is the most commonly used for addition to human food and animal diets.
The most commonly used insects for animal feed are black soldier fly larvae and mealworm larvae.
Although ferrets are carnivorous animals, many people discourage feeding ferrets insects because many insects can be vectors of parasites.
In other cases, where insects are safe to eat, they may also have been exposed to insecticides and other unknown toxic elements that could be harmful to the ferret. Therefore, it is necessary to know the origin of the insects, ideally insects raised from insect farms.
It should be taken into account that ferrets are carnivorous animals, insects are not a fundamental part of their diet, it is something that would be a variety or complement to their main carnivorous diet.