Jena, I've tried Marshall Farm premium ferret diet and I use it now with
some of my ferrets. It is a good quality ferret diet and they will do
quite well on it. The problem is that many ferrets won't eat it.
I've read often - and I've experienced this in my own house - that
whatever a ferret is eating around 4 months of age, becomes the preferred
food for life. It kind of 'imprints' on their brain.
That's why I like to mix several good foods because - again, in my
experience - the ferret is more 'open' to trying new and different foods.
I have 17 ferrets and only 5 will eat the MF. I raised last year's litter
on a mixture of Totally Ferret, Marshall Farms Ferret Diet, and Proplan
Kitten. Those are the ones that will eat the MF food. Interestingly, the
mom and pop of that litter will also it (I don't want you to think I keep
the ENTIRE litter!!) - I mean eat it.
The remaining 12 don't like it and will pick everything else out and
leave that in the bottom of the dish.
I have heard people mistakenly say that ferrets won't eat it because
it's fishy and/or fish-based, but I say hog-wash. It's a chicken-based
food and is no more fishy than Nutrical or Laxatone - and ferrets
LOVE that stuff - and BTW, Nutrical actually has cod liver oil in it,
and that's pretty fishy!
Marshall Farms Ferret Diet is 38% protein and 18% fat.
BUT, I think MOST ferrets would prefer Totally Ferret over Marshall Farms
food. AGain, in my house, I had much more luck converting over to
Totally Ferret than Marshall Farms. None of my older ferrets will eat
the Marshall food, and everybody loves the Totally Ferret.
Marshall Farms raises their kits on Marshall Farm food, so, if you buy
a MF ferret, you should have no problem getting it to eat MF food. I
still think it's a good idea to mix foods though. In later life, if
you should ever need to change your ferret's diet due to health reasons,
you are going to have one heck of a time if they've been eating only
one food all their life.
So, I keep hoping that Totally Ferret will make a different flavor -
turkey or lamb - so that we can give our ferrets good nutrition in
a variety of flavors.
One more thing, MF food is about 1/2 the cost of TF - but, as Dr. Judi
Bell (MF vet) says, No food is nutritous sitting on the shelf. It
does no good if the ferret won't eat it no matter how healthful it is!
[Posted in FML issue 1217]