Okay, let's try this again.
Chris asked whether anyone would consider feeding mice to their
ferrets, as one does with large pet snakes, to ensure that they
were getting the nutrients that the ferrets need from bones,
I guess to begin with, as many of you know, a diet of lean
(muscle) meat does not provide all of the nutrition that your
carnivoric pets need. They could starve on a diet of lean meat.
They also need bones, gristle, organs (taurine comes from organ
meats), fat, skin, fur, membranes, etc.
The label on your kibble box should list "meat byproducts" or
"poultry meal" as one of the first three (preferably as the
first or second) ingredients. Byproducts and meal are organs,
bone, skin, fur, beaks, feet, snouts, gristle, and everything
else except the squawk.
Whether this is enough for your ferret, I don't know.
I do know of a couple of people who feed their ferrets a special
meat diet of whole feeder mice (dead) and steamed scraps of lean
and organ meats that they get from the butcher. These ferrets
are getting regular kibble and vitamin supplements, too. They
seem very healthy--robust even. But I can't say whether the mice
make any difference in themselves.
For now, I'm keeping my girls on their Iams Kitten/TF mix. They
turn their noses up at fresh meat. My girls are also healthy and
robust. Also, given my current household composition, I don't
think that pinkies in the freezer will endear me to the human
Would love to hear from the UK side of the pond on this.