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Marbled Polecat Diet

ferrets, badgers, otters, weasels, martens, wolverines etc

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Ash
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Marbled Polecat Diet

Postby Ash » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:31 am

I was looking through the AZA manuals and online but I couldn't really find any diets listed specifically for the marbled polecat. So I would look for ferret and European polecat diets. How similar do you think the marbled polecat diet is to the ferret's and other polecat's?

In the AZA manual it says the domestic ferret does well on certain brands of cat food. Also it should have an assortment of vegetables? I know that marbled polecats are strictly carnivorous, so this leads me to believe that their dietary needs are much different. Then again, I thought ferrets were strictly carnivorous as well.

At the moment the diet I think would be best from what I've researched on marbled polecats and from comparing to the ferret/polecat diet would be: high quality cat food heavily supplemented with raw chicken, rabbit, boiled eggs, and mice.

Or do you think a diet based primarily on chicken, rabbit, eggs, and mice would be best? So without the cat food.

I'm wanting to get all my ducks in a row so that next year when I'm actually getting some I'll have everything figured out way before hand.

Thanks.
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Re: Marbled Polecat Diet

Postby Moonfall » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:12 pm

Ferrets are strictly carnivorous and feeding carbohydrates can kill them. Generally speaking a kibble diet is a bad idea and many owners are feeding raw or whole prey diets.

For a ferret, they need 4 types of protein, and probably similar for a polecat. I think WHOLE rabbit, chicken, eggs, mice would be a good diet but they can't have just the meat, they need the bones and stuff also.
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Re: Marbled Polecat Diet

Postby Ash » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:35 pm

After looking around a bit more I realized that the raw diet is definitely best for them. And yeah, they definitely need bones. I'd give them whole mice and chunks of rabbit all ground up and chicken legs/wings. It also looks like insects are a good healthy treat for them. So some mealworms, crickets, or roaches every now and again woud probably be good for them.

Some breeders suggest to feed them fruits and veggies, but I think I'm going to avoid that direction. The three AZA institutes listed in the manual all fed their domestic ferrets kibble, so that's kind of strange.

Thanks!
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Re: Marbled Polecat Diet

Postby the_unstable » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:33 am

I think most people do feed their ferrets kibble, though it doesn't mean that is what is best. As I'm sure you know, raw can be difficult to feed since it is hard to properly calculate and meet nutritional requirements if you don't know what you're doing. Feeding [domestic] pets raw meat is still seemingly a controversial thing. The only reason I don't do it is because I'm worried that my pets would not get all of their necessary nutrients.

Feeding the highest quality cat or kitten foods to ferrets is the best thing you can do next to feeding raw. With lower quality kibbles, ferret stools will be loose, kind of like toothpaste, when really they should be more solid, similar looking to a typical dog or cat stool (but obviously much smaller). I feed my ferrets Wellness Core cat food and they get pretty good stools.
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Re: Marbled Polecat Diet

Postby Ash » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:19 am

That's good to know. Thanks. I'll have to keep looking into this and see if I can find anything else definitive. It would be great if ferret/cat food would be the main portion of their diet with the meats being supplementary. It would make things a lot simpler and easier.

But I want to do what's best for them, so we'll see what I find out. As for the meat and the nutritional aspect of it, I would feed them whole rabbit and whole mice--which would ensure that they were getting everything they eat from the wild. The innards of animals, I hear, are really good for carnivores along with the meat and bone.

I was looking at meat grinders--just out of curiosity. Them things are expensive! Does anybody know if there are any medium-sized ones you can buy that you just throw a whole rabbit into? The ones I've seen only have room for parts of an animal and not the whole thing. That's probably a weird question, and I'm sure anything big like that is going to be even more expensive. I'll have to get a meat grinder at some point, so I was just looking around.
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Re: Marbled Polecat Diet

Postby the_unstable » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:02 pm

If there are zoos and other educational facilities feeding wild species of an animals kibble diets, I would think it would be alright for the marbled polecats as a staple.

Might want to wait on the meat grinder thing. I've never heard of being able to buy one before. Isn't just giving them whole dead prey a good thing, kind of serves as enrichment as well...? I would think it would be good for their teeth as well to have to chew up the bones and stuff, though also harder for them to eat the bones and get the nutrients they need. Maybe you can buy bone meal just in case. I would think if they're just given ground up meat slop all the time, it wouldn't be as enjoyable for them and wouldn't give their teeth the "exercise" from the bone chewing.

Maybe you can find someone who owns a meat grinder who would be willing to grind up meat for you for a small price every now and then. Then you could buy a deep freeze and put the ground meat in there.
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Re: Marbled Polecat Diet

Postby amyers » Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:51 pm

I don't know loads about ferrets or polecats, but EVO does make a ferret diet.

http://www.naturapet.com/products/1671
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Re: Marbled Polecat Diet

Postby Ash » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:27 pm

Here's where I was looking at meat grinders. Actually, I think my uncles may have some since they make deer sausage each year--at least, I think they do it themselves.

http://northcoastpets.com/barf_hardware.htm

The whole bones would probably be good for their teeth as you said. But having a simple bowl of chopped up rabbit all mixed together would be easier and less icky to clean up, I think. At any rate, I'll have to see. I don't think I would need a meat grinder for marbled polecats, but I would like to get one when I have other carnivores. Then again, the whole bones would probably be best for them too.

Thanks, Amyers. :)
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Re: Marbled Polecat Diet

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:48 pm

All over the counter meat grinders have little holes so you don't grind a finger or hand off.

If you want to toss in huge chunks or whole bunnies you will need a commercial grinder like this
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Meat-Grinder-Mi ... 43adff45fa

A whole bunch of commercial grinders
http://www.bid-on-equipment.com/6820.htm

Oh a frozen meat grinder http://www.bid-on-equipment.com/detail~id~119161.htm
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Re: Marbled Polecat Diet

Postby Ash » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:50 pm

Thanks for the links!
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