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Ferrets/Moths eggs in 8 in 1 ferret food


QUESTION: Hi dear Jacquie !

Did you ever experience moths eggs and larvae in the ferret food ? I am buying 8 in 1 ferret food, which I always thought was a high quality food. I recently find maggots in my ferrets poop. And then I realized that they are moths flying about the cage. I look in the bag of food which recently arrived and sure enough is loaded with probably million of eggs and small growing larvae.
    I hope this does not have a ill effect on my 6 ferrets and I am grossed by bringing this into my house.


This letter shocks me!  No, I have never heard of this before.  Hopefully (and I'm sure you have) you have removed the food, washed their bowls, etc.  Strange, because just the other day a friend on my Facebook Ferret Group (THUNDERING FERRET PAWS) remarked that her 8-in-1 Ultimate food was not out of date, but smelled a bit rancid. She was asking if anyone had noticed the same......and I had just noticed that mine was smelling  bit just 'not quite right'.....but LIVE LARVAE AND MOTHS???   I sncerely question the cleanliness standards under which this food was packaged, which then makes me begin to question everything produced iunder the 8-in-1 name!

I hope you have been feeding a mixture of at least two foods...and this is a perfect example of why we recommend feeding a mixture of different foods, as ferrets "imprint" on their food, which means they may not recognize other foods as being food!  If you have, now is the time to toss out ant that has the disgusting food mixed into it; then feed only your other mixture without it.  PLEASE do report this to the "satisfaction Guarantee" contact information on the bag.  Hopefully you can provide the company with ant identifying numbers on the bag - check by the "use by" date for other factory identifying numbers, etc.  You will be helping ferret owners eveywhere by reporting it. Most likely they will issue avrecall and have it pulled from the shelves.

Now, before you do get too freaked egards to your ferrets health and this food, the larvae or moths themselves will not hurt the ferrets....grossl but ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means their tummies are made to eat whole, raw live "meat" of any knd and, if in the wild, a ferret might have a bit of fun chasing a moth around, then eating not to worry. It just sounds disgustng AND it should not happen in,packaged food with supposedly higher standards.

If your ferrets only are used to this food, some ways you may be able to help them eat a new food (we usually begin a food change by slowly introducing a new food little at a time in the old food, lessening the old food each time until the diet has completely changed over to the new food).  You probably don't want to do that in this case....but IF your ferrets will not eat a new food (maybe Totally Ferret?), you can try buying a small NEW bag of the old food and feed it, mixing little at first, then more and more of a new food till you get them completely changed over to the new food.

There is a great list of ferret foods here:    They list their foods with a 10 being the best, lower the number, the worst the food.  That being said, I have found that some good foods, ferrets just won't eat, so no matter how good it is, if they don't eat it, it is a waste of money and time.  Knowing you need a good, palateable food NOW (if you don't already have them eating a new food), I would strongly advise watching ALL FERRETS CLOSELY for a week or two and be sure they don't start losing weight. If one or more refuse to eat a new food, it IS possible they will starve themselves, not recognising the new food as food, so please watch closely.  Do NOT use things like NutriMalt or those sweet 'weight gaining' type foods - they are sugary and can cause insulinoma.  Stick to real MEAT food, NOT sweets.  Some of my ferrets best liked foods are Path Valley original chicken (crunchy) food (careful they have more than one food now and my kids hate and will not eat the new ones), they love Totally Ferret (again, the original adult mix - crunchy)....kit mix if you have babies, it is just higher fat content.  If all else fails, get canned baby food chicken or turkey MEAT ONLY, not "dinners", warm and let them lick it from your fingers - you may have to touch some inside their mouths to make them taste it at first....put a bit just behind their canine teeth (the long ones). You may need to do that several times before they will lick it from your fingers.  This is also a great treat for ferrets....ALWAYS MEAT, never sugary labels...if it has sugar in it, cross it off your list.  DO WATCH ALL FERRETS TO BE SURE THEY ARE EATING AND NOT LOSING WEIGHT while this is going on.  With six, it is easy to get overlooked with a problem like just do be careful..

My kids have all hated Zupreem, Masuri and  some other highly rated foods, a common complaint among many ferret owners., so maybe not the best to try initially to change them over onto.....but it seems most ferrets will take to Innova Evo, Totally Ferret, and  Path Valley....or, again, buy another bag of Ultimate and just examine it carefully before opening inside your home and feeding it.

Please do report this to 8-in-1, for you and for others too.  I would like to invite you to join me and a lot of other well experienced ferret owners on FACEBOOK  at THUNDERING FERRET PAWS...any member can approve you. It is an open group, limited only by all posts must be ferret related....hope to see you there.  Will be interested to see what you find out about this food problem.  I hope you don't mind if I anonymously share your discovery with those folks so they can be aware and watching their food also.

Thanks so much for writing....please feel free to write anytime, or...see you on the group!

Jacquie Rodgers

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi dear Jacquie !
     First thank you for your time and detailed answer about moths in 8 in 1 food. By all means share with everyone. A lot of people would probably think their ferrets have worms. I looked at the webside about ferret food you gave me and realized that they put  the rice in  8 in 1 food.  
    That is most likely the source of Indian meal moth. That also means it can contaminate your pantry, which is gross. I appreciate that you helped me to figure this out. It was pretty scary. You are right of course  about that changing ferret food to different brand is hard.  8 in 1 is number 10 on the chart, but it looks like that they starting to slack.
  Thank you again and your all advises are greatly appreciated.

Hi again, Olga:

Thanks for the kind words!

As always, the topic of ferrets, especially their food requirements and food availability, is ever-changing as more knowledge is gained.   Thanks to some folks on the ferret group on Facebook, I was told there is an updated food chart....which upon examination, appears to have a lot of new foods that weren't available when the MD Ferrets Food Chart was assembled.....check out this NEWER, more updated version.....

.....BTW, I have 8 -in1 Ultimate as one of my ferret's foods too, thinking it was a really good one, but upon looking at the new foods available and ingredients lists and comparing to the older "great"  foods, I am going to try to get my ferret over onto a few of these newer, much more advanced ferret foods.  Hopefully you will decide the same for your little one.  There are some really awesome foods with NO GRAINS at all in them!  I think animal nutritionists are finally deciding there ARE better choices for ferrets and enough ferret owners paying attention to what our kids nutritional requirements are to cause change......I was shocked at the fantastic nutritional differences!  Thanks for your question, it got ME looking at what else is available, so YOU were the one who actually helped me this time, and that's what ferret owner interractions can do for our kids!

That's one reason I love the Facebook ferret group.  New advances in ferret care are continual!  Folks get info from a variety of places (no one can be everywhere and on top of every single change) and I am never too proud to think I know it all, nor to keep learning.  :-)  Thank YOU!  :-)



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Jacquie Rodgers


PLEASE READ ALL BEFORE ASKING QUESTIONS... WHAT I CAN DO: Being a ferret owner for 20 years, I can answer questions re: general care, cage ideas & requirements, healthy foods and snacks, safety issues, ferretproofing play areas, common causes of intestinal blockages, appropriate housing, litterbox training, making bathtime fun, toys, games galore, outdoor trips, "Do`s and Don'ts, traveling w/ferrets by car or RV, safe environmental temperatures & keeping your ferret cool in summer (NOT A FAN!!), setting up a hospital cage, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), helicobacter (ulcers), adrenal disease symptoms & care,intestinal blockages, helping your ferret recover quickly/safely from surgery; common problems of ferret ownership, illnesses; care of sick or injured ferrets, hospice/palliative care, facing & coping with your ferret's death, choices that must be made when a ferret dies, memorializing your pet online and in your daily life. #1 TIP: FIND AN EXOTICS VET BEFORE YOU GET A VET...IF YOU WAIT, YOU MAY FIND YOU HAVE TO DRIVE UP TO 6-HRS TO GET TO A PROPER VET!..if you did not find one first, be WILLING to drive as far as possible for proper care. AND.... #2 TIP: FERRETS ARE EXPENSIVE TO FEED, HOUSE, VET & CARE FOR PROPERLY...IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD ONE/OR NOT READY TO SACRIFICE, PLEASE DON'T GET ONE!! A FERRET IS NOT LIKE HAVING A CAT OR DOG!! THEY REQUIRE MORE TIME, ENERGY, CARE AND MONEY to properly care for them. Prepare to spend up to $8,000-$10,000 OVER A FERRETS LIFETIME (6 to 8 years usually) FOR NECESSITIES & VET CARE. WHAT I CAN`T DO: I can`t take the place of your ferret vet; if your ferret appears sick,PLEASE have your ferret examined by a ferret vet .TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE FOR A SICK FERRET - PLEASE, IF IN DOUBT, GET THEM TO A VET! 24- hours of a ferret not eating/drinking may kill your ferret! NEVER FORCE FEED A SICK..he may choke. Sub-Q or IV fluids from your vet who is not eating WILL help save his life IF he gets it in time.


I have nursed ferrets through many illnesses, an injury, and a variety of diseases over the years.Ferrets are so very delicate, yet incredibly strong-willed; a well-loved ferret will fight courageously to live if given proper medical care, close monitoring, and especially lots of TLC.& LOVE. A ferret can entertain for hours on end when they know they are the center of attention; and they can make even the grumpiest person laugh. They do require a LOT of time, love and daily care, but the love you give a ferret always comes back to you tenfold OR MORE!! I dedicate the time I spend helping others here to my precious little ones who have gone to the Rainbow Bridge. They taught me how to laugh, to love unconditionally....and how to live each & every day to its fullest, and for that I am forever grateful.


Yuma Daily Sun (local newspaper) recognition for being an outstanding ferret mom and having incredibly well-trained ferrets. I am currently working on book of ferret care to share my experience. JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK:!/groups/thundering.ferret.paws/ for faster answers to your questions and input from other experienced ferret owners. Lots of past questions answered on that you can still reference by category. If you don't find your answer there, please submit it and I will be happy to help you :-)

I read everything I can get my hands on regarding ferrets, I learn from my great Exotics Vet, and my own experience and interactions with other ferret owners. I am writing a book on ferret care (Great Need for a CORRECT one!) never rely on a ferret book OR a website when your ferret is sick. I can help with suggestions to use IN CONJUNCTION with proper care by your exotics specialist vet (ASK when you call for an appointment whether or NOT your vet has EXPERIENCE in working with EXOTICS..if not, move on and continue to seek one. The wrong vet can KILL your ferret. I learned this early when my ferret hurt his front paw jumping off the couch...a vet, NOT EXOTICS SPECIALIST couln't handle ferret properly because he was afraid of the ferret...and ended up xraying THE WRONGBARM, telling me it was not hurt. I took xray & ferret to EXOTICS SPECIALIST VET 3-hrs away & found out the arm WAS BROKEN & wrong arm had been xrayed. THAT is how important it is to have a PROPERLY TRAINED VET FOR YOUR FERRET!

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