Perhaps I should rephrase... too much protein in a carnivore's diet can lead to kidney problems..... if all the protein isn't animal-based, and if the supplementary protein is something the carnivore wouldn't find in the stomach contents of their prey. Despite what perfect little Blue Buffalo has led you to believe, potato protein is NOT the best form of supplementary protein out there. I'm more inclined to believe pea protein is a better supplementary source as that's what cats and probably what ferrets would be much more likely to find in the stomach contents of their prey than potato; let's not forget that the ferret's natural diet is the Prairie Dog, but they will go after rabbits and smaller rodents when the Prairie Dog isn't available. Both the rabbit and Prairie Dog's diets are majorly plant-based, which means the ferret eating their stomach contents would be more likely to find peas, than they would potatoes, because, um, oh yes, potatoes are toxic to any creature that I know of that tries to eat them raw. And rabbits, and Prairie Dogs, which don't eat potatoes anyway, don't happen to have access to heating elements.
Also, we humans are omnivores, ferrets and cats are carnivores. It is impossible for our bodies to metabolize protein in the same way; which is why healthy carnivores can eat the meat of diseased prey, and live through the next day, perfectly healthy. They were gifted with claws and fangs, and run the slowest, and thus the most ill of their prey down. We humans weren't designed with claws and fangs, we were however, designed with the know-how to construct bows and arrows, and because of them(or more recently, guns or cross-bows), take down the strongest of the herd. Eating the meat from diseased and otherwise ill animals have left humans with a hoard of complications - when carnivores eat that type of meat perfectly fine. So no, we do not digest protein the same as one another - as carnivores obtain protein strictly from meat sources, and we obtain protein from meat, as well as plant sources.
Adrenal problems would be the cause of dry food, and ill-placed supplementary ingredients. Kidney disease and failure is so common in carnivores fed a dry diet, because simply trying to digest it stresses their kidneys. Carnivores were designed to obtain moisture from their prey, along with sources of water only WHEN they happened to be available, which, depending on the area, can be several days, weeks, months, or even years. Ferrets nor cats are very thirst-driven, which, isn't their fault, they're still trying to operate based on how they were biologically designed to, no matter how much we may torture their poor digestive tracts. Dry foods lack completely in the moisture department, so their kidneys are sucking on dry food which contain totally not NEARLY enough moisture, and if it spends a long enough time doing that...leads to kidney failure.
Try as you might to succeed to fool yourself, and others, that dry food, and Blue Buffalo are the best things in the world..but in my humble opinion, your setting your ferrets up for a life of misery that starts anywhere from within a few weeks, a few months, or a few years from now, and they will succumb to stressed adrenal glands and kidneys that, try as they might, could not obtain the necessary requirements it needs to work for very long.
Also, I can't buy that you're an animal science major...you type like you're still a few years away from college. And if you are indeed an animal science major, and they taught you that humans and carnivores digest protein the same way, then I'm totally dropping animal science as a potential career in college. Despite what it sounds, I'm glad Blue Buffalo has worked for your ferrets, much like Wysong has worked for my cats, but you're still misinformed in the protein and kidney disease department.
Last edited by FlickeringHope; 08-25-2010 at 12:00 AM.