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LesR

Ferrets as Pets

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I’m considering getting a couple of ferrets not for working but to keep as pets for me the misses and our daughters. Wondering if anyone has done the same and got any tips / advice / do’s / don’t (s) etc?

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They make fantastic pets, get some gill polecat kits, hobs can grow to-be big, pickup and play with them every day and they soon become very friendly, they almost become dog like and will come when called, regular gentle handling is key, clean pen out regally as they can become smelly if not kept clean.

You and the kids will have hours of fun with them in the garden, build some drainpipe runs for them they love playing and investigating but keep an eye on them they can move fast when they want to.

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9 minutes ago, old'un said:

They make fantastic pets, get some gill polecat kits, hobs can grow to-be big, pickup and play with them every day and they soon become very friendly, they almost become dog like and will come when called, regular gentle handling is key, clean pen out regally as they can become smelly if not kept clean.

You and the kids will have hours of fun with them in the garden, build some drainpipe runs for them they love playing and investigating but keep an eye on them they can move fast when they want to.

Thanks 👍

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1 minute ago, ditchman said:

if you have them in the house ...just be aware of one thing................they are THIEVES.........

😂 Do they have a particular liking or will they take anything?

One of the things I was wondering was if they were bad for chewing at things in the house didn’t think about them pilfering.

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I had a few as pets when I was a kid. They were brilliant. As has been said they are almost like a small dog when handled regularly.

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1 minute ago, LesR said:

😂 Do they have a particular liking or will they take anything?

One of the things I was wondering was if they were bad for chewing at things in the house didn’t think about them pilfering.

they like nicking bits of food ....burrowing into the back of chairs and sofas and hiding bits of food.......

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Ferrets are sociable creatures so get two jills, make sure they have a good sized run, fill sleeping quarters with good clean hay, not straw or wood sawdust.

Food, I know a few people that used to give their ferrets tinned dog food but I prefer raw meat, its more natural, mix it up a bit, any cheap liver from the butchers, any game, pigeons are good but remove most of the feathers and don’t forget plenty of clean drinking water.

One problem with iills, unlike humans (or dogs or horses), ferrets are induced ovulators. This means that they won’t ovulate (release eggs from their ovaries) until they’re mated.

The trouble is that, unlike cats and rabbits, who are also induced ovulators, if she doesn’t ovulate, her season won’t end on its own, It keeps going, and the longer it goes on for, the more oestrogen is released into the bloodstream, oestrogen is a great hormone, and is responsible for many female sexual characteristics as well as preparing the reproductive tract for fertilisation. However, in excess it’s really bad for a jill (or indeed any mammal), and can suppress the bone marrow, preventing it from making blood cells.

There is help on hand, use the contraceptive implant, this essentially spays her medically for 18-24 months, without causing adrenal disease, this is now the most popular option!

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Saying of ferrets I remember a family in west Midlands having some outside in a large hutch they were all running around the kids was not bored that was in the summer problem is when it's the cold weather you might have to have them indoors 

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13 minutes ago, Leach said:

Saying of ferrets I remember a family in west Midlands having some outside in a large hutch they were all running around the kids was not bored that was in the summer problem is when it's the cold weather you might have to have them indoors 

No you won’t.

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5 minutes ago, old'un said:

No you won’t.

Agreed, and you need to keep them cool in warm weather too. 

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I worked mine and my kids also played with them, it is important to handle them gently from kits.
Have more than one, jills are best and have a large hutch with a separate sleeping area, they like to play and should be exercised outside the hutch, but they also spend a lot of time asleep.
A friend kept his in a backdoor porch area, but I would not consider them as indoor pets, even if they are kept super clean (and that is important) they can have a musty odour.
For feeding, raw meat (and fish) is best and don't overdo liver or milk, both can induce bone malformation, especially in kits.

 

 

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42 minutes ago, mossy835 said:

they make very good pets.they like company

Had 4 as kids 

Think they might have been polecat x, very friendly. I'm going to get some as the boy wants a pet and I'm not doing Guinea pigs or rabbits 

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when you do feed them make sure they also get the hair ....hide and feather....not just raw meat....they will from time to time eat a bit of vedge and fruit

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Get a rat instead of a ferret unless you want your hands and clothes to stink after you've played with them, been there, done that got the (smelly) t shirt!

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Great pets, they love to play with you and get super excited.

Warning, they love to poop in corners, and they are very quick at it.

Also, if they are only going to be pets, I suggest you consider getting them from a ferret rescue centre. They are already neutered, assessed for character and whether they are suitable for inexperienced owners.

I got mine from a rescue place in South Cave in East Yorkshire. The support and advice was excellent.

Edited by moondoggy
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Some cracking advice already above,  no matter what you do they certainly have an aroma.

You can get chicken wings or carcasses from the butchers but as others have said they need fur as well.

And I always found it easier keeping them warm rather than cool, summer brings flies 

 

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I would personally get a hob, yes they are bigger and smellier but I find them friendly, not as lively as a Gill. Don't pay silly money for one, from May onwards they should be giving them away. I did when I kept many, took the odd fiver if lads wanted two or three. 

They are great creatures and easy to house train, just make sure everything is escape proof 

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