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Ferret as a pet - opinions welcome


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Seagrave Jnr is convinced (I may, possibly, have planted the seeds with this one) that a ferret will make the perfect pet for him. Are we OK to keep a hob ferret by himself, or do they really need to be kept in pairs+?

Despite years of pestering, we don’t have much combined experience of animal husbandry - are we better off getting an older animal, or starting with a kit?

Opinions welcome. We’re in Bedford if there’s anyone local who fancies answering our noddy questions in person.

 

LS

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If you were closer to me y could have had one of my kits it will be the best thing for you your lad handling it every day keep the cage clean no smell to anoy the wife a hob will  be fine on his own with a pocket of nets you both will be set for many of many happy memories for you and your lad 

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I think you can keep hobs alone but I know Jill's need to be mated unless spade or they die if I remember right. I used to keep working ferrets when I was younger but I do think they do best in groups. They do seem to spend 90% of their time asleep all bundled together. The only other thing I always remember is they stink so clean them everyday.

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They are very sociable animals and enjoy the company of other ferrets if from the same litter, although hibs seem perfectly happy on their own. Jill’s require taking out of season to avoid the build up of oestrogen, which can be fatal. 
A woman I know has three or four which live in her flat with her; when she’s home they have the run of the flat. 🤷‍♂️

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29 minutes ago, Lsto said:

but I know Jill's need to be mated unless spade or they die if I remember right

There is the Jill jab and vasectomised hobs to bring them out of season. 

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As said there sociable animals happier in a group , in a short while theres loads of kits going to be avilable from free to the chancers £100 + each . Look on facebook there loads of groups on there you might find one local to you ?. Ive never fancied keeping them in the house maybe because ive 10 jills and 2 hobs LOL If you are keeping them in a hutch the bigger the better but a 6x2x2 is the sort of reccommended size for a pair . Then are you feeding raw or kibble or a mixture in times like this googles if your friend  

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1 hour ago, Mice! said:

There is the Jill jab and vasectomised hobs to bring them out of season. 

Good shout K 👍

LG, get a couple and as Scully says they ferrets can be wonderful company for each other especially from the same litter, near as easy to keep two than one, comical to watch them playing.

Had plenty of Hobs who were happy on their own.

I miss my ferrets!

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Terrific - a wealth of knowledge.

We trekked down to Stevenage to see a fella with his kits and had a very enlightening experience handling the parents. The kits were all reserved apart from one jill, but we were really there to suss (and sniff) it all out. Seagrave Jnr was in his element, which was good to see.


We weren’t able to handle the kits as they were very nippy, which is what makes me think that a slightly older ferret might be less intimidating!

At least we are coming into the game at the right time :lol:

Will keep asking questions and seeing as many as we can. Happy to travel. Have invested in an enormous cage :good:

 

LS

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If and when you do get some, buy them a hammock; there is nothing more relaxed than ferrets in a hammock! 🙂

You can now get ones which will sleep two or three; a young lass in the village bought such a one for ours and they look as snug as bugs in it. 

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10 hours ago, lord_seagrave said:

Terrific - a wealth of knowledge.

We trekked down to Stevenage to see a fella with his kits and had a very enlightening experience handling the parents. The kits were all reserved apart from one jill, but we were really there to suss (and sniff) it all out. Seagrave Jnr was in his element, which was good to see.


We weren’t able to handle the kits as they were very nippy, which is what makes me think that a slightly older ferret might be less intimidating!

At least we are coming into the game at the right time

Will keep asking questions and seeing as many as we can. Happy to travel. Have invested in an enormous cage :good:

 

LS

 

Some good tips/advice above.

If you get an older ferret and it bites it will sink its teeth down to the bone, you will get a few nips from kits, its part of the fun:) but regular handling should stop this, just watching their antics when playing will give you hours of fun, don't know why but I always found Jill's more playful than Hobs.

Make sure your run is easy to wash down, clean out run regularly, it will help stop flies and smell.

If you want to get a bit more fun from your ferrets build an enclosed play area in your garden, put some lengths of drainpipe in it and a few toys.

 

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11 hours ago, lord_seagrave said:

We weren’t able to handle the kits as they were very nippy, which is what makes me think that a slightly older ferret might be less intimidating!

No I'd definitely get kits unless you rehome some that you are assured have been well handled.

When I had mine half the streets kids would be round playing with the kits, they are brilliant at that age.

Well handled kits make well handled adults.

11 hours ago, 7daysinaweek said:

miss my ferrets!

Me as well mate, such characters, kept clean and well handled fantastic little creatures.

But @lord_seagrave escape artists 

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6 minutes ago, Mice! said:

No I'd definitely get kits unless you rehome some that you are assured have been well handled.

When I had mine half the streets kids would be round playing with the kits, they are brilliant at that age.

Well handled kits make well handled adults.

Me as well mate, such characters, kept clean and well handled fantastic little creatures.

But @lord_seagrave escape artists 

I agree K

Well handled kits are a joy.

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As said go for a kit a good breeder will have done most if not all of the hard work on them nipping and if they still nip the odd time its no hardship , Just remember when they nip push your finger /knuckle into its mouth dont pull LOL . A hob will come into season earlier than jills and will smell a bit when there testies drop Then with the jills they come into season with the longer daylight hours so could be in season from March till October so looking at getting them out of season is a snipped hob (Best most natural way ) jill jab or implant . Its early days but if you want to try working them a couple of jills and a sipped hob can live togther all year and a nice number to work most burrows . Like other animals i am wary of older animals being offer for rehoming as i think they will have faults  

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2 hours ago, lord_seagrave said:

Really appreciate all this advice - especially about the importance of handling. My concern is that Seagrave Jnr will be twice shy if bitten once.

 

Off the Baldock next weekend to look at some more!

 

LS

Put a bit of butter on your fingers. ;)

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I miss my ferrets. Really cheeky little things. We used to house them in the garden but bring them inside for a couple hours a day. They would have hours of fun just sniffing about and play fighting.

If you do buy some then it's worth considering neutering them as it takes away the smell almost completely. They will also only toilet in one corner of the hutch so its worth cutting out the floor and replacing it with mesh so the mess falls through into a bucket and can be easily removed. They are also escape artists and are incredibly persistent so if the enclosure has any weaknesses then they'll be gone. 

I used to work them as well and there's not much more exciting than being stood silently above a burrow, hearing the rabbits running about underground and waiting for a bolt to a waiting gun or net.

Kits will nip (as do puppies) but some patience and time spent handling them will stop the nipping. When they do bite it's quite mild and they usually let go if you push into the jaws rather than pull away.

Always remember (and have the scar to prove it) a mates adult hob sinking it's teeth into the knuckle of my index finger. Damn thing near enough pulled the skin off of my entire knuckle before it let go. That thing was a rescue if I remember and incredibly unpredictable, especially when working.

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