Do ferrets make good pets
Welcome to my Ferret Page. Here I will try to answer all your ferret questions... do they make good pets? and how much do ferrets cost. I will also provide some fantastic Ferret pictures for you to enjoy. Below is a nice ferret picture to start off..
Ferrets are kept by people all over the world in huge numbers. Approximately 800,000 ferrets are currently kept in captivity in the United States Alone! So why are they so popular? Do Ferrets Make good Pets?
The Short answer is yes, however there are a lot of things you should know before going out and buying one. I will now try to explain in detail.
The Ferret (mustela postorius furo) is a domesticated predator and when I say predator I really mean it. They come from the same family as Weasels, stoats and polecats and belaying their size, all the members of this prolific family are incredibly successful, sly and lethal predators.
Ferrets come in many different colour varieties including black, brown, White, Grey and Mixed (polecat look). The average length of a ferret is 51cm with a 13cm tail and they can weigh between 500g and 2Kgs. The Ferret Species is Sexually Dimorphic meaning that the male (opposite to Raptors) is substantially bigger than the female. Male ferrets are called Hobs and females are called Jills.
Ferrets have been domesticated for at least the last 2,500 years. Ferrets have always been used by humans to hunt rabbits. Because of their size and inquisitive personalities, ferrets are the perfect partners in crime for a rabbit hunter. They have an excellent sense of smell and usually can tell whether or not a warren is inhabited.
So, now we move on to our all important question...do ferrets make good pets? Well many people believe that ferrets make perfect pets. They are cheeky, fun, very inquisitive, energetic, fairly easy to keep, clean, can be house trained, intelligent and loving animals.
These are all the pros of having a pet ferret. The cons are that one must remember they are a predator at heart and can be very aggressive if mishandled, can give a nasty bite and can carry diseases transferable to humans. They are also prone to diseases themselves especially unfortunately certain types of glandular cancer.
Recently in the UK, a lot of Ferrets have died due to a disease they have been picking up whilst working/ferreting rabbit warrens and so a lot of Falconers have left their ferrets at home until recently.
Male ferrets also have a musk gland which secretes a smell which at times can be quite pungent. Gills are a lot less smelly but they have a problem of their own...Ferrets are prolific breeders and a gill can have a huge build up of Oestrogen when she is on heat. If this is not seen to, this will get worse and worse and can even kill the ferret. This is something to think about when wondering do ferrets make good pets.
So the next question we must answer is how much do ferrets cost? This is obviously an important question when trying to figure out do ferrets make good pets..Well this is a difficult one to answer as ferrets can vary enormously in price. To be Honest, ferrets are such quick breeders that many ferret keepers are over run with baby ferrets (kits) and will be quite happy to give some away.
However if you contact a certified ferret breeder, you can find yourself paying anything up to £300 for certain special breeds. Angora fur ferrets are more expensive than the normal ones (I think the normal ones look nicer anyway) so to answer the question how much do ferrets cost, they can cost anything between 0 - £300 depending on where you are, who you are buying off and luck!
The Wild version of a ferret is The Polecat. Generally speaking the polecats are split up into different species of weasel. These are the striped polecat, marbled polecat, the Steppe Polecat and the European Polecat. The domestic ferret is closely related to all of these and also the Civet cats which are mostly nocturnal.
In their wild state polecats are prolific hunters and catch a wide variety of prey, some prey species recorded for polecats are;
The ferret instinctively is very inquisitive. It does not need much to train a ferret to go snooping down rabbit holes and flush the rabbits out for your hawk waiting on your fist or in a tree above the warren.
Of course many things have to come together to make the perfect flush and what happens more often than you would think is that the ferret finds no rabbit in the hole, the rabbit finds another hole to escape from or the rabbit comes out and pops straight into another hole nearby before the hawk can react.
Also it is necessary to keep the hunger level of the ferret at the right point. Too much food and the ferret wont be interested enough in the rabbits and may well go to sleep in the warren, too little food and the ferret may well kill the rabbit in the hole.
In a bunnies brain, sometimes the ferret is less scary than the hawk and will stay blocking the hole and then the falconer often has to dig the ferret out. So when ferreting always remember a spade.
Another vital thing to remember is a ferret finder. Telemetry for ferrets is almost as important as telemetry for the hawks. Ferrets often get stuck or just decide to stay down holes and then (unless you want to dig about 150 holes) it is necessary to know the exact depth and position of the underground ferret. As well as this, ferret males sometimes smell wild polecat females on heat and then there is not much stopping them...again the ferret finder is vital.
I hope you have enjoyed my “do ferrets make good pets” page and I have answered some of your questions on how much do ferrets cost. Please feel free to browse the rest of the site. :)