For Ferrets Only
For Ferrets Only

Home
Accessories
Bedding
Books & Video
Cages
Food & Litter
Ferritsies
Gifts
Grooming
Health
Scentsations
Shim
Stationery
Toys
Gift Certificates
Photo Contest
Testimonials
Wholesale Info
Return Policy
Shipping Info
Contact Us
Ask Angela
Ferret School
Shelters/Rescues
Links
Here's to Healthy Pets
clear
Here's to Health
clear
Komacha Kids
clear
Bags, Bangles & Bows
 

For Ferrets Only
Ask Angela


Breeding:


 

QUESTION:
My hubby purcased 3 Jills, they have been mated we think (before we got them). I have noticed today that their teats are starting to protude and they are taking all the meat I give them into their nests. I am wondering if this is a tell tale sign of how long before they will give birth. Any help or advice you could give me will be greatly appreciated.


ANSWER:

Gestation is 42 days from mating, so that should five you some idea of how far along they are. Make sure they all have seperate nesting boxes in a quiet, dark place. There boxes should have a lid so you can look in to make sure that everything is going okay during birth and also after, incase you need to help untangle babies or remove dead ones. Best look whilst moms are busy eating, give them pureed cooked chicken, it will take longer to eat and give you more time to look into nests.

 


QUESTION:
Could you please tell me if the correct time to put the jill with the hob for mating is 2 weeks after her vulva is fully swollen or if it is 2 weeks from when I first notice it starting to swell? I can not find a clear answer on this so your help will be appreaciated.


ANSWER:

As soon as it is fully swollen, which should be about 2 weeks after you see it start to swell.

 


QUESTION:

I’ve been going through your website and I’m finding it very useful, thanks for all the information.

 

I’m about to breed my female ferret Nixi. We’re all prepared, found a male, and will be able to stay with her during the birthing.

 

My only question is, how will I clean the cage once she has given birth? I know I shouldn’t handle the kits in the first couple of weeks, and I know that they have to be aided to empty their bowels, but should I just leave it to the mother to keep them clean and away from the mess, or should I clean the cage as I usually do?


ANSWER:

What country are you in and where do you keep your ferrets, indoors or outside? What did you mean about being there (fert or you) for the birthing?

 

The female ferret should be put in with male for breeding only, after that she should be returned to her own home. You do not need to do anything while she is having the kits, but should provide a box that can open from the top, to look in to make sure that all is well. The mother will take care of her young herself, you will not need to clean them or do anything. Once you see them start coming out of the box at about 2-3 weeks, you will know that they can now use the bathroom without stimulus from mother and they will head to the nearest corner to do their business.

 

If they are indoors, just provide a cardboard box, make the hole in the front, so mama can climb out, but babies cannot fall out, about 2-3" up from bottom. Have flaps on top so you can open to see in. The box should be large enough for mama to fit comfortably with her babies, make sure she can stretch out and care for them. Try to get 2 boxes the same, so if one does get soiled you can change it without her noticing too much.

 


QUESTION:
I have a female ferret that is about a year and a half old. This summer she come into heat and was taken to a friends hob. After 42 days we found out she had a false pregnancy. I'm wondering what are the risks of her having a real pregnancy next year or should I get her spayed? I note that ferrets are rare pets her were I live and I'm aware of the usual risks when breeding ferrets.


ANSWER:

You can try to breed her next year, usually it is only the first time that there can be problems. Of course there is no guarantee that she will have babies, but you need to make sure that you have homes for the babies if she does and that the people know how to care for them. If they take females they will need to be spayed (if not breeding) and the males will stink if not neutered. If you do not want to breed her then get her spayed BEFORE she comes into season.

 


QUESTION:
Just went through your web site and what a help! I have a question and was wondering if you could help me. I have 3 ferrets, 2 females and one male. Keyla and Rex stay in one cage and Kike has her owe cage, since she is a new member of the family. Rex is fine with Kike, but Keyla is not to happy about having her around. So I keep them apart for now. But my question is: From what I been reading the time for breeding did not start yet, but Rex and Keyla looks like they started to mate. Is it the right time for them to been mating yet? And if he mates with Keyla, could he mate with Kike too? And how should it be done? I am very new on it and would love to get your advice on it.


ANSWER:

You will know when the females are ready to mate, when their vulvas are swollen, it would be best to put the male and female together at that time, so the male (who comes into heat earlier) will not keep bothering the females. The male can be used to breed with both the females, but you should wait until their vulvas are really swollen, then put them one at a time with the male and then mark the date of mating on your calendar. Gestation is 42 days after.


You should prepare a quiet dark place for each female to have their babies, make sure you have a box with an opening at top, so you can look in to see that mother and babies are fine. I do hope you have a ferret knowledgeable vet to help out in case of need and that you have homes for all these babies, if not spaying the females will be necessary to keep down unwanted ferrets.

 


QUESTION:
I have 4 fixed ferrets and love them as my own children. I have recently thought of breeding ferrets but am having a hard time finding any that aren't fixed. I live in Oklahoma do you know how to find any that I can get?


ANSWER:
Since running a shelter for 12 years and having bred ferrets many years ago, I would not recommend breeding, there are just too many ferrets in shelters looking for homes! If you have homes for all your expected kits, remember the females will need spaying or they will die and the males do not make great house pets, during breeding season they mark their territory with their urine, plus the oils in their fur make them stink! However you can put in a search for Ferret Breeders, you will need a responsible one.

 


QUESTION:
You might remember me from last year when I bred my ferrets and had 10 babies. I have forgot when ferrets come into season, could you please email me and let me know.


ANSWER:
How are all the babies, did you find homes for them? The male starts his season from Jan-July, the female Mar-Sept, but of course this may vary slightly with the individual ferrets.

 


QUESTION:
I have a question about ferrets and hopefully you could email me back with the answers! I understand your concerns about too many ferrets needing homes that are currently in shelters. I visit shelters once a week to help out, adopt, and do whatever I can to help. With this being said I have still decided to breed ferrets but would be a beginner at it (breeding ferrets not owning them). I live in the US. (southern NJ) and I would like to know where I could buy two ferrets that would be best for breeding, if there is a certain time of the year breeding is best or appropriate and how much they would be. Like I said I am new at breeding, I understand it is very hard work, but would love your advice on the questions I asked.


ANSWER:
Male ferrets can start their breeding cycle in January-July, the females usually begin in March-Sept. However, you must remember that the female once in heat MUST be bred or she will most likely die from prolonged heat, of aplastic anemia. She will not cycle in and out of heat as a cat and dog but remain in heat until bred.

 

Male ferrets really do stink when in heat and mark their territory with dribbles of urine, so you will need a setup that is easy to clean. You will need a vet very familiar with ferrets before you need one to make sure he/she will be available incase of trouble during pregnancy or birthing. If mother's milk dries up you will have to feed babies every 2 hours, stimulating their bowels and keeping them warm unless of course Mama can help.

 

The biggest responsibility for you, is to make sure you have homes for all the babies before they are born, there could be up to 13 babies. Remember all the females will need spaying if there are no homes for them and that is a large expense.

 


QUESTION:
I'm going to be buying a minimum of two ferrets, and would like to breed them. This would be the first time I have bred ferrets and if you don't mind I have a couple of questions!

 

Can you breed ferrets related to each other? e.g. brother and sister, as I will most probably be getting them from the same litter? Are there any things you must do to assist a female through pregnancy and after birth? And must they be spayed/neutered after the litter if you only intend to have one litter?


ANSWER:
You cannot breed brother and sister, as with all mammals you will end up with defective ferrets. You do not have to assist a female, however you will need a quiet dark habitat for her to birth and an opening for you to peek in to make sure all is going well. In the section of FERRET SCHOOL there is an article about breeding you might want to read.

 

Since you are in the UK I can put you in touch with a friend who has years of experience with ferrets. Also you must keep in mind that there are hundreds of ferrets in SHELTERS all over the UK and the US, there are already too many ferrets and unless you have homes for them it is not a good idea to breed them at all.

 

A male that is not neutered is 'extremely stinky during breeding season' and does not make a good house. The female will need to be spayed if not bred as she will develop aplastic anemia only a couple of weeks into her heat cycle and will die.

 


QUESTION:
Mama is doing fine she is still feeding them but what is worring me is she is so thin is that normal and if there should be anything else we should give as well as her normal food?

ANSWER:
She needs lots of MEAT protein. If you are feeding her kibble it takes a long time for her body to break that down and of course the babies are eating everything her body is producing. Can you get her some jars of MEAT BABYFOOD (MEAT ONLY) and give her 4-5 teaspoonsful mixed with a teaspoon of water 2-3 times a day? The babies will also start to eat a little of this when they are old enough, which will help mama and give her a rest.

 

You can cook some chicken with bones and skin in water only. Once tender you can put in a blender with some of the softer bones and when it becomes puree put it through a sieve to remove any sharp bones, it should look just like the babyfood. Feed the soft food warm, the ferrets do not like it cold.

 


QUESTION:
We have 6 kits only a few days old and was wondering about feeding them when older. At what age will they need more than mother milk and what do we feed them.

ANSWER:
What are you feeding the mother? It would not hurt to supplement her food with chicken baby food as it is high in protein and very quickly assimilated by the body. You could mix 3-4 teaspoonfuls with 1 teaspoon of water (or 1 teaspoonful of vanilla Ensure) and give it to her twice a day. Once you see the kits trying to eat kibble or mom's baby food then you can make a bowl for them, PLUS soak some kibble in a little water till soft and leave it for them in the cage.

 

They will probably be nibbling at 4-5 weeks old depending on mothers milk supply, you will know when! They do not cut molars until they are 8-9 weeks old so softer food should be provided along with a dish of hard kibble until you are sure they are eating.

 


QUESTION:
I was wondering if I could trouble you for some advice. We recently got 2 ferrets they were actually dumped on my brothers doorstep, and since we are a very animal friendly home we decided to take them in.. They have been fine and we have created a ferret heaven for them in the kids old shed. They have tunnels and ramps and little houses to explore they love it to bits. We had worked out that one ferret is male and the other female. And have looked at getting them. As I found out about this issue with the females and being in season etc.

 

Anyway getting to the point. Today we went out to do the usual feeding and clean up etc and have spotted around 6 or 7 babies in the house. Its up on one of the top shelves and the ferrets seem to favor that place to sleep. I HAVEN'T GONE IN TO MOVE THE BOX OR ANYTHNG I HAVE JUST LEFT AS IS. The female was quite happy to come out when we went in with food etc. so seem quite relaxed, However I am not sure what to now do with the male. Do I leave him in there or take him out ..? Will he attack the babies? etc. I'm so new to this, I'm a bit out of my depth. I am looking at all sites on the internet to try and find out what to do my books don't really say all that much on whether it's safe to leave the male or anything.

ANSWER:
It would be best to remove the male, he might possibly kill the babies, but also since he is in heat he will be after the female and she will not be able to attend to her duties. Make sure she always has food available and also add some extra meat protein to boost her milk production. Not sure what your diet is for them right now, but you can buy meat baby food (chicken/turkey) which will supply the needed protein quick and easy for her to eat. Give her about 3-4 teaspoonfuls, as a supplement, to her regular diet.

 

She will become very protective of the babies and may give some nasty bites, so make sure she is occupied when looking in on them. You will need to make sure that she is feeding them, that none die and also that her milk does not dry up. PLEASE TRY TO MOVE THE BABIES (WITH THE HOUSE) TO A SAFER PLACE, before they wiggle out and fall. Unless you can make sure they will not go over the edge, remember they will be blind for 4 weeks and once they start to move around it could be dangerous!

 


QUESTION:
I was wondering if you could help me with my breeding problem. I've read tons on ferret breeding but never seen it. For the last three days i've taken my Albino (Jill) to my friends house who owns a Sable (Hob). The Jill is from last years breeding season although the Hob may not. The Hob was rescued from another friend who knew hardly anything about ferrets. The current owner of the Hob does not know the age etc. Every time I've taken my Jill to the Hob she seems fine. She doesn't seem to be afraid or even in pain. I know that ferret breeding can be very rough and at first I was scared my Jill would be hurt and was reluctant to breed them.

 

However now I know she's fine and that she's not in too much harm. The problem is I don't know how long they should be left together and I don't know if the Hob is actually getting anywhere with her. Three times they've met and its been for about an hour too an hour and a half each time. By the end of it the Jill is still full of energy and the Hob seems to just want to do other things. Every time the Hob gets the Jill at the back of the neck, he has about a minute of wrestling her before she breaks free and escapes. Then the Hob spends some time trying to get her again. Only about ten times has he held her still and looked like he's getting somewhere, is this enough time to get her pregnant?

 

I'm just wondering if you have any tips or anything that can help. Another question I have is, how long is it before the female roughly knows she's pregnant, plus how long is it before we can tell she is pregnant?

ANSWER:
It sounds as if breeding has taken place, you will be able to tell by the size of the female's vulva, each day it should shrink a little. It should be obviously different in 4-5 days. At that time if she is still very swollen then you may introduce her to the male again. If the swelling goes down then you know it will be 42 days from your initial introduction.

 

You should make her a really comfortable quiet place where she will not be interrupted during birth, but you should be able to check on her just in case there are any problems.You should be the only one looking in, any stress from strangers will cause problems for her and the kits.

 

I do hope you have lots of homes lined up for these new babies.

 


QUESTION:
Hi there, I'm thinking about breeding my female ferret and any help you could give would be a huge help. I've read a lot of your site but one thing I need to be told direct is, will my ferret get hurt badly during the mating? She's about 7 month old but compared to the male she's going to be with she's so small. I'm very attached to her and even though I want her to breed I don't want her getting hurt.

ANSWER:
When ferrets breed it is very rough! The male will dig his teeth into the scuff of the female so she will not run away. Even though her skin is tough in that area, continual mating can cause a lot of cuts and abrasions. This means that you will need to separate the ferrets once mating has taken place. Ferret breeding is very noisy, with the female screaming and the male chattering very excitedly, even angrily!

 

Hopefully you have homes for the babies that will be produced, as there are already too many ferrets needing homes all over the world! I am sending this to my friend Chris in the UK who will be able to give you much advice. Thank you so much for caring enough to ask for help.

 


QUESTION:
Just wanted to know if you can help us, as my wife and I are becoming quite distressed. We have an albino female and a masked male. The female is in heat, this is evident from her screaming when he jumps her (he's not gentle). As we would like them to mate we are worried that they will not and she may die. How do we tell if they have mated or if she is pregnant? Have done some searching on the net but with no luck. This has been going on for about two weeks now. We want them to have one litter befor getting them fixed. We bought the ferrets second hand and was told that they have had one litter before. I am unsure of their age.

ANSWER:
When ferrets mate, it is very rough, the male holds her by the scuff with his teeth which penetrate her skin, that's why the female screams a lot. Have you seem them actually mate, or are you seperating them when you hear her scream?

 

If this has been going on for 2 weeks then she most likely is pregnant, you can tell by looking at her vulva, the swelling should have gone down some by now. After the first mating you should have seperated the two and you will need to keep them seperate, or he will continue to mate with her.

 

If the mating is not succesful and her vulva is still swollen, you will need to contacY a vet and get her spayed before it is too late. Keeping her in prolonged heat will cause her death.

 


QUESTION:
At school my friend wants to breed her ferret. The ferret is 2 years old. Is that to old to have kits?

ANSWER:
A ferret can breed at 4 months and up, in fact if she isn't bred, she will develop aplastic anemia and die! I doubt your friend's ferret is a breeding ferret if she has never been bred before, where did she get her? Most ferrets in the United States are already spayed/neutered, before you buy them, it is very unusual to buy a breeding ferret. Another thing your friend might want to think about, if she has a breeder, is whether she has homes for all the babies, the ferret can have up to 13 kits? There are already thousands of ferrets sitting in shelters waiting for homes, so breeding more is not really a good idea. You might want to read my article---TO BREED OR, NOT TO BREED--- in THE FERRET SCHOOL on my site.

 


Question:
My daughter is the owner of 3 ferrets, and I came to your site to find some info so I am prepared. Here are my questions. First, when ferrets breed, do they get caught together like a dog? Second, how long is a pregnancy for a ferret? My daughter has raised these little critters since they were four weeks old. She would be heartbroken if anything were to happen. I sure hope you can help me. I must admit that I am impressed with what good pets these little guys make. Thank you in advance for your reply.

 

Answer:
When ferrets breed it is quite rough. The male grabs the female by the neck with his teeth that often penetrate the skin and the ferret will scream very loudly. It is a really noisy encounter and can last for several hours! Please read my article in the FERRET SCHOOL on BREEDING, it will go into a few problems often encountered with breeding ferrets.

 

One thing to consider, besides dangers to the female, is also homes for the young kits! If homes are not available, there is no point in breeding ferrets, there are already thousands in shelters waiting for homes.

It is not not a good idea to pass along breeding ferrets to others, unless they are responsible and are willing to spend a lot of money on medical care, should the female have problems and the ferrets need neutering/spaying before they can sell them. Just a few points to consider.

 




copyright to Crafty Creatures 2013
Site Maintained by Mindgardens

Shopping Cart
 
spacer

spacer