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Discussion in 'Exotic Mammals' started by CoolHandJean, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. CoolHandJean

    CoolHandJean Krypto Super Dog

    I would one day like to add a ferret to my life, but I know exactly zip about them, their care, etc.

    What would be the best way of going about learning about what they need and how to care for them? Any really good ferret forums or books?

    SOURDEISEL Little Dog

    I had 2 when i was growing up they are very easy&hardy...but the bad thing is they steal and hides all your stuff so when your not around
    they will play with it.they also did great with my dog....also they
    tend to stink if you dont wash them at least 3 times a month...
    I had a pile of stuff under my bed at one point when i couldnt find my
    house keys,there was chicken bones my cousins beeper,candy wrappers,
    jewlery and even change...:lol:i solved a real big mystery:lol:
    Good luck...also i kept them loose with a litterbox make sure if you do
    that.to cover all open holes around pipes in your house.
  3. Chapstickglue

    Chapstickglue Big Dog

    I discourage the keeping of ferrets only because they can transmit human diseases and that FREAKS me OUT!
  4. CoolHandJean

    CoolHandJean Krypto Super Dog

    Which human diseases and how?
  5. omgrobyn

    omgrobyn GRCH Dog


    They can, and will steal your shit.:lol:

    I recently moved my dresser, I found a bottle of nyquil that had been missing for awhile, about 20 shot gun shells, all hidden in a nest of stolen socks. I've lost tooth brushes, birth control, hair brushes, shoe insoles, dog toys, pretty much everything at one point was stolen.

    I've also watched Steve pick up a magnifying glass, and try to break a hole into the wall with it. Unless I'm mistaking that for him trying to run through the wall with it.

    He's also lived in a pile of trash with his old owner, and he stayed there by choice.

    They also seem to have a death wish. Steve's drank bleach before. When I had wood floors and was mopping with oil soap, Carl drank some of the stuff while I was in the bathroom (and had a cute little soap beard).

    But, I think they're amazing. I love my ferrets. I don't need tv, I just let the ferrets out to wreak havoc on every living thing they come across.

    In a way, they remind me of pit bulls. They're feisty bastards, and considering they only weigh a pound or 2, they're willing to take on anything. Every time I let them out, they beat up the cat, attack and chase the poor dogs, and then try to fight me, when they're done with that they fight each other.

    My favorite thing is the WEASEL WAR DANCE.

    I've gotten a lot of good info from my vet, and from googling various ferret forums. But most of what I know came from my vet who's worked with ferrets before and after they were banned.

    They're considered geriatric at 3 (although my big ferret Steve is almost 5 now, and still acts like he did at 1 year, but he was also born in a rescue, so isn't your standard Marshall ferret, which is pretty much all you can find now).

    Since they were banned, as I said, all you'll find now are Marshall ferrets. They're usually speutered very early in life, which leads my vet to believe is one of the reasons they have many health issues, a major issue being some sort of adrenal disease/deficiency/issue.

    Health care for them can get very expensive. With the adrenal problem, I've had ferrets literally get sick, drop all their weight and lose all their hair and die within a week unless I put them on life support and dump thousands into keeping them alive. So preventative care is a must (I get blood work done on them twice a year to keep a good eye on everything).

    I've been told they're fragile, I guess they are, but mine are either good about not breaking bones or they're super ferrets.

    Oh, they also poop in corners, so you won't step in ferret poop if they're loose, and you can just put out a couple of litter boxes while they're running around. And ferrets do best with a partner in crime, and it's cute to see their serpentine cuddling.
  6. jeoestreich

    jeoestreich GRCH Dog

    I want one also. I read somewhere that it is better to get two instead of one because they can play with each other. They sleep the majority of the time because they have a high metabolism. I have done a lot of research on them and once we do not have that many dogs and cats we might get a pair.
  7. omgrobyn

    omgrobyn GRCH Dog

    They're like a perfect combination of cats and dogs.

    They sleep all day, and poop in litter boxes.

    And they have personalities and will get into things if you don't keep track of them like dogs.

    And once again, the weasel war dance.:D It's really the reason why I have 2 ferrets.


  8. Gerry

    Gerry Big Dog

    I don't have ferrets but my rats once decided to take 3 dollars and make them into bedding --____--

    SOURDEISEL Little Dog

    :lol:I recently moved my dresser, I found a bottle of nyquil that had been missing for awhile, about 20 shot gun shells, all hidden in a nest of stolen socks. I've lost tooth brushes, birth control, hair brushes, shoe insoles, dog toys, pretty much everything at one point was stolen.:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

  10. CrazyK9

    CrazyK9 Good Dog

    I love ferrets. I had two when I was younger and they were just so entertaining.
    I kept mine in a large dog crate that was made into a two story with wood and carpet. They used a litterbox and ate cat food. If I got any today, they'd be fed raw. They lived in their crate and had about an hour play time in the house. I know some people let them have free reign but I cant imagine doing that. They are thieves lol. They would always take things and hide them behind the couch.

    Anyhoo, they're fairly easy keepers, imo. I remember having to bath them quite a bit, but this was when they were older... i think they had a harder time making it to the litterbox. I was heartbroken when they passed. Once one died, the other went downhill really quickly. It reminded me of Where the Red Fern Grows. It really did seem like she died of a broken heart. They were 8 years old.
  11. starrlamia

    starrlamia Puppy

    try the everything fert message board.
    Ferrets take Alot of work, they need a lot of playtime and interaction, they dont always litter train 100% and they are prone to several types of cancers that can end their life quickly. That being said they are wonderful pets and it's extremely rewarding to own them.
  12. LoveMySofie

    LoveMySofie Little Dog

    I absolutely adored the ferret I had. Never could get her 100% potty trained though. She used her litter box, but she also used basically every other corner in the entire apartment. When we moved I found little ferret poops in the back of the closets, under the beds, behind dressers, behind the couch, etc etc etc. Besides having to watch her like a hawk until I knew she'd done her business in the right place, she was a total ball to have around. So full of personality and not scared of anything.
  13. stabler

    stabler Puppy

    lol i love mine there so entertaining and sleep basically all day i find them my simpler creatures out of the horse cats and dogs crinkle a bag open up my dresser to let them play. on face book there is a "joe ferret" if u have any other questions about them there is also ferret cliff notes who are trying to make them legal
  14. mookiesmum

    mookiesmum Little Dog

    Ferrets are fantastic pets,I can't give you much advice which would be relevant to you probably,as I'm in England and we tend to keep them differently over here.
    We keep ours outside,and bring them in for fun and exercise.
    We have 8 at the moment:)They are such a lot of fun,and can be a pain in the ar*e! lol.

    This is one of ours,


    They definitly need plent of time out of their cages to run and play,a couple of ours we can let out in the garden loose when we're watching,but only cos they're the more mellow of the lot,the others would be off like a shot.
    2 of ours are x workers,and Pete my OH used to work ferrets when he was younger.
  15. I could talk about ferrets forever, but i ain't trying to blow up this page :)

    If you have specific questions feel free to ask. My grandma on my moms side, did breeding/rescue for over 30 sum odd years. She did a lot of my raising...So I was born and raised into them. On my own terms Ive rescued at least 80 Ferrets :) I know the ins and outs. Don't own any currently, just too much work with a toddler and a new baby due soon.
    Although my toddler LOVED our neighbors ferret :) and vice versa. Although not recommended around small children! (Just really depends on the ferret).

    As far as human diseases? WTF lol As far as I know, the most a ferret can catch is a cold/flu...which hell, people don't need a ferret to catch it from :) ferrets are more at risk by us filthy humans contaminating them lol

    ---------- Post added at 04:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:19 PM ----------

    And mookiesmom, do you use your ferrets for hunting? At least the bloodlines of ferrets are sooo much more healthy over seas then here in the US...

    Oh and if you can avoid a "Marshall" ferret do so! They have 2 spot tattoos in 1 ear, Normally sold to chain petstores, and sometimes private ones. Marshall ferrets are loaded with health problems the main issues being adrenal problems, cancers, seizures etc While some suggest it has to do with early spay/neuter, I believe a lot has to do with the horseshit breeding operation they have going on. Its a GIANT ferret/puppy/rabbit mill!!! Probably the largest in the United states...But they breed THOUSANDS of ferrets yearly there is NO way they can keep genetic lines clean and healthy!

    A unique breeder I know of is Carolina Ferrets http://carolinaferrets.9f.com/main.html

    I SOOO want to get angoras from them someday :)
  16. CoolHandJean

    CoolHandJean Krypto Super Dog

    Cool. Thanks for the site. :)

    Like I said, I know nothing about them. What do they eat? Do they require exercise? Do you walk them? Can you train them?
  17. omgrobyn

    omgrobyn GRCH Dog

    I switch between ferret food, and cat food with the appropriate protein and fat content. Right now I'm feeding them TOTW's cat food, protein and fat content are just about perfect, and they're looking great.

    I like to let mine run around the house a few times a week, couple hours at a time, they attack and chase the dogs as well as play hide and seek (which means they hide under furniture, slip out and bite the dogs, and run off to another hiding place), and my little ferret Carl likes to wrestle the cat.

    I used to put a harness and a leash on them and walk them outside, until Steve slipped his weasely ass down some sort of animal tunnel and I spent 20 minutes digging him out.

    I suppose you can train them. Mine don't know anything special, but to come out of their hiding places when they hear me open the treat bag, or when they hear me making them some Duk Soup. Some of the forums I've seen have a training section. I treat them like cats, no point in training them to me except to use the litter box, and come when I rattle the treats. I suppose if I wasn't so preoccupied with the dogs I'd give it a shot, but I like their wildness.

    A friend of mine had ferrets for 15 years, and apparently had one who was big enough, old enough (they get really big as they get older) and smart enough that he could let it outside, and it came when he called it. But that was at least a decade ago, I wouldn't try that with mine these days.

    Researching is a PITA, but they're so much fun, and so cute they seem worth it to me.
  18. I had a ferret when I was a teenager and he was so entertaining but a lot of work to make sure he didn't stink. They actually get turned into shelters quite a bit and this was the rescue we always referred to for questions: Ferret Business of GA
  19. omgrobyn

    omgrobyn GRCH Dog

    They're kind of like pit bulls, not animals for everyone.
  20. I love the ferret odor personally :) there poop is what gets to me!!!

    For food, it varies there is a lot of good brands a lot of people like Innova EVO, which is what Ive used. I personally try to avoid a lot of the "Ferret" food unless it looks like catfood! Kaytee I believe had a FRUIT diet for ferrets at one point!!! Absolutely stupid! They are carnivores...Ive heard totally ferret isn't too bad. But generally sticking to cat/kitten foods is more ideal unless the ferret food like I said is like cat food. Avoid marshalls food! for sure its so nasty!

    Training? depends how much time you want to invest LOL Training a ferret is like training a cat/toddler mixture. While they are SUPER smart, way more so then there own good...good luck keeping their attention long enough to train anything. Usually owners are satisfied if they can get their ferrets to poop in a litter box and call it good. Which btw ferrets 85% of the time poop in corners! They back there butts up into them lol

    Walking a ferret, is, again like walking a cat...they don't really follow you, some do, but mostly its them exploring and you trailing behind. Although I have YET to come across a commercially made harness that is totally reliable for a ferret (They wiggle out of almost everything) The rope like harness/leash set Ive had more luck with, but I just make my own...much easier.

    Exercise? The more freedom they have the better! My grandma NEVER caged her ferrets she had ferret proofed her home and allowed them to run around like cats/dogs :) but the ferrets also lived longer and healthier that way. The more you cage a ferret the more depressed they get. Also the bigger the cage the better, and its best to get pairs of ferrets unless you can spend a lot of time with a ferret, they are very social.

    Oh most of mine have been mousers too! WAY better then cats they can actually get into little nooks cats cannot. Which also leads to the fact, ferrets shouldnt be trusted around newborn puppies/kittens NOR any small animal (Rodent, bird, reptile etc)

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