Ferrets?

Rosietaz

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Id really like a couple of ferrets! I’m currently doing abit of research before committing - right now I’m looking at housing options. If you have/have had ferrets, what was your set up like?
I’d be looking at getting 2 females, and I work from home so will likely have them out and about quite abit, but I’m abit daunted by the various cage options out there! Dimensions and spacings - any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

Snail

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A home base, like a liberta explorer cage with a litter tray, food and water in, then a pen/room with safe toys in a ferret-proofed area, would be worth looking into if you're home a significant portion of the time. They're very intelligent and active and absolute escape artists, though, so it would have to be very secure.
 

Clodagh

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TheresaW had ferrets for years.
If they are female they need spaying or they are in season permanently, and apart from being bad for their health it does them no favours temper wise either.
We had a house ferret, she was brilliant fun.
 

Chuffy99

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Kids had them as pets, absolutely fantastic fun but definitely a bit niffy although they were always kept spotlessly clean
Ours were in a 5ft by 2 ft hutch with galvanised sturdy netting doors and it was on legs so about 3ft underneath which was wired in with a ramp and branches for play sited on concrete
They used to come into the house a lot and were happy to use the ferret loo, don’t think we ever had an accident, they came to stay away shows and camps and walked happily on their harnesses, someone let them out at eanps on Huntingdon racecourse and someone trapped them under a bucket🤣
Above poster is correct about getting the Jill’s spayed or breeding them or you need a vasectomised hob
 

Hackback

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We had 2 boys which we had neutered. We got them from working stock and possibly this was a mistake as they never did get fully tame. They only bit bare flesh so if you were covered up you were OK. They lived in a large enclosure under cover with a hutch to sleep in and bendy drainage tubes all round the enclosure to run in. They had hammocks hung from the roof and lots of other toys. We used to bring them inside on an evening and they were so entertaining, but also very destructive, just because they were so inquisitive. They would get into cupboards, go down the back of the settees (and refuse to come out), lift the lid on the toilet and explore down there (I was always worried they'd fall down the bend and get stuck) and if we closed a door to try and contain them they'd try to dig underneath and scratch up the carpet. They deliberately knocked over any ornaments/cups/other clutter in their path. In short they just seemed to thrive on chaos. Oh and they terrorised the dog. They lived a long time too.

Although I wouldn't have another, they were the most engaging and entertaining pets I've ever had.
 

Rosietaz

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Awh lovely stories - thanks all!! I’ve read abit about the spaying of the females etc. I would quite happily have neutered males, but a friend mentioned they can be abit stinkier! I’m going to go to a local petting place this weekend and check them out - get an idea of the smell etc! But I just love the idea of having them, they seem hilarious!!!
 

twiggy2

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All ferrets smell, I have had many over the years and all pets from working stock, all lived outside but were very tame.
I have used aviaries, kids wooden play houses with runs attached, sheds with runs attached and chicken houses, all enclosures as big as possible and with haging beds, tubing, boxes, litter trays etc that can be changed about as often as possible, they are very inquisitive and love to play.
I would say getting three is better as we found when we lost one it gave us time to find another that fitted in happily with the remaining 2, a lot of ours came from a ferret rescue.
A hutch is nowhere big enough for a ferret nor is an indoor cage unless they are shut in for very limited amounts of time. Lose in the house they need close supervision as they will always fond trouble.
 

Rosietaz

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All ferrets smell, I have had many over the years and all pets from working stock, all lived outside but were very tame.
I have used aviaries, kids wooden play houses with runs attached, sheds with runs attached and chicken houses, all enclosures as big as possible and with haging beds, tubing, boxes, litter trays etc that can be changed about as often as possible, they are very inquisitive and love to play.
I would say getting three is better as we found when we lost one it gave us time to find another that fitted in happily with the remaining 2, a lot of ours came from a ferret rescue.
A hutch is nowhere big enough for a ferret nor is an indoor cage unless they are shut in for very limited amounts of time. Lose in the house they need close supervision as they will always fond trouble.
From what I’ve been reading they sleep like 18 hours a day? So I thought a large indoor cage would be sufficient (with periods out of the cage for playtime! I work from home so this is nice and easy for me to maintain).
Can you inform me of the ferret rescues you went to? I have been having a look on the RSPCA website to see what’s about.
 

twiggy2

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The one I used was essex ferret welfare, they have some good info online, they were always very open to visitors and giving info (the ladies name was/is Wendy, she can be a little abrupt at times but really does have the ferrets best interests at heart).
Honestly you will not be able to have ferrets loose I doors without focusing all of your attention on them unless you create a room just for them, they WILL find trouble at every opportunity. If you do create a room they can get bored very easily, it would be like keeping g a horse in a hard stand all the time.
They do sleep a lot but ours qould be happy out for walks, in a new run with things to explore, playing games and in tunnels for 2 or 3 hrs at a time.
And all ferrets smell and once it's in your house it will be almost impossible to get rid of, I love them they are great pets and so entertaining but honestly I think the need a large outdoor enclosure and to come in the house as and when you can give them your full attention, they may sleep a lot but when they are awake they can be very very active.
In all the ferrets we have had all ours loved cuddles and sleeping on you but only after frying your brain doing naughty things and playing like kittens for a fair while before except for one Frodo was an exception and after being a very leapt bitey kit as an adult all he wanted was to lay on his back and sleep on your lap.
Raw feeding whole food really is best for ferrets to if you can.
Feel free to pm for any more info
 

Rosietaz

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The one I used was essex ferret welfare, they have some good info online, they were always very open to visitors and giving info (the ladies name was/is Wendy, she can be a little abrupt at times but really does have the ferrets best interests at heart).
Honestly you will not be able to have ferrets loose I doors without focusing all of your attention on them unless you create a room just for them, they WILL find trouble at every opportunity. If you do create a room they can get bored very easily, it would be like keeping g a horse in a hard stand all the time.
They do sleep a lot but ours qould be happy out for walks, in a new run with things to explore, playing games and in tunnels for 2 or 3 hrs at a time.
And all ferrets smell and once it's in your house it will be almost impossible to get rid of, I love them they are great pets and so entertaining but honestly I think the need a large outdoor enclosure and to come in the house as and when you can give them your full attention, they may sleep a lot but when they are awake they can be very very active.
In all the ferrets we have had all ours loved cuddles and sleeping on you but only after frying your brain doing naughty things and playing like kittens for a fair while before except for one Frodo was an exception and after being a very leapt bitey kit as an adult all he wanted was to lay on his back and sleep on your lap.
Raw feeding whole food really is best for ferrets to if you can.
Feel free to pm for any more info
Thanks for all the info!!
 

Griffin

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Many local animal rescue centres end up with ferrets, so it is worth asking them. There are also quite a few dedicated ferret rescues about, just have a Google and lots come up.

I really like ferrets and used to work at an agricultural college that had them in a huge enclosure but I wouldn't have them in my house. They are just too naughty and a bit too smelly for me. An ideal set up would be an aviary type enclosure or a converted shed.

They are lovely little characters though and have the sweetest little faces. If it wasn't for the fact that I have rabbits, I would be tempted to adopt some.
 

Hackback

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Years ago we had friends who had both rabbits and ferrets. It didn't end well for the rabbits 😱 One of my ferrets escaped while I was cleaning out the enclosure and when I heard next door's chickens squawking I realised where he was. Ran round to find him clinging on to a poor hen's neck and I couldn't get him off. Eventually managed to beat him off with a bit of wood I found nearby but the hen appeared to be deceased. It actually came round later but I don't think it ever laid again. Ferret was completely unapologetic.
 

twiggy2

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Years ago we had friends who had both rabbits and ferrets. It didn't end well for the rabbits 😱 One of my ferrets escaped while I was cleaning out the enclosure and when I heard next door's chickens squawking I realised where he was. Ran round to find him clinging on to a poor hen's neck and I couldn't get him off. Eventually managed to beat him off with a bit of wood I found nearby but the hen appeared to be deceased. It actually came round later but I don't think it ever laid again. Ferret was completely unapologetic.
That reminded me of when 3 of our males got out, we had breakfast them and they were very tame, one came bou cing into the kitchen when I opened the door and as the chicke s were squawking I rushed round d to find the other 2 in the hen house playing in the corn!
 
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Lois Lame

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This thread tweaked my memory that female ferrets need to be desexed (or bred) (or, apparently, given injections of whatever...)

https://alpinevet.com.au/desexing-neutering-ferrets/

And here is the copy and paste...

Desexing (neutering) ferrets


Desexing (speying) your female ferrets is not so much an option but more a necessity to ensure their continuing health. Your pet could die if not speyed.
A female ferret is what is known as an ‘induced ovulator,’ meaning they remain in oestrus (heat) for long periods if not mated. This results in too much oestrogen being produced and the hormone eventually poisons the bone marrow, leading to oestrogen toxicosis and aplastic anaemia.
The symptoms of oestrogen toxicosis are weakness, a refusal to eat, pale gums and haemorrhage. By the time a Jill reaches this stage she is extremely sick and has a poor prognosis, often requiring multiple blood transfusions.
Around 90 per cent of un-speyed females will develop aplastic anaemia unless mated every time they come into heat, which can be twice in one season. Unless you are a breeder it’s unlikely that you will want a permanently pregnant pet. Alternatively, your Jill can be given an expensive hormone injection every time she comes into heat.
Neither of these are satisfactory solutions to what can be a serious health issue for your pets. Fortunately, oestrogen toxicosis and aplastic anaemia are easily prevented by the routine desexing of all female ferrets not intended for breeding.
Male ferrets (Hobs) should also be desexed. Neutering a male ferret will reduce his aggressiveness and substantially reduce that ‘musky’ odour the male gives off when in season.
In both males and females desexing will also make your pets more content and help them get along together.
The surgical procedure is routine and safe. For both males and females we recommend the procedure is carried out before the ferret reaches six months of age.
 

Goldenstar

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You must Spey the females .I only had girlies I never had a hob I had them for years They are great fun.
You get out what you put in ,the more time you spend with them the happier they are .
Mine would come with us round the fields when we walked the dogs they played in garden and if you feel asleep in the sun you would wake up with them asleep on you
They used trays which was great they lived out side in a huge ferret house that MrGS made it had underground pipes one of which ran into a cage on the lawn they had balconies all sorts .
They loved Hammocks just loved them .
We brought them into the house every day ,two of them learnt how to open the fridge .They are hilarious clever cheeky animals .
 

TheresaW

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Ours had a big house that the OH built for them. Ramps, pipes etc.

We used to let them loose in the garden when we were out there. They would often jump in the pond and swim a few laps. We always had neutered males. Great fun.
 

Rosietaz

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Thanks all! They will definitely be neutered if they aren’t already - although I’m leaning more towards adoption so most are neutered prior to rehiring anyway 🙂
 

TheresaW

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Our first two we got as babies and neutered ourselves. When we lost one, we went to Essex Rescue who Twiggy mentioned above. We got another two, who were neutered already. We took Mark along, to meet new friends. We originally had Mark and Spencer.

Edited. Obviously vet neutered them, not us personally!
 

Clodagh

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I agree that they will make your house smell. Ours was in most of the time when mum was around (we were at school) and confined to one end of the house but you could tell when she had been in.
 

Goldenstar

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Ours had a big house that the OH built for them. Ramps, pipes etc.

We used to let them loose in the garden when we were out there. They would often jump in the pond and swim a few laps. We always had neutered males. Great fun.
We had a huge old Victorian bath , we used to let them swim in it , it was Saturday night entertainment the ferret loved it .
they loved getting a shampoo in the sink and then we rolled them up in towels they loved that as well .
Such happy merry little people .
 

Gloi

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Once upon a time my friend had ferrets. One week she was on holiday and I was looking after her animals. I had the dog out for a run and I noticed the ferret cage door was open. Looking in one of the ferrets had escaped. I was calling for her when the neighbour shouted over there was a ferret in her apple tree. I left the dog in the garden and went over and between us we tried to entice it down. We weren't having much luck but suddenly it leapt from the tree and ran back to my friend's house and ran under the duck house. I got back and the dog was barking at it and it shot out from under the duck house under my car and up into the engine.
I opened the bonnet and it was in a hole in the wing of the car. It stuck its head out and hissed at me. I couldn't get it out so went down the lane to a man who bred ferrets and asked him to help me get it out. He came , took one look at it hissing at him and said "that's not a ferret , it's a mink". How am I going to get it out? All he could suggest was flushing it out with the hosepipe. I was going to try that when I looked round and there was a ferret on the lawn which came running up to me and I picked her up and put her back in the cage. Phew! That was a relief.
In the end I couldn't get the mink out of the wing and I needed to go and had to drive off with a thought it was going to get into the car. Sad end for it though as it jumped out while I was driving along and got run over.
 
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