Breeding Ferrets

Photo by fahara - Young ferret

Don’t do it!

The very first words of advice anybody contemplating ferret breeding ought to hear is “Do not do it“. It may seem impolite, but breeding ferrets is way more complicated than breeding dogs, for example. Initially  you might imagine that the ferrets are going to do all the work for you. However through the entire process, the breeder is going to be taking part in some manner. It really is a great deal of effort and definitely not worthwhile for the income you could potentially create through trying to sell the kits (baby ferrets).

You will need to be certain that the pair are not closely related, such as mother and son for instance, to make sure you minimize the likelihood of birth deformities. Frequently Kits  do not make it through birth, and that could be heart-rending for the breeder as well as any youngsters close by. Veterinarian costs will rise considerably, since every kit will require  his or her first vaccination, and perhaps an additional one, well before they are offered for sale or even given away.

Do you still want to give it a go?

The primary requirements are, obviously, 2 breeding ferrets – 1 male, 1 female. This may not be as totally obvious as it appears, because so many ferrets are spayed or neutered. A neutered male is normally very easy to identify, but a spayed female might not be. However when the female, known as a “jill”, comes into season, it is going to become obvious.

Female ferrets are polyestrous. They are able to have multiple “heats” per season. Throughout the Northern Hemisphere, this is typically from March to August. Should they not mate, they might continue in heat for the whole period. Watch out for an enlarged vulva and wait fourteen days before bringing in the male, referred to as a “hob”.

Hobs who perceive a jill in heat behave a lot like dogs, only worse. They will roam about restlessly, urinate and then drag themselves through it, and  be a general pest  around the female, if they are permitted to. When they start, the fun seriously begins.

An aroused hob will seize a jill by the scruff of the neck and pull her about, and then mount her. A willing female permits this, however occasionally it’s difficult to understand whether they are willing or otherwise. Just ensure that the male does not get too rough.

When male mounts, there’s no risk-free way to divide them. The male has a ‘barbed’ penile bone which locks the couple together. Therefore take extra care. The entire insemination process only takes  a couple of minutes, although they will often remain coupled for a lot longer. When the hob is finished, the pair will frequently eat and drink, and then start the process once again .

Examine the female for  serious puncture wounds, and deal with them as required. Males will frequently bite a female around the neck and scratch them ın the course of mating. The process can be amazing to watch, but it surely  is not ‘cute’ or pretty.

If mating is successful, the jill’s vulva will get back to normal in a few weeks. Gestation takes approximately forty two days and, around midway, you will notice that the female becomes larger and puts on weight. She will frequently pull her fur out of her tail and other places.

Ensure that you are ready with the necessary equipment and instruments to assist during birth. Consult your vet!

About the Author

Paul writes small pet articles as a hobby. He lives in the Italian Alps with his long-suffering partner and threevery spoilt cats...

1 Comment on "Breeding Ferrets"

  1. Patrick Duffy | 24/06/2017 at 9:00 pm |

    Back home in UK every country boy had a ferret in his pocket. Back in the 70’s they were about 5gbp each. No problems. I bred mine and used them to hunt.

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