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Caring For a Ferret Baby
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It is important to know and be familiar with a baby ferret and its birth circumstances. A pregnant ferret needs a lot more sleep and more food during her gestation which usually lasts up to 42 days. She should be kept until she becomes restless to nest.
Before ferret babies are born, usually 2 weeks before birth, the pregnant female is moved to a barn or insulated room with fresh paper or pine shavings on her bed. She needs to gather fur to build her nest. Make sure the ferret is kept warm, undisturbed and always with plenty of fresh food and water.
When giving birth, mother and baby ferrets should only ever be touched when really necessary. Once the baby ferret is born, the mother can eat the placenta while she produces milk. Always monitor the mother with plenty of high calorie density foods and fresh water so she produces more milk.
Ferret mothers usually produce 7 or 8 ferret babies. Babies are blind, hairless and pink-skinned, and very small. Like all other babies, they need all the time to nurse and sleep to grow. Wait another 20 days and you will see the baby ferrets change color as their eyes begin to open. Wait another 4 months and the baby ferret will look the same for the next 4 years.
Ferret babies should be at least 8 weeks old to arrive in stores for sale. At that time, they must have received their first vaccination, be neutered or neutered.
Feeding Baby Ferrets
At 6 weeks, baby ferrets can now stop milking from the mother as they now need adult food. You don’t need high quality ferret food, just what adult ferrets eat. This is the stage where their skeletal structures develop rapidly.
Soak their food in lukewarm water for 5 minutes before feeding them. Gradual change is very important, so it is advisable to speak to the breeder or custodian of the brand used. Never feed them cat food. They need more fat than kittens and more protein but less carbohydrates. They have a short digestive tract and the transit of food from the stomach to the intestines is very fast especially for growing ferrets. This type of food may cost you more than cat food, but ferrets eat in small amounts, so be sure to buy something with 35% protein and 20% fat. They need real protein from animal sources and never soy or cornmeal. They will grow faster and healthier if you do this. Eggs and poultry are the best sources. Always provide clean water from bottles, not bowls. Never feed them milk and ice cream, or anything containing sugar, as this will cause diarrhea.
As with adults, growing baby ferrets need a spacious, safe, and easy-to-clean cage. If the ferret can squeeze through any part of the cage, the ferret is in danger.
Keep this in check: the cage should have a large, wide door, but don’t get a multi-tiered cage for growing ferrets. Make sure the cage has a solid bottom. Let him take a break from the crate by letting him play outside twice a day maximum. Bedding should be cleaned regularly. An old towel can do the trick but make sure their wooden nails don’t get tangled. Hammocks and sleeping bags are fine, but you can always sew up an old shirt or rag.
This is the time when you can train your growing ferrets. Start with a litter box and fill it with clean, non-clumping paper. Putting a small amount of trash in the litter box will help remind her where to throw it.
Be careful with toys
A toy can be anything for a young ferret, although extra care should be taken. Do not use small parts that will cause them to choke or anything with chewy rubber. Remember that their teeth are very sharp and make sure they are supervised when playing. Never leave toys inside the crate while they are young because later on they are chewed up and they could choke which will require surgery. Never use foam or rubber toys if you don’t want them to choke.
Deodorized, sterilized or sterilized?
There are cases where their anal glands will need to be removed. This is true for castration or sterilization when they are 7 weeks old. The reductions from these procedures are small and barely significant. If they are, do a daily check and clean them with a little peroxide some infection starts. Females have incisions in the center of their belly and under its tail while males will have them near the testicle area.
This procedure in the early stages is considered controversial because abnormalities can develop. But without early neutering, the females will have dangerous estrogen toxicity and the males will be abandoned because of their fierce smell.
Vaccinations and Examinations
Check to see if their first distemper shots have been given. Check their medical records or try asking the breeder. The second blow is due in 3 weeks after the first, and a third must be given 3 weeks after. Annual vaccinations will then follow. Distemper is a very dangerous disease for ferrets and cat vaccines should never be given to ferrets. Also check if they have fleas, mites, parasites, diarrhea or any other defects. Be warned once they throw liquid green droppings. Use antibiotics recommended by your veterinarian and also follow special care instructions.
Also be warned of the virus in baby ferrets. Make sure they all have good hygiene. Growing ferrets are the only animals capable of catching colds, flu and pneumonia, so warn your family never to touch them if they have them. Symptoms include constant sneezing and a runny nose with rapid breathing and lethargy. Use oral antibiotics as recommended.
Also check for any other faults in your growing ferrets. Are they deaf, do they have a lower jaw, do they have cataracts or a heart defect? Try making a sound assessment from a ferret. Once they ignore these rattle distractions, it can be very problematic.
Teach them to socialize from their first month. They may not be seeing very well yet, but this is the time when they are most receptive to love, learning, and affection. Maintain physical contact with the baby ferret no less than 6 times a day for 5-10 minutes. If you don’t, expect them to prolong their “pinch phase”, which is bad. When he tries to bite, pet him gently and clearly say NO. Never punish them or physically hurt them. Children in the home should always be supervised when handling baby ferrets.
Never ignore them because ferrets, from their growth stage to adulthood, need lots of cuddles and cuddles. Most baby ferrets sleep frequently as they should, so never worry if they’ve been sleeping all day.
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