Your Baby Ferret Needs Extra Special Care


infant (Photo credit: soupboy)

Have you ever seen a baby ferret? When they are first born, they have no hair and their eyes are tightly closed. They are just about the cutest things you could ever see, but it’s not until they are about 6 weeks old that you will be able to separate them from their mothers and bring your new “kit” home. They will need extra care from you at this stage, so it is important to know what you will need to do before the adoption time.

The mother is very protective of her babies when they are small. It is especially important that you not handle the babies when they are first born. Ferrets may be little, but they can have a nasty temper if provoked and, believe me, you do not want to be the recipient of the wrath of an angry ferret mama. She will wean them when she sees fit, and then you can handle them all you want.

Most litters range from six to eight babies at a time. Much like human babies, they spend their first weeks of infancy just eating, sleeping and starting to grow. Once they reach about 3 weeks, their hair starts to grow in and then their eyes pop open. That is really a sight to see. Cute, cute, cute.

Then at six weeks they are ready for adoption, and this is when you will really need to be ready. They need to see a vet at about seven weeks for their first shots and you might want to discuss spaying/neutering and de-scenting with your vet at that time. Also ask him or her if they have a preferred diet for the baby ferrets. Also ask your breeder what food the babies were given, and decide if you want to feed them something different. If you do, you will want to slowly introduce the new food over a period of time to ward off any indigestion. Also, when feeding baby ferrets, soak the dry food in water for at least 5 minutes to ensure that they can chew it.

Whatever you decide to feed your baby ferret, make sure to check the label for at least 20% fat and 35% protein. Also high quality fats such as chicken fat contain the essential amino acids that are so critical for your baby’s development. Good clean water is just as important as good food. Make sure your baby has a fresh supply of clean water at all times and they will love you for it.

Before you baby comes home, you need to do your homework and find a suitable “home” for your little one. It is best to purchase a cage that is designed specifically for ferrets. These take into account your baby’s tiny little feet and makes sure they can’t squeeze through any openings. They didn’t come up with the term “ferret your way out of something” for no reason. Ferret cages are usually quite large to give your growing baby lots of room to zoom, zoom, zoom and still be safe.

Make sure your baby has some special places to curl up for long naps. After zooming around, sleeping is your ferret’s next favorite activity. Check his bedding often to see if he might be gnawing on his bed. They love to chew and this can cause some unpleasant problems if they chew up the wrong things. Just keep a close eye on him, especially when you let them out of the cage for a romp.

This will be a special bonding time for you and your new baby. He or she will repay you for all of your love and attention with many years of adorable and hilarious antics. Whatever your efforts, the love they give back will be more than worth it. Enjoy your new baby!

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By Tonya Bond


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