Keeping Ferrets

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by sanchauk, Aug 11, 2009.

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  1. Gents,

    I'm have been offered first refusal on a couple of ferrets. I would like to use them for rabbiting. I have plenty of space to keep them, but I would appreciate any pros and cons from the experienced.

    A couple of specific questions:
    1) Can they live harmoniously with cats and dogs?
    2) Are they enjoyable little critters to have around when not working?

    Many thanks
  2. They are total cnuts and can barely live with each other let alone other animals. They belong in an outdoor cage. Not pets by any means; and you will be tempted to tw@t them with a shovel once a week.

    On the other hand they can be alot of fun for working. Not all warrens are suitable for ferrets, (I forget what makes a suitable one- I used to use them, not keep them), but I seem to remember if the warrens are too deep/large you will basically lose them very quickly.
  3. I am not a gent but am willing to answer your questions or was it only men you required an answer from?

    Any way have had ferrets that got on well with the cats and dog but only as had we them from young, they would nip the cat or dog if they got a bit too over the top, but to be honest the cats and dogs just ignored them.
    If well socialised they are nice to have around pariculary if you have children, you can build little obsatcle courses for them and get little harnesses to take them for walks.
    They work best for rabbiting if you clem them for a day or two first.
    They can be a little bit stinky particularly females if they can smell a male but its not a terrible smell, they themselves are clean creatures and like to be kept in clean surroundings.

    Edited to add. you have them for either pet or work they cant do both you either want them to kill small furry creatures or you dont.
  4. Right then, no problems there. Sounds like living with Mrs. Sanchauk - but better, I can lock em up outside.

    Interesting point on burroes. I have two types. one type is a traditional stylee in grass fields and are self-contained. The other types are along old / collapsed stone walls. It is the latter I am having problems with. Can keep on top of them, but never seem to be able to really cull the b*ggers.
  5. Apologies! Ladies most welcome! Thanks for your reply.
  6. If that is your experience of ferrets they can't have been very well treated.
    Well handled ferrets are very sociable animals, mine are not happy when their best friends are missing. They live both indoors and out, with no problems.

    1) It's more a case of how your cats and dogs will get on with the ferts than the other way round. Ferts are very playful, sometimes too playful for other animals. Mine sometimes sleep with the dogs, occasionally they'll sleep with one of the cats (the other cat is an unsociable git, so not their fault). The dogs and cat will only play with them if they're in the mood for it, if not, they'll make their excuses and leave.
    2) Same applies to you as applies to the dogs and cats. How willing are you to play with them?

    Hobs or jills?
  7. OK, thanks Dolly, these are working ferrets, and have been caged outside all their lives. No problem keeping that up as I want to work them.
  8. Thanks Ottar. Can you confirm the point that theyare either pets or working. If they work must they be caged?

    When I got my border collie I was told you either treat them as a working dog or a pet. I didn't like doing what some sages told me I needed to do and did my own thing. I have a dog that works to my satisfaction and is a wonderful pet - is it the same with ferrets?
  9. Im the same with my border! lets not forget however that ferrets do not share the same intellect as a border (some humans cant eve manage it!!).

    If you get them well handled and sociable they will soon learn to adapt, and if you clem them for a day or so before you want them to work they will so get into the routine of things, they will only associate work with the fact that they are hungry then, and the rest of the time they can continue to be sociable.
  10. Fantastic critters, great fun.

    I had a number of them, they slept indoors and outdoors, three were used for rabbiting (didn't take them myself). Hobs and gills.

    Got on great with the dogs - eventually! The cat moved home - didn't like being 'played' with by one of the large hobs I had. (grumpy fecker..the cat, not the ferret).

    Kids loved them and they loved to chase the kids!

    I never had any problems with them other than they are fantastic escape artists and would regularly escape and terrorise a garden two streets away containing caged pet rabbits!

    2 of them liked being bathed the others sprayed when you put them in the tub! 8O

    They are fantastic fun, clever, can be taught tricks, great escape artists, great with kids, (whether hunted or not), they cry like babies when distressed, do bond with their owner and must be handled regularly.

    (P.s I used to walk them all harnessed- mad lady with 'rats' on a lead apparently! Rats!!! pffft!)
  11. It's a very old fashioned view that they're either workers or pets. I don't know anyone that uses them like that now. They don't need to be vicious to be worked, after all, you want them to chase Bugs out, not kill him in the burrow. I've had far more rabbits than I can use/sell so far this year (although I wouldn't recommend beginner handlers or ferts working this early in the year - too many kit rabbits) and of my 12, the only one I don't have in the house is the vasectomised hob, and that's purely because of the smell. He still gets to play.

    As long as they get a lot of attention off you they'll be the best animals you could ever own. But they they will nip until taught not to and will try to escape.

    Try The Hunting Life forums. There's a ferreting section with a wealth of experience.
  12. Many thanks for that link.

    Thanks all for you your valued input.