Ferret help

redrumpslump

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
336
So I've been doing alot of research and decided I wanna get one. At my LPS they have an adult for $150. I was wondering if you anyone knows where I can babies at. I would prefer a young one so I can have more time with it and be able to watch it grow. If you have any info that can help I would appreciate it very much. Thanks for any help.

Matt
 

skippy

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
927
awesome critters but they don't live very long and are prone to diseases like adrenal gland disease and insulinomas. mine lived a little over 7 years and i had to take him in for monthly shots once a month after he was diagnosed with adrenal gland tumors at the age of 4 and then daily dosing with prednisone for the insulinoma that developed a year or 2 later. he was a marshalls ferret though and i hear that there is a lot of inbreeding there(found that out later)

i would recommend a private breeder if you can find one, it will be worth the extra cost initially and will probably save you money and heartbreak in the long run.

they're like a cross between a kitten and a rat IMO, always ready to play and can squeeze themselves into some spots that you wouldn't believe!:eek:
 

redrumpslump

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
336
Yea the one at my LPS is awesome. I've came to call him Roscoe. I feel bad for the little guy cus he's the only one left. I play with him everytime I go in for crickets. I may just get him if I can't find anybody selling babies. Thanks for the heads up Skippy.

Matt
 

skippy

Arachnoangel
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Jan 6, 2009
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927
if you like him, i'd say go for it... they are too cool:}
 

Niloticus

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 22, 2004
Messages
174
Ferrets.

Yea the one at my LPS is awesome. I've came to call him Roscoe. I feel bad for the little guy cus he's the only one left. I play with him everytime I go in for crickets. I may just get him if I can't find anybody selling babies. Thanks for the heads up Skippy.

Matt
In Utah, I know of no one that sells Ferret babies, I'm sure there is a few breeders here somewhere though. Petco and a few other pet retailers sell medium to large Ferrets, from what I've heard it's so they can get fixed and something done with the scent glands so the odor is reduced from the Ferret, oils and such I guess. Crazy animals and pretty fun to own.

Niloticus
 

pouchedrat

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Messages
614
usually those ferrets are chemically altered when they're extremely young...

I'd personally go with a rescue or a breeder first before a pet store. I've had three in my life, two rescues (one was dumped off at my door with TONS of medical issues!) and one as a baby from a pet store. The baby wound up growing into the nastiest thing, and later I found out the ferret mill she came from was known for it's aggressive ferrets. I bled every single time that girl tagged me........ and I tried everything I could and followed all the advice i could from rescues and people who've owned ferrets forever to get that girl to stop. She never did.

Also every single one had adrenal problems. One died the day after his operation, the other died about a year after starting shots (I decided against surgery with him because of what happened to my first one). My second one also had esophagitis and respiratory problems when he was found outside my doorstep. it took weeks, x-rays, various medicines, and a scope going down his throat to figure out he had esophagitis!

ferrets are great, just be sure you have a fund for vet bills set up, because let me say they were one of the most expensive pets in the long run, i ever had... always at the vet's!!

also babies aren't the best idea for a first ferret. they go through teething and it's painful for them, so they gnaw and bite everything under the sun. Usually other ferrets teach them when they've been too hard, etc. it's really like a puppy... usually i recommend an adult as a first. At least that way you'd also know what they're like already and their personality has already developed.
 

Ookamii

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
104
ive owned three ferrets now, two males and two females. thay are great pets, my first two where young when i got them my third was givin to me by some one that did not know how to properly take care of them. i followed the advive from a woman that worked with the hspca and tought mine not to bite by lightly pinching there noses. its simular to how another ferret would teach them, by biting the others nose. mine learned fast not to bite humans, it does not hurt them, just asserts your the domanent one. also if you get a ferret make sure to buy the multi vitamins to add to there water and bi-oder to reduce there smell, hears a helpfull web sight where i ordered every thing for mine from, www.ferret.com also feed them iams kitten food, its got all the same vitamin values as marshels but it does not have the ingredeant that makes there poo smell worse.
 

Toirtis

Arachnobaron
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
316
awesome critters but they don't live very long and are prone to diseases like adrenal gland disease and insulinomas.
Properly kept, this can be minimised.

i would recommend a private breeder if you can find one, it will be worth the extra cost initially and will probably save you money and heartbreak in the long run.
I agree...and buy one that is intact, and permit it to remain that way until it is a year of age....early altering and descenting can take years off a ferret's life.
 

Toirtis

Arachnobaron
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
316
also if you get a ferret make sure to buy the multi vitamins to add to there water and bi-oder to reduce there smell, hears a helpfull web sight where i ordered every thing for mine from, www.ferret.com also feed them iams kitten food, its got all the same vitamin values as marshels but it does not have the ingredeant that makes there poo smell worse.
Sorry, but I must argue here. The very best diet is a whole, raw prey diet, but barring that, go with a frozen raw diet (no fish), or if you must feed a dry kibble, go with Innova Evo....high protein, high fat, no grains. Honestly, Iams is rubbish, and Marshall's is a cheap mink-farm diet, not a ferret diet, no matter what the bag says. Bi-odour is a gimmick, and not likely good for ferrets. The trick to keeping odour down is proper diet, daily litter-box scooping, and laundering their bedding at least once weekly....do that and you will be hard pressed to even smell your ferrets.
 

Ookamii

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
104
Well i was just going off what my friends mom who works with the HSPCA told me, it is good to get new helpfull info tho, i thank you for that because i plan on getting a new ferret once i get settled into the whole new mommy thing. i lost my ferrets last january due to a house fire. so i was waiting to get new ones till i could bear to be around them again. But now its gunna be another two years before i get two more. if you have any more helpfull info about ferrets, do share it is appreciated.
 

Toirtis

Arachnobaron
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
316
if you have any more helpfull info about ferrets, do share it is appreciated.
I have tons....a quarter-century of keeping ferrets has seen to that (although I am currently ferret-less)....far too much to simply brain-dump, though.
 

KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
170
I agree with Toirtis, proper diet is a must. Ferrets have been kept domestically for a long time, but it is only relatively recently that they started getting alot of the gimmicky pet trade thing going for them. The food they are not accustomed to and the other stuff they don't need. I feed mine a mix of mice, eggs, meat (chicken, duck etc.) and the Evo food. (If you go to their website you can find what store closest to you sells it.) Fed properly they don't smell, their literbox isn't as bad and they are healthier.
I have two right now and I actually launder their stuff only every two or three weeks rather than every week, and people who come over even biased that they are going to stink go away telling others that they most definitely do not. They have a certain smell, like any animal has a smell...dogs, cats, horses, but fixed (at a year as stated) and well-cared for ferrets do not have an offensive smell.
Their litterbox I scoop twice a day and wash thoroughly once a week. Any carnivore poo is going to stink no matter how well fed they are and with ferrets it has the potential to be noticable because unlike a cat's litterbox tucked away in a corner somewhere, theirs is right in their home...which in turn is often in a living room or something. So I am fastidious about that.
Mine are both adopted from somebody who couldn't take care of them and she got them from a pet store. They are great. They have never bit, and now that they are on good food and exercise they are healthy and happy. I have had no problems.
They are very very cool pets. I wouldn't recommend them to everybody. They are not comparable to any other animal in their needs and people should know what they are getting into. But they are alot of fun.
 

KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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Sep 16, 2009
Messages
170
Oh, and it sounds like you are really leaning towards the li'l guy at the pet store. I feel sorry for them left there too long too. If you get him, post a pic!
 

KoriTamashii

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
420
At the risk of having my face chewed off, I've had my two little ones for a few months... feed them kibble and some added vitamins here and there; and I swear by the Bi-Odor product. The smell exponentially decreases, and I have seen no (*knocks on wood*) detriment to their health as a result of its use.

I can't say I've ever heard of people feeding their ferrets a consistent diet of meat, until now in this thread.

And... do you mean LIVE mice? I know mine wouldn't eat that. They'd play with it.
 

pouchedrat

Arachnolord
Old Timer
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Aug 17, 2008
Messages
614
It's a more natural diet (frozen thawed are available). I've heard of it, and it even mentions it in the Ferrets For Dummies book. I used to feed mine Innova mixed with totally ferret (which, 10 years back, was a great food. I have heard mixed reviews now though but I dont' have ferrets anymore).

Diet's not a sole contributor to their health, but being on a good diet helps reduce problems. Mine all have had adrenal, but they also have been rescues, two marshall farms ferrets and one was a baby from Path Valley, which later I found out people have had issues with aggressive ferrets from them. They're supposedly healthier than marshalls, but they certainly aren't nicer..... But my info is old... the path valley one was the most recent.
 

KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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Sep 16, 2009
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{D KoriTamashi, I won't bite your head off. I feel very strongly about giving my animals the best diet possible, and after research I believe this is the best I can give. But, I'm sure there are people who would feel very strongly as well that I am a horrible person for giving my ferrets mice, so there you go. We are here to discuss and learn, so let's discuss.
No, the mice I give are not live. Some people do, but it would have to be in a box or a bathtub or something to prevent escapees. I buy frozen, the same that are available for snakes. I get them from a good store so I know they are clean and killed humanely. Here is an excellent article, written by a vet experienced in exotic animals about ferret food. I would recommend reading the whole thing to anybody who owns ferrets. http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=479
You would be surprised at what your ferret may take to if given the chance! Actually, the first time I gave mine a mouse (gross alert) the very first thing he ate was its little feet and tail! Their natural diet is whole prey.
As far as other meats, I think the practice is still relatively common in Europe. North America tends to be more squeamish. My guys will eat any kind of meat if it is mixed with egg. (I will say, though, that I am really picky about my meats and eggs. They all come from good, chemical free farms and my ferrets eat the meats that I eat.) I mix this diet with kibble because with the meat and eggs they do not get the whole food nutrition. Also, their teeth need to crunch on things to stay healthy. And I don't always have for supper a meat that is appropriate for them. The mice are treats they get every once in a while when I can.
I will say that after starting to feed them fresh food, there was an almost immediate change in their coat texture and quality. The girl was skinny when I got her and she very soon filled out more. She also had no hair on her tail which all came back (rat-tail). Though that I also attribute to the fact that she was also getting proper exercise and stimulation again. When I changed their kibble over (they were using Marshal's) there was even more improvement.
Here is the link to the Evo food, if you hadn't seen it before: http://www.evopet.com/products/default.asp?id=1502
I'll maybe snap some up-to-date pictures today and see if I can show the difference from when I adopted them to now.
Oh, and with Bi-odor, I actually did pick some up awhile ago just to see, and I really don't find a noticable difference to be honest. I did when they became accustomed to the food I was giving them...they ate less, pooed less and smelled less, but the Bi-odor didn't seem to take it any further. Just my experience though. Every situation is different.
 

redrumpslump

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
336
I really appreciate the advice guys. I'm uncertain if I wanna get one though. Upkeep and possible doctor bills sound pretty epensive and I would want to make sure I gave the little guy the best care.

Matt
 

odiakkoh

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
Messages
57
Upkeep and possible doctor bills sound pretty expensive and I would want to make sure I gave the little guy the best care.

Matt
Exactly why I changed my mind about them. It seemed more than I can provide and I didn't want to give mediocre care.
 

Toirtis

Arachnobaron
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
316
Here is an excellent article, written by a vet experienced in exotic animals about ferret food. I would recommend reading the whole thing to anybody who owns ferrets. http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=479
Good stuff...Susan and I have spoken on this subject many times since 1997 (I first started using a raw, whole prey diet for ferrets in 1980, which then was unheard of in North America).

I go one step further and suggest sticking to meats that are potential natural prey of ferrets...chicken, rabbits, frogs, etc, and keeping large mammal meats to a minimum, as these are not animals that wild ferrets would be eating.
 

Toirtis

Arachnobaron
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
316
I really appreciate the advice guys. I'm uncertain if I wanna get one though. Upkeep and possible doctor bills sound pretty epensive and I would want to make sure I gave the little guy the best care.

Matt
There are some pet health insurance providers that now extend coverage to ferrets, I understand...certainly worth checking out.
 
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