Ferret breeding is a time-consuming process requiring time and money. In order for the ventured enterprise to make a profit, you need to take into account a lot of nuances and thoroughly prepare for mating animals.
How to choose the right pair?
To get ferrets, which can be sold without problems, you need to be sure of the pedigree of both parents. Otherwise, unclaimed puppies may appear.
Requirements for ferrets to be mated:
- both animals - male and female should be completely healthy;
- mating animals should not be relatives.
- female age - 11 months;
- male is 8 months old.
Ferrets for breeding are taken at fur farms or at pet stores. It is not difficult to distinguish a healthy ferret from a patient. In an unhealthy animal:
- eyes are dull;
- breathing is hoarse;
- out of mouth - smell;
- the coat is stiff.
It is forbidden to mate ferrets from one litter.
Experienced males are usually selected for young females - this increases the chances of quick and high-quality fertilization. And young males, on the contrary, are planted with experienced females - then the offspring are strong and healthy.
Ferrets used for mating should have normal fatness - excessive fullness or thinness negatively affects fertility, and then the viability of the offspring.
When breeding ferrets for business purposes, it is important to know what types and colors of these animals are. Therefore, we recommend reading this article .
How to understand that the time has come to knit?
The mating begins on the readiness of both animals. The case is carried out on the territory of the male. The female is planted to him up to three times. Before mating ferrets, you should make sure that they are ready for the process - otherwise it does not make sense in their meeting, there will be nothing but fuss and fight.
The race for males lasts from about March to September. In young ferrets, the race may begin earlier. The animal becomes aggressive, it has a poor appetite, a sharp smell emanates from the skin - it needs a female. In spring, the male gonads enlarge, the testes are well palpated - they harden and grow to the size of a hazelnut.
For the female
Learn about the readiness of a female ferret for mating by the state of the loop. A prerequisite is transparent, odorless discharge. Otherwise, contact the veterinarian to find out the cause of the pathology.
The state of the loop indicating the female’s readiness for mating. The state of the genital organs is evaluated on a 5-point scale:
- loop cleansing from hair;
- loop enlargement and swelling;
- enlargement and redness of the loop;
- maximum loop increase, swelling and redness;
- recession, pallor.
While the female is in heat, you need to look for a partner.
Preparation for the process
Before mating animals, the following are prepared for the process:
- Animals (females) are vaccinated against plague and rabies. At least 10 days before mating. If the vaccination has not been done before estrus, then it is carried out later - when it will recover after childbirth.
- They carry out preventive treatment for worms and fleas.
- The female is shown to the veterinarian - he must confirm her readiness for mating.
- Prepare a place for mating. Everything sharp or brittle is removed from the cell. To avoid injury, it is recommended to remove the feeder and drinker. They clean everything that has corners - animals can get hurt about them.
How do ferrets mate?
Ferret mating is noisy. The animals screech, scream, fight, actively move in space. Mating ferrets behave differently:
- The male is active and aggressive. He grabs his partner at the withers with his teeth, and crushes under him.
- Female - breaks out and yells.
Mating lasts from half an hour to several hours. But it is advisable to leave the ferrets alone for a whole day - so that fertilization will definitely happen.
How the ferrets mate, you can clearly see in the video below:
After completion of the process, the female is examined for wounds - they could be left on the male’s sharp teeth on the neck. If the bites are shallow, they are treated with an antiseptic. With deep wounds, they turn to the veterinarian. The female after mating is also checked for vaginal infections.
With mass breeding of ferrets, replanting of females to males begins in early March - regardless of the condition of their genitals. The procedure for replanting females:
- every 2-3 days until the loop changes to 3 points;
- stop temporarily landing to avoid early mating;
- planted with a loop of 5 points.
If copulation was successful, then the loop will completely disappear after 5-8 days. If this does not happen, the female has to mate again.
When is human intervention required?
A person does not have to intervene in the fertilization process, the female and the male are left alone, and they do not interfere in the process. But in the future, the female needs help.
What is the help of a person:
- It is necessary to prepare a nest for the female. It is advisable to put rags, paper there. To prevent puppies from freezing, the female is constantly in the nest, maintaining a temperature of 33-35 ° C in it. If the female takes the baby out for a walk, and then forgets him there, he quickly freezes and dies, if he is not warmed in time.
- One must be present at childbirth. During the birth of puppies complications are not excluded. It is necessary to agree in advance with the veterinarian so that, if necessary, he can quickly provide assistance to the animal.
Signs by which you can find out about the onset of pregnancy:
- A few days after mating, the loop decreases in size, and after a week completely disappears.
- More reliable evidence of pregnancy will appear later - in the form of a large abdomen and swollen nipples.
A pregnant female needs a special diet and an unlimited amount of food. Features of feeding a pregnant female:
- a lot of meat food;
- a lot of calcined cottage cheese;
- additive in the feed of sunflower and butter;
- twice the amount of vitamin supplements.
Pregnancy in ferrets lasts 42-45 days. In the litter, 6-9 puppies are expected.
For beginners, there are some useful tips:
- If you are a beginner ferret breeder, do not rush with independent breeding. Study these animals better, gain experience, carefully study the experience of experienced breeders.
- Males that you are not going to use for breeding must be sterilized.
- Do not start breeding for fun or experiment - this is a responsible matter, and if something goes wrong, you will have to suffer innocent animals.
Mistakes Newcomers Make
Beginners can make mistakes at any of the stages of ferret breeding:
- the pair is incorrectly selected - not vaccinated, not treated for worms;
- mating is carried out on the territory of the female;
- animals do not have enough time for mating;
- pregnancy is not controlled and repeated mating is not carried out, if necessary.
Ferret Breeding Myths
Many newcomers have no idea about ferret breeding. Here are a few misconceptions that lead many beginners to fail.
What beginners think about ferret breeding is true and myths:
|Ferrets breed and reproduce on their own - just keep the female and the male in one cage.||The process requires training and monitoring the behavior of animals.|
|Better let the ferrets multiply, sterilizing them is not humane.||Uncastered animals suffer more because of unmet desire. They become aggressive, depressive, they begin to have physiological diseases.|
|Let the female give birth once, and then she needs to be sterilized.||The ferret can be seriously harmed - in the form of malignant tumors of the mammary glands.|
It is not recommended to start breeding ferrets for beginners who do not have at least six months of experience in keeping them. To become a successful breeder, you must "feel" the animal, know its behavior, be aware of its seasonal and hormonal cycles.