Caring For Your Baby Ferret
A baby ferret can be quite a handful if you do not know how to care for them properly. That is not to say that baby ferrets offer no fun. In fact, like adult ferrets, a baby ferret can provide hours and hours of entertainment. However, unlike an adult ferret, a baby ferret has certain needs specific to them, therefore the way you care for them compared to adult ferrets will be slightly different.
Most importantly, baby ferrets, or kits as they are alternatively known as, need proper housing. Although there are numerous housing options for ferrets, baby ferrets should ideally be given spacious, flat cages. Ensure that the cage chosen has very little spacing between the bars such that the baby ferret is unable to stick its head through the bars. Failure to do so may result in the kit getting stuck or worse still, injuring itself. Additionally, also make sure you pay close attention to the bottom of the cage as you want to be sure that there are no places in the cage where the baby ferret can catch its feet.
To better allow the baby ferret to assimilate into its new surroundings, you might want to think about placing the baby ferret’s cage adjacent to the cage of an adult ferret. As they become more and more accustomed to each other’s scent, you will see the older ferret playing with the baby ferret. Hence, the baby ferret will become more at ease and will thus be more open to training.
Training will be a very important facet in caring for your baby ferret. You would want to keep an eye out for whenever the kit begins to show a preference for a defection space. When you begin to notice any such preference, you should then start training the kit to use a litter box. Failure to do so will lead to great frustrations later, therefore its pays to be on your toes from the get go.
With the housing and training sorted, you will also need to learn about what and how you are to feed your baby ferret. For starters, you need to remember that the baby ferret must be weaned at six weeks. At this time, you should begin to feed the kit the same nutritious ferret food that you would give to the mother. However, unlike the food for the mother, it is imperative that the kit’s food be soaked in warm water for about ten minutes, thus allowing for easy digestion. Additionally, remember that if at any time you switch between ferret food brands, you make the transition slowly and gradually so as to better allow the baby ferret to become accustomed to the new brand.
Meanwhile, remember to pay close attention to your baby ferret’s medical needs. In this regard, you should educate yourself about precisely when the baby ferret needs various vaccinations. For instance, at eight weeks the baby ferret needs a distemper inoculation while at about eleven weeks it needs a booster shot. Similarly, by twelve to thirteen weeks the baby ferret should have been given a rabies shot, while it strongly advised that a follow up booster shot be given around the fifteenth week mark. Additionally, the veterinarian should be asked to check for any signs of ear mites, fleas, or any other such issues.
Always remember that a healthy ferret will be a happy ferret. Speaking of being happy, it is vital that you play with your baby ferret on a regular basis – at least two times a day. These exercises will greatly help in the growth of your baby ferret by compensating for the confined space that it resides in. Alternatively, it would also be a good idea to provide the kit with toys to play with. Make sure though that the toys don’t have any small items that can be swallowed such as buttons or shreds of cloth.
Lastly, it is better to discourage the baby ferret from its natural habit of nipping or biting early on. However, at all times remember that you are not to use physical force in this facet of training. A loud ‘No’ would suffice. Alternatively, you could look towards the route of positive reinforcement and offer praise and shower love when the desired behavior is adopted by your baby ferret.
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