This is why I am here and not trying to just go out and breed two ferrets. As I said I want the experience. Doesn't mean I have to be the one doing it. I would be more than happy to watch someone or be the fly on the wall. However I would want to watch from beginning to end. Mating to birth. Some people might see me as weird but when someone asks me about my boys I want to be able to give them answers. Not 'go ask a breeder'. I want to say ' yes. From my experience etcetc'. A lot of people I've run in to see my boys and ask how much they cost. I tell them round about and they start talking about breeding them for profit. I want to be able to tell them the truth behind breeding to discourage them if I can without ' oh in not sure but I heard..etc etc'. Even if someone were to just video tape the entire process with daily uploads or something.. Ya know?
Breeding ferrets for profit? Doesn't usually work that way, you can tell them that. If the mills make any money on them at all it's because they ship them out so young, before they have to start feeding and vetting them. Guaranteed they make more on supplies than they do on ferrets.
PVO Ferrets has a webcam in spring which usually streams live births, but I don't think she streams the mating process. Lorelei0922 also has a webcam, and she did record it the first year but I don't know if she still does. It's quite brutal looking, but that's how it's done in Ferret World.
I get to watch ducks mating about 50 times a day right out in front of my house, and it makes one wonder why a male would try to drown the female during the act. Ducks are D U M.
Generally the mating process may get a couple of still pics, just to prove a tie. It is usually a long drawn out process (not like the kitties) and can appear to be quite violent. From beginning to end it often takes an hour or more with both parties sometimes dosing off. It also involves every piece of vocabulary in a ferret's vocal range, screaming, hissing and sometimes even barking. I had someone once describe it to be similar to rape. If the jill doesn't fight (get your timing right) the hob doesn't have to be rough. I know both my v-hob and hob are relatively gentle souls in the male ferret department and often don't even mark their jills but it's not uncommon for a jill to come away with a couple of nasty scratches where the hob holds them down in a scruff. Of course my hob, Tico is now missing a chunk out of his nose, when he crossed Lady Morgaine, so the hobs don't necessarily walk away unscathed. ciao
Yeah, it's not a speedy process. Nicholai is a very polite hob. He courts his jills. Kailen, OTOH, is not. He just pounces, though by the end of the season he'd calmed down considerably. Perhaps having his butt handed to him a couple of times had some impact.
Hi nancy and heather are correct its hard to describe or in some cases even watch ! ( some hobs drag the females away out of sight of prying eyes ) some hobs with a willing jill can take as little as an hour some have to have multiple attempts and can be at it three days and it results in nothing but a phantom and in some cases a jill with a torn neck the screams can be unearthly yet in others nothing is heard some jills are mated willingly and act like loose women some are not going to give up there virtue without a massive fight where the hob ends up with a few puncture wounds no two mating's are the same I have seen hundreds yet I cannot even say oh this happens or that happens because you never know what can happen you just pray nothing horrible results out of your choice to put these two animals together and there is no serious wounds inflicted then you begin the praying part and often its all been in vain no kits are produced take care bye for now Bev
Thinking back on a couple of weeks ago when Bacchus (v-hob) was entertaining Lady Merida, I put them together and removed Tico from his cage. I took him upstairs to spend 4 or 5 hours upstairs, to give the wee lovers some privacy. I put them together there was lots of dooking by both parties, running and chasing but it was all in basic fun as far as ferrets go. There was no teeth involved, just a lot of tumble play. I left them to it. I brought Tico back downstairs to change up the players and found Bacchus and Merida spooned. I thought they were asleep (fact being I'm not sure Merida wasn't sleeping) but they were tied and every now and again there was movement by Bacchus. He never looked up, his eyes were closed. He was only holding Merida with his front paws and she for all tenths and purposes appeared to be asleep. I left them too it. Flip back to the early spring and Tico and Lady Morgaine having a go at it and there was screaming, dooking and hissing....that was just Tico lol. Lady Morgaine is a difficult jill and they took turns at dragging each other from one end of the cage to the other. They were very vocal and no one really got hurt but it sounded like they were murdering each other ciao
I definitely second finding a responsible breeder and mentor and perhaps helping out and maybe in time you may be able to raise a litter for them.
I was very lucky with my first 3 litters, 7 healthy kits in each and no problems. 4th litter resulted in an emergency caesarian and all kits lost, I just felt so lucky to still have Mum and it was a horrible, scary experience. Mum was spayed soon after as the vet didn't want to spay at the time of caesarian. Not ideal but at least her life will never be risked again.
I have had 4 false pregnancies this last year, one litter lost because of mismothering, and only 3 successful litters. Lots of worry and heartache. I have spent thousands on feeding and vet care for my ferrets, and maybe brought back in £2-300. If I think any ferrets are not suitable for breeding, they are neutered, this costs nearly £100 per ferret, and if they go to a new home after, I only charge £40 per ferret so that's definitely not making any profit.
I do it for the love of it. I am very lucky that I am a vet so in some ways this alleviates the strain, in some ways makes me worry and fuss more because I tend to go into panic mode and think the worst!
When it goes right, it is an amazing thing. Unfortunately, when it goes wrong it's absolutely heartbreaking.
You also have to think what would happen if a) kits didn't find homes and b) kits were returned. All my ferrets go with an agreement signed by the new ferrents, that if they should no longer be able to keep the little ones, they MUST return them. In a gesture of good will for honouring this agreement, I do also give a refund, regardless of age/health problems in returned ferrets. You need to be sure you can keep, house and care for any and all ferrets you bring into the world. That can potentially rack up to be a lot of ferrets.
Those of you who know me from the FB group know that I have two boys purchased from pet stores in the Charlotte, NC area. Both boys are amazing and I wouldn't change them. However there is something I've always loved. Helping animals breed. In fact as a child I wanted nothing more than to specialize in helping endangered animals reproduce. Though the schooling for that was too expensive and too far from home. Now, I am going to be a pediatric nurse practitioner and midwife (still in school). I've helped dogs, cats, hamsters, field mice(cute story actually) and other animals have babies.
Now I want to breed ferrets. It's not something that should be taken lightly and I know how hard it is to find an unaltered hob and Jill in the states. I also know that it is a dirty business and not something I'm ready to take full swing at right now. As it is I'm still working out the right moment to start my boys on raw. I will have another thread for that as I still have a lot of questions.
Right now though, I want to know that if I did get an unaltered female, 1-will breeders be willing to stud a hob? How much does it cost? 2-would I be able to fix a Jill after she has had kits or would that be dangerous? I've read everywhere that if not intended for breeding they need to be fixed before their first heat. However I can't find any information on getting a Jill fixed after she's had kits.
Even if I decide to never breed, it would still be good information In case I ever need to rescue an unaltered jill. 3-Can someone please explain a Jill's pregnancy? I've heard nothing but horror stories online and would like to hear from breeders personally.
This isn't something I plan on doing full time, I just want the experience. Which is why I would be OK with just fostering a pregnant Jill as well until the kits were old enough to be moved or however that would work.
Anyway, I'm sure I will have more questions eventually.. Thanks in advance!
I bred my ferrets in 2015, I don't live in the states, I live in the UK but I've heard that it's difficult to get unaltered hobs and jills over there. A lot of people in the states have them imported from other countries, some of the British angora breeders have started hopping them over to the states for breeding purposes. Getting a jill fixed after she's had kits is quite simple, it's very similar to how it's done for a cat or dog. The pregnancy for a ferret lasts about 6 weeks, you start to notice the signs of pregnancy in ferrets from 2 weeks onwards after coming out of season, they'll start getting nipples at this time and their belly hair thins out a lot and they'll keep getting fatter and fatter, during the last week of pregnancy they'll start nesting and sometimes a little aggressive towards you (non of mine did, luckily). The birth is pretty quick, about 1 hour and most of the kits will be there, generally ferrets are good mothers, they're very possessive over their kits and will try to hide them from you at first, it's not common that they have complications but it does happen occasionally, the thing that happens the most is the mother getting disturbed and eating her kits which is why it's recommended to leave the mother to do her thing until the kits are 3 weeks of age and only interfering to remove any dead kits.
The kits are born nearly hairless and look like baby rats but longer in body length.