So I've just had Lu out for a bit (popped him back after the lil git hissed at me several times hah), and was thinking about how exposure to artificial light and temperature can effect a ferret's health. Especially in Winter. So this is what I wad wondering:
I know a lot of you (if not most) keep your ferrets indoors, and I was wondering how this effects your ferrets' coats? Do they not grow a winter coat due to it being warm indoors? Or does it have no effect?
The same applies to the light. What do you do to make sure your fuzzies aren't getting too much light exposure in the colder months as they live indoors?
Post by abbeytheferret6 on Dec 14, 2016 16:47:05 GMT -5
I put mine up in the evenings. They have a room to themselves at night--no exposure to light uNless we are counting heads. Mine are getting longer hair --though inside. Probably would get even longer if outside.
Hi my ferrets live outdoors( well sort of think big shed lol) so they regulate there body clocks to the natural light hours ( spring/summer breeding season shed coats once the cold weather hits october onwards they sense shorter daylight hours and pile on pounds and gain thicker coats ) indoor ferrets do go through a shed but it is not as noticeable as ferrets kept out doors I have also noticed ( just an observation mind ) that out door ferrets seem more hardy and are not so prone to flu ( well mine are not anyway though I am lol) remember your ferret must be provided with warm bedding material that is dry ( mine have a built in nest box that they access via a hole shh dont tell them there is a door where I can replace bedding and remove any stashed goodies yuck lol) the hole is 1/4 of the way up this gives them protection from any drafts and they feel safe and secure they come out into a run where I place food and yes they leave me poop lol take care bye for now Bev
Both my ferrets are indoor ferrets. While Athena, the new baby seems to still just have that super plush babyfur coat, Loki seems to have picked up some weight (still healthy though as he just recently had his vet visit and his weight was considered very good) and is sporting an incredibly fluffed up, thick winter's coat this winter.
He had gotten bucketfulls of snow to play with in the bathtub after the first bouts of snow came in, and once we get more snow, he will have some more to play in. He isn't super fond of going outside into the snow most of the time, but he digs through it in the bathtub. So, he's probably figured out that it's winter in the back of his mind while trudging through the cold stuff.
Both my babies are also like me in the winter times it seems, while we have regulated temperature in our home, they are just as lazy as me about getting out of bed in the morning (especially those cold, dark ones). I opened their cages this morning and got in under a blanket on the couch, both of them just stuck their heads out of their blanket piles, looked around, yawned, and remained snuggled in their blankets for at least another 20 minutes before attempts to finally get up and explore and greet me on the couch were made.
As for light, in the mornings I'll open up all the curtains and blinds to the natural light outside, except in our bedroom where we have blackout curtains. Since my ferrets free roam, when they get tired of playing out and about in the lighted rooms, they'll waddle off to our bedroom where they sleep in the drawers of the dressers.
My business lives indoors. I count hours that they get light, I also have covers on the cages and heavy curtains on their windows. They live in the basement (coming upstairs to play). The temp never gets colder than about 18/20 and yes they do put their winter coats. I do provide enclosed sleep boxes with bedding and they sleep under the futon in my studio. This also cuts down on the amount of time they're in lighting. ciao
I'd say it is recommended to control light cycles and temperature queries not only because ferrets can decide not to grow nice winter coats, also for surgically neutered ferrets it might help to delay the clinical signs of adrenal desease. Both these topics are actually related: seasonal weight decrease/increase + fur changes are due to melatonin, which directly and indirectly controls hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal/gonadal axis. Artificial light cycles and high temperatures in winter cause this system to go in a "wrong direction". You can read more about it in "Biology and deseases of the ferret" by James. G. Fox and there is also an interesting article by Michael F. Janke "Possible Effects of the Photoperiod on the Adrenal Gland", if interested.
I never kept my ferrets indoors but can imagine how they would feel about it . I guess mine would literally hate me for making them staying indoors. In mid-autumn they are always fully ready for cold winter (mind you, it can get up to -30C degrees). In winter my ferrets don't like to spend a lot of time inside the appartment, I see they prefer the cold and after about an hour with me, they start scratching the door which leads to their own cold loggia. There is also a huge difference between winter coats: a ferret that lives indoors and a ferret that lives in natural temperatures and light cycles. The second one will always have a more winter-prepared coat, that an indoors-ferret has no need of.
You become responsible, forever, for those you have tamed.
haha! when I open the door for mine to get a whiff of cold air, they act like they are standing on a hotplate--little footsies are going up and down---cold metal door entrance, but totally interested. Death sentence for ferrets in southern USA to be outside unless a monthly med preventative for heartworms , which i would rather not do. We have mosquitoes. It would be nice though. Destructive little sweeties they are.
abbeytheferret6 "Outside" can be different. I don't know how things are with ferrets in the States, but in Europe lots of people keep ferrets in specially designed "ferret housing". For example like this one:
It can also be a separate room in the house/ appartment, where is it colder and darker, than in the rest of the house.
Your ferrets are not used to cold weather, that's the thing =) But of course they are interested! In Russia many owners also keep ferrets indoors, but more and more people are now getting the understanding that natural light and temperature cycles are better for ferrets' health.
P.S. We also have mosquitoes that carry dirofilariasis (heartworms) in summer in some parts of Russia. There is prevention - spot-on drops, most commonly used med is Stronghold here. Shows great results.
Last Edit: Dec 15, 2016 6:31:04 GMT -5 by flamecat
You become responsible, forever, for those you have tamed.