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Looking for advice

Discussion in 'Ferrets' started by Rihanna, Apr 1, 2019.


  1. Rihanna

    Rihanna PetForums Newbie

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    Hi i'm new to the forum and i'm looking for a bit of advice,I'm looking at getting a ferret/s and was wondering if anyone here could help me with a few question i have. I have never had ferrets before, i have had a wide range of different species ranging from snakes,hamster, rats,hedgehogs, mice, birds and dogs.We currently have no pets due to loosing our dog earlier this year.
    I'm waiting on some vets to get back to me regarding pricing on yearly vaccinations,and neutering but was wondering if anyone on here in the UK could give me an idea of how much it is to keep a ferret. And weather to get a young one or adopt a older one, and if i should get pet insurance for them. Any advice from you guys would be very much appreciated.
     
  2. Babyshoes

    Babyshoes PetForums Senior

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    I'd recommend adopting young adults - kits can be a bit nippy and need careful training. At around 9-12 months old, any ferrets who are up for adoption will still have all the playfulness of kits, but should understand not to nip humans too hard and will be litter trained. They will probably also already be neutered, which is important. There has been concern about neutering young ferrets in the past decade, but that comes from studies of American farmed ferrets, who are neutered at about 8 weeks old, when they are barely weaned. Here we wait until they are close to or at sexual maturity (around 6-9 months usually), which I believe reduces the associated risks significantly.

    We decided to self-insure ours as they are considered exotics, which pushes the price of insurance up considerably. If you're not able to do that, then insurance is important as vet bills can add up for them as with any pet. Last time I looked, exotics direct was the only underwriter insuring ferrets in the UK. Other insurance providers offered it, but ultimately it was all from exotics direct.

    Once they reach about 5-6, they are vulnerable to a whole host of illness that can get expensive to treat, especially if more than one shows up at the same time. My vet recently told me that of the ferrets who reach the age of 7, around 80% will be living with heart disease!

    Ongoing day to day costs are similar to those of other carnivorous pets, like a cat - litter, flea prevention, food, treats & toys etc. All costs will vary depending on what brands and quality you choose to buy!

    Food prices depend a lot on what you choose to feed them. If using at least some kibble, buying in bulk can save money in the long run. Most ferrets from rescues in the UK will be on kibble, but you can add in raw meat, whole prey like chicks etc if they'll accept it.

    Bear in mind that very few ferrets are happy to live on their own, so you'll need to get at least a pair. The usual advice is to get an initial pair (or more), then another one or two younsters a couple of years later, so when the first one passes away, the other isn't lonely. It's certainly not more difficult to look after extra ferrets, as long as they all get along and can share the same cage. The main difference is how much poo you need to scoop daily!
     
    noushka05 likes this.
  3. Rihanna

    Rihanna PetForums Newbie

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    Wow thanks for such a in depth response, its given me a few things to think about ty.
     
  4. Babyshoes

    Babyshoes PetForums Senior

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    I had to cut down a lot of things I could have said to avoid spending all day typing! There is as lot to know about ferrets! A rescue will have most of the answers, so best to have a face to face conversation with them.
    I'm also happy to help as I can if you have any other specific things you want to know about.

    Ferrets are wonderful pets, but I would always advise doing your homework first...
     
  5. Rihanna

    Rihanna PetForums Newbie

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    ive been watching a lot of youtube over the past few months and ive got some books from the library.
    many thanks :)
     
  6. Arny

    Arny PetForums Member

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    Agree with everything said.
    Having said that if you just can't resist young kits there will still be plenty of choice of those in rescue. So many get dumped each year its unbelievable.

    I've found they're pretty resistant to disease etc until later in life and that's when vet bills might add up. It can however be tricky finding a vet that's knowledgeable. My vet charges £14 for distemper vaccination but I think that's probably cheap.
    I've had just under 20 ferrets over the years and never had one with adrenal disease (linked to neutering) and also know a rescue that must have had 500+ through the doors many of which never found homes so lived out their life there and they've never had a case either. Some people are now opting for hormone implants though and they are expensive, over £80-100+ I think but often last at least a few years before they need replacing. The majority in rescue will still be neutered I would have thought due to the expense and the permanent nature of it meaning they won't be used for breeding in the future.

    The biggest expense month to month I'd say for mine is fresh meat, I don't have the freezer space so tend to just buy weekly from the butcher. The butcher also give me free bits and pieces particularly chicken 'frames', the carcass after being butchered. Mine also have kibble/biscuits.
     
    noushka05 likes this.
  7. noushka05

    noushka05 Unicorn denier. Snowflake. Activist ;)

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    Four of my ferrets have hormone implants. They lasted about 2 years, we've just had to have 2 of our ferrets redone. It was £80ish per ferret, I forget the exact price. The beauty of impants is its non invasive, that said I think we will be getting them all neutered when they next run out.
     
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