Sunday, 29 April 2012

Three Shires Ferret Rescue & Welfare



Three Shires Ferret Rescue & Welfare has been around since the 14th June 2007. The rescue is run by Chrissy Hillyard and they rescue and re home ferrets in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Bedfordshire (which is how the name came about). The rescue receives ferrets mainly from the RSPCA and members of the public, some of which are un-neutered hobs that have roamed looking for females.
Before the ferrets leave Three Shires they will have been vaccinated, neutered and micro chipped. The ferrets usually go as pets or working ferrets, but not before a home inspection has been carried out. The ferrets usually have their basic nip training while at the rescue, which is mainly done by building a sense of trust between the ferrets and humans.
Chrissy often organises her own ferret shows, the next one being at the Rushden Cavalcade of historical transport and country show on Sunday 6th May 2012, 9:30-2:00pm.
(For more details see  http://www.threeshiresferretrescueandwelfare.co.uk/news.html)
The Three Shires website has details of ferrets that are known to be lost as well as ferrets that have been found. This is a useful tool for people that have either lost a ferret (they can check to see if it has been found) or for people that have found a ferret and need to see if anyone has reported it missing.
The Three Shires centre also boards ferrets, more information about boarding with them will be added to the website shortly.
The website also has details on ferrets currently waiting for new homes, you can search for males, females and pairs. There is also general ferret information and examples of the sort of cage you should have for your ferrets.
You can visit the wesbsite yourself here http://www.threeshiresferretrescueandwelfare.co.uk/index.html and why not visit their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ThreeShiresFerretRescue

Friday, 27 April 2012

Kit watch, two weeks old.




The litter at 2 weeks old



The boys
The girls

















No the kits haven't aged super fast, I just didn't start kit watch when I should have. I started this when they were about 9 days old, and posted the pics from when they were newborn, then 9 days old. I've finally caught up to the present! Their colours are starting to come through and some confirmed colours are Albino, Pinto panda and possibly a sandy/copper colour. There are 5 girls and three boys. As you can see from the close up of the jill they are getting a much thicker coat now. I'm looking forward to the next update!

Pinto panda female

Home-made ferret bedding: Hammock

I've finally got around to uploading the pictures of my ferret hammock that I made last week! It's quite a big hammock at 19x19" but it gives my lazy boys plenty of room! This took me a bit longer to hand stitch than the other pieces I made, I just have a lot of hobbies so picking it up to carry on stitching was an effort! It probably took about 1 1/2 hours to stitch in total then I just had to fix the eyelets and chain.
I'm really pleased as not only do my boys love this hammock but the sleeping bag that I made previously is their favourite item of bedding now! Here is the finished hammock.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ferret Time, a magazine for ferret lovers.


Ferret Time is a UK not-for-profit magazine for anyone with an interest in ferrets. It has stories that will appeal to both owners of pet ferrets and working ferrets.
Ferret Time is published by Droitwich ferret welfare, a local registered charity that rescues and re-homes ferrets in Worcestershire and the surrounding area. They re-home over 200 ferrets every year and are soon to reach the 2000 mark. Their website also contains useful information for ferret owners on topics such as housing and exercise. For more information on Droitwich ferret welfare and the work that they do please visit their website http://www.droitwichferretwelfare.co.uk/
Ferret Time has been running for three years, and before it was established they were issuing a newsletter for six years. It is a triannual full colour magazine that typically includes content such as features on other welfare organisations, letters, fun articles and health notes. The May edition that is soon to be released will include a feature on the popular 'Fluffyferretforum', an article on scientists tuning into ferrets' thoughts and The ferret awards. To see if Ferret Time is the magazine for you, why not request a complimentary copy of the current edition, available via email in pdf format. You can also purchase a hard copy of the current edition for £2.50 or you can subscribe for a year and receive all three issues for just £5.99-Which is what I have done!
They have a spring/summer edition which is released in May, an autumn edition published in September and a winter edition that is published in January.
To request a pdf version, hard copy or to subscribe please go to http://www.ferrettime.co.uk/index.php/subscribe-to-ferret-time
Happy reading!

Kit watch, 9 days old.


So the kits are 9 days old in this picture (they are currently 13 days old). Some colours are starting to come through. You can see the darker grey fur of one kit, thought to be a polecat coloured or other similar dark ferret. There's thought to be an albino jill, identified by pink eyes behind the lids rather than dark eyes like the rest. They will have almost doubled in size since their birth.
Hopefully in the next update we will be able to see some more changes!

Shiro dreams of being a rock star...





































Took the cutest picture of Shiro tonight, he was kind of plucking the strings originally but stopped as soon as I got the camcorder out! So I settled for this cute little pose that he did :)

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Crusher's chronicles, volume one.


Crusher's chronicles is brought to you by the people (and more importantly, the ferrets) behind Crusher's comforts, the one stop shop for ferret information and products, namely home-made bedding. For more information on Crusher's comforts please see my feature http://ferretdook.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/crushers-comforts-online-shop.html
Crusher, the world famous polecat coloured hoblet decided to get his dad Barrie to ghost write some stories of the adventures of team Crusher, as seen through the eyes of Crusher (naturally!)
The stories follow the adventures of Crusher and his team of 37 ferrets! What to expect from this book? Giant grass eating ferrets, ferrets training for the Olympic games and an all out war-ferrets vs meerkats! And that's only for starters!
One of my personal favourite parts is where Barrie tries to take some of the show ferrets rabbiting, what did Crusher have to say on the matter? "If the worse comes to the worst, do the biggest toilet all over dad's nets. That way he will grumble for a few days about how useless we are and take out the usual members of the crew in future". Now that is something I can very well imagine those sneaky little ferrets doing!
Poor Crusher though, not only can he not sleep due to all the stress of having to look after mum, dad and his team, but when he does finally get to snuggle down with his beloved Truffle he sometimes suffers from nightmares due to the things he has to witness as head ferret! "Had a difficult night's kip, dreamt Truffle had been seduced by a skunk and had a litter of skunk crossed ferrets with claws like Freddie Kruger!"
This is a cracking little book that had me chuckling out loud, so be warned if you plan to read it in public! All the ferrets portrayed in Crusher's chronicles really do exist, they all belong to owners/parents' Karen and Barrie. It was created to try and show owners some of the different personalities that exist in the ferret world, and some are bigger than others! (Mentioning no names-Crawford, aka The silver streak, who demanded a sport headband and ankle warmers amongst other things whilst training for the Olympics!)
Crusher's chronicles has 15 hilarious stories for you to enjoy, and is priced at £4.99 or you can buy volume one and volume two for the special price of £8.99 (limited time only). The following link will take you to the 'ferret goodies' page where you can select either volume one, volume two or the two together at the discounted price.
http://www.crusherscomforts.co.uk/ferret_toys_store#ecwid:category=765012&mode=category&offset=0&sort=priceAsc
The line that has put my boy's noses out of joint? Caramac's thoughts on Crawford, (The silver streak) "I think Crawford's fit! Nice bum". They're just jealous that girls haven't said the same about them yet, give it time...

Kit watch!

I'm going to be following the progress of a litter of ferret kits from birth until adoption. The mother is a standard copper roan mitt and the father is a semi Angora silver roan panda mitt.
The kits were born on the 12th April 2012 to a first time mum. It was a large litter, 13 kits in total! They are born blind, deaf and totally dependant on their mum. They are covered in a fine white hair, their true colours will develop as time goes on. All they can really do is squeak at this point. Fun fact: newborn ferrets are small enough to fit on a teaspoon!
Want a look? I bet you do!
The litter at one day old.
Aren't they adorable? Let me know what you think of them! I'll give you an update with a recent picture shortly!


Monday, 23 April 2012

Ferret breeding, the basic facts.

Well it's that time of year again, so I thought I'd provide you with the basic facts on ferret breeding.
The breeding season usually runs from March through to September, though this can vary with weather conditions and if the ferrets are kept outside or inside.
Males and females reach sexual maturity the first spring after their birth, although again this can be earlier with warmer weather and indoor living ferrets. For example my ferrets are indoors and they were ready to be castrated in December aged 8 months. (For more information on neutering visit my 'neutering your ferrets' post here http://ferretdook.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/neutering-your-ferrets.html)
There are several ways to physically see if your ferret is ready to breed, alongside a change in behaviour for both males and females. Males will have enlarged testicles, a very strong body odour and his coat will most likely have a greasy feel to it. He will have little thought for anything except finding a female to mate with, will  become aggressive towards other males and sometimes have little time for his owners affections too. There have been cases of intact ferrets being harder to work with during the breeding season when taken out rabbiting.
The females will become ill tempered and may have a stronger body odour than usual. Her vulva will swell and there may be a discharge alongside this. Around two weeks after the initial swelling she is ready to breed.
The gestation period is usually around 6 weeks, with some breeders moving the expecting mother to a quiet 'nursery' area after about 4 weeks. She will start to prepare her nest about two weeks before the birth. The male has no role in the birth or raising of the babies. The female will have an average of 6-8 kits in a litter, though litters can be as big as 13-15. They are completely helpless when born. They are blind, deaf and covered in fine white hair. Babies can weigh at birth anything between 5 and 15 grams.
The new mother and her babies must not be disturbed in the early stages as she may eat her young if she feels that they are threatened in any way.
At around three weeks of age the young will start to eat solids alongside their mother's milk. Their eyes open at about four weeks of age and can now fully explore the world around them. They are weaned between 6-8 weeks of age, and will leave their mother sometime after this. It is preferable to have them stay with the mother as long as possible for their well-being.
Breeding is a very serious undertaking that should not be taken lightly. It can be costly, time consuming and heartbreaking, as whole litters have been known to die before and it is not unusual for the odd kit to die in the early days, often from the mother laying on them without realising.
Please do not attempt to breed your ferrets on a whim, there are far too many unwanted ferrets in rescue centres as it is. So please leave it to the professional breeders who really know what they are doing and can ensure the  well-being of the babies and their mothers. Most reputable breeders will also do home checks and quiz potential buyers before they release any kits to them. If you have a mixed sex ferret group who aren't neutered, please do not see breeding as an easy option, speak to your vet for information on neutering. You could do an internet search to find breeders near you if you would like to take on a baby ferret, just remember that they do not stay small forever and there are ferrets in shelters waiting for homes.
Your ferrets are likely to be much happier if they don't have breeding to worry about, just ask my boys! They can now devote 100% of their time to mischief making! 

Friday, 20 April 2012

The Rescue A Pet website

Rescue a pet is an informative website where you can research product information, browse their extensive directories, view animals that are waiting for loving homes, read the latest animal charity news and download their Rescue A Pet and animal care magazine for free! The current March edition of which has an article on ferrets!
It also has useful links to other animal websites and organisations such as the PDSA and Healthy pets pet insurance.
Have a look for yourself at http://www.rescueapet.co.uk/

Crusher's comforts online shop

The Crusher's comforts website is not only the home of their online shop, but it also holds a wealth of information regarding ferret care. Today however I'm going to talk about their shop and the range of fantastic products that they have to offer.
Crusher's comforts was named after Crusher Hoblet, a polecat coloured ferret who was found by his mum and dad (Karen and Barrie) at an auction in a cardboard box. Crusher is now famous, not only is he a star on the social networking site Facebook, but he travels with his mum, dad and his team of 37 ferrets on road shows across the north east of England, educating the public about his kind.
It was on one such show that Crusher noticed that the other ferrets attending didn't have bedding that was up to his standard, so he and his team put their heads together with their mum and 'Crusher's comforts' was born.
The whole of the Crusher's comforts range has been tried and tested by Team Crusher before being put on sale, Karen says that she has seen 8 fully grown hobs in one of their hammocks before!
Crusher's comforts can tailor make beds to your specifications, if you are after something of a particular design that you did not see then contact them to discuss your requirements. They keep most of the products in stock, but if they do not have the product that you wish to purchase available, Karen said that they can usually get it produced and shipped out fairly quickly.
We've all seen hammocks of various styles and sleeping pouches etc. but what about something a bit different? Well Crusher's comforts can help you. They have three designs that I personally have not seen anywhere else, the 'Comfy couch', 'The launch pad' and 'My space pod'. I'm going to talk about The launch pad and My space pod.


The launch pad, pictured below, is a luxurious cushioned bed made from the finest quality anti-pilling fleece. It comes with a removable inner cushion and a blanket. You can choose to have it  in either pink with flowers for girls or in blue tiger print for the boys. The beds are 100% machine washable and measure 11'' x 14'' x 3''. It is currently priced at £17.50 (+p&p).         
                                                                                           


My space pod (pictured below) is 100% unique to Crusher's comforts and wont be found anywhere else! Again it is made with the highest quality anti-pilling fleece and all animal friendly materials. They measure 16'', come with an internal cushion for your ferret's comfort and are machine washable. Available in 5 designs which are the red ladybird, Leopard print design, tiger print design, white and purple ladybird design and the green and black ladybird design. They are currently £20 (+p&p).
The leopard print design

The colours/patterns available

Crusher's comforts not only stock beautiful ferret bedding but also a range of exquisite ferret accessories and products for both ferrets and their humans. They have their own greetings cards, novels, T-shirts and bags to name a few. I'm going to tell you about two of my personal favourites, the 'Scented sleeping ferret soaps' and the 'Two seasons water bottle and covers set'.

The scented soaps are beautiful handcrafted soaps made to look like a ferret curled up alseep. They are made from all natural ingredients and come in 6 gorgeous fragrances including strawberry, coconut and English rose. They are approximately 7cm in diameter and 100grams in weight. Please be aware that they are intended for human use only! They make wonderful gifts as each one comes in its own gift box for that special touch. They are currently £3 each with £1 from each sale going towards ferret welfare.


The two seasons water bottle sets are a fantastic idea that enables ferret owners to keep their ferrets at the right temperature whatever the weather. The set comprises of one ferret water bottle (rather like a smaller version of the human hot water bottle) and two covers. One cover is for the summer months and one for winter. The high quality anti-pilling fleece cover is for use in the summer. You half fill the bottle with cold water and pop it in the freezer until frozen. Then you slip the cover over before popping it in with your ferrets. They can lay against the bottle to keep cool without getting a chill thanks to the fleece cover. The second cover is made from pet friendly faux fur and is intended to be used over the bottle when it has been half filled with warm water, to provide heat for them in winter. The sets come in matching colours and a choice of three colours, blue, pink and lilac. The covers can also be machine washed. They are currently priced at £9.99 (+p&p) for one set.


Crusher's comforts guarantees to provide top quality bedding that will hold pets of up to 6kg, made with only the best materials and heavy duty non chewable metal clips. If for some reason a bed does not meet this specification they will provide a full refund within six months of purchase and offer to send you a replacement at no cost to yourself. This is a highly unlikely turn of events as in all the years that Crusher's comforts has been running they have yet to have a returned item!
Why not visit Crusher's comforts for yourself and have a browse? To visit the main page please follow this link http://www.crusherscomforts.co.uk/
Or to go directly to their shop please click here http://www.crusherscomforts.co.uk/ferret_toys_store












Thursday, 19 April 2012

My home-made ferret bedding: Sleeping bag

Yesterday I made the second piece of my camo bedding set for my little fuzzies. It didn't take as long as I'd thought it would. Although I hand stitched it, it only took about two hours to do.
The sleeping bag is of a luxurious thickness, which will keep them warm and safe in winter, and they can lay on it in the summer months if they wish.
I had a few problems trying to get either Alfie or Shiro to pose for me, so I had to use a stand in ferret! (In the form of a cuddly ferret) Alfie didn't seem to like this intruder moving in on their new stuff and swiftly ejected it!
Here are the pictures that I managed to get.




Next on the list of bedding to make is a hammock. Wish me luck!

Ferret dook is on Facebook and Twitter!

For those that don't already know, you can now like Ferret dook on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

The Facebook page has sneak previews of upcoming posts, as well as photos, polls for you to vote in and competitions! By following us on Twitter you can stay up to date with the latest posts and have your say on what should be included in the Ferret dook blog.

Find the Facebook page here http://www.facebook.com/2ferrets Feel free to post photos of your own ferrets to the wall and don't forget to 'like' us.

Check out Ferret dook on Twitter and don't be afraid to follow and tweet! Ferret dook always reply to fans. https://twitter.com/#!/ferret_dook

Hope to see you via social networking soon!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Jake and Jasper: A ferret tale

Jake and Jasper: A ferret tale is a heart-warming movie with a ferret star! It is the tale of a young boy, Jake Tyler (played by Connor Stanhope) who is struggling to come to terms with the death of his mother. His father James (played by Andrew Jackson) is too distraught over his loss to care for his children Jake and Jesse (played by Nina Hagerty) properly. It is when Jesse moves out to escape from their father and leaves Jake a ferret to keep him company that his life changes forever.





Struggling to cope with the recent death of his mother, young Jake Tyler retreats from his family and the world at large.
After being involved in a violent fight with some older boys at school, he winds up in the principal’s office with his father who is told that Jake might benefit from professional help.
Unfortunately, Jake’s father has been unable to help himself through the loss of his wife. When not neglecting his son and daughter as a result, he’s furious with them.
Jesse (Jake’s sister) is so fed up with her selfish father that she moves out of the house but not without leaving a pet ferret, Jasper, to keep her brother company.
Jake & Jasper become fast friends as the two develop a strong bond. Yet just as this companionship seems on the verge of prying Jake from his shell, his father threatens to take Jasper away.
With the thought of losing his best pal, Jake decides to run away from home and the two get lost in a nearby forest. Then when darkness falls Jake & Jasper not only lose each other in the woods, they nearly lose their lives.

The film, which has been directed and produced by Alison Parker has had huge success around the world, with requests for subtitled versions in French, Japanese and German to name a few. Its success may have something to do with the fact that it is an all round family film, it's not just for animal lovers. The film deals with themes that we can all relate to such as love, loss and friendship. 
Jasper the ferret is played by Falcor, one of director Alison Parker's own ferrets. He didn't just get the role based on that though. Although Jake and Jasper is his first movie, Falcor has earned many fans from starring in several commercials, including one for Marshall's bandits ferret treats. Along with help and support from animal wranglers, Alison taught Falcor to go to a mark, dig in a certain spot, stay and stand up on command, using treats and clickers for reward based training. 
Animal lovers will be pleased to hear that not only is there a ferret in the film but it also features a wolf, horse, raccoon, great horned owl, skunk and rabbits. Alison says that working with the animals on set was a dream come true, as she dreamt of being a vet or zookeeper  as a child. The animals only work on their terms though! 
Jake and Jasper will hopefully show viewers what ferrets are all about, and help to dispel a few of the myths surrounding them. Alison was inspired by her own ferrets in particular and says of ferrets in general 'They are not rodents, they are not vicious, they are not stinky! Ferrets are very lovable and playful pets. Smart too'.
The cast and crew all volunteered their services to make the film, which was sponsored by brands such as Nintendo and Converse. It features the song 'Songbird' by Grammy nominated group Crash test dummies.
Here is the official Jake and Jasper trailer.

Jake and Jasper is a short film at 25 minutes and 14 seconds in length but is a movie that is sure to be watched again and again. The film is priced at $20 (plus shipping) and can be bought from the official Jake and Jasper website http://www.jake-and-jasper.com/ 
Don't forget to check out the official Facebook page here http://www.facebook.com/TheFerretMovie
If you love Jake and Jasper: A ferret tale then why not take a look at Alison's latest project 'The ferret squad' which is a feature film currently in production. Just follow this link to the Facebook fan page http://www.facebook.com/TheFerretSquad
Happy viewing!

My home-made ferret bedding: Comfy cushion

I decided to make a camo bedding set for my guys to match their existing camo tent. I'm using fleece so that it will be comfy and warm for them.
I made the cushion first (start off nice and easy) and I let them test it out, but I won't put it in the cage until I've made the whole set.
Camo comfy cushion

Shiro trying out the cushion

I'll post more as I make them!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Neutering your ferrets.

Most ferret owners choose to neuter their ferrets. Neutering is mainly undertaken to prevent breeding, but it is also done for other reasons. Females once in season need to be taken out of season. This is because they are induced ovulators, meaning they only ovulate through coitus. If they are not taken out of heat they will eventually get aplastic anaemia caused by high oestrogen levels. This can be done artificially by jill jab or implant, naturally by breeding (not generally advised) or she can be serviced by a vasectomised male. Using a vasectomised male can lead to phantom pregnancies and the spread of diseases.
Males will have a strong odour if kept intact and can have behaviour problems such as aggressiveness. Once neutered the smell reduces, they often become more sociable and playful. There has also been an increase in coat condition in castrated males.
There has been a link between neutering and a reduced risk of developing tumours in the reproductive organs.
Lets have a little look at the different methods that can be used to neuter ferrets.

  • The jill jab. This is a hormonal injection that is used to either prevent or stop a season. They are designed to last the entire breeding season but it has been known for owners to have to repeat the jabs in the same year as jills can come back into season if the jab 'wears off'. Jill jabs need to be given every year to prevent a jill coming into season. 
  • The implant. The implant works in much the same way as an injection, it prevents the female ferret from coming into season and becoming pregnant. The implant can last up to 18 months although as with the jill jab the effects can wear off sooner. The implant is not yet widely used, so a chat with your trusted exotic vet would be the best course of action.
  • Spay. The spay can be done from around 6 months of age, there is much debate as to whether or not the ferret should have a first season before spaying. A conversation with your vet should help you decide when to spay. To spay is to do a complete ovariohysterectomy, the entire reproductive system is removed, the ovaries and the uterus. The jill is put under general anaesthetic and will have pain relief administered. She will have been starved at least 4 hours before the operation to avoid complications. The area will be clipped and disinfected before entering theatre. The vet makes an incision just below the umbilicus (belly button) heading towards the tail. The ovaries are removed with the uterus and any connecting blood vessels are ligated. She is then stitched up using nylon or absorbable sutures. She can often come home on the same day. She is likely to be groggy and will need plenty of rest in a quiet environment. They can take anything from one to two weeks to heal and you should look out for any signs of redness, swelling, soreness or discharge from the wound. If in doubt the vet will need to be contacted.
  • Castrate. Castrating males is an irreversible procedure that will render the male unable to reproduce for the rest of his life. Males can be castrated once they have fully developed their testicles, which is usually from around the age of 8 months, although this can change depending on if they are indoor or outdoor ferrets. My ferrets are kept indoors and we had them castrated relatively early at 8 months old as they were fully mature and had started to show some unwanted behaviours. This is not unheard of as often the warmer environment can trick them into thinking it's spring time. Your vet will be able to confirm whether or not your male is ready by performing an examination of the testes. The ferret will need to be starved for four hours before surgery, not overnight as some inexperienced (ferret wise) vets will tell you! This is because ferrets digest food very quickly and need to eat around every four hours. An overnight starve will not do your ferret any good whatsoever. The hob will go under general anaesthetic and will receive pain relief. The fur around the scrotum is clipped and the area disinfected. A small cut is made to allow the spermatic cord and blood vessels to be ligated. Both testicles are removed and the vet can then close the opening. The ferrets are usually allowed home the same day as the castrate is a fairly simple procedure. As well as for a female spay, they will be groggy so a clean comfortable bed should be provided. Over the next few days you should check to make sure the site is healing well and there is no redness or discharge. If you have any concerns then a phone call to the vet is needed.
  • Vasectomy. The male will need to be fully mature before the vasectomy can be carried out. The vasectomy is really only carried out so that the male can be used to bring jills out of season. There are no other real advantages of vasectomising your hob. This is because they will still act like a whole male, which is important for them to be able to 'mate' with the female. He will still carry his pungent smell, be aggressive to males and overly interested in jills. The male will be put under a general anaesthetic as before. The vasectomy involves the cutting and tying of the vas deferens, which is the tube from the testicles. The testicles are left intact so that he will maintain his sexual drive. The surgical site will need to be assessed as before to ensure he is healing properly. He can remain fertile for anything up to 6 weeks, so shouldn't be introduced to any receptive females until that time has elapsed. Otherwise a litter of kits may still be born.
  • Implant for males. This is not widely used at the moment but works in the same way as the implant or jill jab in females. It does wear off and would need to be redone about once a year. There have been links between late neutering and a reduced risk of adrenal disease, the implant can be used for a time before castrating if this is something that you are concerned about. Our vet offered this service to us, but we decided to carry on with our original decision and have them castrated.
Finding a good vet that is knowledgeable in dealing with ferrets is essential . Once you have all the information about a procedure from a reputable source it's a good idea to 'test' potential vets by asking questions that you already know the right answers to, such as 'do I starve my ferret overnight before the operation?' which is a question I used. They should see a fair number of ferrets on a regular basis and be confident in performing these operations. Do not always go for the nearest option as they may not be the best vet for your fuzzy. We travel 45 minutes each way to see our vet, but I have peace of mind that they are in safe hands. You need to be sure that you are doing right by your ferret before you commit and have them neutered, but generally spaying and castrating are seen as the best ways to neuter. But be warned, they are irreversible.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Ferrets walking on the wild side!

My ferrets love going outside for walks, it provides them with fresh air, exercise and mental stimulation.  Here a few pictures of them out and about.

Shiro

Shiro with a slightly puffy tail

The boys found a molehill

Shiro puffed up and on full alert!

Alfie digging

Alfie

Alfie loved his wild adventure

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Rhett & Co bedding. For ferrets of all shapes and sizes!

Rhett and Co bedding is a new website devoted to selling quality home-made ferret bedding.
 Rhett & Co bedding got its name from the owner's first ferret, named Rhett, who is rather partial to a comfy bed! But let's face it, what ferret isn't? That is why they created Rhett & Co bedding. When you choose to purchase from them, not only do you receive quality bedding that your ferrets will love, you will also be helping other ferrets as 10% of every sale goes to Harrietsham Ferret Rescue in Kent.  The other 90% goes towards the care of ferrets in their small rescue. They provide reprieve and emergency placement for a maximum of 10 ferrets at a time. The ferrets often come from the RSPCA or local vets. They pay for food, neutering, vet care and flea treatment themselves, before seeing the ferrets off to their new homes.
All the bedding is made from anti pill  polar fleece and/or 100% cotton. It is all pet safe and has been tried and tested by ferrets for ferrets! 
You can choose from a range of colourful patterns and themes such as leopard print, Winnie the pooh and polkadots. You can even contact them to talk about specific requirements. 
They have a large range of hammocks to choose from, including large hammocks, corner hammocks and pocket hammocks. 
The example of a corner hammock from the site.











The example of a pocket hammock from the site.
















They also make sleep sacks and cuddle cups. Sleep sacks are rather like ferret sleeping bags. Cuddle cups are just that, cup/bowl shaped sturdy beds that ferrets can climb in and chill out. These can be made to be free-standing or with the option to hang from the cage.

The example of a sleep sack from the site.













The example of a cuddle cup from the site.




















They also sell food and treats, such as ferretone skin and coat supplement (loved by ferrets!) as well as cards and calendars. Please note that calendars are a seasonal item. 
If you have an exotic taste in pets they can cater for you too! They make a range of small bedding with extra tight stitching ideal for small animals such as sugar gliders!
In the unlikely event that any bedding fails to last six months they will happily refund the cost and send a replacement out to you free of charge.
Bedding prices start from just £5 and delivery to anywhere in the UK is only £2, regardless of the size of your order! International customers can obtain a shipping quote before they order by contacting them.
Take a look at the fantastic bedding they have to offer for yourself here http://www.rhett-and-co-bedding.co.uk/ Happy shopping!


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Spring 2012 photo competition results

I recently ran a photo competition through the Ferret dook Facebook page, which closed on the 9th April. All the entries were just fantastic, so it was so hard to pick a winner and two runners up!
You can take a look at all the entrants here http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.404827692878048.105273.343843032309848&type=3
The competition winner was 'Casper out on a limb' by Scott Sexsmith from Calgary, Alberta in Canada. Here is Scott's entry.
Casper is the first ferret that Scott has ever had and has had him since he was nine weeks old. He will be three years old this month, so this will be a nice birthday present for him! Casper is now the alpha ferret of a gang of four. His favourite treats are n-bones and raw chicken eggs, yum! He loves playing in his ball pit, playing with plastic bags and tunnels. Casper's favourite thing to do has to be going on adventures with Scott into the wild parts around their city and will happily trot along beside him.
Isn't Casper adorable? 
The runners up are Gillian Patterson from Scotland with 'Frankie' and Scott Funk from North Carolina with 'Tony, Bandi and Lucy'. Here they are.
Frankie.

Tony, Bandi and Lucy.
Frankie is described as a 'very naughty little boy' who has perfected the 'butter wouldn't melt face'. Frankie (along with her other ferret Benny) is Gillian's first ferret and is nearly two years old. He was about one when the picture was taken. He loves coming up with schemes to get what he wants, and isn't afraid to be rough if you interfere in his plans! Gillian thinks that he must have a ferret trampoline hidden somewhere as Frankie will often come flying through the air at her when playing! Although Frankie seemed to pose quite nicely for this picture he apparently isn't that fond of his little raincoat, maybe yellow isn't his colour?

Tony is the newest member of the Funk household and is 4 months old.  He is a bit of a rascal and likes to taunt Scott with his toys, but never lets him have them, if he tries to take them away Tony will start to cry! He is deaf and likes to dunk his head underwater while drinking!
Bandi (full name Bandita) is around 3 and a half years old. She loves to play with special crocheted egg toys that aren't available in the shops. She has a slight wobble when she walks thought to be caused by an injury from when she was a baby (before being adopted).
Lucy is about 21 months old and belongs to Scott's son Tyler. She won't let anyone but Tyler hold her!  Her favourite game is to hide underneath the covers and attack anything from above and her favourite chew toy is Scott's hand!

Congratulations to the winners and to everyone else who entered, your ferrets are adorable and you should be very proud of them!
I'm hoping to do a summer competition with a theme (yet to be decided) so look out for it! Enjoy the rest of spring!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Wonky rocket toys by Anita 'Weaslemom'

Wonky rocket toys (pictured below) are the brainchild of Anita, who makes them by hand at her home. They are constructed of hard plastic rattles that Anita then crochets around. The plastic is virtually indestructible but as with any toy you will need to check them for damage after every use to avoid putting your fuzzies at risk. Anita can do practically any colour or colour combination depending on your requirements, whether it be a pink set for girls, a blue set for boys, a pastel coloured set for Easter or a Christmas colours set.
Ferrets absolutely love the wonky rockets. The rattle really excites them, they can fight with each other for possession using the three woollen 'tails'  and they are fantastic for stashing, as my ferret Shiro will tell you! It is generally thought that the wonky toys help maintain oral health as while they chew on them the wool rubs their teeth. They are often used as training aids and to help prevent biting. If you have a ferret that is a particularly bad biter then you simply offer them the toy or pop it in their mouth when they try to bite. This has worked for a number of people and definitely gives the hands a break! There is still much debate as to whether or not ferrets can see in colour, but it's not unheard of for them to take a liking to a particular colour wonky. Why not order a selection of colours and see which one your ferret prefers? At time of writing they are $2 each which roughly equates to £1.26 (not including shipping) when bought through the Polecat parlour creations page on facebook. Anita does ship her toys to the UK and this is best done in bulk to make the most of shipping. I ordered 12 wonky toys recently for my boys and I am very pleased, great value for money. It's worth speaking to Anita via Facebook (links at the bottom of this post) to discuss colours and prices.
If that hasn't convinced you, take a look at these pictures and videos from the day our wonky toys arrived!







video
This is Shiro trying to steal the wonky and stash it. He eventually gives up when I don't give it to him!



You can order wonky rockets for your ferrets via Polecat parlour creations on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Polecat-Parlour-Creations/331751326876094?sk=app_106171216118819 or alternatively visit her Facebook profile and send her a message http://www.facebook.com/anita.weaslemom

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Ferret bark? And other noises.

Okay, so most people have heard about ferrets dooking, but barking too? Ferrets can be quite the vocalists and you need to know what they are trying to say! Below I have compiled the most common ferret noises and their meanings, if your ferret has made a different noise then please get in touch! Please bear in mind however that some of these noises can mean two different things, so you always need to check your ferrets out to make sure they are not in trouble, even if to you it sounds like they are having fun.

  • Dooking-Dooking is a clucking almost squeaky sound that often come in fast bursts. If you hear your ferret dooking then you can be happy that it is very excited and having fun playing. They may also dook when they approach you, which can be an invitation to play. Some ferrets are very loud when they dook, and can dook frequently, even when just walking around, my ferret Shiro does this. Whereas some ferrets, like Alfie, are very quiet and infrequent dookers.
  • Screeching/squeaking-Ferrets can squeak or screech while playing, and in many occasions the ferret that is happily leaping on a playmate will be the one doing the screeching. They will also screech or squeak if they are losing a fight, or upset with another ferret. Some ferrets will be quite vocal and some will only screech if they are unhappy. You need to establish what type of vocalist your ferret is, so that you can respond quickly if your ferret is in danger of being hurt.
  • Screaming-The scream is a pretty clear indication that your ferret is either in pain, is frightened or very angry! It's never a good thing if you hear this and you need to check it out right away.
  • Hissing-Some ferrets hiss on a regular basis, and this is just their way of communicating. Hissing  ferrets are normally giving a warning to 'back off' to either another ferret, animal or human. They can hiss in fear, in anger and in annoyance. 
  • Whines and whimpers- These are never good signs, your ferret could be in pain/discomfort or they could be frightened. You will need to investigate if you hear these noises.
  • Barking-Lets talk about this ferret bark shall we? Ferrets can bark, and can sound quite like a dog when they do. Barking is usually nothing to worry about and just means that they are over excited and overcome with joy. On occasion they can bark when frightened, so be wary.
  • Wheezing-If accompanied by a runny nose and eyes then your ferret could have a cold or other illness. If not and it is playing, eating and drinking as usual it is likely it has dust/hair stuck in its throat, which is particularly common during the shed season. If you are at all concerned or your ferret seems to be in discomfort then always check with the vet.
  • Coughing-This can be caused by similar things as wheezing, the ferret could have a hair or even a piece of food stuck in its throat from eating too quickly. Again, if accompanied by sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes or loss of appetite you would be best to let your vet have a look. Ferret lax can help hairs slide down easier, but be careful not to give your ferret too much, and again see the vet for advice if in doubt.
  • Snoring-Yes, ferrets can snore too! They don't obviously sound the same as when a human snores, it's more like heavy breathing. Your ferret is fast asleep and dreaming up more mischief...shhhhh....
So hopefully now you have a better understanding of just what your little rascal is trying to tell you! 

Alfie and Shiro playing together

Sunday, 1 April 2012

My Spring 2012 photo competition!

I'm now running a ferret photography competition through my blog's Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/2ferrets You don't have to be a professional photographer to enter, all you need  to do is enter your favourite pictures of your ferrets (max. of two entries per person).  I've had some fantastic entries so far, I can already tell how hard it's going to be to make that final decision!
The contest runs from Friday the 30th March until Monday 9th April (12 noon UK time). So to enter please upload your photos to the ferretdook facebook page http://www.facebook.com/2ferrets and I will move them into the contest folder to be judged.
This is my first competition and is 'just for fun', so there are no prizes to be won, but the winner and two runners up will be featured here on my blog.
So start selecting those pictures, or get your camera out and start snapping! Have fun!
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