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Breeding - Saturday, November 24, 2012 6:01 PM
So I just have a general question about breeding, I have a 6 month old intact hob, if I were to put in with him a female kit for one would they happily live together and would they eventually breed when she has her first season, if so when would her first season be ? 
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Re:Breeding - Sunday, November 25, 2012 11:42 AM
I think females come into heat at their first spring.
If a male comes into rut (i think that's what it's called) before the female is in heat, I would imagine he would be quite bothersome to her. I've always heard of males having to be separated.
If she isn't bred, remember that you have to have a way to bring her out of heat, such as a jill jab, or putting her with a vasectomized hob.
There can be many complications when breeding. The mother may eat her kits, she may not be able to nurse, and you'll need to find a surrogate. She may develop complications during birth or pregnancy and need emergency surgery, or could die.
What if no one is interested in the kits? Can you deal with the time and expense of raising a whole litter, for their whole lives?
Remember, there are thousands of ferrets in shelters waiting to be adopted. Is it really fair to bring more into the world?
I realise you are just asking general questions, but these are other questions one should ask themselves before breeding.

Ferrets: Wesley, Percy, Owen. -rip Bandit-
Fish: Kitty- female CT betta, Powerball- male CT betta, Timmy- male DeT betta
Bird: Kita- Sun Conure

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Re:Breeding - Sunday, November 25, 2012 3:45 PM
Breeding ferrets is not a easy job at times. Risking the life of intact jill, see below:

*Risk her having a silent heat and not catching it.
*Risk of her getting pyo after visit with a v-hob
*Risk of her getting yo if falsing from a fertile hob
*Risk of her getting other various infections during the pregnancy
*Risk of her getting pregnancy toxemia.
*Risk of her during the delivery process
*Risk of her not being able to deliver kits
*Risk of her needing a c-section
*Risk of her getting enough nutrition to raise her kits
*Risk of her getting mastitis while nursing the kits

Please do your research on breeding and get with a reputable ferret breeder so that they can mentor you.  Work with a breeding first, before you even tackle this project. 

Birth of a litter - baby update and some after thoughts

Reference post on Ferret Mailing List: 

I have received a number of emails from many of you commenting on how much you enjoyed the video. I am glad so many people liked it. My reason for doing it was to share some of the experience with all my ferret enthusiast friends. 

 Mom and little ones continue to do well. This afternoon, they had grown so much I hardly recognized them from yesterday. When I weighed them, they had all gained a lot from Tuesday. On average, they have gained 5.5 grams in just 2 1/2 days. This is good. They are also starting to darken a little. I expect mostly sables from this litter.

I was able to sex them today, and it looks like I have 4 girls and 2 boys. I also wanted to say that while what was on the video is representative of a normal delivery, there are many things that can go wrong, and end up requiring a trip to an emergency vet's office. Ferrets - at least my jills - seem to like to go into labor sometime after midnight - when most regular vets can not be reached by phone. 

The video showed the upside of breeding ferrets - the joy of the birth, but, I feel compelled to temper that with some of the downside. Almost every private breeder I know has run into some problems along the way.

So, what can go wrong you ask? Well, you can get 2 kits trying to enter the birth canal at the same time. They can get jammed in together, and if that happens, a C-section may be required. You can get a breach birth. While those can be difficult, they can usually be handled at home and without a vet's help. You can get a situation where the umbilical cords of 2 or more kits get tangled together. Sometimes when that happens you end up loosing a kit. If the jill is only carrying 1 or 2 kits, the hormone levels may not be enough to induce labor, and it may have to be induced chemically or the jill may need a C-section. If there is an extremely large kit in the litter, it may be too large to fit through the birth canal. And, after the birthing is over, there may be retained placentas. Often this is not a problem, but on occasion it can cause the jill to develop a uterine infection and possibly even a pyometra. Breeders have to be aware of all these potential problems, be able to recognize the signs, and know how to handle them.

And, the range of possible problems does not stop with the birthing. Jills can develop mastitis, and unlike dogs and cats, the type of mastitis ferrets often get can be fatal if the infected mammary gland is not surgically removed. There are other problems that can arise, too. Breeding ferrets should not be taken lightly. Anyone considering doing it should take the time to educate themselves, and also should work with an experienced breeder mentoring them. I am not as experienced a ferret breeder as some others, and yet I have experienced my share of tragedies. Still, when I look back over the years, my successes have far outweighed the tragedies. I did loose one jill to complications of birth - despite getting her to the emergency vet and into surgery as quickly as possible. It was a hard thing to deal with, and I almost decided not to breed any more. 

And, even with the successes, there is the problem of placing the kits. You become very invested in these little ones, and it becomes very important to make sure they go to only the best possible homes. I suspect that anyone who operates a shelter can tell you how hard it can be trying to screen potential adopters. I am going through all of this because I don't want people to see the video and think, "I want to breed ferrets and see the cute little babies". That is not a reason to breed ferrets. Responsible breeders are involved in breeding ferrets because they want to try and improve the health and temperament of the animals they produce. Yes, we all love the babies, but that should not be a primary reason for anyone to start breeding ferrets.

And, money should not be a reason, either. Most private breeders do not make any real profit from their breeding activities. By the time you consider the expense of caring and feeding a litter for 9 or 10 weeks, plus any veterinary care, any money received from selling kits is offset of the expenses of producing them.

I apologize if I sound like I am preaching, but I don't want people to jump into something unprepared. Obviously, those of us who breed ferrets get something out of it, or we wouldn't do it. And, I imagine what we get out of it varies from breeder to breeder. For me, what makes me happiest is when I can raise a beautiful little ferret and find him or her just the right home. And, if the new owner keeps in touch, and sends me pictures and updates on how the ferret is doing, then I can feel good about having brought a wonderful companion into that person's life. Because even though the kits go off to live in other homes, and become someone else's companion, they are still and will always be my babies. 

Danee DeVore ADV - If your ferret hasn't been tested, you don't know! For more information visit: 
ADV - Find out how you can help:
[Posted in FML 6269]

<message edited by wenmister on Sunday, November 25, 2012 3:54 PM>

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