Breeding ferrets is expensive. Unless you have grown children and all of them have been to veterinarian school, breeding ferrets is not even close to financially feasible. In my opinion, it just isn’t responsible to breed ferrets especially if you are doing so because the kits are cute.
An unneutered hob will go into rut (yes, just like a deer) usually about 30 days before the jill goes into heat. Then the jill usually isn’t receptive to the hob for about 15 days after she goes into heat. If you attempt to put the jill in with the hob any earlier the jill will be uninterested in the hob and that is going to make the hob very mad and could injure and even kill the jill.
There is NOTHING romantic about a ferret’s sex life, at least from a human perspective. Who knows how the ferrets view the matter.
Let discuss the Neanderthal hob with his club. They put off a very offensive odor that comes from scent glands and urine. This scent is of an oil base and is used to mark his territory and to attract a female. This vile oil is spread with the male’s underbelly, as he smears it around. The male in a very short period of time is covered in this slime and stinks to high heaven.
The hob’s personality will certainly be equivalent to his odor. They become very aggressive and are certainly no longer pet-like.
You can see physical evidence when the jill comes into heat. The vulva will swell up and this will be the sign she is in heat. Jill’s do come into heat more than once a year (polyestrous).
When the hob is in rut and the jill has been in heat for approximately two weeks. The jill should be put in with the hob. The act appears quite violent. The male will grab the nap of her neck and drag her as he moves backwards across the cage. The jill will appear to be or is in considerable pain. She will most likely scream. Unfortunately, this is the way of the ferret and the only way ovulation will transpire. The jill may allow herself to go completely limp as she is being treated like an old dishrag.
The hob and jill will be stuck together for quite some time; they are literally locked together because like many mammals the hob has a baculum or a male sex organ bone (sorry the filter won't let me use the actual word). In different mammals the baculum will be a different shape; however the hob has a J-shaped baculum. Never try to separate the jill and the hob, it will cause severe injury.
After the jill and hob are separated and the jill is ready to return to her cage inspect her carefully for injury. Look for puncture wounds and treat accordingly. If there is serious injuries take her to a veterinarian.
The gestation period for a ferret pregnancy is around 42 days. After seven to fourteen days the vulva should return to normal, if it hasn’t the pregnancy didn’t take place and the whole routine will have another go around.
I strongly suggest that the jill and the hob should be spayed and neutered. All this in season stuff is horribly stressful on the ferrets. The jills are induced ovulators meaning they must wait for the male for ovulation to occur. If the jill remains in heat for an extended period of time, she could die of estrogen toxicity, aplastic anemia, or a variety of other health problems.
Spayed and neutered ferrets don’t have the strong scent that unaltered ferrets have. The little left over odor can be controlled with Marshall Small Animal Bi-Odor, they have one specific for ferrets as well, but the ingredients are the same. I use it with my cats as well as my ferrets. It eliminates body odor, and substantially cuts down litter box odor. Nothing eliminates the smell of an unaltered ferret. See Bio Odor ad below.
Again, I highly advise leaving breeding ferrets to the experts. If you do have an interest in breeding - volunteer and work with an experienced breeder before ever attempting breeding.
A list of ferret breeders is listed on the Exotic Pet BellaOnline main page ExoticPets Look to the left under subjects.
A series about pet ferrets from proper nutritional needs, playing, toys, equipment, ferret supplies, personalities, training ferrets, baby kits, ferret care, breeding, death and euthanasia and much more!
Ferrets and California
Euthanasia Our Little Ferret has Died
Ferrets Adrenal Disease or Shedding
Ferret Helps Disabled Man
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Ferrets: A Complete Guide available in paperback, PDF and Kindle. Also available at Barnes and Noble online. Request to order at any bookstore. By Diana Geiger (me:) Five star reviews!
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