How long does a ferret last and how does the pregnancy go
Pregnancy in ferrets is an important period in the life of the animal and its owner, because the pet requires special care and diet. Ferrets are funny and nimble animals that have been tamed for a long time and breed well in captivity.
Keeping such pets is not more difficult than a cat or dog, but they are more active. But their reproduction has its own characteristics.
Description of decorative species of ferret
The domestic ferret, or ferret, is very similar to its wild counterparts. It has a flexible body of elongated shape, squat legs and a fluffy long tail. These brisk pets, due to their structure, are able to get into even a small gap. They have excellent sense of smell, but low vision.
Ferrets are represented by a wide variety of colors:
- pastel selfie;
- the black;
Spotted animals, especially panda and cute mouse, are deaf. But this is not the worst disease that ferrets can get.
They are carriers of tuberculosis in cattle, various helminthic invasions and flu. This is the only living creature from which a person can get the flu.
Features of mating ferrets
Sexual maturity in females occurs at 5-9 months of life. Males ripen closer to a year. Their sexual activity lasts from 4 to 6 years, depending on the conditions of detention.
If the owners do not plan to use their pet in breeding, then it is necessary to be neutered or sterilized. Due to the lack of a partner, ferrets fall into a protracted race. It can last from several weeks to several months. The animal is exhausted, its hair begins to fall out even with good care. As a result, ferrets die from exhaustion. Signs of a rut are:
- enlarged testes in males;
- swelling of the external genital organs in females;
- bad smell and marking of the territory;
- the coat looks wet.
The female is taken for breeding no earlier than 10 months of age. It is desirable that the male already participated in the mating before this. Sometimes the owners are frightened by the behavior of animals during mating. The male can drive, bite and scratch the female, but this is quite normal.
Mating should take place on the territory of the male, so he will feel more confident. The ferret is left alone for several days, after the female is excommunicated from the gentleman. How long the pairing process itself will last will depend only on the characteristics of this particular pair.
It is important to let the male down only when the female's loop is completely swollen, otherwise you can’t expect results from such mating. This happens 3-4 days after the onset of estrus.
Pregnancy ferrets lasts about 40 days. You need to know the date of mating to determine the term of delivery. Sometimes, how many pregnant ferrets walk, depends on the number of cubs in the womb. In one litter, the female can bring from 1 to 15 cubs, but most often 5-7. They are called puppies, and a ferret's pregnancy is called puppy.
The first signs that the mating was successful and pregnancy has occurred is:
- Stomach enlargement. He looks like a flattened circle.
- Swelling of the mammary glands. The closer to the date of birth, the more often you can notice the discharge of milk from the nipples.
- Drowsiness. Ferrets already spend a lot of time in a dream, but pregnant females need it more than others.
- Hair loss is the norm for the animal a week before giving birth: in this way the females warm the nest. If this molt is delayed, it is recommended to show the ferret to the veterinarian.
- The animal moves slowly due to its large abdomen.
You can also notice the movement of the cubs in the womb, if the mother is lying on her back. All these signs appear in the second half of pregnancy, but you can understand earlier that the female is pregnant: she has a huge appetite, but her energy, on the contrary, decreases.
Ferret False Pregnancy
Sometimes, due to some deviations in the body, a false pregnancy in ferrets can occur. This term means that sexual intercourse has occurred, but the egg has not been fertilized. Despite this, following instincts, the ferret begins to behave like a pregnant female:
- behavior becomes peaceful and calm;
- the animal eats and sleeps a lot;
- the abdomen is slightly rounded, but remains soft and does not increase in size;
- the mammary glands swell;
- maternal instinct is directed at one of the family members or the owner himself.
A ferret with signs of false pregnancy should be taken to the veterinarian and an ultrasound scan done. This is the only way to find out if a female is fertilized. The reason for this deviation can be various factors:
- Defective diet of a female with insufficient protein and vitamins.
- Age over 5 years, when the reproductive functions of the body come to naught.
- Finding an animal in a state of prolonged rut before mating.
- Hormonal problems.
- Problems with embryo attachment to the uterine wall in a previous pregnancy.
- A case with a castrated male.
- Medical termination of estrus.
If a false pregnancy occurs continuously after each mating, no matter how many partners and conditions of detention are changed, it is better to sterilize the female. The fact is that such malfunctions of the reproductive system threaten the development of cancerous tumors of the uterus and mammary glands.
Ferret Care During Pregnancy
During the entire time that the ferret’s pregnancy lasts, it is necessary to protect the female from unnecessary stress and possible diseases.
In order for pregnancy and childbirth to be successful, and the cubs born strong and healthy, it is necessary to follow some rules:
- The amount of feed needs to be increased 2 times so that the ferret gets enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals. But do not feed her much, as obesity negatively affects the ability of the ferret to bear offspring.
- Exclude walks in wet and cold weather so as not to expose the expectant mother to the risk of getting a cold. In addition, the animal can slip and damage its stomach.
- If the house has drafts, then this also threatens the female in a cold position.
- During water procedures, it is necessary to control the temperature of the water, to prevent overcooling the ferret.
- The last week, pregnant ferrets are gaining weight, their stomach is growing. Do not take up the animal in this period.
How to organize a ferret nest
In advance, you need to think about arranging the nest, so that the female has time to drag her wool there.
In addition, she will drag everything that she finds on the floor of the apartment into the nest. The main “victims” of ferrets equipping the nest are newspapers and clothing of the owners. It is better to offer the ferret small rags of woolen or cotton fabric.
The nesting house is made either in the aviary, if any, or in the animal’s favorite corner. A wooden house is installed there, small sawdust is poured on its bottom. The nest can also be made of plywood or plexiglass. In the absence of all these materials, you can do with a spacious cardboard box from household appliances.
A few days before the birth, the female will settle there. This will be a signal that from day to day you need to wait for replenishment.
Ferrets give birth primarily at night.
If the female gives birth for the first time, it is recommended to be present nearby in case of complications. Ferrets independently lick the cubs, gnaw off the umbilical cord and eat the last, so they definitely do not need outside help. Except in cases where the puppy is stuck in the birth canal or labor has ceased, and the babies are still in the womb. In these cases, you need to call a veterinarian.
Puppies are born head first. Immediately the field where the baby is born, the mother gnaws at the amniotic fluid and licks the puppy to stimulate breathing. If the female refuses offspring immediately after birth, then letting such an animal into the breeding once again simply does not make sense. It is very difficult to feed newborn puppies on their own and they mostly die in the first 3 days after birth.
If the birth was successful and the mother feeds and licks the children, then it is strictly prohibited to intervene in their family idyll. The fact is that the ferret will certainly hear an extraneous smell from the puppy and simply bite it.
Childbirth in ferrets lasts from an hour to 12 hours. It all depends on the number of fruits and generic activity.