How to Help the Jill Care for Baby Ferrets

You will easily know it if you are going to be a grandmother to baby ferrets as ferret pregnancy can be distinguished very easily. By the time you find out that your pet ferret is pregnant, you have the ample time to prepare the things you will need to help her in taking care of her babies. This include feeding them and making them comfortable and safe at all times.

When the mother ferret (or the jill) is pregnant, you can recognize it easily not only because of their bulging belly but also from the signs which include her nesting behavior and some aggression towards human due to the hormonal changes they undergo through.

Female ferrets pregnancy lasts to six weeks but the changes in their behavior will last for a few weeks more because of their post-natal behavior aggression tendencies. With these, you can actually help your pet ferret care for her baby  ferrets (normally 7-8 kits in one birthing period) so that the mother ferret as well as their youngsters could be more comfortable during this time.

heart shaped baby ferrets sleeping

Photo: USFWS Mountain-Prairie | Flickr

Helping the mother ferret care for the baby ferrets

Here are some things that you can do to help the mother ferret care for her kits

  • First and foremost, always provide a clean and safe place for the mother ferret that just gave birth and for her babies. If it is in a cage, make sure that it has enough space for them. It is better if you put them in a pen instead so that there could be enough area to accommodate the kits. Give them some clean and soft fabric or mat to lie on as well as blankets for added warm and comfort.
  • Always provide a healthy food and clean water for the jill. It is important for her to recover fast from the pregnancy blues and giving her healthy diet with foods that are highly nutritious could help her with that. Always make sure that water is available because a nursing ferret would always become thirsty due to the liquid in her body that are transforming to milk for her baby ferrets to consume. It is necessary to replace this liquid by making water available all the time.
  • Do not pet the newborn ferret neither the mother ferret because she can be very aggressive and protective to her kits. Aside from the danger from the ferret biting you, you will also cause tension and stress to the mother ferret. During the nursing period, it would be best to let them be alone. Providing them with their basic necessities would be just enough.Newborn ferrets are blind that is why you need to provide them with safe haven so that you don’t have to worry when you leave them alone.
  • At 6 weeks, baby ferrets are weaned by their mother ferret and this could be the best time to introduce them to ferret foods. It is recommended that you give them high quality ferret foods that contains all the nutrients they need to grow healthy and active. When introducing ferret food for the first time make sure to make it as soft and chewable for them as possible.
  • Clean their cage as often as necessary. Cleanliness is very important particularly to baby ferrets as their immune system is not as defensive as it is with adult ferrets. Disinfecting their cage or the area where they are frequent is very helpful.
  • Give them toys to amuse them as baby ferrets can be very rowdy and curios a lot of times. To avoid them going after your stuff, providing them with something to play with or too munch on is recommended. You can offer them with chewbones or teething toys that are safe. Do not give them little toys that can cause choking hazards.
  • Deworming your ferret is important. Ferrets easily acquire parasites that could affect their systems. That is why the need to flush out these pests and worms is essential because this could cause serious illness to their body due to their weak immune system at young age.There are over-the-counter ferret deworming medications that you can buy but it is always important to ask your veterinarian about the proper dosage to give them.
  • Keep you baby ferrets updated with their vaccine schedule. Consult your ferret veterinarian on the needed vaccines for baby ferrets. Normally, the initial vaccine they need to have is the distemper shots.
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Caring for baby ferrets are not as complicated as you think it is because most of the time it is the jill who would take care of them by instinct. For the first few weeks of life, it is actually the jill that we have to give our best to understand and care for. Once the kits are weaned, that’s the time our efforts are much more needed. Caring for baby ferrets could be stressful at times because of their naughtiness, but the reward for raising ferrets and building a good relationship with them is priceless.

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