The Countryman's Weekly


April 25
08:08 2018

WEB2-25-04-18Questions to consider when breeding ferrets

By James McKay.

IT’S that time of year again and everyone is pondering whether to breed his/her ferrets. Before making a hasty decision, there are a few questions to ask yourself. When my book Ferret Breeding was first published a few people said it wasn’t needed as breeding ferrets simply involved putting any hob with any jill in season. How wrong can you be?

The fundamental question is why?

This is the fundamental question regarding any breeding programme. If you think you’ll make money from this then think again. Properly raised, housed, fed and handled ferrets will take a lot of both time and money. A litter of young kits will require lots of space, produce lots of faecal material and eat lots of food. Mum will require a high-quality diet in order to produce enough milk for the kits to reach weaning age.

If you want your kits to be handleable – and who doesn’t? – you’ll need to invest lots of time in handling them. At the end of the day, you’ll be lucky to get more than £10-20 each with most kits selling for under a fiver. These prices may seem low and some breeders ask, and sometimes get, much higher prices, but there will be an inevitable glut of kits in July and August. Many of these will be sold for just a few pounds to get rid of them and save on the food costs.

It’s no use arguing that working ferrets are worth more if your customers want to spend as little as possible on their ferrets. There’s nowt so queer as folk, as we Yorkshiremen say.




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