I have owned a ferret before (she recently died), and I just got a new baby 2 days ago as a present from my fiance. the shop that she came from says that she was born on the 22nd of July. she is however much, much smaller then my last ferret at the age of 2 months. she is about the size of a full grown fancy female rat (that's all I can think to compare her to.) Does anyone know if this size is normal for a ferret her age? I would just like to make sure so that I can stop worrying. :-)
An average eight week old kit is about 6 inches long (not counting tail). Most of the ferret farms are restricted to shipping kits no younger than 8 weeks. As an example I will use the farm I've had ferrets from (Marshall Farms). Kits from Marshall should have a double tattoo in the right ear flap. Two dots. One dot is for spay or neuter, the second is for anal descent. The pet stores will tell you the ferrets are descented, but most won't tell you that it is only the anal scent glands. Ferrets also have scent glands on their heads behind the ears and if you bathe them too much they will rub those glands like crazy to get their scent back. Remember the ferret is a member of the Mustaelidae (sp?) family and is technically a cousin to the pole cat and skunk. They do not spray like a skunk, but have a musky odor. I don't find it offensive, but some people do. They should be caged when unattended. They can learn to use a litter box, but it depends on the animal whether they are consistent. They are NOT rodents but in fact are rodent hunters so keep them away from mice, rats, cavies (guinea pigs) and rabbits as they may try go for the kill. They can be very sneaky and must be trained to not bite. Sorry this is kind of jumbled up. Too distracted typing at work. As for smell, if the litter box and cage are kept clean, there should be minimal odor. And remember as with all small animals DO NOT USE CEDAR. The oils can kill many of the smaller cage animals.
Pick up a ferret at the store or wherever you are getting your ferret and take a big whiff. Me, I LIKE the way they smell. Some people think they smell nasty.
I didn't know about the glands behind their ears, but that would explain the yellowish color that my roommate's white ferret would get in that area. It really doesn't wash off so well either. Will make the water yellow but there will still be yellow on the ferret. (If he's white.)
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