Wild and domestic ferrets

Ferrets, along with Minks, weasels and weasels belong to the genus Mustela of the weasel family. There are three types of ferrets: Prairie, Blackfeet, forest.

Or light steppe ferret (Mustela eversmanni) is the largest of ferrets. Body length: 56 cm tail is 18 cm. weight 2 kg. of Steppe ferrets are high, but rare hair, making hair through the clearly visible dense light wool. Characteristic also darker paws, tail (or end), a kind of coloring of the muzzle, resembling a mask. Moves jumping, know how to swim. It is widespread in Central and Middle Asia, Kazakhstan, southern Siberia, and places in Eastern Europe, in Central Europe. In the past century, the habitat of the steppe ferret is expanding to the West and partly North. Inhabits open habitats – lowland and upland steppes, fallows, pastures, slopes, logs and beams, semi-deserts. Forests and avoids human settlements. Steppe polecat rests mainly single. Can form large clusters. In groups the possible existence of relations of domination – subordination. Steppe polecat hunts for ground squirrels, hamsters, pikas, rodents, and more rarely for birds, snakes and frogs, in the summer and invertebrates. Ferrets living near rivers and lakes, and also hunt water voles. Stepnogorsk makes the food supply, which not always use.

Blackfoot or American weasel (Mustela nigripes) is included in the Red data book of North America as an endangered species. By 1937 Blackfoot ferret extinct in Canada and in the U.S. by 1996, Blackfoot ferrets lived only in captivity. In recent years, the situation with this kind of improves ferrets: captive-bred ferrets released into their natural habitat, now the number of Blackfeet ferrets has already exceeded 600 individuals. Blackfoot ferret is about 45 cm in length, with a furry 15 cm tail, and weighs over 1 kg. Their fur is white at the base, becoming darker at the ends of the hair and gives an overall yellowish-brown color to the animal. Feet and end of tail black, also Blackfoot ferret is typical of many ferrets mask “black face”. This color scheme helps the ferrets to be invisible in the environment. The main food of the Blackfeet ferrets in the wild are ground squirrels. One family Blackfoot ferrets eats about 250 animals per year and cannot survive without access to large colonies of these rodents. Blackfoot ferret and the steppe, not only preys on ground squirrels, but squirrel uses burrows as refuge.

Forest or common ferret (Mustela putorius) is the only species of ferret, which has a domesticated form – the ferret (Mustela putorius furo). The body length of forest the ferret is up to 46 cm tail length – up to 17 cm weight – 1.5 kg. the Colour of the adult ferret black-brown, abdomen, legs, breast, throat and tail are almost black (there are color variations, pure white and red). The head has a contrasting pattern reminiscent of a mask. Common in forest, forest-steppe and steppe areas of some of much of Europe, Northwest Africa. On the territory of the former USSR it inhabits the European part to the North of the Ural, Volga and Kuban. At the time, polecat together and caresses was transported to New Zealand to combat mice and rats. Very well like, these predators are threatening the indigenous fauna of New Zealand.

Polecat inhabits the small island forest, some woods, interspersed with meadows, cultivated fields and human settlements. Polecat is a good swimmer. The basis of the power of the black ferret are vole and mouse, black ferret in the summer often catches frogs, frogs, young water rats and snakes, wild birds, large insects (locusts, etc.), enters the rabbit hole in search of young rabbits.

As permanent shelters are most often used natural shelters — pile of brushwood, masonry wood, rotten stumps, haystacks. Sometimes ferrets live in the side-holes of the badger or Fox burrows, in villages and villages to find shelter in barns, cellars, and even under the roofs of rural baths. Own burrows polecat will almost never digs.

Domesticated form of forest the ferret is called ferrets or furo (Mustela putorius furo). The ferrets bred in Europe about 2 million years ago to control rats (ferrets are smaller and more agile cats and can climb for rodents in a very narrow hole). There are different domestic ferret color: sable, pastelly, pearl, Golden and albino. Albinos have white fur and red eyes. In the painting of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Lady with an ermine” shows not ermine, and domestic ferret is an albino. Ferrets sable color is very similar to forest ferrets.

In captivity ferrets live from 5 to 9 years.

You can often find information that domestic ferrets are practically omnivorous, because they eat meat, fish, eggs, mice, rats, birds and amphibians. However, ferrets are not for all kinds of meat. The fact is that ferrets – obligate or strict carnivores. This means that their diet must be meat the size of species. Therefore, ferrets should not eat beef, pork, venison, lamb etc. But the ferrets can eat meat of chicken, duck, rabbit, turkeys. Of agriculture meat they can only “child” – lamb, veal, and – better in the form of offal. From fish to ferrets only trout, cod, mackerel, horse mackerel, haddock and flounder. The remaining species can cause anemia, avitaminoz, poisoning and worm infestation. Also, the ferret can be given low-fat cottage cheese and calcined.

The cubs domestic ferret is very playful. Already at an early age horchat develops the reflex follow – ferrets run after any moving object. In nature it is usually their mother. In captivity the animals can run, lined up the chain, with the feet of a walking person, a moving wind-up toy, rolling ball, etc..

Horchata playing chase with each other with feathered tails, jump, grab one of the other teeth for the neck and defend ourselves from brethren all four paws. They quietly pomeshivayut their squeaky voices.

Puppy the ferret playing:

Seven-week baby ferret:

Ferrets love to dig, so at home it is advisable to provide them enough material to work with paws. It could be a box with shredded paper, but if your ferret is prone to eating paper, it is better to find some other material to work with paws because eating paper a ferret may lead to blockage of his intestines.

Adult cats sleep about 15 hours a day.

When a ferret is excited or frightened, he often takes characteristic pose – the tail becomes big and fluffy.

Domestic ferrets respond to name, walking on a leash, learn different tricks.

In addition to its main purpose – the fight against rats, domestic ferrets were used in medieval times to hunt rabbits. Now ferrets are used as helpers for laying electrical and telephone wires through a long pipe.

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