When choosing your ferrets, think carefully about which you would prefer - male or female. It's your decision, but you should keep a minimum of two. Ferrets are gregarious (they love company) and should have the company of their own kind, no matter how long you spend with them. Occasionally older ferrets will not accept a companion, be warned.

Whether you have, or chose to have, males (hobs) or females (jills) or one of each, you should seriously consider having them neutered, that is making them incapable of breeding. Your vet will perform this operation for a similar cost to neutering a cat. For kits it should be done in early January when they are fully developed, not before.

The male comes into season early in the new year. This will be noticeably clear when the scrotum drops and the testes descend. They will also start to become more aggressive, dragging the jills and sometimes other hob around, as in mating, and being (literally) a pain in the neck. Out of the breeding season the male may not show testicles at all.

Keeping males singly or together is much easier when they have been neutered. The urge to mate disappears and peace and harmony reign and the 'strong ferrety smell' is cut to a mild odour.

The female will come into season in early spring and will stay in season until brought out. This involves either:-
1. Breeding (not advised).
2. The use of a vasectomised hob.
3. A hormone injection (jill jab).
4. Having the jills neutered (spayed).

A hob can be vasectomised for a similar cost to spaying a jill, and is worth considering if you would like to breed from your jills in the future. Some clubs keep a vasectomised hob, and offer its' services to their members, but please consider the risks of spreading diseases (see section on health). With a vasectomised hob the act of mating takes place without the patter of tiny paws, although the signs of a phantom pregnancy may sometimes occur.