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
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
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.