Ferret – Funny Animal Or Fearless Predator
The wild ferret is mainly brown-black in color, with darker tail, paws and snout. White hair goes to the forehead, chin and ears. Also, lighter hair appears on the sides and on the belly of the beast. Sometimes you can find other variations of how the ferret looks – with completely red hair or albino – these are called furos.
Shiny fur is not thick, but long – on the back it can reach 5-6 cm. The fur becomes more fluffy after the molting period – in late autumn, and before that it is not so easily soiled and lighter.
The shape of the head is oval, flattened on the sides. The head has a smooth transition line to the neck, flexible and long. On the head are low and wide-set ears. The eyes are small but brilliant, most often brown eyes are found in trochees.
Ferrets have a very slender physique. The animals grow in length from 30 to 50 cm. The paws are short (hind on average only 6-8 cm), but very strong and ideally developed for frequent digging of the earth. There are five fingers on the limbs with very sharp claws, so if he manages to catch a ferret, he will definitely be able to stand up for himself.
The largest of all species of ferrets. They grow to 56 cm, and their mass can exceed 2 kg. They are also called light because of the specific undercoat that shines under the sparse brown hair. On the extremities and tail, the color is dark, the muzzle is colored with a mask.
It is not difficult to say how many years the steppe ferret has lived – their age rarely exceeds 10-12 years.
The color of the forest ferret does not differ in the bright contrast of the color of the trunk and legs – the black-brown color of the body is complemented by the black color of the limbs and tail. They are inferior in size to the steppe counterparts – 38-48 cm in length, and weight from 500 g to 1.5 kg.
About 14 years old – that’s how many forest ferrets live, which is significantly longer than the life expectancy of their domesticated relatives.
The smallest individuals in the classification – their length rarely reaches 40 cm. Their wool at the base is white, and the tips are dark. In general, this gives a picture of a beautiful tan. A specific mask flaunts on the face.
The species is listed in the Red Book, and the life expectancy of black-footed ferrets does not exceed 6-9 years.
The distribution of populations of animals received in the following geographical areas:
- Steppe ferrets in eastern Europe (Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine), Central Asia, in Russia (from the Ural Mountains to the Far East) and in the eastern regions of China.
- Forest ferrets can be found almost everywhere in Eurasia, especially to the west of the Ural Mountains.
- Central North America, namely east of the Rocky Mountains, are places where black-footed ferrets live.
Habits and lifestyle
Wild ferret is a predatory animal, which is expressed in its distinctive features – aggressiveness and courage. They are not afraid of the confrontation with a larger opponent. Fearlessly accepting a battle for them is in the order of things.
In addition, the ruthlessness of the sacred is also characteristic of the khoros – attacking a bird’s nest, the beast will satisfy its hunger and then kill every inhabitant. And it says all about the ferret – a beast that can be called very cute from the outside.
Ferrets do not form flocks, however they keep in contact with the nearest relatives. At the same time, one alpha male dominates in these relations, which is more pronounced both in ordinary time and during mating. But each of the individuals has its own territory for living, which they mark, making regular rounds.
The activity of the animal occurs in the dark. In the afternoon, the beast sleeps, after having previously pulled out a mink for itself. The mink can be constant – with a small hole and a camera, or temporary – if moving with the dawn caught an animal away from home. In this case, these small predators do not shy away from using other people’s holes – hare or badger. And when the weather is bad, the ferret can spend a few days in a mink without a break.
Ferrets are exclusively nocturnal animals. Only a very strong hunger can cause you to interrupt daytime sleep and get out to hunt in the daytime.
The following representatives of the animal world become prey, namely, what ferrets eat in nature:
- what the ferret eats in the first place is small rodents: rats, hamsters, mice, ground squirrels, moles and ground squirrels, hares and rabbits;
- lizards or small amphibians reptiles;
- the egg clutches found are easily ruined, and sometimes it attacks birds.
Animals do not eat plant foods due to digestion. However, the ferret can get nutrients from, say, fruits by eating small herbivores. It is also worth noting that in difficult situations, if it is impossible to find anything that ferrets usually eat, they are able to eat carcasses of already dead animals.
The mating period varies depending on the type of ferret: the steppe begin the race from the end of February, and the forest – from April. over, the rutting period may drag on until the end of the calendar summer.
Ferrets become mature enough to continue the genus at 10-12 months of their life. It is not customary for ferrets to arrange mating games, and the mating itself looks rather cruel: the male in every way suppresses the female’s resistance, bites her scruff and withers.
The females bear the offspring for almost a month and a half, while in the litter they have 4-12 cubs. Newborn ferrets are very helpless and born blind, but development is fast – after only two months of life, the mother begins to feed them with meat.
In winter, the main danger to the ferret is represented by wolves and foxes. Also meeting with wild cats, birds of prey (eagles, golden eagles or night owls), and also large snakes threatens to become unpleasant.
Among creatures dangerous to ferrets, one can also mention humans. Its influence, namely the destruction of reserves, the construction of roads and housing in the wild, can be a cause of disruption of the ferret ecosystem and the destruction of their habitats.
These animals lend themselves to domestication – they are very playful, they quickly get used to the owner (especially females). They can easily be trained to the tray, but if the beast liked another place to cope with the need, then you will need to add another container there.
It is worth considering that due to their natural influence they will not get along with birds, small rodents or reptiles. However, they can not only coexist with cats or non-hunting dogs, but also be friends.
Curiosity is another important quality of these animals. So, it is worthwhile to prepare for the fact that the animal will regularly and carefully study all the possible nooks and crannies in the house, climb into trash bins (and sometimes fall asleep there), and dig up the earth in flower pots.
There is another point that you can pay attention to – their life expectancy. How many ferrets live at home, mainly depends on proper care and maintenance, but on average it is 5-9 years.