Many people like ferrets. These moving cute animals have long been domesticated, and breed them at home as often as dogs or cats. But unlike the latter, in ferrets this process is somewhat more complicated and quite different from breeding of other species of domestic animals.
To begin with, healthy females from the age of 9 months are considered suitable for breeding. For males, this age can vary from 10 to 12 months, and they are productive on average up to 5 years.
The choice of a male is very important. The future father of the family should be healthy, necessarily vaccinated, and, ideally, should have a document confirming his tribal value.
And so, when all the conditions for fertilization have already been met, an exciting expectation begins: is the female pregnant or not? How to determine what kind of pregnancy a ferret has: false or natural? If natural, when is the birth?
One of the most difficult moments in breeding ferrets is the very fact of fertilization. Quite often it happens that coition took place, but normal pregnancy does not occur. But a false pregnancy begins to flourish – such when almost all indirect signs of a normal progressing pregnancy are manifested, but there are no fetuses in the uterus, and, therefore, labor does not occur at the appointed time.
Here, the signs and causes of this phenomenon should be described in more detail.
Signs (symptoms) of false pregnancy in ferrets:
- The desire of the female to rest, more calm behavior;
- Improvement of the nest (closer to "delivery");
- Close "maternal" attention to any subject or family member;
- A rounded but soft tummy that does not increase with the increase in the term of “pregnancy”;
- Swelling, lactating mammary glands.
As you can see, the signs are almost identical to a normally developing pregnancy, with the exception of the "not growing" soft abdomen. Concerning it’s possible to accurately diagnose a ferret’s pregnancy only when applying ultrasound.
Causes of false pregnancy:
- Unbalanced nutrition of a potential mother, lack of proteins and vitamins;
- Hypodynamia, and, as a result – insufficient intensive blood circulation, carrying insufficient nutrition of the reproductive organs;
- Age-related decline in reproductive activity;
- Too intensive use of animals in reproduction is the lack of rest and enough time to restore the body;
- The mating of the female, which had a "protracted", more than 30 days, estrus;
- Termination of estrus in a female artificially – when covering it with a sterile male, or using hormonal preparations;
- Hormonal failure in a female or male;
- Sterility (artificial, either as a complication of a disease);
- A deficiency in the body of tocopherol – causes problems with the implantation of embryos in the uterine cavity and in the subsequent bearing of fruits.
Attention! Frequent false pregnancies can provoke the development of tumors on the mammary glands, organs (internal and external) of the reproductive system, and not only. If your pet has a tendency to false pregnancies – sterilize her, this will extend her life.
If, however, everything worked out, then you definitely need to take care of the future young mother. Proper, balanced feeding of a pregnant female hordea is the key to the health of her offspring and herself, after pregnancy has been resolved and during lactation.
A natural progressive pregnancy in a Khorchitsa lasts 40-44 days and ends in childbirth, as a result of which from 1 to 15 puppies are born. Most often they are born 6 or 7.
Signs of pregnancy in ferrets (natural) begin to appear no earlier than from the second half of gestation, and sometimes even at the very end – from about the 30th day.
These signs include:
- Enlarged tummy;
- Swollen mammary glands, sometimes even with prominent droplets of colostrum;
- A couple of weeks before giving birth – active molting, which is completed by the beginning of labor. The future mother uses the faded wool to warm the nests.
There are other "signs." changes in the behavior of the pregnant ferret:
- relaxed attitude to what is happening around;
- Reluctance to participate in active games of relatives;
- Arrangement of the nest.
But they, as mentioned earlier, can be with a false pregnancy.
Care for a pregnant housewife must be very carefully. She needs walks, but without fatigue, a complete diet – throughout pregnancy, with the exception of the last 3-5 days before childbirth. In this, already prenatal period, the horchis become especially cautious and moody, especially in food. No need to panic, just your beloved girl is preparing to become a mother in the coming days.
If you decide that you need to bathe a pregnant female – do it extremely carefully and be sure to – without any cosmetics.