Pets have always played an important role in the life of their owners. In addition to cats and dogs, animals that belong to the Weasel family are in great demand. They are loved for their cheerful disposition, spectacular appearance and calm demeanor. The white ferret is common among lovers of small and fluffy pets.
Description of white ferrets
White ferrets are a breed of ferrets belonging to the weasel family. They are considered a variety of the black ferret, or rather, its albino form. In zoology, albino ferrets are called "furo". This term describes ferrets with characteristic external characteristics:
- color: white with rare splashes of cream shade;
- eyes: red, no changes;
- nose: small, moist, pink;
- body length: 55 to 60 cm;
- weight: from 1 to 2 kg in an adult.
White ferrets have a long, flexible neck with a small muzzle. The tail is the pride of any ferret, it can grow up to 16 - 18 cm. The tail of the animal is fluffy, maybe a little darker than the main body color. The endocrine glands are located under the tail. The peculiarity of the animal lies in the fact that fear and anxiety make its body produce a special secret. When released, it causes a pungent odor that scares away the numerous enemies of the animal.
The fur of white ferrets consists of 2 layers: a thick white underfur and a guard hair. The photo of the animal shows that the hairline at the base acquires a darker shade, so white ferrets are especially interesting for their color.
After the autumn shift, the white fur becomes shiny, gets glossy and extra volume. On both jaws of white ferrets there are up to 30 teeth, of which 2 canines grow on each jaw. Wild ferrets live for about 3-4 years, pets live up to 7-8 years.
Warning! The coat of white ferrets may darken slightly with age.
Ferrets were domesticated over 2 thousand years ago. On the territory of modern southern Europe, they could replace cats, and also took part in the hunt for rabbits. They were used to catch small rodents and were kept next to chicken coops in special pens. Now, white ferrets are especially common in Europe, Japan and Russia.
Features of behavior
In numerous photos, white ferrets, most often, lie calmly and examine the photographers. This indicates non-aggressive behavior. This type of pet is especially valuable, so the demand for ferrets is always high.
- Ferrets are known for their curiosity. Due to the elongated shape of the body, as well as the ability to penetrate into hard-to-reach places, the ferret can end up in forbidden pantries, closets, and drawers.
- Ferrets of white color are neat and clean. If you create certain conditions of detention, pets will maintain comfort.
- Stockiness. This property is associated with the origin of ancestors. At the gene level, ferrets continue to care for the future and store food in secluded places. The best option that solves this problem, the owners consider the equipment of an additional "cache" for ferrets.
- Ferrets need attention. After the white ferrets get used to their owners, they become dependent on them. They can follow a person, demand attention and play, especially at an early age.
- Ferrets are easy to train. The most loyal are the pets that get to the owner in infancy.
White ferrets are kept as domestic cats. They can be trained to walk in the litter box and play with the balls or toys the kittens prefer.
Ferrets are housed in cages if it is convenient for the inhabitants of the house. At the same time, the cage should be spacious, filled with the necessary equipment:
- a small house in which the animal can be hidden from everyone;
- a hammock or swing of the simplest type;
- soft rags in which pets like to bury themselves;
- small toys made of rubber or plastic;
- drinker, feeder;
The material of the cage must be strong, since the animals often try the rods and can partially gnaw them. The exit from the dwelling should be open so that the white ferret can freely enter and leave the house.
In home photos and videos, albino ferrets often sway in built hammocks. Sometimes they fall asleep in a hanging bed and are able to sleep in this position for several hours.
The ferret toilet is set up like the feline version. It is filled with special granules and changed daily. The tray is also washed daily to keep the granules from sticking together.
Advice! Ferret breeders recommend installing multiple pellet trays throughout the apartment.
Ferrets are predators by nature, so when they are free, they begin to behave according to instincts. Young ferrets are not recommended to be allowed out into the street, so as not to provoke their instinctive behavior. Adults are sometimes allowed for a walk, but they are constantly monitored.
What do albino ferrets eat?
Albino ferrets belong to the class of carnivores, so they prefer to eat meat. Veal, white chicken or turkey is cut into small pieces. Many owners mix several types of meat and cooked cereals to increase the nutritional value of food.
- chicken eggs - 1 - 2 times weekly;
- vegetables - 3-4 times;
- fresh fish - weekly;
- vitamin supplements.
Sometimes you can find recommendations on the use of cat food for ferrets: perhaps this is dictated by the similarity of their content. In fact, cat or dog food is not always suitable for white ferrets. They can feed on it for some time, but the stomach of the animals is not able to digest individual parts of the food. These particles accumulate in the digestive system and, over time, cause various diseases.
Warning! Sweets and pastries are contraindicated for white ferrets.
The main requirements relate to the rules of feeding. Ferrets of white color do not eat well in the morning: this is due to the fact that in the wild they are forced to lead a nocturnal lifestyle, therefore the rhythms of their domesticated life are slightly shifted. In addition, it is important to follow the recommendations:
- Food should be fresh and served at approximately the same time. Ferrets are fed in small portions up to 7 times daily.
- Water for white ferrets is of great importance, it should be located where the animal can freely approach the drinker.
- Bathing ferrets is carried out 1 - 2 times a month. For bathing, it is enough to draw a little water into the tub or basin. Some pets love to swim. After bathing, be sure to clean the ears from excess moisture.
- Trimming the claws is carried out as needed. This procedure is a must for pets, because ferrets use their claws to damage household furniture when they scratch the upholstery.
- Ferrets are vaccinated in veterinary clinics: vaccinations are a prerequisite for keeping. It is necessary to vaccinate the pet against plague and rabies.
How to care for an albino ferret's fur
The fur of the white ferret requires special care. Photos of a white domestic ferret evoke a sense of aesthetic pleasure - a well-groomed animal is so beautiful.
Ferrets are washed weekly with a special shampoo available from pet stores. Ferret shampoos are available in liquid, dry and spray form. White fur is washed monthly with liquid products, spray is used if the animal accidentally stains part of the fur.
The fur is carefully combed out with short-bristled brushes. After moulting, the old fur should be removed so that it does not mix with the new fur. Tufts of old fur, if not removed, can clump into unkempt bumps. This can cause the appearance of parasitic insects.
Male white ferrets can secrete a secret that gives the fur a characteristic yellowish tint, so males are recommended to be castrated if they do not plan to breed animals.
Breeding features of white ferrets at home
White ferrets can be bred on their own, but for this, the owners must comply with the mandatory conditions and control what is happening throughout the entire period: from mating to delivery.
The female is placed next to the male. Before that, white ferrets are introduced and left in one cage for several hours for 4 - 5 days. The mating is carried out up to 3 times until the result is achieved. Both individuals must be vaccinated and healthy.
After successful mating, the female is moved into a separate cage and provided with favorable conditions for bearing offspring. The gestation period lasts about 1.5 months. During this period of time, it is recommended to surround the female with care, to provide her with vitamin supplements that are designed for this species.
A white ferret can have up to 10 puppies. To improve lactation, females are fed with milk and honey. After the appearance of the puppies, the females begin to behave according to one scenario:
- show aggression towards those who approach the offspring;
- feed the puppies with milk for up to 4 months, then begin to give them their portion of meat.
Young ferrets become playful at 3 to 5 months of age. They resemble kittens, they are ready to play with any objects. Gradually, babies get out of the cage and become independent. Ferrets reach sexual maturity by 12 months.
The white ferret is a family pet that has a calm character and a spectacular appearance. If you properly care for the animal and take into account its needs, it will become a loyal and considerate friend. Ferret fur requires special care. In addition, it is necessary to monitor the diet of the animal so as not to provoke serious diseases.