Ferrets have one of the fastest maturity processes. It takes about four months for a ferret to fully grow and look like an adult ferret. You should ask about your ferret’s age from the pet store or breeder. This way, you can know what to expect from your ferret during the different stages of growth.
These might include things like health check-ups, diet, and vaccinations. Well, this article will highlight the different stages of ferret maturity as well as what to expect. Note that each ferret will have a different personality from others.
The ferret maturity process
As I have mentioned above, ferrets have a short maturity process. Let us start from the day a female ferret is bred with a hob. The female ferret will have a gestation period of 42 days. Then, she will deliver her litter.
Newborn kits are both blind and deaf. They will stay this way until they are about three weeks old. During this time, the mother ferret will care and nurse her litter. Thus, they will live in the same cage to facilitate nursing.
At two weeks, the kit ferret has small teeth already. The kit will now chew solid food, preferably baby food. However, they will nurse until they are 7-8 weeks old when they are ready to move to new homes.
Most ferret kits are weaned at 2 months, an age at which they have already developed strong permanent teeth.
Ferret kit weaning
At two months, the kit is well developed and already eating dry food. Some ferrets are already adopted to new homes at this stage. It is now time to ensure that your ferret is well fed and taken care of. It is an important stage of growth since the kit is developing into an adult.
Within a few weeks, the kit will be fully developed. A grown male ferret will weigh about 2.5 lbs while a female may weigh a pound less. Male ferrets are relatively larger than their female counterparts. An adult male will also be 16 inches long while a female ferret will be 4 inches shorter.
Beware of the next stage of growth which involves reproduction.
Reproduction in ferrets
By the age of 4 months, a ferret is fully grown. However, they will get to sexual maturity a bit later, 5-8 months. A female ferret will go on heat the first spring after birth. However, most ferrets are already de-scented and neutered/spayed before then.
When it comes to ferret reproduction, I must caution you. If a female ferret goes on heat, she will stay that way until she is bred. As I have previously discussed, breeding ferrets can be quite a task. It is best left for expert breeders.
At the same time, if she is left like that, she is bound to fall sick out of the estrogen toxicity. Thus, you should not wait until the onset of your ferret’s sexual maturity.
Male ferrets become reproductive between the ages of 6-8 months. While a male ferret is not in any danger if left intact, they are aggressive and could have a stronger musky smell. Therefore, I would advise you to get your hob neutered.
How long do ferret’s live?
Ferrets have a long lifespan for small pets like them. Therefore if you are planning on getting one, then you must be prepared to provide care for them for the next few years. A healthy ferret can live for 6-10 years.
While most ferrets lead a healthy long life, they are also susceptible to quite a number of serious illnesses. Illnesses such as insulinoma and lymphoma are a bit common in ferrets. Therefore, you must take him for an annual health check-up.
It is much safer if you can get a vet who specializes in ferret care. Also, do not forget that the health of your ferret will be determined by how well you take care of him.
At four years, your ferret might start slowing down. He is getting to the senior level of growth. As a result, he might be more prone to illnesses. You might need to check him up with your vet at least twice a year.
Ferrets are social, adorable and have a fast growth rate. A baby ferret will develop to the full size of an adult at the age of 4 months. However, their growth process might be affected by illnesses as well as neglect.
When well taken care of, an adult male should weigh about 2.5 pounds while a female will have a pound less. Check with the breeder or pet store assistant to know your ferret’s specific age. It is important to know in regard to providing proper care for your fuzzy pet.
Proper care means feeding them well, checking to see they are healthy and also providing physical and mental stimulation.
Our Ferret Care Guide
My son Bobby and I have kept and bred ferrets for all of our adult lives. We started this website to help people take proper care of their ferret and problems and questions that you wish to be answered.
With that in mind, we spent almost 6 months compiling a comprehensive guide to ferret keeping.
It is a must for all ferret owners whether you are experienced or just starting out.