Birth and development of babies

Birth and development of ferret puppies follow a fixed pattern and in recurring sequences. Read here what these are and what you should pay attention to.

Ferret puppies should show consistent weight gain as they develop - shutterstock / Couperfield

Ferret puppies should show consistent weight gain as they develop – shutterstock / Couperfield

There can be up to 16 puppies in a litter of ferrets. During the gestation period, the mother animal, also known as the squirrel in the hunter’s language, needs particularly high-quality and nutritious feed, which you can also keep when suckling and rearing. Also, make sure you have a whelping box, such as a sleeping box or other box.

Birth of the ferret puppies

The gestation period for ferrets lasts between 40 and 42 days. Just before birth begins, the mother withdraws. Fies in particular who are giving birth for the first time can also run around the cage restlessly and constantly use the litter box. The expectant mother initially deposits clear mucus. Birth develops in these steps:

● The fly deposits a mucus plug just beforehand. The animal now needs absolute rest.
● The ferret pup is pressed with the amniotic sac outwards.
● The mother bites open the blister and immediately cleans the pup.
● The female squeezes out the afterbirth and eats it up to the pup’s navel, and the baby’s navel is cut off.
● It can take hours to complete the birth of an entire litter.
● When all the puppies are born, the mother begins to suckle them.

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In these cases, you should see the vet before or after birth

If the dam shows no signs of giving birth by day 42, you should see a veterinarian. He then has to induce labor, usually with an oxytocin shot. Since the animal may throw up very quickly after the injection, you should stay with the vet. If it doesn’t have the desired effect, you may have to have additional injections or even have the litter delivered by caesarean section. A vet visit is also necessary if the female does not milk for hours after the last puppy is born.

The development of ferret babies

Ferrets weigh around 6-10 g when they are born and are 5-10 cm long, and their sexes can already be identified. As soon as the mother is not in the nest, the baby ferrets start to squeak.

Over time, the puppies’ weight multiplies, their sense of smell develops and their milk teeth break through. The auditory canal opens, the pattern of the coat becomes clearer and the littermates are perceived more intensively.

From the 21st day you can offer the young animals puppy porridge. As soon as they eat the solid food, they start defecating in a corner and start exploring. From the 28th to 30th day, the ferret puppies open their eyes. The excursions become more extensive and the animals create food in nearby hiding places. When playing with the siblings, the body language is expanded, the puppies practice attack, neck grip or defense among themselves.

From day 35, the baby ferret’s anal glands are fully developed and functional. From the 42nd day, the milk teeth are replaced by the permanent teeth and the female begins to wean her puppies. At the same time, the mother teaches the little ones basic social skills, body language and spoken language.

Have the ferret puppies checked, vaccinated and dewormed for the first time by the vet between the 6th and 8th week.

Between the 8th and 12th week after birth, females and puppies as well as siblings can be separated from each other. It applies. The longer young ferrets stay together, the more social skills they develop.

You should pay attention to this when rearing puppies

Check the puppies regularly after they are born: they should show a steady increase in weight. If the young animal loses weight, it may have to be fed. In addition, make sure that the puppies defecate, drink and appear lively to you. Go to the vet for external injuries and signs of illness.

You should also check the female regularly. Does she give the puppies enough milk, is she possibly physically degrading? Regular weight control is also important here. Take the mother animal to the vet if she loses a lot of weight.

You might also be interested in these topics about rodents and co.:

Ferrets and Holidays: Leave at Home or Take With You?

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Outdoor enclosure for ferrets: you have to pay attention to this

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