Ferret mother viscous towards other ferrets

by Lindy Gunning
(Australia)

I have a female ferret that had 10 babies but as of a month ago all the babies are gone. Before being impregnated she loved all the other ferrets I have but since the babies are no longer with her she tries to kill all the female and young male ferrets that get near her. Is this unusual or do other ferrets go the same way and do you think she will ever get on with them again? Towards humans she is the most loving (wouldn't bite in a pick fit)type of ferret. I feel sorry for her as she has to live alone and I see that upsets her and she is lonely as she has always had lots of company. Do you have any answers or suggestions. She actually ripped another female through the fine wire on her cage causing great pain and distress to the other ferret. Any help would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

Hi Lindy,
This actually sounds very familiar. One of my friends ferrets just had kits recently and is also behaving very antisocial towards any other ferrets. Me and my friend have put it down to hormones and the female trying to protect her babies or territory.

I have tried to do some research but cannot seem to find any information on the Jills after they give birth.

Perhaps just make sure that she is not in season again, this could cause some changes to her behaviour because of the extra hormones going through her body. If she is then take her to the vet to either get a jab to get her out of season or get her de-sexed so that she can no longer have babies (this could potentially help a bit with the behaviour problems).

Make sure she is not in pain in any way. Check her vulva and her tits to see that they are not infected. Pain can make ferrets more aggressive as they are uncomfortable.

Give her a bit of time to settle back into her routine and for the hormones to settle in her body. She has after all recently given birth to babies and raised them. No one expects a human mother to go straight back to normal after giving birth and nor should we expect the same for animals. So maybe just give her some more time and perhaps she will calm down herself? Hopefully none of your other ferrets will get hurt in the meantime.

I would love to hear a follow up on this later on down the track to see if your girl settled down! I am very curious. If anyone has more experience with ferret breeding and has experienced something like this then please leave a comment for us. We would love to get your input :)

Stef

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