National Ferret Day

ferHappy National Ferret Day! In honor of the holiday, brush up on your knowledge about one of our most favorite (and longest) pets.

  1. Ferrets have been domesticated for quite a while.
  2. They are related to polecats.  Ferrets are the domesticated subspecies of European polecats.
  3. When threatened, ferrets will dance. In the wild, ferrets perform a hypnotic dance that sends their prey into a trance. Domestic ferrets also perform this dance, but they use it for play instead of hunting. They arch their backs, puff their tails, and move from side to side.
  4. Black-footed ferrets almost exclusively eat prairie dogs.  Wild black-footed ferrets, or American polecats, live in central North America and feast on unsuspecting prairie dogs. Scientists discovered that in South Dakota, 91 percent of the black-footed ferret’s diet was prairie dogs
  5. A group of ferrets is called a “business.”
  6. Ferrets can be used to hunt rabbits.  Rabbit hunting with ferrets is a popular sport in England. The ferrets run into rabbit holes to chase the prey out of hiding. When the rabbits dash from their homes, human hunters trap them in nets. The tiny hunters wear ferret finder collars so if they corner a rabbit underground, their owners can come to their rescue with a shovel.
  7. They can team up with falcons.  Falconers employ ferrets in a similar role; the only difference is that the ferrets are used to bring the prey to the falcons. The two animals make a great hunting team.
  8. Some ferrets have jobs.  Known for their love of burrowing, ferrets can put their skill at running through pipes to a variety of professional uses. When wires cannot be pushed through tubes or tunnels with rods, the tiny critters step in. They are known for pulling wire through underground tunnels, and even helped lay wire for the millennium concert in London.
  9. Ferrets are competitors.  Ferret racing is a popular sport in London that involves competing ferrets racing through drainpipes. A small section of the pipe is removed and replaced with chicken wire so viewers can know when the pets are half-way through. Apparently, the animals thoroughly enjoy the race and company of their fellow ferrets.
  10. Females can die if they go too long without mating.  Unspayed females need to mate or run the risk of producing too much estrogen. The overproduction can lead to estrogen toxicity, or hyperestogenism.  This condition can lead to anemia, clotting, and death.

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