Are you looking for a good ferret breeder?
How can you determine which breeder the best choice for you?
This is the topic I will cover in today’s post. Here you can learn all there is about breeders, what are good ferret breeders, why should you stay away from backyard breeders, how can you tell which ones are good and what you need to know before you choose a certain breeder for your new ferret!
Who Are Private Ferret Breeders?
Ferret breeders, as their name says, are persons who dedicated a part of their life to ferrets. They are breeding ferrets and selling them to other ferret lovers who are looking for a new pet ferret. There are two different categories we can put a ferret breeder. One category is a reputable ferret breeder, while the other category is a bad ferret breeder, also known as the “backyard” ferret breeder (BYB). Here I will show you the difference between each one so you can recognize the ones you should avoid and go to the recommended and serious breeders.
Reputable Ferret Breeders
Reputable ferret breeders are serious breeders that have good, healthy, and well-mannered ferrets. Those breeders care about ferrets they have at home and they are experienced when it comes to ferrets and their behavior, health, etc. They are concerned about the genetic material of every ferret, their socialization, health, and overall state. A good ferret breeder is also a ferret lover and he/she treats every ferret as a pet, meaning that ferret will come in your hands already filled with love and care. Socialization is a very important part of every ferret’s life. That is why a good ferret breeder won’t separate a kit and his mother too early so the mother can teach the kit everything a kit needs to know.
Also, the breeder will work with a young ferret to teach him not to bite, to go potty where it is needed, and to play nice with humans (including the vet and the new owner). Ferrets from good breeders usually come with a good genetic line meaning they have a good lifespan and the chance for some serious problem is weaker than with ferrets from ferret farms. That means breeders take good care to avoid any incest or any similar situation. That is why you can hear that breeders from one part of the continent are working with a breeder from another part of the continent. That way they can keep the difference in the genetic material. A ferret from a good breeder usually comes with a higher price than other ferrets. That is logical because you are getting a good and healthy ferret with all necessary socialization from his mother and the breeder also.
Backyard Ferret Breeders
The bad side of the ferret breeding world is the backyard breeders. The backyard breeders are everything a good ferret breeder isn’t. You can recognize a backyard breeder by the very low price he/she asks for a ferret. Also, you can recognize him by the state the ferret is in. A backyard breeder doesn’t care about the genetic structure of a ferret and she/he doesn’t care about the socialization of any ferret. You could say that backyard breeders are like ferret farms, only smaller in size. If you want to know why you shouldn’t encourage ferret farms/mills, read my post about ferret farms. Ferrets with backyard breeders live in dirty and small cages, their living conditions aren’t good and their health is more fragile than ferrets from good breeders. If you get a ferret from that breeder, 99% of the time you will get fleas with a ferret too, maybe even ear mites and worms. That is because most of them are held in a shed in a backyard – hence the name.
You will get a ferret that doesn’t know what a litter box is for and you will probably have to work with him to show him that biting is bad. Those breeders don’t have time nor interest to socialize with a ferret. For them, they are a product they need to sell. That is why it is not uncommon for a ferret breeder to give away a kit with only a few weeks of age, far too early to be separated from his mother. Yes, you might save some money in the beginning by buying a kit from a bad breeder, but you might spend more money in the future on medical bills than you would on a “more expensive” kit from a respectable breeder.
What To Know Before Picking A Ferret Breeder?
There are numerous factors you have to consider before you pick a ferret breeder. They are also very different, from your location, the budget you have, the type of ferret, color of the ferret, etc. You have to take all of that into consideration before you decide on a breeder because not all breeders breed all colors or ferret types. If you want to know what are different colors and patterns, read my post about types of ferrets.
Think About Your Preferences
Before searching for a good ferret breeder, it is a good idea to figure out what you want. Do you have the experience, do you want an angora ferret, do you want a particular pattern, are you looking for an adult or young ferret, what is your budget, etc. That way you can narrow down the offer that completely matches your wishes so the entire search can last only a few days, not a few months.
Think About The Location
It is a good idea to check out ferret breeders near you first. That way, you don’t have to spend money on traveling to get a ferret and you can visit the breeder a couple of times before deciding. Also, keep in mind that some ferret breeders won’t ship ferrets away, you have to come and pick a kit up yourself.
What Ferret Type Do You Want?
If you prefer light-colored ferrets, you should consider ferretries that breed only light-colored ferrets. If you prefer dark-colored ones, the same story. A good ferret breeder usually specializes in one particular color and works around it. He/she could have two color combinations, but there isn’t a ferret breeder that has every ferret type. For, example, if you are looking for angora breeders, the list will be very short because there aren’t that many angora ferret breeders near you.
How To Determine The Quality Of The Breeder?
So, how can you pick a good ferret breeder? There are a couple of things you can do and questions you can ask him to help you determine if he is a good breeder that cares about ferrets. Let’s check them out.
Ask For Recommendation
There is no better way to find a good ferret breeder than to ask for a recommendation. You can ask a friend who has ferrets, you can ask in a group on some Social media platform, you can post on a forum, or you can simply look on the internet for information. If a breeder is serious, there will be a website about the ferretry so you can find contact information, history, list of ferrets, etc.
Make The Cuts
Now that you have found a list of good breeders, you will have to narrow it down. Think about what you want and make your wishes your main criteria. That means if you want a dark-colored ferret, cross all ferretries with light-colored ferrets, cross all ferretries that are too far from you, etc. When you are done, you will have a small list of breeders you have to contact.
Contact The Breeder
You will contact the breeder and ask every question you can think of. If a breeder is serious, he/she will answer to each and every one. Talk to the breeder about the future plans, when (and if) a new ferret litter is in plan and if there is a waitlist for it or not. There are a couple of breeders that have a waitlist so you might have to wait for another litter to get a ferret from them. Gather all information and cross breeders that don’t suit you for some reason so you can narrow down the list even more.
- plan for new ferret litter
- what type of ferret does he breed
- what are their personalities
- are they for experienced/inexperienced owners
Talk To The Breeder About Ferrets
If you want to make sure that the breeder is a good one, ask questions about ferrets, their personalities, energy levels, their living conditions, past health concerns and problems, average life span, etc. Don’t forget to ask about socialization, diet requirements, and the age of a ferret once he is separated from the mother. All those questions will help you decide if that breeder has ferrets that will suit your needs.
- health concerns
- average lifespan
- recommended nutrition
Share Your Wishes With Breeders
Describe your average day to the breeder, be honest. Talk about your daily chores, free time, your home, where do you live, do you have any other pets, etc. That way you a breeder can recommend you a certain ferret with a similar personality you want. For example, if you are inexperienced, he/she can advise you to choose a ferret with a calmer personality.
- do you have a lot of free time
- do you travel
- do you want a young ferret or adult
- do you have other pets
- do you have experience
- where do you live
- how much room do you have
Meet Your New Ferret
If you can, it would be good to meet your new ferret before you take him home. That way you can check the ferret, see if the ferret is healthy and how he acts around you and around other ferrets. A healthy ferret (especially kit) has to be happy, energetic, playful, with bright eyes, good and clean fur without bald spots or any other sign of bad health. Also, he shouldn’t be afraid of you and he shouldn’t attack you.
- observe his behavior
- hold him and observe how he acts – does he bite, is he scared
- check his eyes, fur
- is he too thin, too fat
- is the ferret playful
Ask For Medical Record
A good ferret breeder will provide you the information about that particular kit without you asking, but sometimes it can slip his mind. So, if you don’t receive any medical information, ask for them, it is your right to have them. Talk about vaccinations for Canine Distemper and rabies, neutering, what about a microchip, etc.
- vaccine documentation with dates
- neutering documentation (if the ferret is neutered)
- documentation for other medical information
- microchip documentation
- entire medical history for adult ferrets
Ask everything you want and need to know. If a breeder is serious, he will answer every question and he will do it with patience and respect. But, don’t be disrespectful because he can refuse to sell you a ferret if he feels you won’t take good care of that ferret. A good breeder will make sure to leave a good first impression and you have to do the same. You have to show that you are serious about your decision and that you will keep that ferret in the best possible conditions with lots of love! What about you? Do you have a ferret from a good ferret breeder? Share your experience with us below!