Ferret Pregnancy Stages
The gestation period (pregnancy) of the female is almost exactly 42 days. A day past the due date can already be dangerous. If the birth does not take place on the planned day, a veterinarian must be consulted in any case. If no puppies are born, it could either be a pseudo-pregnancy or there were complications. About three to four days before the calculated delivery date, some fresh nesting material is placed in the female’s sleeping house. This can be cotton sheets, a bedsheet, or a baby blanket.
Ferret Giving Birth
Usually, the birth goes smoothly and the female does everything on her own, a birth can take three to four hours. Shortly before it starts, the female will hardly eat or move but will drink a lot. Most of the time, childbirth takes place at night or early in the morning, and once the birth is complete, the female will clean her up, cut the umbilical cord, and eat the afterbirth that comes with the birth. After the birth, the nest should definitely be checked for stillbirths and afterbirths lying around and cleaned off them.
How many babies do ferrets have?
The individual litter can be between two to twelve ferret puppies, the average litter is around six puppies.
Immediately After Birth
Immediately after birth, the puppies are not much larger than the thumb of an adult, that is, they are about five to ten centimeters long and weigh six to ten grams, and they are only slightly hairy white so you can see their pink skin. Not only are they blind, but they are also absolutely deaf. At the point where the eyes are you can see dark pigmentation, these pigments are missing in albinos. The gender is already very clearly recognizable from the outside.
By licking the stomach, the mother asks the puppies to give urine and feces. These excretions are eaten up by the mother up to the second week of life.
The regular controls of the puppies, including weight controls, are very important from now on. Puppies should show continuous weight gain in their development. If you lose weight, you may need to start feeding. Suitable cat-rearing milk (powder form) is available from the veterinarian; 1 ml or 5 ml disposable syringes without cannulas are best for additional feeding. Furthermore, it should always be checked whether the puppies drop their feces, drink, and make a cheerful impression.
First Week After Birth
After 5 days, the puppies should have doubled in weight. The eyes are always more clearly visible as dark pigment spots, the earlobes stand out from the body and the movements are more targeted.
2 Weeks After Birth
After 10 days the puppies have developed their sense of smell, they can already perceive the smells of the mother’s wife and her surroundings.
The canine teeth of the milk teeth breakthrough after 14 days and the weight of the puppies has increased six to seven times.
3 Weeks After Birth
3 days later (17th day) the molars erupt from the primary dentition. The ear canal opens and the puppies hear their first noises. The drawing of the coat becomes increasingly clear. From this point on, the puppies try solid food and the littermates are noticed more intensively.
After about the third week you can offer the puppies a puppy porridge at least three times a day, this takes some of the strain off the girl.
1 Month After Birth
So after 28 days, the puppies will open their eyes. As soon as they can see, the tours around the nest become bigger and bigger. From now on, the feed will be bunkered in nearby hiding spots. When playing with the siblings, the puppies get to know important ways of expressing body language.
The milk teeth and the coat color of the puppies are complete after 35 days, but this can still change a lot. The gimmicks and thus their learning hours are becoming more and more intense. The puppies keep inquiring about their surroundings. From now on the anal glands of the puppies are fully developed and functional.
2 Months After Birth
The milk teeth are replaced by permanent teeth around the 42nd day. From this point on, the mother’s wife begins to wean her puppies, who often choose their own sleeping places. During the whole time, the female is teaching her litter a basic social basis, body language, and spoken language. The puppies take on many characteristics of the mother’s wife.
Between weeks 6 and 8, the puppies will be examined again by the veterinarian. Deworming is now also important. From the seventh week onwards, the change of teeth from the deciduous dentition to the permanent dentition begins.
How long do baby ferrets stay with their mom?
From the 10th week, the puppies can be separated from the mother and siblings and can move to the new ferret parents.