Bolton Ferret Welfare

The Lodger & Mad or What?

by Kingswinford Codger

The Lodger

Whilst Michelle was in Bulgaria due to work commitments, we agreed to take in any ferrets from the RSPCA that were in need of a refuge. Lo and behold we had a phone call from them to see if we could take in a sandy hob that had been picked up in the nearby town of Kidderminster.

Next day, the fellow duly arrived and was in a bit of a state; something had had the little chap and the wounds to his neck and throat were quite severe. He'd been seen by the RSPCA vet, given a shot of antibiotics and sent on his way. To say he was thin would be an understatement and he loved to give you a nip just to say "Thanks"!

Two weeks passed and Harold, as we named him, was starting to calm down and put on weight, in fact he was getting to be quite chunky. The biting had also lessened apart from when you touched his throat and neck area, which had scabbed over very nicely; I had great delight teasing the scabs off to reveal lovely pink skin underneath. A puncture mark could be seen plus a tear across his throat, so he'd been a really lucky chap to survive.

Whether he will stay with us remains to be seen but I think he is in with a chance. Val likes him and seeing as he has been named (mistake!) a long stays looks on the cards. If so, his next journey will be to the vets as being an entire male he is, shall we say, a little high!

Mad or What?

"Sod me it's cold in here". That was my first thought as I entered the ferret shed one day during the very cold weather, it was something like -7°c. All the water dispensers were frozen solid and even their poo was a hard mass; time to do something to make it warmer for my little pals.

"I know", I thought, "I'll lag the shed. It shouldn't cost too much, should it?" So within a day or two I had measured up and was off to Wickes to get some gear to do the job.

Is timber dear or what? Not having bought any for quite some time it was a shock to the system, I can tell you. Anyway after being so unpleasantly surprised, the truck was duly loaded with the cheapest cladding that I could find and loads of loft insulation which, oh goody, goody was on special offer! Buy 1 get 1 free, but even so it was going to cost much more than I first anticipated. Still it was cold in there and they are my best friends, plus I was at a loose end and there was a few quid in the holiday pot which I'd borrowed, so let's go for it!

The job was started. Doing the first wall was easy, all went well with lots of cutting around the ramps that lead from the higher pens to the outside runs, but what the heck, it looked really good. Next the two gable ends; one was easier than the other as one end was built into the pens so having to cut and fix timber in a confined space was, even at my tender age(!) and shape(!!) a nightmare. On reflexion maybe I should had done the worst parts first then the rest would have been a breeze; well you live and learn.

The task took a lot longer and far more cash than anticipated but the end result was well worth the effort and better still, the water doesn't freeze and as for the poo, well it was a lot easier to pick up frozen!

Well, that's me worse off than first expected, in fact it's quite a chunk of the holiday money spent but I haven't told the missus that bit yet. I have also booked a bed at the nearest private hospital which will be another chunk out of it! Best not to mention revamping the outdoor pens just yet. Yep, I have learned something!

(First published May 2010)

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