Bolton Ferret Welfare

Yarm Ferret Rescue Autumn 2013

by Sue Lloyd

Writing these notes on a frosty November night, the hot summer days are now just a memory. I'm lucky that my ferrets are shaded from the hottest part of the summer's day; but I wonder how lucky others have been. Seventy kits that I know of, mostly bred for the local fur and feather sale, fifty died because of the heat. Their mothers were bred from again.

Another man phoned for advice, he had three pregnant jills and their cages faced south. His housing association would not have the ferrets in his flat. I don't know the outcome. He'd never wanted so many ferrets but he'd found them abandoned in a park, left in a cardboard box. The rescues were full so he did what he could for them.

I had a problem with flies and the ferrets' food. The flies were laying eggs on the dry food, never had that before! Talking to another lady area co-ordinator, she also had had the same problem. I had a profusion of ticks in the spring but fleas weren't the problem that they've been the last couple of years.

Sadly my notes for the previous newsletter got swallowed up in the mail system so the foster jill/orphan kits register didn't get a mention. It was the usual story of lots of kits needing a foster mum but too few jills available.

During the spring it became alarmingly apparent that some web sites gave out my full address; another rescue helped track down some of these sites who I contacted with the request of I do not want my address given out, nor our land line number, this number is unlikely to be answered so giving it out is not going to help a ferret problem. None of these sites replied. Any one needing to contact me please phone or text 07817 415 645

I have an interest in our ferrets' wild cousins so it was very interesting to meet a gentleman at one of our agricultural shows that has a ferret section. The gentleman came into the ferret tent with an excellent photograph on his phone of a mink, photographed on coastal cliffs at Whitby, North Yorkshire. The mink had trotted past the gentleman quite unconcerned, they were only about three feet away from each other, the gentleman was concerned that it was a lost ferret but the photo clearly portrayed a mink. No sooner had this gentleman left the tent when a pest controller, resident in Whitby came into the tent and confirmed that there are a lot of mink in the area where that particular one was seen.

Several farmers in my area have streams running through their fields and otters have been released. The farmers are reporting that the otters are taking their poultry and are also taking mink.

(First published Autumn 2013)

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