Tell me about ferrets...

SteveHants

Member
Livestock Farmer
Righto,
So, the nipper (12) wants some ferrets and I, being a single dad (and soft touch) have given tentative assent to getting some.
However, I don't like the thought of them being idle when she isn't here, and also like getting her out into the countryside, so am thinking of buying some nets and whatnot and trying to get a bit of work for them. I've never done ferreting in the past, but having researched it, seems reasonably straightforward if you are able to operate a spade.
Is this feasible/a good idea?
Im up in Herefordshire now - are rabbits a massive problem like they are in my native Hampshire?
Is anyone actually likely to let me on to use them?
Im an Agricultural Sciences lecturer now and am (obviously) aware of the need to break my dogs etc to stock (I believe a dog is a particularly useful addition and I reckon my collie and small lurcher pup would enjoy it)
Thanks in advance.
 

SteveHants

Member
Livestock Farmer
Rabbits seem to breed all year round now so expect to use that spade a fair bit, i kept ferrets as a kid and through lack of regular handling they became as wild as hell. I would find somebody he could go ferreting with for abit to see if he loses interest.
I reckon I'd be doing the most of the ferreting, I think she's more interested in playing with them and making them tunnels out of drainpipe to be fair and I'm hoping the regular handling will make them less nippy.
The reason I thought I'd get the gear is that I see her every other weekend, so when she isn't here, I could excercise her ferrets and get some dinner into the bargain.
She does spend too much time indoors though, and seems keen to come with me if I do go out, so it could spark an interest.
I've been told that the FE gamekeeping lecturer at work is good to ask about ground, and obviously I have lots of contacts/students around with farms.
There were a couple of things though, having read the "metal detection" thread in general, I did wonder if people generally are more hesitant these days about letting people on for this kind of stuff.
 

Jakem

Member
Get at least two as they get bored quick on there own.
A reasonable size run would see them happy enough even if your not working them every weekend, I have made mine a wheel out of a cable drum and they spend hours wrestling each other in and out of it.
Getting a locater collar and box will make your days more enjoyable, with kids and inexperienced ferrets it can make for some long days in cold weather without them!
 

SteveHants

Member
Livestock Farmer
Also keeping ferrets will teach young children good animal husbandry pretty quick I found as they require constant cleaning out!
Well, she's just been "helping" me in the garden by thoughtfully playing with the puppy whilst I do the spade work.... :LOL:
I reckon I'll be doing most of the cleaning out...
 

MRT

Member
Go for it. Interesting pet. Need respect. IME be late feeding/watering/wear makeup/perfume/be excessively sweaty and they will sink thier teeth into you. But avoid the above, handle well and they are great. My wife had some that would sit on her head as she walked around (!) and as she always whistled when she fed them they could be called out of a burrow 9/10, saves spade work. We built ours a vertical hutch with many layers that were very difficult to move between (but just ferretly possible). For added interest make your own nets.
 

Lincs Lass

Member
Location
north lincs
Got a guy here ,bit of a poacher turned game keeper type ,,he told me not long ago that if the Gills dont breed ,then they can die ,,how much truth there is in that I dont know but he had ferrets and polecats for years so it sounded correct
 

MRT

Member
I quite fancy a crack at that. I've repaired enough of them when I was fish farming....
Made myself a long net in hemp once when I was living in Edinburgh, left it the otherside of a little hill we were ferreting, not sure what the ferrets flushed but it made a hell of a mess of my net - first time I used it
 

Jakem

Member
Got a guy here ,bit of a poacher turned game keeper type ,,he told me not long ago that if the Gills dont breed ,then they can die ,,how much truth there is in that I dont know but he had ferrets and polecats for years so it sounded correct
Iv had jills that I haven’t bred for multiple summers and they have been fine, but it takes plenty of work to keep them from losing fur around the tale and looking like they’ve got mange!
Ferrets are induced ovulators so won’t release any eggs until they are mated so a season for the Jill can last most of the summer and she will be swollen and prone to infection and all sorts of other ailments which slip my mind at the minute but a quick google will help a new owner.
 

Jakem

Member
wonderful creatures......they are very clean animals but sadly often kept in small hutches and so get rep for being dirty/smelly.....get a dog kennel and run.....but really good steel mesh....they don't gnaw so wood ok......as to ferreting i always seem to dig more rabbits outta blind burrows than i netted.....once pulled nine out in one go
They are wonderful creatures, me and my children spend hours out in the garden watching them, not so fun trying to prize the jaws open of an unruly hob when his clamped down on a small sausage looking finger that’s been poked Into the cage though!
 

Jakem

Member
As regards gills and health..... from memory you need a jab to take them out of season or else health can suffer dramatically....... reckon you want two castrated hobbs.
[
Made myself a long net in hemp once when I was living in Edinburgh, left it the otherside of a little hill we were ferreting, not sure what the ferrets flushed but it made a hell of a mess of my net - first time I used it
I made a handy little st
Judging by posts on here, get your permissions first.

There are ferret keeping groups that will be good sources of information. It wouldn't be such a bad idea to teach her to make her own nets.

Edit: MRT beat me to it! :)
 

Jakem

Member
[/QUOTE]
That’s the problem unfortunately, a lot of people get stock first on a whim then struggle for land to work them on. Then the poor buggers are stuck living in 6 inches of there own shite!
That wasn’t aimed at the poster of this thread.
 

Dry Rot

Member
Livestock Farmer
They are wonderful creatures, me and my children spend hours out in the garden watching them, not so fun trying to prize the jaws open of an unruly hob when his clamped down on a small sausage looking finger that’s been poked Into the cage though!
Anyone remember Brian Plummer being interviewed on TV about ferrets? Ferret latches very firmly onto interviewer's thumb. "Don't worry, she's only playing!" 😂 😂 😂 Yeah. Right!
 

Kidds

Member
Horticulture
Nobody has mentioned that you do lose them now and then. They can kill in the burrow and just go to sleep after eating the rabbit, or just come out of an unseen hole and disappear etc.
Consequence of a devastated 12 yr old might be a bit much.

You don't have to go rabbiting, I have quite a few friends whose children have ferrets purely as pets. Seem quite happy going for walks on a lead for exercise outdoors.
 
Tags
puma quad

Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

  • 48
  • 0


Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
Top