Ferret mating /ferret breeding
Flirting till 1:17, the mating itself starts at 2:56. After that ferrets relax after the first round of mating.
Later on ferret continueThis is not a rape thought it might look like.
This is how ferrets copulate and is absolutely normal. Even if it seems violent, the jill (ferret female) is not hurt. Sometimes mating can be a little bit more gentle than it is in this video (especially if both hob and jill already have an experience), but in general it is pretty violent scene. Some extent of viewers discretion is advised.
After this particular mating the litter of 10 ferret kits (babies) was born.
More on ferret breeding
Ferrets are seasonal photoperiodic animals. They come into the season depending on the length of a day light.
Hobs usually start their season earlier than jills in order to be fully ready when the time for a female comes. In northern hemisphere males (hobs) usually start slowly preparing for the season in December and jills in come into heat around February - March. This can vary depending on the geographical location. However it is important to note that kept in domestic environment they can get confused and come into season at the irregular time of a year.
Ferrets females (jills) are induced ovulators what basically means that most likely the jill will come out of season (heat) only if she is mated or her heat is artificially terminated using other means such as: neutering, hormone injection, deslorelin implant or v-hob. It is very important to know and understand this, because if no action is taken a jill can stay in heat way too long. If kept outside jill can stay in heat till the end of the summer. In domestic environment it can take undefined time period. Staying in prolonged heat is a life threatening condition for a ferret female. Prolonged overproduction of estrogens prevent the pet's bone marrow from producing red blood cells what eventually leads the jill into development of aplastic anemia.
If you want the breeding to be successful and result in to a ferret litter before putting two animals to mate you need to make sure that they are both in full season. Males testicles are large and have descended (are low) and females vulva needs to be fully swollen.
Males are capable in performing the act of copulation even before their testicles are fully descended, however at that moment they are still infertile and such copulation most likely will result in false and empty pregnancy with no birth of kits afterwards.
What regards females, their vulva is usually fully swollen in about 14 days after the beginning of the swell, but it can also differ individually and from time to time.
When the couple is selected it is usually the jill who is taken to the hob. This makes the jill more submissive and does not distract the hob with a new environment that can put stress on him and make him curious about new unfamiliar stuff.
It can be vise not give too big space for a couple and limit it into a size of a small room or a cage. This would make hobs job easier.
When introduced the couple will at first sniff each other for some time, but usually within first few minutes the hob will grab the jill at the neck and start trying to mate her or will drag her into a place of his choice and will try to start trying the penetration.
If you have not seen this before it can look pretty violent and rude scene, however this is normal for ferrets. The hob will be keeping the jill at her neck all the time and will be dragging her around. She may moan and try to resist from time to time, however if she is really ready for mating she will be and should be very submissive. Do not expect the jill to express the joy during the process. In contrary it will look like she is patiently undergoing inevitable but unpleasant process keeping her eyes narrow and making short screams from time to time.
Depending on the experience of both the mating can take shorter or longer. Usually it takes some time for the hob to succeed at the first time but he gets more professional and faster later on. First mating can last up to several hours.
After mating the animals will rest a while, most likely will drink and eat. They may also go to sleep or decide to go for a second round without a sleep. The animals are usually kept together for 24 hours but it can be up to you. It can be shorter or longer. The more copulations they undergo the better are the chances of a successful conception.
After mating the jill should be examined for signs of damage especially on her neck.
The ovulation usually occurs within 30-40 hours after copulation. Therefore you should be able to notice that the jill is coming out of heat pretty soon. Within a week after mating the ending of heat should be obvious. Jills vulva should become dry and start slowly shrinking. The shrinking speed is very individual and can be faster or slower, however within a week it should be obvious that the tension of vulva has dropped it is dry and with wrinkles of small blown dots. If jills vulva is still at the maximum size and shining, something is not the way it should be.
The gestation period (time of pregnancy) is 42 days.
TIP Since the pregnancy time is exactly 6 weeks and ferret jills most of the time are excellent with terms and very seldom give birth earlier and if you are like me a working person who goes to work on Monday to Friday the best time to take your jill for mating is Friday night. In that case the jill usually gives birth on Saturday. This has always worked for me.
If your jill did not give birth till the 43rd day from mating and you are not sure that she hasnt conceived take her to your vet immediately.
To read about ferret birth and ferret babies (kits) go here
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