NATIONAL FERRET DAY
On April 2nd, Hob and Jill went up the hill with their little Kits to celebrate National Ferret Day because that’s some serious business. Male ferrets are called Hobs, and female ferrets are called Jills. Their offspring are called Kits. The whole family is called a business. These carnivores join the mustelid family, including the otter, badger, weasel, marten, mink, and wolverine.
Humans domesticated these crafty hunters over 2,000 years ago, specifically for their hunting abilities. Landowners used them to “ferret” out and kill vermin that would otherwise grow out of control. Their cunning and wile made ferrets a valuable tool for many. There’s no questioning whether a ferret is a carnivore once you examine their razor-sharp teeth.
In North America, the black-footed ferret is one of the most endangered North American mammals. Once thought to be completely decimated, a rancher discovered a small population on his ranch in Wyoming in 1981. Since then, conservationists, breeding programs, and landowners’ efforts are bringing the population back from the brink of extinction. Today the population wavers around 500 ferrets alive in the wild, with more breeding programs preparing to reintroduce more ferrets into the wild.
People also domesticated some breeds of these wildly curious creatures as pets. While their skill in the wild may be considered masterful, as a pet, they are a mischievous handful if not properly trained. Since they are highly intelligent, they learn to do an assortment of tricks and use a litter box. As social animals, they do require attention and preferably a ferret companion. Take note – ferrets have scent glands and produce a musky, often offensive odor.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalFerretDay
- Learn more about the conservation of the black-footed ferret and its rediscovery. Watch the movie Ferret Town to learn more.
- Have you invited a ferret to share your home? Share your experiences with your ferret companion.
- Celebrate by learning more about ferrets and how they live and grow.
- Families and classrooms, download and print this ferret coloring sheet.
- Use #NationalFerretDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL FERRET DAY HISTORY
For decades, ferret lovers celebrated National Ferret Day. However, recognition didn’t come until 2014 when Carol Roche of New York and the American Ferret Association made it possible. At that time, Chase’s Calendar of Events formally recognized the observance.
Q. How much does a ferret weigh?
A. An adult ferret can weigh up to five pounds. A female ferret weighs up to three pounds.
Q. Do wild ferrets and domesticated ferrets eat the same things?
A. Both wild and domesticated eat the same things – meat. In the wild, they usually eat small animals such as mice, shrews, snakes, and birds. And they eat frequently since they have such high metabolisms. That means anyone who decides to welcome a domesticated ferret into their home should be prepared to feed them lots of meat and often.