Ferret Day is celebrated on April 2 with the aim of raising public awareness of the domesticated ferret and the needs it has when adopting it like welfare, care and nutrition. Many people nowadays adopt a ferret as a pet and it is important to know how to treat this lively and intelligent animal responsibly.
The ferret is a subspecies of weasel. Hundreds of years ago, people in Europe domesticated ferrets to capture mice, rats and other rodents. The ferrets were able to enter the burrows thanks to their long and narrow bodies. In medieval Europe the ferret had an important status as a pet and exterminating rodents because the cats were then considered companions of witches and devil workers.
Other family members of the ferret, the weasel family: otter, mink, weasel, badger, marten and grison.
Ferrets have olfactory glands that emit a pungent and unpleasant odor designed to mark territory, court, and deter predators.
The ferret is a distinct carnivore, meaning it eats only animal food. It has highly developed jaws with 28-33 razor sharp teeth.
The average life expectancy of ferrets ranges from 5 to 8 years, although some ferrets have even reached the age of 14 years.
Many people like to raise the ferret as a pet because of their high intelligence. They are very curious creatures and able to do a lot of fun tricks. They can use a litter box like cats and they are also sociable animals that require a lot of attention.
If you are considering adopting a ferret, keep in mind that the proper diet for it is meat only. The ferret eats rats, mice and live chickens. Processed food does not meet its needs. A plant-based diet is also not suitable for him. It is now possible to give ferrets dry food that is specially adapted for ferrets. Care should be taken not to let ferrets devour snacks for dogs, because they may like it, but they have a lot of sugars and too little meat and so they may replete and give up the healthy and essential food for them, and also gain weight and get diabetes for example.
Ferrets are nocturnal creatures by nature, but when they are adopted they adjust their hours of activity to those of the adoptees because they love interaction. Like many predators, they like to play intensely for a short time and then retire for a few hours of sleep. In total, ferrets sleep about 18 hours a day.
The ferrets in culture
In the UK, country fairs and festivals organize ferret racing competitions in which ferrets go through tubes while their owners bet on the animal that will be able to do so the fastest.
In the past, it was customary among coal miners in Yorkshire, England, to compete in a rather unusual sport called ferret-foot (not for the faint of heart) - in this competition ferrets are put in their pants to see how long the competitors can withstand it. The world record lasts five and a half hours!
Ferrets also appeared in well-known works of art. In the famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci, the Lady with an ermine from 1491, many art scholars claim that the lady holds a ferret in her hands. There is also a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I with a ferret as a pet wearing a tiny crown as a collar.
|Lady with an Ermine, Leonardo da Vinci, 1481-1491
Why is Ferret Day celebrated on April 2nd?
For decades, U.S. ferret enthusiasts have celebrated National Ferret Day. However, recognition of this day came only in 2014 when Carol Roche of New York who was so enthusiastic about her ferret and the American Ferret Organization took care of it.
How to celebrate Ferret Day?
If you have a ferret, today is the time to take a picture of him and pamper him and upload his photos to social networks with the hashtag #NationalFerretDay. It is today to read and learn about raising ferrets, what is allowed and what is not allowed to do with them so as not to harm their health and well-being. If you do not have a ferret, you can adopt a ferret, just first read what it takes to raise a ferret and how to care for it well.