Ferret introductions .. help!


(Katie) #1

Hi all apologies for looonng post in advance… I currently have 6 ferrets (two 3 yr old castrated polecat hybrids max and dexter. Two 2 yr old spayed Jill’s indie and flo and beanie a 7yr old albino and now the newest member polecat ferret yogi age unknown) I have recently taken on my most recent ferret yogi having been found as a stray with a fractured fore leg and jaw line abscess clearly a neglected boy :frowning: (p.s i work as veterinary nurse at vets). I have always had trouble introducing this group of ferrets anyway as my two polecat hybrids are very very aggressive/ dominant it has never worked for me to the point where my two Jill’s and beanie have been housed separately as a group whilst the boys had the aviary.

Yogi has since recovered now from his castration ,leg and abscess (castrated 5 weeks ago) so I decided to try and slowly introduce the ferrets yogi although initially boisterous ( came across that he had never met or known how to play) has integrated with the Jill’s and beanie fine so at this point I introduced max away from dexter who is the more ferret like hybrid and again although max was quite dominant he settled quickly and now absolutely fine. I did play time for a number of days and as they all got on so well I decided to house them together as a group in the aviary who are all currently living very well.

Dexter however is absolutely awful! He will seek yogi out from the group if I let him mix (strictly monitored) he will scruff him and literally death roll him and shake him causing wounds on his neck straight away etc yogi is a very mild natured boy and does not seek out dexter in the same way but will fight back if death rolled enough. Now I know dominance issues can happen especially when introducing to the group but as soon as a saw the wounds they were immediately separated, also Ive noticed as soon as dexter was starting something max his brother would then also get very dominant to the nearest ferret so clearly dexter influences max’s Behaviour.
Since a couple of meetings like the this I have kept dexter separately housed and everyone else in the aviary. Max does go in the Dexter’s new house just to play with his brother etc

Everyday I also put dexter in the aviary safety porch area thing as well so that he can see the other ferrets through the mesh but cannot reach them he chirps and chatters through the door but does dig and pull at bars ,I am also swapping bedding every few days for scent swapping can anyone advise me on what to do that may help me? Also just to note dexter has met with another hob (who has since passed away) with beanie as well with no problems although both dexter and max were mixed into their group rather than someone mixing with them and were young ferrets then.

After I got the girls dexter and max showed the same behaviour to them as dexter does with yogi so they were separated (after a 1 month of living together so unhappily) but funny enough now dexter when he has been mixed with this group shows no interest in the girls just yogi… I feel absolutely terrible having to separate him on his own and especially away from his brother but I was hoping if I could make them a happy close knit group then dexter wouldn’t feel so dominant and integrate a bit better? Or is this insane thinking? I have always wanted my group together and having got 5 out of 6 together is a miracle in my eyes but obviously would love to get dexter in there as well it’s such a shame any ideas tip anything that may help would be great fully received!

Thanks in advance and again sorry for the longest post ever.
Katie


(Mary McCarthy) #2

Hi, I hope you’ve solved it by now, if not have a look at the FAQ thread here FAQ's - Intro's