Biting ferret

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mrslb333, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. mrslb333

    mrslb333 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    After years of wanting ferrets I finally got 2 10week old kits today we spent ages choosing them and finally settled on a Jill and a hob which I will have neutered as soon as they are able.
    Both seemed the most placid from the litter.I knew a little nipping was to be expected but the hob has had hold if me a couple of times already not the playful nipping like the Jill he was hanging on for dear life making a screeching noise and shaking its head its done it three times now.I've tried some of the things I've read on the net but he doesn't seem bothered Is this normal and can be stopped?
  2. abluechipstock

    abluechipstock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2009
    fort ashby, wv
    had a friend that had a ferret and it was biting because it was hungry, it kept spilling its food and not getting enough, she changed the food dish and gave it more and the biting stopped, just a thought
  3. danischi24

    danischi24 Loves naked pets

    Aug 17, 2008
    It sounds like he might be afraid. Go slowly with him & gain his trust. Maybe treats might help?
  4. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    I've had ferrets since the early 70's and this seems to work pretty well:
    get some mint flavored tooth paste and rub it on your hands before playing with the ferrets (rub it in like you would a hand lotion).. they tend to hate the taste and it teaches them pretty quickly not to bite..
  5. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Unfortuantely, it sounds like they were not handled enough from day 1. You are going to need to be patient with it and give it a boatload of attention. Try feeding it by hand to gain trust and teach it you are the food person. Much like the chickens recognize the person the feeds them.

    It can be stopped. Neutering is going to help alot!!! But he needs to be handled alot, carried in your pocket, kept with you most of the day. He will become familiar with your scent and it should stop.

    One of my rabbits that I purchased was a nipper. After she got to know me better and realized I am not going to hurt her, now she no longer bites. She does try to eat my necklace and leave me with teeny hickey marks though. [​IMG]
  6. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Is he biting when you pick him up or when you play with a particular toy? What triggers the biting? Over the years I have had a grand total of nine ferrets, both male and female. Some were really nippy. Some never nipped ever. There will be a reason though.

    Reasons mine bit-
    - Fear. Several of mine came from rescues and had come out of not so great situations. It took a while to get them used to being touched and loved on. Lots of treats helped. I would put the liquid ferretone stuff on my hand and they learned to lick and not chomp. It just takes time.

    - Play. Ferrets have really tough skin and play really rough with each other. They can bite the fire out of each other and keep on going. Baby ferrets have to learn how hard is too hard. If your little boy was the dominant baby, he may be used to rough and tumble games. When he bites too hard, scruff him and say "NO" firmly. If he keeps at it a time out can help. Ferrets are smart enough to learn that biting means they have to stop playing. I actually had one that learned to bite me when she wanted to be put to bed. Little stinker. Took me a while to figure out why she bit my ankle every night at bedtime and then just stood there. She just wanted to be carried to bed. [​IMG]

    - Squeaky toys. Jake the ferret (who is my only fuzzie left) reacts very strongly to squeaky toys. He hates them and will track them down if the dogs start squeaking. I was messing with him the other night and squeaked the toy repeatedly. He grabbed ahold of my arm and chomped. I literally had to pry him off and he left a 1"x2" bruise. It was totally my fault for egging him on. That sound triggers all of his latent hunting instincts. Normally he is a snuggler and a cuddler.

    - One of my girls bit when she didn't get her way. Another bit when he got too excited while playing. One boy bit because he liked to rough house. One of my girls bit my mother on her ankle after my mother took away something the little weasel wanted. The interesting part is that the ferret waited about 5 minutes after Mom stole her "toy" when Mom was more accessible. She bit and ran. Went about 5' away and turned around to stare smugly at my mom. It was VERY obvious that she did it on purpose. Since it was the only time she ever tried to bite Mom I can only assume she did it to retailiate. The solution was to keep her away from mother. [​IMG]

    - They are in pain. Some ferrets bite if they are sick or in pain. If you can't find anything else, this is certainly an option.

    Your boy is really young. He can certainly learn to control himself. Baby ferrets are just like puppies. It all has to be learned. They chew, they bite, they rampage about. Just like potty training, you have to teach them how to play appropriately. Consistantly correct him when he bites. Spray your hands and arms and feet with Bitter Apple so biting tastes bad. Use Ferretone and Linatone so that licking hands and arms and feet is better than chomping. Scruff him everytime he nips/bites. When he is out of control, put him in time out until he calms down. They are very like 2 year olds and similar forms of discipline will work. Get him fixed ASAP. The longer you wait the worse his behaviour will become. Plus he will get really stinky before too long.

    Good luck! There is nothing cuter than a baby ferret. We, of course, need pictures. [​IMG]

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