Ferrets? Should I be concerned?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by SunnyCalifornia, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. SunnyCalifornia

    SunnyCalifornia Songster

    Oct 8, 2010
    Escondido CA
    Just noticed a sign yesterday, a neighbor lost their ferret. How big of a threat are they to chickens? How worried should I be? I have a flock of layers, as well as some tiny bantams.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011

  2. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Songster

    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
    they are carnivores, same species as a weasel but...as a domestic pet, I'm not sure how much predator is left in their breeding... I would be on watch for it
  3. Godsgrl

    Godsgrl Ostrich wrangler

    Aug 27, 2007
    at the zoo usually
    I think you should be concerned about the ferret. They are a weasel, and are known to take out other animals. I've heard of them killing parakeets and guinea pigs. Make sure your coops are secure, ferrets can get into really tiny places. They can't get through hardware cloth, but they'll go right through chicken wire. I hope your neighbor finds the missing ferret soon.
  4. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Probably very little chance it will cause a problem. I once had a ferret "dropped" here and it ignored my adult chickens--although scared me. I caught it in a big boat net and got it to someone that found it a home. The "wildness" is pretty much bred out of domestic ferrets.
  5. Shayna

    Shayna I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    Aug 2, 2011
    I would be worried. I've watched a ferret grab a bird by the throat and kill it. [​IMG] He will probably be hungry too. That said, I like ferrets, they are just natural predators. I'd keep an eye out and try to get him back home.

  6. frostbite

    frostbite Songster

    Sep 27, 2011
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    The wildness may have been bred out of domestic ferrets, but so has it been in my cat, who when allowed outside, continues to be an effective hunter. Hope the ferret owner finds her ferret. It's no fun for someone who loses a beloved pet. Or for her neighbor and the resident chickens!
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'd go over security for the coop and run. Our pet ferret who was great with humans, even kids, killed a young rooster and mauled another once when it got away from us. The birds were probably ten feet away and it made a blurring dash for them, no hesitation, etc. And there's no good way to pick up a fettet on a rampage, let me tell you!
  8. SunnyCalifornia

    SunnyCalifornia Songster

    Oct 8, 2010
    Escondido CA
    Ugh, this isn't sounding good..... [​IMG]

    I don't think my layer coop is that fortified. Its hawk/coon/cat/dog/coyote proof, but I'm guessing a ferret could squeeze in there. Guess I had better make a trip to Lowe's today.
  9. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Copy down the phone number, call the neighbor if you see the ferret. The neighbor is out looking for his pet; it's not a dumped animal.

    Probably if you squat down and chirp and spider your fingers over the ground, the ferret will come to you and you can pick it up and return it to the owner.

    Have some consideration. I suspect that if one of your pets disappeared, you would appreciate any help given in recovering it.

    I seriously doubt that a newly escaped ferret can figure out how to kill hens in any sort of short time period. Ferrets play with other animals and get their food handed to them in a super dish. It will take it awhile to get hungry enough to start trying to figure out hunting.

  10. SunnyCalifornia

    SunnyCalifornia Songster

    Oct 8, 2010
    Escondido CA
    Quote:Believe me, if I knew where it was, or could catch it, I'd happily return the animal. [​IMG] I don't want it to get hungry.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by