Breeding ferret kits is an exciting and very enjoyable thing to do, so long as it works out well. For this to happen, the first thing potential breeders must do, is ensure they are breeding the right animals. The most crucial thing is to breed only healthy animals who are not related to each other and who have desirable characteristics.
We need to breed for healthy well behaved animals rather than for pretty, unusual colours and bizarre features such as piebald or spotted coats etc. We should never breed from animals who have obvious defects in either physique and/or temperament. Too many owners seek attention by having unusual ferrets.
It sometimes happens that Jills mate with their brother, father or other close male relative. The outcome of such breeding (often by accident but sadly sometimes by ignorance, carelessness or stupidity) may result in a Kit that seems normal at birth but develops problems at the age of two or three. It is an established fact that some 5-10 % of genes are defective in all mammals.
When the parents are closely related the likelihood of the defect occurring in both members of the pair is greatly increased. The outcome of this may not appear until later in life (such as the increased susceptibly to Cancers and Immune deficiencies) There are also problems which are obvious eg cleft palate; dental abnormalities; blindness; deafness; small litters; aborted litters or premature death.
It is suspected that most of out ferrets are related, because of our isolated population with no new recruitment for over 100 years. None the less it is incumbent upon all who breed ferrets, to select their stock carefully and responsibly.
Please do not add to the in-breeding problems that already exist in our Country.