Female Ferrets Will Die If They Don’t Mate

Note: This is a guest article contributed by a frequent TIFO visitor and owner of DumpADay.com, Jon.
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Today I found out that a female ferret (A.K.A. Jill) will die if she doesn’t mate.  It’s one thing to say, I swear I am going to die if I don’t get some soon.  For Jill however, when sheis in heat, if she doesn’t find a mate she will secrete high levels of estrogen and if this hormone stays in the blood for a prolonged period of time, it will cause a progressive depression of  bone marrow that results in a severe, life threatening aplastic anemia which is fatal.

It’s not like she needs to get pregnant, she simply needs the act of mating.  (we’ve all been there) The physical act of mating induces ovulation in Jill and will bring her out of estrus.  She’ll then have a false pregnancy that will go full term,  (about 40 to 45 days), but without the nasty side-effect called kids.

Jill has a very unique reproductive system, namely it includes induced ovulation.  This basically means she will stay in heat or estrus until the physical act of mating is performed.  Once she has mated, Jill and Hob or Hobbet (Manly ferrets) go their separate ways.  She will go through the pregnancy and give birth and raise the young all on her own.  The Hob has no responsibilities what-so-ever.  (Oh, if only reincarnation we real.  Talk about winning the lottery!)

Thanks to medical miracles though, if you have a Jill and she is in heat and you can’t find Hob anywhere, you can take Jill to the vet and they can give her an injection of hormones called a “Jill Jab” which in turn will terminate estrus.  While this method isn’t near as much fun as the natural method, it will keep her living a long and wonderful life.

What a great pic-up line if you were a Hob.  “Hey baby, I’ll save you!”  Then he can go around all day and brag about how many Jill’s he saved.

Bonus Ferret Facts:

  • Typical Life Span is 5 to 8 years.
  • All Ferrets are born deaf.  They will begin to hear around 34 days.
  • Ferrets are born with their eyes shut.  They will begin to open around 34 days. (Day 34 is going to be a good one)
  • All Ferrets are white when born.  Their color will begin to appear around the age of 3 weeks.
  • Ferret’s sexual maturity is reached between 5 and 6 months.
  • A ferret’s heart will beat anywhere from 200 to 250 beats per minute.

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  • As a vet tech I would like to point out that you can always get your ferret spayed just like you would a dog or a cat and that would take care of the problem. It would be much less of a hassle and probably cheaper in the long run. Though you would have to find a vet that specializes in exotics.

  • can u help i have got my jill implanted 2times and my hob is pullin her round by the head can anyone help please

    • You should scruff the hob anytime he does that. I’m not sure what you mean by implanted but if the hob is not ‘fixed’ maybe that is the problem. The above poster Jessika is right in saying you should just get them spayed/neutered and that solves those problems. My hob and jill are both ‘fixed’ but the hob still “pulled her around the head” like you say. This is natural playing depending on how old they are but if you want the behavior to stop then you need to scruff them every single time it happens. Eventually he should learn not to do that.

  • Most ferrets in north America come from Marshall farms in new York state all of their ferrets are spay or neutered before they leave the farm

  • Hi can any one help I’ve got 2female ferrits that are on the old when will I be able to breed them thanks

  • They are 4 months old

  • Getting them spayed is cheaper than repeated jill jabs but it can also greatly increase the risk of adrenal disease, I’m not trying to fault people getting their jills spayed cause I’ve done it, it’s better than nothing but if you do have access to a vesectomised hob or the funds for jill jabs then these options are safer x

  • Never ever get a ferret, because when they die, you want to go with them.
    My Ferret, Mimina gave mi more happiness than any other in this word. She is unforgettable!

    • I have a 4 yr old, I understand completely. It makes me cry just thinking about her crossing the rainbow bridge, I dread the day.

  • Hi, I was given a young jill for Xmas. Enquiring in regards to the Jill Jab. How often do they have to have it? Roughly the cost to have her fixed up