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BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???

punkfolkrocker 10 Jul 18 - 01:19 PM
olddude 10 Jul 18 - 01:22 PM
Jon Freeman 10 Jul 18 - 01:36 PM
Jack Campin 10 Jul 18 - 02:16 PM
Jon Freeman 10 Jul 18 - 02:22 PM
punkfolkrocker 10 Jul 18 - 02:39 PM
Raedwulf 10 Jul 18 - 04:31 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Jul 18 - 04:58 PM
Jon Freeman 10 Jul 18 - 05:31 PM
punkfolkrocker 10 Jul 18 - 06:01 PM
Jon Freeman 10 Jul 18 - 06:15 PM
Rapparee 10 Jul 18 - 08:30 PM
punkfolkrocker 10 Jul 18 - 09:16 PM
robomatic 10 Jul 18 - 10:31 PM
Raedwulf 11 Jul 18 - 04:36 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Jul 18 - 05:20 AM
Raedwulf 11 Jul 18 - 05:28 AM
Senoufou 11 Jul 18 - 06:15 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Jul 18 - 06:25 AM
Senoufou 11 Jul 18 - 06:45 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Jul 18 - 07:09 AM
Donuel 11 Jul 18 - 11:01 AM
punkfolkrocker 11 Jul 18 - 11:30 AM
Nick 11 Jul 18 - 04:20 PM
Donuel 11 Jul 18 - 09:45 PM
leeneia 12 Jul 18 - 04:27 PM
Nick 13 Jul 18 - 08:51 AM
Nick 13 Jul 18 - 08:52 AM
punkfolkrocker 13 Jul 18 - 10:45 AM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 18 - 11:23 AM
punkfolkrocker 13 Jul 18 - 11:38 AM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 18 - 11:54 AM
punkfolkrocker 13 Jul 18 - 12:42 PM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 18 - 01:07 PM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 18 - 01:08 PM
punkfolkrocker 13 Jul 18 - 02:31 PM
Donuel 13 Jul 18 - 02:43 PM
Raedwulf 13 Jul 18 - 07:37 PM
keberoxu 14 Jul 18 - 11:49 AM

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Subject: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 01:19 PM

Ok.. mudcatters are an enthusiastic bunch of animal lovers and pet 'owners'...

Anyone here have experience of keeping ferrets, or mink, or others in this animal family...???


Over the last week I have become a little obsessed with youtube videos
displaying all aspects of behaviour of these marvelous little predators...

Last night I even started checking prices for ferret kits..
and I have absolutely no intention of ever having the responsibility, cost, and fuss of any pet again..
not even a dog [as much as i miss them]...

What is it about these fearless over energetic mad little creatures..???

Even the wife reckons they are cute...


I think it might be something to do with a long forgotten period of my early childhood
when my dodgy uncle with a transit van used to go ferreting for rabbits...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: olddude
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 01:22 PM

Really cute but get into everything. They chew your world. I never owned one but a friend did. They are non stop energy and very fast


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 01:36 PM

We had Willy weasel (do you remember Tufty?), PFR. She was a nice little creature, a small ferret that appeared in the garden one day and RSPCA didn't really want to know..

She wound up as an outdoor pet and we always had some debate as to how Mewan (by then even getting on a bit cat) as to how they would get on and Mewan was always wary of the ferret (who, weasel family, to me always seem the most ferocious predators for their size going)

But she was great fun when we brought her in, at least once you get the idea that "dooking" (sort of bouncing up and down in excitement and making a noise) is just fun.

Apart from her early desire to nip and hold on, there were never worries about her biting - a strong "no" and dissaproval worked there. Though she could be determined with other things like chewing the bottom of a bag off even though it meant carrots falling on her head.

She was well organised and clean in her outside house.

We'd not (fate apart) have another one but I'd think they have the potential to be a good pet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 02:16 PM

Greedy ditch-crawling invading American pest driven out of Scottish habitat with EU help


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 02:22 PM

That's the mink, #Jack and I guess we could have been more specific in this thread. Ours (to the best of our understanding) was a long domesticated version of the polecat)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 02:39 PM

Jack - fair enough, those alien mink are a menace,
but that's the fault of greedy bastard irresponsible mink farmers...

In the USA, their proper habitat, they can be trained for hunting and pest control...

In a way, I'd have liked to post this upstairs as ferreting is an ancient country tradition,
and it'd be interesting to know of any folk songs that mention it..


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Raedwulf
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 04:31 PM

Most Mustelidae are reasonably social animals - a friend once posited that having to deal with social relationships leads to more intelligence (allowing for whatever you care to define as intelligence!).

If what you want is a pet, definitely go for a ferret. They're considered to be one of the most social of the genus, I believe. They've been domesticated a long time. Apparently (wiki), for about 2,500 years. Which, with a 7-10 year lifespan, is long enough for evolution to be affecting them, if you see what I mean. Look at dogs & cats - they've definitely modified over the centuries, even if you ignore Homo Sap trying to breed for certain characteristics.

Mink aren't pets. And mink are rapacious bastards if they get loose. A perfect example of human stupidity is AR activists releasing mink into the wild from farms {rollseyes}. Great for your conscience, great for the mink, thank you for fucking up the eco-system for miles around, you stupid... *ahem* Ferrets haven't been domesticated for as long as dogs & cats. But they've been domesticated plenty long enough. I've no personal experience, only anecdotal, but they're social, playful, energetic*, friendly animals, with a long human-involved history. Mink aren't. If I were interested, I'd go for a ferret!

*Apparently (wiki), they sleep for 14-18 hours a day, the lazy little bleeders - dawn / dusk is their time. But they are energetic & inquisitive little sods (the Greek name apparently means 'little thief') - you've either got dead calm or hurricane! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 04:58 PM

Agree with that. While I abhor the farming of mink, the problem is caused by bloody idiots who think it's a great idea to "liberate" them. They are a menace round here, so cheers, brainless animal rights activists. Haven't had a pet since our last cat died in 2013. We live miles from anywhere and any pet we owned would now cost us a fortune if we went on holiday, now that our reciprocal deal with our friends has lapsed, as they also no longer have cats. So since 2013 we've had increasing issues with rabbits and moles. Huh. We have resident stoats and grass snakes, but alas they are not equal to the challenge, and buzzards, which abound hereabouts, would rather just eat snails and worms. I have a feeling that we just have to accept that we live in a healthy ecosystem. No dog will ever darken my doorstep. I'd rather hack off my family jewels with a rusty machete than have one of those filthy, noisy, over-dependent shitting machines anywhere near me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 05:31 PM

Our Ferret, WW, had a hammock and could use that for her sleep when she wanted to bask, or go inside her cage./hutch. Pretty clever like that, including working out how to reach the hammock.

As for hours, yes, I think they sleep even longer than cats.


Would not be with Steve on dogs (not sure why we've gone feline and canine here) as the ones we had (Lab/Retriever cross, Border Collie/ and Blue Merle mongerel) were largely positive, although I do have some reservations about Meg the BC. She was from a farm on the foothills of Tryfan and from working stock - a good dog but I still believe that was where she really (not that she had a bad life with us) belonged even though we were all younger, fit enough and with plenty of ground (house and nearby).


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 06:01 PM

The videos on youtube I am most enjoying are of man,dogs, and ferrets/mink
hunting as a natural integrated coordinated team...

I guess that's what's sparking off long lost memories of my uncle back in the early 1960s...??


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 06:15 PM

Loads of mixed feeling there, pfr esp as I'm a limited (for various reasons including the killing and eating of flesh which I half resolve by an "all food is good food" type biblical resolution) meat eater and living with non ones

But maybe what you need (and yes to dogs...) is a lurcher?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 08:30 PM

My niece has ferrets for pets and has had them for years. She really likes them and finds them great pets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 09:16 PM

Jon - in my mind I try to distinguish between hunting & brutally killing animals for sport,
whether that sport be legal or illegal,
which I consider abhorrent [badger baiting and hare coursing is verging on depraved...]...

and humans and animals working as a bonded team - traditional hunting for food and pest control.

I do agree with rural traditions of training predators to enjoy following their instincts,
but under controlled conditions for a reasonable & humane purpose.

[ideally with no guns or other weapons...]

However, this is all theoretical since I have been long time too dislocated from my semi rural family roots....

I haven't even been fishing since the mid 1970s...

My childhood passions were wildlife animals, birds, and fish..
then as I entered teenage I discovered rock music and girls
and the lure of big cities...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 10:31 PM

I'm a fan of what is pound for pound the toughest predator on the planet, the wolverine. But that critter and its mustelidae relatives is best enjoyed outdoors not indoors. I'd probably plot a way to kill your finger eating ferret if I had to co-habitate with it (Unless it turned out to be a protector against hand-sized spiders or something useful)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Raedwulf
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 04:36 AM

A cat person, Steve? Maybe this explains why we mostly agree, but have a definite tendency to yowl at each other! ;-) The canine / feline comes from me, Jon, purely as a matter of discussing domestication.

As for eco-systems, an interesting sidelight on that (or possibly not, and apologies for going tangential, PFR!) is the Grand Banks off of Newfoundland. The Canadian govt slapped a moratorium on fishing there in 1992, when it finally became convinced that the cod fishery had, essentially, collapsed - cod biomass was estimated to have fallen to about 1% of historical levels. Cod live for about 25 years and can reach over 200lbs. It should be fairly obvious to anyone that if, year on year, you keep taking thousands upon thousands of tons of cod out of the ecosystem; if anything above, say, 10lb gets fished; then it's going to change.

I cannot remember where I read it, but scientific opinion is that the GB has found a new equilibrium where cod is not the dominant predator and it's extremely unlikely that it will ever return to the former equilibrium. Presumably, few of the cod that are ever likely to come to the GB are ever likely to survive for more than a few years now; something else will eat them first. So your local eco-system will no doubt find a new balance & still be healthy, Steve. It just won't be as it was...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 05:20 AM

I'm not an anything person these days. You're right in suggesting that climaxes in ecosystems can be permanently deflected. Good examples in the UK are upland peat moorlands which were largely under woodland at one time. Once the tree cover is removed, the resulting rapid soil degradation ensures that the ecosystem can't return to its original state. The balance is permanently altered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Raedwulf
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 05:28 AM

On the subject of the ethical treatment of animals in general... I am one of those who believes that we could not have evolved as we have, had we not had meat as a significant part of our diet for a very long time. It's true that we can now go meat-free & be healthy, but we couldn't have become what we are that way. We don't have the guts (literally) to extract sustenance that's wrapped in unprocessed cellulose.

So, we have a tendency, overall, to like eating meat. We long ago domesticated various animals to provide for that want. In the modern world, we've even gone so far as to invent factory farming; loathsome in every respect, except for those making the profits...

As, purely, an "end user", my philosophy is simply that if the Poor Little Bastard died for your benefit, then you should make sure that you get the greatest benefit out of its carcass. Whatever the demerits & ethical unpleasantries of any level of factory farming are, theoretically & hopefully, that means that less of the PLBs are subjected to it. But let's face it we all like cheap food. I prefer to get my meat from known sources, but that's (usually) rather more expensive, and I also shop at supermarkets. I am actually pretty confident that the major s/m's ensure a certain level of 'dignity' in the food chain these days, if only because it's in their commercial interests to do so. The manufacturers will get every scrap of meat off the bone that they economically can.

I am only an end user. My neighbours on both sides (& several along the road) keep chickens; my parti-wall neighbour currently has pigs as well; the one on the other side has considered both pigs & sheep, and has ducks. I won't keep livestock or even a pet - I wouldn't trust myself to look after them properly & therefore won't inflict myself upon them! Ergo, I remain an end-user. But if I (rarely) buy a ready-roasted chicken (when they're reduced! ;-) ), that's one meal from each side, and the carcass goes into the pot for stock. And I get every scrap of meat off it that I can ("It died that I might feed..."). If I had a use for the bones, I'd use the bones! If a neighbour hands me a rabbit (on one occasion, a Muntjac!), I know how to gut it, skin it, joint it. If I knew how to tan, I'd tan the skin too - show the greatest respect for the PLB that you can. I'll even take the trouble to drop the carcass in the river - many things therein will appreciate the free source of food!

From the foregoing, you will deduce that I, like Steve, also abhor fur farming ("You skin the carcass & throw the rest away - that's disgusting!!"). But I don't object to the wearing of fur as such, any more than I'm against leather. And I've no objection to hunting either, nor to the concept of it as sport. But if you must kill, kill as quickly & humanely as possible. I can understand that there is pleasure in stalking a deer. But the deer dies near instantaneously. You don't take pleasure in the killing, even if there is satisfaction in a clean kill (I might join a stalk one day, but I'd never pull the trigger - leave it to an expert for the animal's sake). For a wild prey animal, fear is a part of life. So I don't object either to e.g. ferreting, and I can also understand PFR's pleasure on various levels. A ferret doesn't muck about; no predator does. What you don't do is chase something for minutes & hours, especially if it's not prey e.g. a fox; no predator does that, it's a waste of valuable energy. It's unnatural. Only humans do that, alas... :(

*ahem* Polemic over. I hope this drivel has been of some interest / entertainment to someone!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Senoufou
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 06:15 AM

Another member of the Mustelidae family is the polecat (Mustela putorius), and it's making a comeback, having been spotted a few times here in Norfolk.
I believe it was originally a Scottish beast.

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust, of which I'm a member, is rather worried about its predations on scarce, endangered water voles and some ground-nesting birds around the Norfolk Broads.

We only fairly recently got rid of the blooming coypu!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 06:25 AM

The ferret is a domesticated polecat. I didn't think the polecat is that uncommon? I believe rarer in the UK and I've never seen (although Pip for example believes she saw one years ago in Gwydyr Forest) is the pine marten.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Senoufou
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 06:45 AM

It was killed to near-extinction in the nineteenth century, and listed as 'endangered', then in 1981 it became a protected species.

They were far more numerous in Scotland, but now have been seen in certain parts of UK, and are on the increase.

I only mention this as it's also a Mustela, but I don't imagine one would make a good pet (although I may be wrong there). They do look rather sweet, as they have a face-marking like a bandit's mask!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 07:09 AM

Ferrets can have the bandit mask too but colours vary. Pip's childhood memory is of smelly, vicious white ones kept on a local farm. Ours was a pale brown one that could show a hint of the mask at some time in the year. I can't remember when but she grew a thicker coat for winter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 11:01 AM

Punkfolkrocker you gave me an idea. Although my family has attempted crossbreeding we never had a successful outcome.

For pet purposes, with a little CRSPR help, a ferret with the coat of a mink sounds like a sensuous cuddle monster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 11:30 AM

Donuel - check these out - they're like the pricey pedigree show champions of the cute pet ferret world...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Nick
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 04:20 PM

Someone in the village has a ferret. And does it smell? Yup.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 09:45 PM

Deadly jokes;

Hitler's ferret had no nose. How does it smell? …

Jared was in charge of mergers and acquisitions but has been promoted to murders and executions.

Severn is a radio announcer but you can not hear him talk when you go through a tunnel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 04:27 PM

On the dark side:

parents charged

While searching for that, I found references to a ferret chewing a baby's face in Philadelphia.

I think that if you want a furry, graceful pet you should get a cat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Nick
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 08:51 AM

leenia - and extract the claws... and the teeth... and the independence ... and the attitude and...

Or get a hamster. Or better a dormouse... LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Nick
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 08:52 AM

And perhaps something you can run through the washing machine or dishwasher?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 10:45 AM

The ferret is a small fearless predator that humans have trained to hunt food for them...

The cat is a fat selfish furry bag of shit that has trained humans to feed it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 11:23 AM

The ferret has complete short circuits in its brain that leap from stimulus to excitement.

The cat can show similar traits (eg. catch sight of a mouse, except when it's indoors and you would like it to help) but is generally more considered in its approach (although some may say this consideration includes manipulation of us poor humans).

Both (and dogs and other animals - at least sticking with the domestic ones - can't go along with people trying "exotic pets" like monkeys) can be the right pet for someone. Maybe the trick is getting that partnership even if it is being "owned" by a cat.

Still, if it's the hunting pairing you want I don't see a cat as the answer. Some can be inclined to bring the odd (live or dead) present in but their offerings if they do that are unwelcome to most people.

cats suit me best these days but a younger and fitter version in the right environment could also go for another dog. At one time, I fancied the idea of a Springer spaniel but I believe they, again, can be a bit loopy in their own way and need a lot of work...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 11:38 AM

Our family had a top pedigree border collie for a few years.
My sister had ambitions showing it at competition - bloody Barbara Woodhouse...

It was a brilliant dog, a joy to walk, but mental - and very destructive...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 11:54 AM

Yes, as I think I said before, pfr, we had a border collie. But, if there is a difference, ours was from working stock (I understand, rejected by the farm for being brown and white rather than black and white and suggested to us by a patient of Pip's (mum's)- a physio in the hospital then) and I'd guess otherwise could have been doing the rounds up the hills of Snowdnia. So no papers there but a known history.

Meg had the traits, eg. anything that moved, chickens, wheelbarrow, etc. were candidates to be rounded up and would want to play "stick" by circling round, crouching and waiting for you to throw.

Destructive, apart from killing a hen foolish enough to try and eat in her dish, I'd say not. But headstrong, yes.

Walking. Pip once even took her down for a holiday from N Wales to walking on the Pembroke coast path and reckoned she was excellent


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 12:42 PM

I have a permanent underlying emotional pining to have a dog,
but realistically I have no inclination to take on the responsibility and expense of looking after any living creature
other than my old mum, and my wife...
That's more than enough hard work and mess for me...

My dream dog is an Alsatian / European Shepherd type - ideally a Belgian Malinois...

Such a ridiculously unrealistic idea that it will never happen...!!!

I'm also coming to my senses regarding ferrets...
Their stink and the fuss of having to keep them and their bedding clean every waking day
is an absolute deal breaker...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 01:07 PM

With you on the unrealistic dreams, pfr. I don't think there is any doubt that a dog (at least one we might like) would be a problem here. Me a not that fit or reliable 58 yr old and parents in their 80s do not go well with eg. ideas of a long walk with a dog, say twice daily.

We even debated having another cat but, as you may gather if you read another thread, we wind up taking on a stray that seems to get on with us and we are fond of that's been a bit of a challenge in some ways of understanding and only (I'm sure the vet is right) about 2, so fate can also happen.

My sense of smell is lousy but I don't think one like our spayed female smells that much but gather male ones can have a very noticeable whiff. I'd not think ours that hard to keep clean either. The thing there was that she was well organised and would even move a water container in her hutch if she thought it out of position. Toilet wise, she would pick on her corner and that would be her spot. Her bed was far away from that and she'd never foul that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 01:08 PM

(smelled - Willy Weasel is no longer with us)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 02:31 PM

I'm a few months short of 60 - me and mrs [she's mid 50s] avoided having kids,
so I've never been desensitized by nappies...

The last time anything ever puked, peed, or shat on me would have been my puppy back in the late 1960s...

[ok maybe the mrs when we were students on a binge pub crawl...???]

She, however works with little kids in an infant school
and regularly comes home covered in god knows what...

She's South Welsh, and has a deep fondness for sheep dogs,
in fact we both admire any working dogs.

So I suspect her eventual retirement might involve plans for a rescue dog...???

.. then maybe a ferret or 2 to complete the team...????


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 02:43 PM

Border collies are so smart they are on the verge of speech.
A heavy sigh expresses boredom. You can not mistake the anticipation of an adventure walk or car ride.

A genetically engineered ferret should include; no stink, mink coat, calm/contemplative, …?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: Raedwulf
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 07:37 PM

I should point out that, apparently, the mink st..., sorry, ferret stink comes from anal glands. Again apparently, in the US it is considered routine to remove them, if the animal is intended to be a pet, in the UK it is quite the opposite. I make no cultural comparisons, nor judgements, I merely mention it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ferrets and Mink, etc...???
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 11:49 AM

I can never hear about the predatory mink
without recalling
Susan Cooper's "The Dark Is Rising" fantasy series.
Shudder.


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