Message Number: YG4623 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-06-16 21:17:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Dead babies

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "estellejackson"
<estelle.jackson@e...> wrote:
> I have been asked to post this info for someone else
> He went out to his ferrets this morning and found that one of his
jills had killed all of its kits. The kits were 4 weeks old, all
healthy and the mother had been fine with them. He has bred ferrets
before + never had any problems. the only reason I could think of was
that the mother had been extremely frightened in the night (ie. by a
fox or other such predator) though there were no signs of any thing
trying to get into the hutch.
> Has any one else come across anything similar before? and will the
mother be OK just left for her milk to dry up?

Dear Estelle:

Ferret mamms will cannibalize their children during periods of
extreme stress. Constant light, loud noises, construction, etc. have
all resulted in this particular situation.

Please have your friend examine the situation more closely - ferrets
generally do not cannibalize without good cause, even first-time moms.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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