Message Number: YG8016 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Pam Sessoms
Date: 2001-10-20 06:44:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Newborn kits


THANK YOU so much for sharing your experiences and for your incredibly
generous offers of help. I wrote around to so many folks, and your name
came up as the only one who may have actually pulled off handraising kits
from birth. Clearly you have a special gift!

Unfortunately, it seems that overnight, the owner of the kits "gave them
away to someone who could give them a good home" but she doesn't know this
person's name or any contact info. Personally, I wonder if the kits died
overnight and she doesn't want to admit it. I have not spoken to this
person, but those who have say she doesn't seem to know very much about
ferrets. It is too bad that she wound up with intact animals in the first

On Sat, 20 Oct 2001 ChaoticFer8s@a... wrote:
> Also, with regard to your next post on the lack of colostrum, well...I
> have a ferret over 4 years old who I completely hand raised and she is
> healthy (X Fingers for writing this).

That's terrific! And amazing! I don't know the science behind this stuff
and have certainly never bred ferrets, so all I can do is look things up
and report what I find and ask for feedback from more experienced people.
:) In the Fox book, the bit about kits needing real jill's milk for the
first ten days is on page 225 and the footnote goes back to a 1990 article
in Lab Animal Science written by D Manning and J Bell.

> Why did the mother die? If she had infection, it is possible the kits
> might pass this on to another mother and litter.

No one knows why the mother died. Your point about an infection is
excellent. The owner was not terribly well-informed about ferrets.

> Also, if the owner was trying to hand feed, it is likely the kits have
> aspirated milk and might be lost to aspiration pneumonia. Are the
> kits dark colored and weak?

I have not seen them. Several folks who wrote me mentioned this danger,
and I think it is extremely likely that this is exactly what happened to
them. I doubt the jill and kits were cared for very well from the start.

It is a shame that she didn't ask for help until two days had already
passed. We could have transported them to someone who could have helped
if she had tried for help as soon as the jill died. Still would have
taken a miracle to save them, it sounds like, but maybe they could have
had a chance.

Thanks once again for your help. The best thing I can say about this
whole crummy situation is that it has been very educational. Maybe
someone else has learned a bit too...

Best wishes,

-Pam S.