From: "Sukie Crandall"
Date: 2007-10-31 18:33:34 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: not eating any longer or drinking from his dish and water bottle
--- In email@example.com, "jbmccaughey" <JJMcCay@...> wrote:
> For a good 6 months one of my girls went through a phase where
> she wouldn't eat from the bowl of warm fresh food until after the
> dominant female ate from the bowl...
That is a wonderful piece of ferret behavior detective work! Great
Hierarchies or split hierarchies (one dominant in relation to some
things but others dominant in relation to other things they care
about especially) are common things in pretty much all species.
These can actually reduce stress in ways that are not readily
apparent from human society. For example, one wolf study found
that biological markers for stress were not particularly high in the
least dominant individual in the pack. Meanwhile, in chimps the
alpha male does have certain status gains but is also the one whose
life goes on the line first when the troop is attacked so the sacrificed
status of other chimps is displaced by them not being the first line
I am glad that you secretly supplemented her diet! It was a cool
solution that did not disrupt the social order and introduce chaos
while solving the nutrition problem.
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