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Ferret behavior and enrichment (Proceedings)

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Aug 01, 2010

Healthy Ferrets
      Inquisitive, Alert and curious, Bright eyes, Will often eat if offered favored treats
           -Ferrets will chew, dig, and investigate
           -Ferrets are either in constant motion or sleeping

Unhealthy Ferrets
      -lifeless, glazed and unfocused eyes, immobile, stop grooming, lack curiosity about their surroundings, isolation from bonded mates

Sensory Behaviors - Ferrets
Vision
      -Binocular vision, turn head to see
      -Good vision in low light, not in the dark, difficulty adjusting to bright light

Hearing
      -Ear canals open after 32 days
      -Respond to high frequency sounds (squeaky toys)

Olfactory –
      -60 – 90 days imprinting; will not eat any other prey
      -Offer variety of food in 1st 6 months
      -Keen sense of smell

Reproductive Behaviors – Ferrets
      -Sexual maturity at 8-12 months of age
      -Increased sexual activity longer light

Males (Hobs)
      -Increased neck biting and pelvic thrusting behavior in play
      -Increased scent gland marking
      -Intromission 30 minutes to 3 hours