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rustyboy

A new kit for the Workforce...

Got another addition for the workforce the other day..a cracking polecat    





Gareth

cracking looking Polecat you have there.

Just out of interest; is it difficult to introduce an addition to an already established pack of Ferrets and/or Polecats?
daddymatty82

great pics something id love to get into is rabbiting with ferrets/polecats i just need to find someone local to take me out on a trip with them 1st as i dont want to buy one yet and want to get to know there caricters etc
Woodsmoke

That's a nice-looking wee jill! Almost identical to my 'Munch'  


Gareth wrote:
cracking looking Polecat you have there.

Just out of interest; is it difficult to introduce an addition to an already established pack of Ferrets and/or Polecats?


'Polecats' are ferrets, Gareth. The name just refers to the markings................there are some hybrids and/or full-bred polecats out there, but in my experience they're almost impossible to use or handle. They're just too close to the wild genepool, & it'd take generations of breeding to get them domesticated. In any case, after all that all you'd end up with is what we have here.........a domestic ferret with polecat markings.

But in answer to your question! No, not really. They're a very sociable wee animal, & they generally settle in together pretty quickly. Any trouble is only likely to occur if two entire strange hobs are placed together in the proximity of jills.........or of you try to introduce an entire hob to jills out-of-season. All he'll do is rag them, so entire hobs need to be housed separately.

I keep my jills housed separately from the hobs.............one has been neutered, but the other is entire. They get on just fine together. In fact, I've never seen even so much as a scuffle  
furdy

A good friend of mine caught a wild polecat in a rabbit drop box. They managed to get it out and mated it with good working ferrets.

The resulting first cross kits were impossible to pick up. They were jsut as wild as the hob polecat yet they had been reared and handled in the same way as al the other kits.

Just shows how long it takes to domesticate wild animals.
Woodsmoke

I've not seen a hybrid that will either work or handle yet, Furdy

Trouble is, there's a school of thought with some people in the UK these days that follows an Eastern European trend of using hybrids for rabbiting. Sure, they're fantastic for bolting rabbits as they're such determined hunters.............but the obvious downside is that the mere fact they're impossible to handle results in the vast majority being left in the field, where very few of them survive for more than a few weeks

The only sensible recourse for any responsible ferret-owner in this country is to keep only true 'ferrets', as opposed to any hybrid. If they're handled sensibly from a young age, there's no reason whatsoever why they won't prove themselves to be great wee animals to have around the place, whether they're used for rabbiting or kept merely as pets. I have 8 myself, & they're all workers (apart from my big hob 'Ted'........he's just too big! Although I might be able to use him for bolting foxes  ) Each & every one of them will bolt rabbits, so their hunting instincts are just fine When they're in their court though, each & every one will climb all over me & play! So it makes a complete nonsense of the common perception that a) ferrets are nasty wee beasts that bite everything in sight, and b) that their hunting instincts are only kept sharp if they're treated badly & kept hungry! A 'pet' ferret will work every bit as well as any other if given the opportunity to get a bit of experience    

Given that the ancient Egyptians used ferrets 2000 years ago (identical to the ferrets we have today) I wonder why anyone would even bother to think they could improve them?  

('scuse rant, & Hijack    )
rustyboy

daddymatty82 wrote:
great pics something id love to get into is rabbiting with ferrets/polecats i just need to find someone local to take me out on a trip with them 1st as i dont want to buy one yet and want to get to know there caricters etc


Shame you are so far away DaddyMatty you could have come out for a days ferreting with myself and decide,but trust me after a day out you would be definatly getting yourself a couple of fert's..
rustyboy

Gareth wrote:
cracking looking Polecat you have there.

Just out of interest; is it difficult to introduce an addition to an already established pack of Ferrets and/or Polecats?


The other members have pretty much summed it up gareth they are so socialable and never is there a problem with new intros
CHALKWARREN

PoleCat

furdy wrote:
A good friend of mine caught a wild polecat in a rabbit drop box. They managed to get it out and mated it with good working ferrets.

The resulting first cross kits were impossible to pick up. They were jsut as wild as the hob polecat yet they had been reared and handled in the same way as al the other kits.

Just shows how long it takes to domesticate wild animals.


Too right Furdy

Woodsmoke

Ow! Ow! Ow!  

I just know those teeth ended up in your thumb!!!!!    
CHALKWARREN

Woodsmoke wrote:
Ow! Ow! Ow!  

I just know those teeth ended up in your thumb!!!!!    


Not MY thumb....

The guy was VERY lucky,.and the Poley was popped straight into a carrying box...I don't think the crazy critter could believe the nerve of the fellow..!!!
And between you and me,.HE thought that he had just acquired a lost ferret for free,..and just slipped on a big thick glove,...
In truth,...a large adult, male Polecat could cut through that leather glove, like a hot knife through butter...
The man was lucky,..and that is putting it mildly..

Not so, the seven rabbits lying dead in the Drop Trap...
It must of felt as though the Devil himself had dropped in on them from above, when the Polecat fell into the trap....

I bet it was, EMOTIONAL
furdy

He doesn't look happy does he...  

I've got the dvd here with the footage of him being released again.

The kits were lovely looking looking little things though.
bodger

I have the real things after my chickens. We live in a very rural part of North Wales which is polecat central.  
alpha

we have 4 beautiful jills 2 polecats and 2 albinos.
Even scaredy cat me will play with them for hours they are lovely especially when they bolt a bunny for tea.
of these 4 we had the 1 white then 2 poley kits and finally a white albino jill all together no mither or bother so far.
But like Bodger where we live is very rural and I regularly see polecats run over on the road side.
freem

Woodsmoke wrote:
where very few of them survive for more than a few weeks


slightly off topic, but has anyone ever came across a ferret that they lost ?
I had a polecat jill that i lost over the christmas holidays about 15 years ago. i left her box out for her and blocked the other holes on the bury but there was no sign of her for a week after that so she was given up as lost or dead - that was when i started out ferreting, i used to work 2/3 loose jills and a liner hob.
I was back at the same spot the following september ferreting when my jill came running up along the hedge - she was massive, about twice her original size and pure muscle!
she came straight to me and started dancing around happy as a kid christmas morning - she never tried to bite me or anything
I used to pat my chest and my ferrets would climb up my legs around my chest or back to try and get pole position on my neck and shoulders.
she done this straight away - i had to pinch myself because i couldn't believe that she was still alive - i had always been told that ferrets couldn't survive on their own
Not only had she survived, she had thrived!

just to note, she was worked after and always killed in, so she was held up for only certain situations
taysideferret

Woodsmoke wrote:
I've not seen a hybrid that will either work or handle yet, Furdy

Trouble is, there's a school of thought with some people in the UK these days that follows an Eastern European trend of using hybrids for rabbiting. Sure, they're fantastic for bolting rabbits as they're such determined hunters.............but the obvious downside is that the mere fact they're impossible to handle results in the vast majority being left in the field, where very few of them survive for more than a few weeks

The only sensible recourse for any responsible ferret-owner in this country is to keep only true 'ferrets', as opposed to any hybrid.




Sorry mate,but I disagree with you on the hybrid theory on handling, what about my wee hybrid jills and hob that I have?

We use the jills for show and tell talks etc. Linda was even invited a long to do a talk on ferrets and polecats at the local primary school and the first "ferret" that she brought along was the hybrid jill. The jill is more trustworthy than most ferrets I've ever handled.

If you put the time and commitment into the hybrids you'll reap the rewards. It's a fair comment on them being useless on the hunting scene as they do tend to go for the kill rather than bolting them. But in my opinion they're not for a novice ferret fancier and when they're handled by an experienced ferret keeper, then they Do make good pets.

Not all hybrids are bad hybrids.

Here's my wee hybrid.





The only true ferret is the albino ferret,so all the other colours such as the sandys,polecat (fitch),silvers,silver mits ect when you think about are hybrids as their ancestors were introduced to a European or Steppe somewhere down the line.
taysideferret

Re: A new kit for the Workforce...

rustyboy wrote:
Got another addition for the workforce the other day..a cracking polecat    







She looks a little cracker mate, I hope she works well for you.  
Woodsmoke

taysideferret wrote:
Woodsmoke wrote:
I've not seen a hybrid that will either work or handle yet, Furdy



Sorry mate,but I disagree with you on the hybrid theory on handling, what about my wee hybrid jills and hob that I have?



Comepletely forgot about them! They're a few generations down the line though, aren't they?
taysideferret

Woodsmoke wrote:
taysideferret wrote:
Woodsmoke wrote:
I've not seen a hybrid that will either work or handle yet, Furdy



Sorry mate,but I disagree with you on the hybrid theory on handling, what about my wee hybrid jills and hob that I have?



Comepletely forgot about them! They're a few generations down the line though, aren't they?


Nope she's first generation hybrid mate.The only thing I wouldn't trust her with his my chooks,  
Woodsmoke

Is that the one you won't let me handle?    
rustyboy

Re: A new kit for the Workforce...

taysideferret wrote:
rustyboy wrote:
Got another addition for the workforce the other day..a cracking polecat    







She looks a little cracker mate, I hope she works well for you.  


Cheers Tayside..

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