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Weasels

ferrets, badgers, otters, weasels, martens, wolverines etc

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Crafty
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Weasels

Postby Crafty » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:24 pm

I've always loved weasels and mustelids - stoats and black footed ferrets, in particular. I'm also quite fond of martens. When I was young, I remember wanting a ferret, but my parents got me a rabbit instead because they thought ferrets were smelly and wild. Now that I am older, I could very easily get myself a ferret, but I now know the wonders of exotics and I'm wondering if weasels of any species can be kept as pets?

I know that stoats are very hard to breed in captivity (correct me if I am wrong) and that black footed ferrets are endangered, so those are out of the question. Mink are a possibility, but I need a permit for them in Michigan, and I think the only ways to get one are through fur farms and the Mount Hope auction. So are there any other options that tame down well and that people actually breed?
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FrothingMagpies
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Re: Weasels

Postby FrothingMagpies » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:30 pm

I can't help you with breeders but from what I've read weasels are too hyper too really be handleable, they're more of a look but don't touch kind of pet. Best kept in a large aquarium with a mesh lid for ventilation, they'd slip out of any cage that a mouse could, & most cages suited to mice are probably too small. Plus I think aquariums are better for observing them, but that could be just me. Martens can become pretty tame though! They seem to bond well with their owners & don't smell. I want a beech/ stone marten at some point, pine martens are protected here but seeing as beech aren't native it's a possibility for me. Although I think over there you guys just have one kind of marten which is actually different to either of the European ones. I'm really mainly familiar with European mustelids & wolverines, sorry ^^;!
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Crafty
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Re: Weasels

Postby Crafty » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:12 am

I see. Thank you for your input. I figured that was the case, otherwise there would be more information on weasels as pets. It really is too bad - they're such lovely little creatures. I find the slinky bodies and short legs of most mustelids charming. My family thinks I am insane.

I would not mind having a marten at all. I've liked them probably just as long as stoats and black footed ferrets. Basically ever since I read the "His Dark Materials" trilogy when I was young and Pantalaimon settled into a pine marten as his final form. I remember having to look up what a marten was and I thought they were beautiful.

Unfortunately, I do not think martens are in the pet trade over here. Or if they are, they are rare. I did a quick google search for marten breeders, and the majority of results are for silver marten rabbits. Perhaps someone else on the forum will know something. Obviously if there is a way to obtain one, I will have to do some research first.
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Weasels

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:12 am

Martens have the same issue as most mustelids they just don't breed well if at all in captivity. That is why you do not see them in the pet trade.
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FrothingMagpies
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Re: Weasels

Postby FrothingMagpies » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:41 am

Well if you find a breeder theres no reason why you couldn't still have a little habitat for them & keep them to observe. Definitely better than an aquarium of fish! But I can see how it's disappointing considering how sweet they are, I would definitely have some if I could handle them & find a breeder. Actually in Ireland we don't have weasels, so our stoats have evolved into being somewhere between a weasel & a stoat to fill the ecological gap, making them unique as far as I can tell.
& don't worry, my family thinks I'm mad too, they cannot fathom a mink as a pet!

I love His Dark Materials! I love the idea of having a daemon, I used to imagine what animal who I knew would have when I was younger. I've liked martens since I found one on a walk in the woods when I was little, it was only there for a second but I won't forget it ^.^ & of course after meeting Mineko the beech marten over the summer with the mink!

& thats a shame about martens being hard to find, hopefully you will find someone who has managed to breed them.
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Minkenry
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Re: Weasels

Postby Minkenry » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:01 pm

Yeah you can breed American Martens in captivity. They used to have them in fur farms like they do mink and foxes. In fact, I'm pretty sure there are still some marten farms out there, I just can't tell you where. My guess is martens don't breed as easily, as mink, otherwise marten farms would be much more common. I know in my state (Utah) they actually have laws that allow you to keep and breed martens (I'm sure for the fur trade) as long as they are captive born, just like they do with mink. Some day I will get into martens, and I'll be breeding some myself. Don't ask me when, but I'm sure I'll do it someday, just like I've done with my mink. According to this site it is "easy to find a baby" marten because they are raised on farms. I haven't found it very easy, however I know there must be some marten farms out there somewhere!

http://www.gotpetsonline.com/american-m ... arten.html
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Minkenry
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Re: Weasels

Postby Minkenry » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:04 pm

Actually, I remember reading a book about breeding martens for fur production, and in the book they said that the down side to breeding martens is that they don't have very big litters like a mink does. So maybe that's why they aren't too popular on fur farms when it would be more lucrative to breed the more prolific foxes, mink, and chinchillas.

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