Ferreting fact or fable?

Shooting Times & Country|May 27, 2020

Ferreting fact or fable?
An old wives’ tale says that if you don’t breed from a female ferret she will die, but is this true? It’s a thorny subject, admits Simon Whitehead
Simon Whitehead

The natural world is largely oblivious to our ongoing predicament as this uncertain year rolls on. In some cases it is thriving, but unfortunately large tracts of the UK countryside are being invaded by irresponsible urbanite recreational walkers intent on seeking exercise wherever they please. It is nesting and fledgling time, stock have young, and those of us who live and work rurally are being put at risk unduly.

There is never a good time to have a pandemic, but COVID-19 could not have come at a worse time. We are all feeling the financial and social effects, but for those of us with livestock, it is also the time of year where we are breeding our stock or, in the case of my ferrets, removing them from their seasons as well. This can be quite a controversial topic, especially with the need to socially distance ourselves. Playing devil’s advocate, the question should be, if we do breed, how can we get the new stock to their new homes?

Sensible planning

We must remain positive, plan for the future, and be sensible. No one really knows what will happen or when, and when married to the limited breeding season, most of us are not in a position to miss a year. Having a sabbatical could cost us more than just 12 months waiting for kits. In terms of the adaptability of your rabbiting squad, this may put you back another year.


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May 27, 2020