If you recently chose to adopt a ferret into your life, you may be wondering how big they get. And more so, what age they stop growing. When it comes down to it, this depends on three things; breed, sex, and genetics. I’m going to break down all you need to know in detail, so keep reading!
Ferrets are pint-sized creatures with an elongated body frame and petite legs. They also have round and short ears with a rather husky fur coat. Figuratively speaking, a ferret has a similar shape and size of a zucchini.
How Big Do Male And Female Ferrets Get?
Once you’re able to distinguish between a male and female ferret (usually around 5 weeks old, but more on this in a minute), you can then accurately determine the size of your ferret. A male ferret is known as a hob, while a female ferret is known as a jill. Usually, hobs tend to be bigger in sizes when compared to jill and have broader shoulders.
A hob can reach a length of up to 24 inches (this is measured from the nose to the tip of the ferret’s tail), while a jill is smaller and attains a maximum size of 18 inches. Jills also weigh less as it ranges from 1 to 2 pounds when compared to a hob’s weight range which, is between 2-4 pounds.
However, jills reach their sexual maturity between 4-6 months of age, earlier than hobs who attain it around 6-8 months of age. It is crucial to know that male ferrets turn more aggressive because of the spike of testosterone circulating to their bodies, while female ferrets must breed to prevent life-threatening health conditions.
How To Track Your Ferrets Growth
According to breeders, it is rather easy to track your ferret’s growth if you wish. Normally, a kit weighs approximately eight to fourteen grams and measures about 2 inches long upon birth. It can practically fit in a tablespoon!
In about 5 days, its weight has doubled and, in 10 days, it triples to approximately 32 grams. In its second week of life, a ferret’s weight increases 4 grams per day, while it augments 6 grams a day on their third week of life.
Around week 3, their weight is 10 times their birth weight, and a ferret’s teeth begin to grow. Their gender characteristics are noticeable around week 5 and, they continue to grow until they are 4 months old.
Ferrets reach their adult size and weight between 16 to 24 weeks, but it can vary depending on gender and body frame. An average adult ferret weight can be between 2-4 pounds and has a height of around 18-24 inches.
When Do Ferrets Stop Growing?
A ferret has a rapid metabolism, which leads to an even faster growth rate when compared to other animals. They usually reach sexual maturity at around four to six months of age, depending on if it’s a male or female. In addition, they also attain their final weight and size around the same time frame.
As reported by veterinarians, ferrets live anywhere from six to eight years on average and consider their midlife when they are three years of age. Therefore, it is important to enjoy your ferret when it is still a kit (baby ferret), and to appreciate all the following years, it has to offer as an excellent companion.
How Many Types Of Ferrets Are There?
According to the American Ferret Association, it is hard to depict different breeds of ferrets since all originated from the European polecat. From this point forward, hybrids have the same genetic composition but differ in physical characteristics.
Because of this, it is best to classify ferrets in relation to their color, size, and fur coat, and not by breeds. Additionally, many breeding farms specialize in breeding specific types of ferrets, depending on the country.
Colors And Patters
Ferrets are beautiful animals that come in a wide array of colors and wonders. There are more than 20 types of ferrets based on their color patterns or base.
For example, sable-colored ferrets are the most prominent of all. Their color scheme is a profound black overcoat that extends from their nose to the tip of their tails and a white undercoat on their lower side. It appears as if they have a hoddie on its head, with dark-brown piercing eyes.
From the original Sable, many color patterns were created, such as black sable, blaze, champagne, chocolate, chocolate mint, and cinnamon. Each one of them is a unique mixture of black, white, and brown colors distributed on their face, body, and small feet.
However, there are also white-colored ferrets and Albino ferrets. Some people are unable to distinguish white ferrets from true Albinos, and the true difference lies in the eyes and nose. A true Albino ferret has pink eyes and nose, while white-colored ferrets have dark-colored eyes and different nose colors.
Different Body Shapes
A ferret’s body shape can also be categorized into three major groups:
- The whippet group
- Standard group
- Bulldog group
The Whippet is the most popular ferret size in the United States and, it is the smallest ferret that exists. Normally, these ferrets possess a more elongated head, which allows them to fit practically in any space that is about 1 cm wide.
The standard-sized ferrets are bred most frequently in Europe and are utilized to hunt rabbits and to scare away critters from houses and farms. Some speculate that this is the most probable cause of ferret domestication in ancient times.
The Bulldog ferret is as straightforward as it sounds. It is a big ferret with a bulky chest and a wide head. This ferret has smaller legs than the other body sizes, making it resemble as if your ferret is slithering through the floor. However, they are still very active and mischievous but tend to jump less.
This classification is rarely used as it only depicts ferrets on the length of their hair. There are short-length ferrets, which is the most common form, and longhair ferrets. Some pet owners prefer longer fur coat because it makes their ferret look more charming and fluffier.
Recently, breeders have tried to raise a new type of ferret called Angora, which is the medium between short and long-haired ferrets. These ferrets do not possess any undercoat, and their overcoat measures between three to five inches.
It is safe to say that your little furry ball of energy will stay small for a long period of time. You must provide him all the love you can and create beautiful memories with him. Your ferret is not just a pet, he is a member of your family!