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During the first few weeks following birth, caring for ferret babies involves little more than observing them in order to make sure that their mothers are providing adequate milk. You should additionally provide them with a safe, warm environment, well away from the majority of household noise. As with any newborn babies, emergencies can always occur, so it is a good idea to choose a veterinarian ahead of time. After ferret babies reach the age of about six weeks, their mother will usually begin to wean them, and you will need to be ready to take over the feeding responsibilities at that time.
Caring for ferret babies is not that different from caring for newborn kittens or puppies. During the first few weeks, it's probably best not to handle them unless absolutely necessary. Baby ferrets are blind at birth and will do little more than eat and sleep for the first couple of weeks. After their eyes open, they will start to become a bit more active. During those first few weeks, the ferrets and their mother should be kept in a cage, ideally in a room that is rarely used by humans.
When it is time to start feeding the ferret babies, most experts recommend using feeding kits specifically designed for ferrets. These kits can be purchased at most pet centers or through your veterinarian. For baby ferrets that are purchased from a breeder after they have already been weaned, it is a good idea to find out what brand of food they have been eating so you can continue to feed them the same brand. If you need to switch brands, try to do so gradually and be prepared for an initial stomach upset due to the switch.
If your ferret babies are less than 10 weeks of age, it is a good idea to soak their food in water until it becomes soft. This will make it easier for them to chew and digest their food. In most cases, it will no longer be necessary to soften the food by the time the babies are about three weeks old. Ferret babies that are weaned will need to have fresh water available at all times.
At the age of seven weeks, it may be time for ferret babies to have their first check-up. The veterinarian will probably give the first round of vaccinations during this visit. Booster vaccinations are usually given at 12 weeks, with the final shots administered at about 16 weeks. Rabies vaccines might additionally be given at this time.
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