- Ferrets lack a cecum to digest/ process fuits and vegetables.
- A ferrets left lung has 2 lobes, while the right has 4.
- A ferrets body contains 14 or 15 pairs of ribs.
- A kit has 30 baby teeth, while an adult has 34.
- Food fully travels throughout their system in 3 hours.
Perspective on Marshall Farms
Hopefully this page will provide you with some food for thought. I would like to state right up front that I am neither an advocate or a proponent for Marshall Farms (MF) and I strongly do NOT believe that anybody else opinions/beliefs regarding them should be forced on another person. I truly believe all accusations pertaining to anything needs to be analyzed and thought through thoroughly and researched for accurate source. Often what you end up reading is meant to excite you, with accompanying photos that are exaggerated, doctored and misleading, as usually those individuals have their own personal agenda that they do not disclose. Everyone is entitled to make up their own mind and voice their own opinion without being attacked by others. I proudly own Marshall Farm ferrets, full angora ferrets, breeder rescue ferrets, and some from unknown breeder origin, and would NEVER trade ANY in for the world.
When the name Marshall Farms is brought up, various emotions are often voiced on the negative due to their past outrageous violations concerning the welfare of the animals they breed. On the other side of the coin (which is always over looked ), over 95% pertained solely to their dog breeding antics (Beagles) with all violations being quite a few years old. Marshall's has since drastically cleaned up their act, though they do still have some ways to go. It is irresponsible to go on bashing a company for violations that happened some time ago, repeatedly circulate false and misleading information and not recognize the changes/improvements that they have since made. It is also irresponsible to single out only one company when there are quite a few ferret/pet mills out there as well as large scale breeders and some small scale breeders that all do the same thing and have the same practices.
Let's take a look at some of the common issues that have been raised regarding Marshall Farms:
control the lighting in order to increase the number
of litters the females will produce.
Yes, unfortunately they do and more unfortunate
so does a large majority of big breeders involving
any animal. Breeders are in the business to produce
litters in order to make money from their sale. Small
private breeders generally do not fall into this category
as they mate using their own ferrets and are very selective(this
does not necessarily mean the quality of the ferrets
are any different).
and descent their kits at too young an age which
leads into health problems as the ferret gets older.
While there is very strong anecdotal evidence this
is true, there currently is no hard proof. The number
of Marshall Farms ferrets that may develop health problems
like Insulinoma, adrenal, etc. may be high, but so
is the number of Marshall Farms ferrets owned. When
you look at the incidence rate realistically in proportion,
there is really no difference among breeders.
Breeders are in the business to make money and will fix/alter
their kits early in order to sell them while they are
young and attractive to buy (matter of opinion though).
By performing this step, they are also controlling the
population of ferrets as well as the health of the female
who will need human intervention to bring her out of
heat or she can die. In general Marshall Farms ferrets
are not at the pet stores for sale until they are about
8-10 weeks old, as they have to keep them longer to watch
for possible kennel cough due to their breeding of dogs
as well. Path Valley kits can be found at stores as early
as 6-8 weeks of age. I believe the majority of the blame
for performing these surgeries at an early age lies with
the public, as the majority of us do want to own a pet
at a very young age (so maybe individually we are the
ones at fault as well as all the pet stores who buy the
ferrets at such an early age to sell to begin with).
Other animals (cats and dogs, etc) are out for sale at
the age of 8 weeks as well; maybe legislation is what
should be addressed as this is a worldwide issue not
limited to only a handful of breeders.
closed-colony breeding, provide inadequate vet
care and poor living conditions.
Marshall Farms has such an enormous selection of ferrets,
that any concern in genetic health problems from closed-colony
breeding is certainly not much of an issue. Historically
Marshall Farms has only retained one full-time vet
for all of their ferrets, however they do have a substantial
number of qualified technicians to assist with health
care and vaccines. This should not be that alarming,
as shelter owners, breeders, farmers, experienced pet
owners, etc. will tend to their own pet's health as
well as initiate vaccinations on their own. However,
due to the size of Marshall Farms I do strongly believe
that more than one full-time vet is necessary and warranted.
The cleanliness of Marshall Farms is not the greatest,
but neither is it across other large scale breeders.
It is interesting to note, that there are currently no
ferret specific regulations/guidelines for the housing/care
of ferrets to enforce. This is not just a Marshall Farms
problem, it is a universal problem.
do not ship in adequate containers with food, water,
This is a false statement, as they are all shipped
to code (no airline would accept any animal for transport
unless they are housed to code). Unfortunately at a
certain point your pets are turned over to the airlines
where they remain at their mercy. Interesting to note
the shear number of airlines that have been fined and
brought up on charges for the way they treat animals
in their care. As stated above this situation is not
restricted to Marshall Farms but rather on a global
basis which is an ongoing fight.
their ferrets to labs for testing
Yes they do and I am forever grateful for the sacrifices
of all animals in order to advance the medical field
(both human and animal). Do not confuse my admiration
for their loss for all testing, as this is not the
case! I vehemently oppose unnecessary toxic and cosmetic
testing, there simply is no justification for this,
as in this day and age there are other alternatives,
we need to stop this now!
Thanks to their sacrifices, ferrets and other animals
have provided us with treatments for cancer, AIDS, neurological
diseases, rabies, distemper, small pox, anthrax, diabetes,
liver and heart disease, genetics, spiral cord injuries,
strokes, organ transplants, insulin discovery, polio
prevention, etc. In addition they have also advanced
the veterinarian field in understanding their body make-up
providing us with treatment options and hope to help
our ill ferrets.
- Ferret's normal rectal temperature is between 100 - 104 with 101.9 being the average.
- Heart rate is 180 - 250 bpm with 225 being average.
- Respiration is 33-36 per minute.
- Normal urine pH is 6.5 - 7.5
- Blood volume is 60-80 ml/ kg.
- Ferrets do possess toxoplasmosis in
their systems. However, unlike cats they cannot release/
shed the infected eggs back into the environment, they
hit a dead end, so humans cannot catch the disease.