A group of ferrets is known as a ‘business’ of ferrets.
Until the 1960s, Boeing aircraft manufacturers used ferrets to carry cables to inaccessible areas. Unfortunately the animals’ role was cut short as they often gave up their task or fell asleep.
The ferret was the first animal to be used to cultivate the human flu virus. In 1933, Wilson Smith, having tried guinea pigs, mice, monkeys and all sorts of other animals, injected two ferrets with the virus. A couple of days later a ferret sneezed into his face and he developed a cold, and they realised that they could pass it on.
They might spend three-quarters of the day asleep but ferrets make fantastic pets. They have such sunny personalities that sometimes they're used to treat depression in humans, as part of their therapy.
Ferrets' sharp bite means they can easily chomp a pencil in half. They can also carry three times their own body weight, jump four times their body length and smell prey which is hundreds of miles away.
Female ferrets, known as jills (males are hobs) can die if they go too long without having sex. They come into oestrus each spring and if they don't have sex they simply stay on heat, creating more and more oestrogen. Too much of it causes their bone marrow to stop producing red blood cells, and the result is aplastic anaemia (where blood cells are not replaced) which is fatal. The only cures are to spay your ferret, give her a hormone injection called a ‘jill jab’ or find her a mate.
Male ferrets have a hooked penis. After penetration, they can’t be separated until the male decides to release. Males will also bite the back of the female’s neck while mating.
The word ferret derives from the Latin furittus which means 'little thief'. Baby ferrets are called kits.
A ferret is God's way of telling you nothing is childproof.
Both male and female ferrets have eight nipples each.
A team of ferrets laid the TV, lighting and sound cables under the stage for the millennium concert in Greenwich Park.
It used to be a British tradition that if you drank the milk from a dish a ferret had drunk from you would be cured of whooping cough.
Head over to www.friendlyferret.com for even more fantastic ferret facts!Find out more... Head over to www.friendlyferret.com for even more fantastic ferret facts!