How Many Babies Can A Ferret Have?

Baby ferrets are loaded with cuteness. They are so adorable. If have a ferret pet, you must be curious to know how many babies can a ferret have.

On an average, an adult ferret can have 3 to 8 kits. You will be amazed knowing that ferrets are known for their relatively large litter compared to their small size. However, the litter size can vary from ferret to ferret. Some ferrets with bigger litters can have up to 14 babies, while some have only 1.

How Many Babies Do Ferrets Have At Once?

How Many Babies Can A Ferret Have

A female ferret or jill can have anywhere from 3 to 12 adorable little fuzzballs in a single litter. Not only can a jill have multiple babies, but they can also have several litters in a year. Yes, you heard that right, it is possible. These ferrets are not messing around when it comes to expanding their family tree.

After successful mating, the female ferret will undergo a relatively short gestation period of approximately 41 to 42 days. They can have up to 3 litters in a year, although most jills will usually have 1 or 2.

Ferrets also have something called “seasonal breeding.” This means that they are more likely to have babies during certain times of the year. The prime time for ferret baby-making usually occurs in the spring and summer months when the days are longer and the weather is warmer.

How Long Do Ferret Kits Nurse?

Typically, ferret kits will nurse from their mother ferret for about 6 weeks. These little kits only drink their mother’s milk before they move on to solid food.

It is ideal to have 3 to 8 ferret kits at once. Because mother ferrets only have five to nine nipples. They are enough to feed a large kit army. But if there are 10-12 kits, it is hard for a mother to care for and feed due to a lack of nipples.

Sometimes small kits can not survive until adulthood. In this case, you need to get a foster provider or hand-feed them. For an inexperienced breeder, it may be challenging. But everything should be planned to provide the best care to them.

While nursing, tiny little kits always stay close to their mother to get warmth and food. They need to nurse several times a day.

During this nursing period, the kits will be growing like crazy. They start off as tiny little squiggles, and before you know it, they’ve doubled in size.

How To Care Baby Ferrets?

When ferret kits are born, their mother takes the necessary care of them. In this stage, they don’t need much human assistance. Their mother ensures proper care.

However, as an owner, you need to make sure of some factors, like keeping the place warm and clean. Dark condition is good for babies so keep the area dark but tidy.

Moreover, as the babies grow up, they need enough place to play around. So make sure the cage is spacious according to the number of babies.

Lastly, you should take proper care of the mother. Provide enough food and water to the mother as she needs to produce milk for the newborn. She needs high-nutritional foods during the nursing period.

Apart from this, you need to weigh the kits regularly to ensure they are gaining weight. If they are not gaining weight according to their age, then understand they may not get enough milk.

If the mother ferret can not produce enough milk, you will have to hand-feed all the kits. We know it is difficult but not impossible to do. You can consult a veterinarian at the moment and take necessary action.

What Do Baby Ferrets Eat?

The primary source of nutrition for baby ferrets is their mother’s milk. But if they don’t have enough milk, it will be difficult to feed such a young age.

However, after they are weaned, typically around 4-5 weeks of age, you will need to introduce them to solid food. To facilitate this transition, you can introduce a high-quality ferret kibble softened with warm water or a specialized kitten milk replacement formula.

Once the kits are fully weaned, which is typically by 6 to 8 weeks of age, they can eat a diet consisting of high-quality ferret food. Look for ferret-specific commercial kibble that is rich in protein and fat, as ferrets have high energy requirements.

A high-quality, commercial ferret food that is specifically formulated for kits is the best option. Look for a food that has a high protein content, as ferrets are obligate carnivores and require a diet rich in animal proteins.

Baby ferrets should not be given sugary or starchy foods since their digestive systems cannot handle them. Don’t give them fruits, vegetables, or grains, as they can cause digestive upset and health problems.

Provide your baby ferret with fresh water at all times, ensuring that it is changed regularly. It’s important to monitor their water intake, as dehydration can be a serious issue in ferrets.

Baby Ferret’s Development

The baby ferret develops their body quickly. But you should know the stages of their growth development so that you can give them proper nutrition and care. So here are the stages of baby ferret’s development:

Week 1

The newborn kits are incredibly fragile and dependent on their mother. At birth, they are blind, deaf, and nearly hairless. They are about 2 to 2.5 inches.

During the first few weeks of lifespan, baby ferrets grow rapidly. They begin to develop a soft, fine coat of fur, and their eyes and ears remain closed. Their primary focus during this time is nursing and gaining weight.

Week 2

As the second week begins, you’ll notice significant changes in the kits. They grow noticeably larger due to continuous nursing, and their fur starts to make its appearance. While still dependent on their mother, they are gradually becoming more active.

Week 3

By the third week, baby ferrets start showing their first signs of independence. They’ve grown to about four times their birth size, and their fur begins to darken. It gives hints of their future adult colors. Teeth also start to come.

Week 4

In the fourth week, some kits may begin to open their eyes and ears. Fur coloration becomes more visible, and their teeth are sharp. Kits become more independent, focusing on solid foods and starting to play with each other. However, you can start litter training efforts around this time.

Week 5

At this stage, baby ferrets enter a highly playful stage. Their weight continues to increase, and their fur patterns become even more prominent. With their eyes and ears fully open, they are more agile and adventurous than ever before. Training, including using the litter box and socializing, becomes more effective.

Week 6

Kits start to resemble mini versions of their adult counterparts. Their teeth are larger, and their fur coloration is mature. They are fully weaned from their mothers, becoming faster and more agile in their movements. At this stage, they experience deep, restorative sleep that is known as “dead sleep.”

Week 10

By the tenth week, baby ferrets are almost ready to be adopted by loving families. They have reached about half of their adult weight, and their baby teeth have been replaced by larger, adult teeth. Fur patterns and coloration are well-defined. Litter training and good behaviors are established, giving you a glimpse of their future adult personalities.


Baby ferrets are undeniably adorable with their tiny size, fuzzy coats, and bright eyes. If you’re considering breeding ferrets, it’s essential to educate yourself thoroughly about ferret care and breeding practices.

Also, you should be aware of the stages of baby ferret development. It is important to provide proper care and nurturing according to their growth.