The Effects of Environmental Enrichment in Ferrets

Dorothy Einon
Department of Psychology, University College, London, Gower Street,
London WC1E 6BT, England


"The Effects of Environmental Enrichment in Ferrets" is a chapter from: Smith, C.P. and V. Taylor (September 1995). Environmental Enrichment Information Resources for Laboratory Animals: 1965 - 1995: Birds, Cats, Dogs, Farm Animals, Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents. AWIC Resource Series No. 2. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD and Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), Potters Bar, Herts, UK, pp. 113-126.

The following links access AWIC and other chapters in this publication:

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Environmental enrichment and impoverishment are relative terms. We can measure them with reference to the normal keeping environment of laboratory animals or to the environment of their wild counterparts; in doing so we might form quite different conclusions. The environment of the average laboratory animal is clearly less complex than that of its wild counterpart, yet for many burrow-living species the average amount of visual and auditory stimulation may be higher in the laboratory (Milligan et al. 1993), and this is especially true during rearing. On the other hand the ready provision of food in all seasons, and the protection from both conspecific aggression and predation may make a good laboratory environment less stressful than a natural one if assessed on a life-time basis.

The ferret is a close relative of the polecat (Mustela putorius) and has been domesticated for 2000 years. It is widely kept as a working animal for use in trapping rabbits and is an increasingly popular laboratory animal: small enough to keep easily in the laboratory and relatively easy to breed and handle.

Social environment and impoverishment must always be measured with reference to the development stage of an animal and the environment in which this usually occurs. Feral ferrets are essentially solitary and nocturnal, but in captivity show much diurnal activity and individuals may be kept together, although males are often intolerant when in breeding condition. Keeping breeding males apart may reduce stress, but depriving ferret kits of conspecifics during the first month of life when much time is spent in play clearly impoverishes. By analogy with the rat (Potegal and Einon 1989, Morgan 1976, Einon and Sahakian 1983, Einon 1980) such impoverishment could alter later social interaction, sexual behavior, learning, drug tolerance, activity and body size. However as yet there has been little investigation of any of these questions in ferrets.

Most work on lifetime environmental enrichment and impoverishment has been carried out with rats and mice, work on ferrets has largely concerned the provision of objects and conspecifics for play during development. Exceptions include work by Korhonen and colleagues (Korhonen and Harri 1990, Korhonen et al. 1992) who examined the effects of differing housing regimes on body weight and pelt quality, concluding that males housed singly had poorer pelt quality than males raised in groups, but t hat large, all male groups weighed less. Floor space used in housing also influenced pelt quality. They suggest that cages containing one male and one female produces the best pelt size and quality. If body weight and pelt quality reflect the health of animals then this is the optimal housing outside the breeding season. They found that social status correlated with weight; but whether this is causal is unclear. The authors also found that balls and bite cups reduced skin biting. The addition of "toys" to ferret cages is certainly desirable. Other work suggests that changing these toys on a day-to-day basis has advantages.

Where ferrets are kept in cages which restrict movements there are skeletal changes especially of the hind limbs (Slesarenko 1986), and in a related species social impoverishment has been found to induce more stereotyped behavior (Bildsøe et al. 1990). In hot climates there are reports that restriction, crowding and captivity may itself be stressful (Gazizov 1987). Heat stress, and such severe restriction of movement reflect poor husbandry, but while such work is of less relevance in countries with controls upon animal housing, giving ferrets and other mustelids access to space for exercise is clearly important. We should bear in mind that while the whole surface of a cage can provide a "gym" for young mice and rats, ferrets do not swing and climb in the same way.

Chivers and Einon (1982) found that some of the isolation induced effects on behavior which had been shown in rats also occurred in ferrets. Specifically, deprivation of rough and tumble social play caused hyperactivity which persisted into adulthood. Rats deprived in this way also showed poor reversal of previously learned tasks (Morgan 1976), increased susceptibility to amphetamine (Einon and Sahakian 1983) and poor spatial memory (Einon 1980). The fact that a group of socially reared ferrets whose environment was enriched with a series of changing tube systems (Weiss-Buerger 1981) were superior in maze learning and reversal, suggests that they may respond in a similar fashion. Chivers and Einon also showed that the isolation induced deficits in object exploration found in rats were absent in ferrets raised in isolation. The way in which ferrets manipulate objects is influenced by rearing environment. Russell (1990) found that isolated ferrets raised in enriched conditions (with a daily change of play objects) would choose the arm of a maze leading to the more prey-like of two play objects; were superior in capturing both crickets and moving prey-models, and that more elaborate prey-catching responses were elicited from enriched than impoverished animals when placed with dummy objects and remote controlled fur-covered toy cars. Captive as compared to laboratory rearing (Miller et al. 1990) also affects predatory skills, particularly the location of prey.

In conclusion although little work has been carried out on impoverishment and enrichment in ferrets, investigations so far suggest impoverishment, whether physical restriction, social or in manipulation of objects has wide ranging effects; especially when imposed during rearing.


To: Top of Document | Introduction | References | Ferret Bibliography

References

Bildsøe, M., K.E. Heller, and L.F. Jeppesen (1990). Stereotypies in adult ranch mink. Scientifur14(3):169-177.

Chivers, S.M. and D.F. Einon (1982). Effects of early social experience on activity and object investigation in the ferret, Mustelo furo. Developmental Psychobiology 15:75-80.

Einon, D.F. and B.J. Sahakian (1983). Environmentally induced differences in the susceptibility of rats to CNS stimulants and CNS depressants: Evidence against a unitary theory. Psychopharmacology 52:191-203.

Einon, D.F. (1980). Spatial learning and response strategies: Age, sex, and rearing differences in performance. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 32: 473-489.

Gazizov, V.Z. (1987). The peculiarities of fur-bearing animals under hot climatic conditions. Veterinariia (Moscow) 5:26-29.

Korhonen, H. and M. Harri (1990). Social influences on productive performance in farm-raised polecats. Scientifur 14(2):89-94.

Korhonen, H., H. Tukiainen and M. Harri (1992). Faktorer som paaverkar maarddjurens tillvaext. Finsk Paelstidskrift 26:202-204.

Miller, B., D. Biggins, C. Wemmer, R. Powell, L. Hanebury, D. Horn, and A. Vargos (1990). Development of survival skills in captive raised siberian polecats, Mustela eversmanni. 1. Locating prey. Journal of Ethology 8(2):89-94.

Milligan, S.R., G.D. Sales and K. Khirnykh (1993). Sound levels in rooms housing laboratory animals: An uncontrolled daily variable. Physiology and Behaviour 6:1067-1076.

Morgan, M.J. (1976). Effects of post-weaning environment on learning in the rat. Animal Behaviour 24:415-420.

Potegal, M. and D.F. Einon (1989). Aggressive behaviours in adult rats deprived of play fighting experience as juveniles. Developmental Psychobiology 22:159-172.

Russell, J. (1990) Predatory object play in the ferret. University of London, PhD Thesis, University of London.

Slesarenko, N.A. (1986). Changes in the femoral bone in fur animals under conditions of hypodynamia. Archives d'Anatomie d'Histologie et d'Embryologie 90(5):80-86.

Weiss-Buerger, M. (1981). An investigation of the influence of exploration and playing on learning by polecats, mustela-putorius-x-mustela-furo. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 551:33-62.


To: Top of Document | Introduction | References | Ferret Bibliography

Ferret Bibliography

Andrews, P.L.R. and O. Illman (1987). The ferret. In: The UFAW Handbook on the Care and Management of Laboratory Animals (6th edition) T.B. Poole, ed., LongmanScientific and Technical: Harlow, Essex, England, pp. 436-455.
NAL call number: QL55.U5 1987
Descriptors: ferret, husbandry, health, biology.

Anonymous (1991). Council of Europe passes recommendations on the husbandry of fur-bearing animals in the context of the European agreement on animal protection. [Europarat beschliesst Empfehlungen fuer das Halten von Pelztieren im Rahmen des Europaeischen Uebereinkommens zum Schutz von Tieren.] Deutsche Pelztierzuechter 65(2):22-26.
Descriptors: ferrets, polecats, foxes, coypus, chinchillas, animal welfare, husbandry, stunning.

Apfelbach, R. and U. Wester (1977). The quantitative effect of visual and tactile stimuli on the prey-catching behaviour of ferrets. Behavioural Processes 2(2):187-200.
NAL call number: QL750 B4
Descriptors: ferret, prey-catching, dummies, visual stimuli, tactile stimuli.

Auerlich, R.J., S.J. Bursian, H.C. Napolitano, and R.J. Balander (1991). Single-, double-, and triple-stocking in cages of different sizes: Stress effects in minks. [Einfach-, Zweifach-, und Dreifachbesetzung bei verschiedener Kaefiggroesse: Wirkung auf Stress beim Nerz.] Deutsche Pelztierzuechter 65(5):97-100.
Descriptors: mink, housing, stress, stocking rate, husbandry.

Bacon, B. (1992). The ferret as a laboratory animal: Housing and handling. Stal Sciences et Techniques de l' Animal de Laboratoire 17(3):127-133.
Descriptors: ferret, behavior, housing, handling, physiology.

Biben, M. (1982). Sex differences in the play of young ferrets. Biology of Behaviour 7(4):303-308.
NAL call number: QL750 B52
Descriptors: ferret, male, female, play, sex differences, aggression.

Bildsøe, M., K.E. Heller, and L.L. Jeppesen (1990). Stereotypies in adult ranch mink. Scientifur 14(3):169-177.
NAL call number: SF402 S3
Descriptors: mink, male, female, stereotypic behavior.

Bildsøe, M., K.E. Heller, and L.L. Jeppesen (1990). Stereotypies in female ranch mink: Seasonal and diurnal variations. Scientifur 14(4):243-247.
NAL call number: SF402 S3
Descriptors: mink, abnormal behavior.

Bildsøe, M., K.E. Heller, and L.L. Jeppesen (1991). Effects of immobility stress and food restriction on stereotypies in low and high stereotyping female ranch mink. Behavioural Processes 25(2):179-189.
NAL call number: QL750 B4
Descriptors: mink, stress, starvation, feeding, behavior, restraint.

Buckingham, C.J. (1979). The activity and exploratory behaviour of the weasel, Mustela nivalis. Doctoral Dissertation, available from British Library, Lending Division, Ref. No. D30923/80, 254 pp.
Descriptors: weasels, activity, behavior, exploration.

Bunnell, T. (1981). Playful behaviour in relation to family group activity in polecats (Mustelidae). Doctoral Dissertation, Open University Available from British Library, Lending Division, Ref. No. D44361/83, 222pp.
Descriptors: mustelids, play behavior, social groups, group activity.

Burke, T.J. (1981). Ferrets. Scientific proceedings of the annual meeting of the American Animal Hospital Association 48th:77-79.
NAL call number: 41.9 AM36
Descriptors: ferret, reproduction, housing, restraint, nutrition, anesthesia.

Chivers, S.M. and D.F. Einon (1982). Effects of early social experience on activity and object investigation in the ferret. Developmental Psychobiology 15(1):75-80.
NAL call number: QP351 D4
Descriptors: ferret, male, female, isolation, hyperactive, play, toys, exploratory behavior.

Clapperton, B.K. (1989). Scent-marking behavior of the ferret (Mustela furo L). Animal Behaviour 38(3):436-446.
NAL call number: 410 B77
Descriptors: ferret, male, female, behavior, seasons, communication.

Collins, B.R. (1987). The environmental requirements and diseases of rabbits, rodents, and ferrets. In: Anon. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Zoological and Avian Medicine. Association of Avian Veterinarians and the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, (place of publication not given), pp. 359-363.
Descriptors: ferret, rabbit, rodents, housing, husbandry, diet, diseases, captivity.

Diener, A. (1985). Behavior analysis of polecat ferrets during social play [Verhaltensanalysen zum Sozialspiel von Iltisfrettchen (Mustela putorius f. furo.] Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 67(114):179-197.
NAL call number: 410 Z35
Descriptors: ferret, male, female, play, social interaction, behavior.

Donovan, B.T. (1985). Wheel-running during anoestrus and oestrous in the ferret. Physiology and Behavior 34(5):825-829.
NAL call number: QP1 P4
Descriptors: ferret, female, wheel-running, gonadectomy, circadian rhythms.

Eastment, A.M. and R.N. Hughes (1968). Reactions of ferret-polecat hybrids to complexity and change. Perceptual and Motor Skills 26(3):935-938.
Descriptors: ferret-polecat hybrid, exploration, behavior.

Foster-Turley, P. and H. Markowitz (1982). A captive behavioural enrichment study with Asian small-clawed river otters (Aonyx cinerea). Zoo Biology 1(1):29-43.
NAL call number: QL77.5 Z6
Descriptors: otters, care, husbandry, environmental enrichment, activity, feeding, hunting.

Frederick, K.A. and J.G. Babish (1985). Compendium of recent literature on the ferret [1977-1985.] Laboratory Animal Science 35(3):298-318.
NAL call number: 410.9 P94
Descriptors: ferret, bibliography, behavior, reproduction.

Garcia Botey, C., J.C. Fontanillas and F. Calderon (1991). A study on the reproductive biology and maternal behaviour of ferrets in captivity. [Estudio experimental sobre la biología de la reproducción y comportamiento maternal del turon en cautividad.] Avances en Alimentación y Mejorá Animal 31(2):51-58.
NAL call number: SF95 A9
Descriptors: ferret, reproduction, weanling, housing, nutrition.

Gazizov, V.Z. (1987). The peculiarities of fur-bearing animals kept under hot climatic conditions. Veterinariia 5:26-29.
NAL call number: 41.8 V6426
Descriptors: mustelids, housing, environment, circulatory system.

Gupta, A.S. (1988). The structure and development of play in ferrets and dogs. Index to Theses Accepted for Higher Degrees in the Universities of Great Britain and Ireland 37(4):1608-1609.
NAL call number: 241.8 AS7
Descriptors: ferret, dog, play, behavior, social interactions.

Hansen, S.W. and A. Brandt (1989). Effects of cage size and nest box on the haematological/enzymological status and physiological stress levels in mink kits. Scientifur 13(3):185-192.
NAL call number: SF402 S3
Descriptors: mink, male, female, neonates, weanling, husbandry, nest boxes, caging, stress, cortisol.

Hansen, S.W. (1990). Activity pattern of lactating mink and the effect of water trays or wire netting cylinder in mink cages. Scientifur 14(3):187-193.
NAL call number: SF402 S3
Descriptors: mink, female, reproduction, behavior, activity.

Hillman, C.N. and J.W. Carpenter (1983). Breeding biology and behavior of captive Black-footed ferrets, Mustela nigripes. International Zoo Yearbook 23:186-191.
NAL call number: QL76 I5
Descriptors: ferret, black-footed, reproduction, behavior.

Hughes, R.N. (1967). Effects of intertrial confinement and brightness change on ferret alternation behavior. Psychological Reports 20(2):679-681.
Descriptors: ferret, behavior, activity, exploratory behavior, environment, light.

Jedrzejewska, B. (1989). Variation in weasels' response to transient and resident bank voles, enclosure experiments. Acta Oecologica-Oecologica Generalis 10(2):149-154.
NAL call number: QK901 A1033
Descriptors: weasel, bank vole, diet, predation, prey, food preferences.

Jeppesen, L.L. and H. Falkenberg (1990). Effects of play balls on peltbiting, behaviour, and level of stress in ranch mink. Scientifur 14(3):179-186.
NAL call number: SF402 S3
Descriptors: mink, stress, toys, behavior.

Kaufman, L. (1979). Foraging strategies: Laboratory simulations. Dissertation Abstracts International 40(1-B):489.
NAL call number: Film S-1806.
Descriptors: ferret, chicken, rat, feeding behavior.

Kemmerer, D. (1989). What technicians need to know about ferrets. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 194(12):1809.
NAL call number: 41.8 Am3
Descriptors: ferret, handling, breeding, grooming, behavior.

Korhonen, H. and M. Harri (1985). Seasonal changes in polecats. Finsk Palstidskrift 19(9):484-486.
Descriptors: polecat, male, female, behavior, seasons.

Korhonen, H. and M. Harri (1990). Social influences on productive performance in farm-raised polecats. Scientifur 14(2):89-94.
NAL call number: SF402 S3
Descriptors: polecat, male, female, weanling, housing, isolation, social groups, body weight, behavior.

Korhonen, H. and M. Harri (1992). Social influences on weight gain in farm-raised polecats. [Faktorer som paaverkar maarddjurens tillvaext.] Finsk Paelstidskrift 26(8-9):202-204.
Descriptors: polecats, social behavior, body weight, social groups.

Korhonen, H., M. Harri, L. Nurminen, K. Rouvinen, and T. Laitila (1985). Seasonal changes in behavioural patterns of farmed polecats (Mustela putorius). Scientifur 9(4):264-271.
NAL call number: SF402 S3
Descriptors: polecat, behavior, feeding.

Korhonen, H., H. Tukiainen, and M. Harri (1990). Effect of group and sex combination on productive performance of farmed polecats. Zeitschrift für Versuchstierkunde 33(2):79-83.
NAL call number: 410 Z36
Descriptors: polecat, male, female, housing, social groups, body weight, pelt quality.

Kusak, J. and D. Huber (1991). Curiosity in wild carnivores. [Istrazivanje radoznalosti mesozdera.] Veterinarski Arhiv 61(6):395-409.
NAL call number: 41.8 V6416
Descriptors: polecat, behavior, zoo animals, wildlife.

Lazar, J.W. and G. Beckhorn (1971). Mother-young relationships in the ferret. American Zoologist 11(4):618.
NAL call number: 410 Am3
Descriptors: ferret, nursing, play behavior, body weight.

Lazar, J.W. and G.D. Beckhorn (1974). Social play or the development of social behavior in ferrets, Mustela putorius. American Zoologist 14(1):405-414.
NAL call number: 410 Am3
Descriptors: ferret, play, behavior, development.

Lester, D. and C. Dunn (1989). A test of Sheldon's theory of personality in ferrets. Perceptual and Motor Skills 69(3-I) 962.
Descriptors: ferret, male, female, behavior, personality, body weight.

Liang, J. and Y. Cheng (1985). Daily activity rhythms of fitches and alpine weasels. In: Contemporary Mammology in China and Japan T. Kawamichi, ed., Mammalogical Society of Japan: Japan, pp. 1-195.
Descriptors: fitch, alpine weasel, feeding, activity, behavior, predation.

Lode, T. (1989). Prey storing in the polecat (Mustela putorius). [Le comportement de mise en reserve alimentaire des proies chez le putois (Mustela putorius).] Cahiers Ethologie Appliquee 9(1):19-30.
Descriptors: polecat, seasons, diet, feeding behavior.

Lode, T. (1991). Environment exploitation and space organization of two European mustelids: Stone marten (Martes foina) and polecat (Mustela putorius). [Exploitation des milieux et organisation de l'espace chez deus Mustelides europeens: La fouine et le putois.] Vie et Milieu 41(1):29-38.
NAL call number: QH301 V5
Descriptors: polecat, Stone marten, space, feeding zones, shelter, hiding place, diet, foraging behavior, behavior.

Mankovich, N.J. (1982). Sex differences in play-wrestling in the ferret (Mustela putorius). Dissertation Abstracts International (B) 43(3):651.
NAL call number: Film S-1806
Descriptors: ferret, male, female, play behavior, reproduction, body weight.

Miller, B.J. and S.H. Anderson (1989). Courtship patterns in induced estrous and natural estrous domestic ferrets, Mustela putorius furo. Journal of Ethology 7(2):65-74.
NAL call number: QL750 J68
Descriptors: ferret, male, female, pre-copulation behavior, courtship.

Milligan, S.R., G.D. Sales, and K. Khirnykh (1993). Sound levels in rooms housing laboratory animals: An uncontrolled daily variable. Physiology and Behavior 53(6):1067-1076.
NAL call number: QP1 P4
Descriptors: ferret, cats, mouse, rabbit, rat, sound, behavior, low vs. high frequency.

Moeller, S. (1990). The need for nest boxes and drop-in bottoms in the whelping period of female mink. Scientifur 14(2):95-100.
NAL call number: SF402 S3
Descriptors: mink, housing, nest boxes, body weight, behavior, reproduction.

Moody, K.D., T.A. Bowman, and C.M. Lang (1985). Laboratory management of the ferret for biomedical research. Laboratory Animal Science 35(3):272-279.
NAL call number: 410.9 P94
Descriptors: ferret, husbandry, diet, handling, breeding.

Morgan, R. L. (1990). Carnivores, basic needs, handling, and care. Symposium: Animal Welfare Compliance for Study Directors; presented at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the American College of Toxicology, Orlando, FL, October, 1990 Production Plus, Inc., Closter, NJ, Videocassette, 31 minutes.
NAL call number: Videocassette no. 971
Descriptors: ferret, mink, dog, cat, social interaction, husbandry, environmental factors, guidelines, regulations, resource information.

Otis, R.E., C.D. Andrina, and N.J. Clemens (1971). Exploratory behavior in mink (Mustela vison) and ferrets (M. putorius). American Zoologist 11(4):631.
NAL call number: 410 Am3
Descriptors: ferret, mink, male, female, exploration, behavior.

Owen, C. (1971). Domestication of the ferret. In: Domestikationforschung und Geschichte der Haustiere: Internationales Symposion. (History of Domestic Animals: International Symposium in Budapest, Hungary on April 19-23, 1971), J. Matolcsi, ed., Akademiai Kiado: Budapest, Hungary, pp.115-117.
NAL call number: S494 M3
Descriptors: ferret, mustelids, hybrid behavior, activity, hunting, conference paper.

Paradis, M. (1987). A guide to the pet ferret. Medecin Veterinaire du Quebec 17(2):63-69.
NAL call number: SF602 M8
Descriptors: ferret, pet, husbandry, behavior, diet, diseases.

Pellis, S.M. (1983). The frequency and pattern of play behaviour. Mammalia 47(2):272-274.
NAL call number: 410 M31
Descriptors: mustelids, play, social groups, behavior.

Pollard, J.S. and R.F. Lewis (1969). Ferrets do learn mazes. Journal of Biological Psychology 11(1):40-43.
Descriptors: ferret, learning, maze.

Poole, T.B. (1978). An analysis of social play in polecats (Mustelidae) with comments on the form and evolutionary history of the open-mouth play face. Animal Behaviour 26(1):36-49.
NAL call number: 410 B77
Descriptors: polecat, mink, play, behavior, biting.

Poole, T.B. (1973). The aggressive behavior of individual male polecats (Mustela putorius, M. furo) and hybrids towards familiar and unfamiliar opponents. Journal of Zoology Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 170(3):395-414.
NAL call number: 410.9 L84P
Descriptors: ferret, polecat, ferret-polecat hybrid, aggression, social groups.

Pozdnyakova, L.Eh. and N.K. Shul'gina (1985). The effect of floor space and group size on fitch growth and pelt quality. [Vliyanie ploschadi vygula i velichiny gruppy na rost i kachestvo shkurki khor'kov.] Sbornik nauchnykh trudov-NII pushnogo zverovodstvai krolikovodstva 32:112-119.
Descriptors: polecat, housing, space cages, growth, pelt quality, husbandry, social groups.

Sjogard, B. (1978). Ferret (Mustela putorius) rearing (Finland). (Illeruppfodning) Vara palsdjur 49(12):314-316, December 15, 1978.
NAL call number: 410 V42
Descriptors: ferret, housing, handling, husbandry.

Slesarenko, N.A. (1986). Changes of the femoral bone in fur-bearing animals under conditions of hypodynamia. Arkhiv anatomii, gistolgii, i embriologii 90(5):80-86.
NAL call number: QL801 A7
Descriptors: mustelids, restricted movement, skeletal changes.

Soenderup, M. (1990). Balls and bite cups can reduce skin biting. [Bidekopper og bolde kan reducere pelsgnav.] Dansk Pelsdyravl 53(9):396-398.
NAL call number: 412.628 D23
Descriptors: mink, abnormal behavior, skin biting, toys.

Sokolov, V.E. and V.V. Rozhnov (1988). Marking activity in polecat: Effect of physiological and social factors. Izvestiia Akademii nauk SSSR, Seriia biologicheskaia 6:805-813. (Translated to English in Biological Bulletin of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR)
NAL call number: 511 SA2B
Descriptors: polecat, reproduction, scent marking, social organization.

Stockman, E.R., R.S. Callaghan, C.A. Gallagher, and M.J. Baum (1986). Sexual differentiation of play behavior in the ferret. Behavioral Neuroscience 100(4):563-568.
NAL call number: QP351 B45
Descriptors: ferret, male, female, prepubertal play, toys, endocrine control, age factors.

Stockman, E.R., H.E. Albers, and M.J. Baum (1985). Activity in the ferret: Oestradiol effects and circadian rhythms. Animal Behaviour 33(1):150-154.
NAL call number: 410 B77
Descriptors: ferret, activity, endocrine system, behavior, circadian rhythms.

Weiss-Buerger, M. (1981). An investigation on the influence of exploration and playing on learning by polecats (Mustela putorius X Mustela furo). Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 55(1):33-62.
NAL call number: 410 Z35
Descriptors: ferret-polecat hybrid, behavior, play, tubes, learning, maze.

Whiteside, A.J., R. Kilgour, and A.J. Pearson (1986). Courtship and mating behaviour of the domestic fitch (Mustela putorius furo). Scientifur 10(1):44-48.
NAL call number: SF402 S3
Descriptors: ferret, male, female, breeding, behavior.

Willis, L.S. and M.V. Barrow (1971). The ferret (Mustela putorius furo L.) as a laboratory animal. Laboratory Animal Care 21(5):712-716.
NAL call number: 410.9 P94
Descriptors: ferret, diet, behavior, breeding.


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