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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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Skunk and ferret

hi my name is Dan bostelman
I am very interested in owning a pet skunk. I have 2 ferrets I was just wondering what the difference in care would be. both ferrets have excellent temperaments, litter trained, and love to play. I was wondering if a skunk would fit in. I have built a huge cage for the ferrets (6 feet high 3 feet long and wide) for while I'm not home but whenever I'm home I let them get out and play. would it be ok if a skunk lived with ferrets? would they play together, use the same bathroom, eat the same food, or would I need a whole new setup ? how much do skunks cost for a baby female ? are there any breeders in or around the greater Philadelphia area or new York city area I live in west Chester pa and my parents live in east Stroudsburg pa I am willing to travel and reasonable distance from either place. how much bigger do female skunks get than males? do skunks scare easier than ferrets or will they be just as fearless to dogs and people?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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ok does anyone have any pet skunk pictures or stories
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 07:44 AM
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It's all just personal opinion, but I've never seen a skunk that I thought was a good pet. If you had a wide experience with non-domestic animals, and you had a need for one to use in animals shows or something like that, they have their place. However, I wouldn't recommend them for anyone just looking for a new pet. They aren't cuddly/fun like a ferret, they can be playful but there is always a sharp edge to it. All of them have differing temperaments, but it isn't unusual to see them bite without warning or (what we would perceive as) provocation. They seem very moody to me, sometimes it's all play, other times you just need to let them be.

They tend to get obese in captivity and require real attention to the diet. There aren't a lot of vets who will work with them because of the rabies issue. You should also check local animal control laws, because skunks are banned in some areas of the country.

And probably the biggest argument is that they cannot be vaccinated for rabies. You can give them the vaccine, but there are no studies to prove that it works on skunks. If your pet bites someone, in most cases (unless the person agrees to undergo rabies shots ...which you will have to pay for, ...around $800 last I checked) the ONLY solution that animal control will accept is to have the animal put down and tested for rabies. And since skunks tend to be bitey, it's a real risk to let anyone around them.

I would never consider housing the skunks with the ferrets. They are both very efficient predators, and any play could easily turn deadly for one or the other.

bob



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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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not really what i wanted to hear but kinda what i expected . im not worried bout the biting and rabies or the state laws. just about the hurting of the ferrets. in the research i've done i get mixed feeling people that have had them said they are like big smart ferrets that dont sleep 23 hours a day and dont get caged which would be awsome. if anyone acually knows of skunk owers please let me know what its like. i could use all the expert advice/ opinions i can get. my mothers friend had one thats mother was killed in the wild so it was taken in and the only problem was that it not fond of strangers but i know the same thing happens with any wild bread animal just seems if it was bread captive for generations it would be more tame.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 06:32 AM
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Your mother's friend ran a sizeable risk, on several levels.

Skunks can carry rabies for quite awhile before the symptoms manifest themselves, and they can pass it on to their offspring. The youngster your mom's friend took in could have been infected.

What's more, in every state of the union, (I am presuming you live in the US) native species are protected by law, and you have to be a licensed rehabber, or have a special permit to possess native fauna.

Wild skunks in any circumstances are considered possible rabies vectors and should never be handled.

As far as the sleeping thing you mentioned... no, they don't sleep as much during the day as some ferrets (although my ferrets were very active during the day), but skunks still sleep as much as 16-20 hours/day, especially if they are well fed.

bob



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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
 
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no my moms friend knew what she was doing had all the correct permits and worked at a very knowlegable vet office. my ferret up until recently have only been active at night when im asleep but i started to change their habits and now they sleep through the night and are very eager to play
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