What is the difference between a weasel and a ferret, what do the animals look like, how to protect themselves

What is the difference between a weasel and a ferret, what do the animals look like, how to protect themselves


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Over time, people increase the number of tamed animals. Breeders work in the direction of suppressing aggression in predators. The ferret is becoming an increasingly desirable pet due to its friendly and lively disposition. But it is easy to confuse it with affection if you see the animal only in the picture and have no idea even about its real size. Learn how a weasel and a ferret are different and how to protect other pets from them.

What is the difference between a weasel and a ferret

Both animals are predators from the weasel family, the ferret genus. Weasel is the smallest representative among such animals. Its parameters:

CharacteristicsSex weasel
FemaleMale
The weight50-120 g60-250 g
Body length115-215 mm160-260 mm
Tail length15-65 mm10-85 mm
Jump length25-30 cm30 cm
Track size1.5 × 1 cm2.5 × 2 cm

The weasel's brown back contrasts with the white chest and belly. In the northern regions, for the winter after molting, the animal becomes pure white.

Weasels feed on small rodents, frogs, snakes and anything that is small and moves. The number of broods directly depends on the amount of feed. In years with an abundance of rodents, weasel rut occurs both in spring and summer.

In the event of a change in circumstances with food, the second pregnancy freezes until the heat next year. In March, fetal development continues.

3 species of wild ferret live in Eurasia and North America. In Russia, only 2 species are almost ubiquitous: dark forest and light steppe. Their parameters:

CharacteristicsFerret gender
FemaleMale
The weight1-1.3 kg1.2-1.5 kg
Body length30-40 cm40-50 cm
Tail length8-13 cm10-15 cm
Jump length40-60 cm45-65 cm
Track size3.5 × 2.5 cm4 × 3 cm

Ferrets have been tamed for a long time, and their color is different:

  • completely dark fur, white only at the nose and lips;
  • dark with white paws, frill on the chest and the area around the mouth and nose; between the ears and eyes is a light patch of wool;
  • body and head are light; the neck and chest, the tail with the grip of the edge of the buttocks are dark;
  • white head and golden-chocolate-colored torso and tail;
  • white chest and light muzzle with spots of the main color (milk chocolate), which is evenly spread over the entire body and tail;
  • chocolate color mixed with white, except for white paws and head;
  • reddish-brown tail and legs with the same guard hair all over the body; the head is white, like the undercoat;
  • white chest and legs from feet to middle joint; white undercoat with dark guard hair and completely dark rear and tail;
  • white fur with black spots like a Dalmatian;
  • white color and black eyes.

The wild animal is brown on top, the tips of the hairs are black. Legs, belly, tail are grayish-black. The lips, the edges of the ears, the arch extending from the brow along the cheekbone are white, the rest of the muzzle is dark. Ferrets leave a trail with pronounced claw marks. The animals feed on small and medium-sized rodents, insects, birds, and eggs. At home, they give offspring 2 times a year.

Differences between ferret and marten

The marten does not have a white spot on the muzzle around the mouth and nose and rounded ears. It is larger.

CharacteristicsMarten floor
FemaleMale
The weight0.5-1.3 kg0.8-1.8 kg
Body length40-60 cm60-70 cm
Tail length16-23 cm20-28 cm
Jump length70-130 cm90-150 cm
Jump length on a treeUp to 4 mUp to 4 m
Track size4 × 2.5 cm5 × 4 cm

Unlike the animals described above, the marten lives in hollows, often climbs trees, and does this no worse than the squirrel, which it hunts. The fur of the animal is brown throughout the body, except for the orange-white breast, which looks brighter in summer than in winter. Rodents and birds become victims of marten in comparison with those on which relatives in the family feed.

How to distinguish animals when buying

All kunyas have a thin, very flexible, elongated body. They move in leaps, if necessary, climb trees. But you can distinguish between animals. Consideration should be given to the color, size and relative length of the tail. The weasel and the ferret have small, rounded ears.

The marten is distinguished from them at first glance: the shape of her ears is completely different. Her auricles have the most common appearance, like those of most animals: a tent with a sharp top. In a weasel and a ferret, the upper point of the ear in the form of an even semicircle rises quite a bit above the head.

This pair would be impossible to distinguish for an ordinary citizen if it were not for the small size of the weasel's body in comparison with the dimensions of the relative and not the stable color, characteristic of all representatives of the smallest predator on the planet. Reddish-brown top and snow-white bottom with a clearly visible section between the colors, without any shading and halftones.

Expert opinion

Zarechny Maxim Valerievich

Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.

To determine the color of a domestic ferret, you need to take a list of the above described colors, and then you can make sure that it is not complete. If the rest of the characteristics coincide, the probability that you have the desired animal in front of you tends to 100%.

The danger is that the weasel, due to its smaller size, can pass off as a ferret cub. The signal of danger is a brown back and a light underside, and in winter it is a pure white color. It is not necessary to reject the animal you like the color of the snow. It can fit the size of an adult ferret. It will be an albino with red eyes or "Snow White" with black ones. In addition, if you take the animal in your hands, and it turns out to be gentle and calm, you are guaranteed to find the right specimen. But being in a store or at a bazaar is stressful for an animal, so color and size are the best guide.

How to protect your chicken coop from predators

All weasels during the winter famine, if possible, settle near settlements or right next to livestock buildings. Weasel is the most terrible predator for people, as it "cuts" a bird or rabbits in reserve.

For security purposes, owners are advised to install scarers with an ultrasonic signal or infrared radiation in chicken coops and sheds. An excellent result is obtained by embedding a metal mesh into the wall with cement from 50 cm in height to the ground. The door is upholstered with iron.


Watch the video: Animal Weaknesses


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