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How old should a ferret be before putting it to work?

Young ferrets soon learn how to catch and kill rabbits and although this is part of ferreting I would rather limit the digging I have to do.

For this reason I do not introduce a ferret to work until its second season by which time it’s around 14 to 18 months old and a little calmer.

A good ferret is one that bolts rabbits and which will lay up on those that refuse to budge.

I own a line of ferrets that friends refer to as the ’Carlsberg strain’ (probably the best ferrets in the world) but all this breeding won’t be seen once a ferret’s entered to ground.

The true test is whether everything has been bolted, killed or dug to – and the ferrets that can achieve this will have been started in their second season.

There are rare occasions when I do have to work a ferret in its first season but I leave it as late as possible when the kit has become a little less excitable.

Ferrets will work from just a few months of age but I would rather let a ferret build up its strength through play and exercise because this way it will not take a pasting from a rabbit’s bucking back legs.