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Ferrets!


Deb
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Hi

 

A parent dropped by today to ask if we would like him to bring in his ferret to show the children. He had it on him and it looked really rather sweet!

 

I am in two minds. On the one hand this is parent partnership in action, we live in a rural area and this is a way of life, part of our culture one might say.

 

On the other hand there may be a risk a child could get bitten unless I specifically stipulate not touching.

 

I would love to hear your opinions.

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My sister-in-law has 4 ferrets, they are incredibly lively and entertaining.

 

We have had a parent bring in a snake and a tortoise, African Land snails, had visits from Zoolab so hissing cockroaches, trantulas, etc. never had any problems.

 

I do stipulate that it is at a time after the children have had their snack, that all the children are sitting in a semi circle comfortably and that the owner is in full control of the animal at all times, we go from there really, the children are told to be very quiet around the animals so as not to frighten them, to wash if they have stroked them etc., they are always supported by an adult when they are near the animal and we only have a visit of half an hour at the most.

 

I'm sure you could risk assess the activity very well. Just think about your set up and your particular children and how you would ideally like to handle the visit.

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In a word- No! But that's more to do with the fact I'm not mad keen on ferrets myself!!!

Now if it was a guinea pig or rabbit I'd be much more tempted!

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my friend had ferrets and its the scratchy claws that seem to do more damage than the risk of biting, I think with all rodents type animals theres a risk of children getting bitten but ferrets are easy to hold so that children can stroke the ferrets backs with minimal risk of being bitten and then have lots of anti bac gel ready and clean their hands straight away

 

I was told once that animals are less likely to bite freshly washed hands as the lingering smell of soap is not very appetizing so before sitting the children get them to wash their hands plus for the animals sake it wouldnt appreciate slimy childrens hands and all the gunk that might be on their fingers

 

does your parent have some tubing to bring to show the children the ferret doing what they like best?

 

children need to know that animals bite but they dont need to be bitten to learn that lesson, even if the children dont actually touch the ferret it would be nice for them to see a live animal

 

we've had a dog and a guinea pig visit sessions and the children loved it

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Hi Deb,

 

Just seen your message re ferrets. I fully agree with the YES camp with all the provisos re handwashing, pre warning parents, careful handling etc. Wonderful opportunity and great parent involvement. Would love to see the photos!

 

Lesley

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi Deb,

 

Just seen your message re ferrets. I fully agree with the YES camp with all the provisos re handwashing, pre warning parents, careful handling etc. Wonderful opportunity and great parent involvement. Would love to see the photos!

 

Lesley

 

As long as you have no one named Whiteley in the school!

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As long as you have no one named Whiteley in the school!

 

:oxD:(

 

I'm definitely in the yes camp too. If the owner is a responsible person and is happy that the animal can cope.

 

It is so sad that children are taught to think of animals as dirty and dangerous. Lets redress the balance by showing them how to enjoy and respect these creatures while understanding how to keep themselves safe.

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of course yes - i really hate the health and saftey gone mad thing - get him in, cover yourself with a risk assessment, because you have to, but definitely get him in!!!! Zoe. xxx

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  • 1 year later...

We've got 3 ferrets.

Max is older, slow and pretty docile so I'd be happy for children to be around him under supervision.

Till is sweet, playful and lovely. He'd be great with children in the house but a strange environment freaks him out.

Obi is young a biter and I wouldnt trust him.

If your parent is honest and the ferret is used to being around people and different places I'd go for it.

They're not rodents though, they are carnivorous mammals.

The name "ferret" is derived from the Latin furittus, meaning "little thief", and they really do steal things. The insoles of my wellies have recently been found under the wardrobe in one room, under the bed in another and under the chest of drawers. And bags of potatoes have to be kept out of reach too, I recently found 13 under my son's bed.

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What about snakes? Whena parent has brought snakes in, what has been on your risk assessment?

Oh yes - I would be very happy to have a 'snake visit'........been a bit short on the 'live' visits this year - have only had chicks....

 

 

And bags of potatoes have to be kept out of reach too, I recently found 13 under my son's bed.

And what proof do you have that it was the ferrets?! xD:o

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We regularly had snake visits.. a parent had them and as her children all came through the setting we would have an annual visit... the child who was the 'owner' was with mum and the snake all the time to show the others and tell about them, where they lived at home etc..

 

main thing was to ensure all washed hands and no hands near mouth once they had touched the snake.. so good hand washing had to be set up.. we did use a gel as well for extra precaution.. we had a separate area for small groups of 3 or 4 so no noise and quiet , no child ever refused but they wee given the option, supported by adult.. not all touched or wanted to...

 

was amazing to see them grow over the years and the small ones when they had reproduced...

 

they also brought in rats when they had a tame one... not all were friendly so it was hit and miss with them but snake was every year while I was there! and they had the land snails for us to see too.. not sure how they coped with it all.. 6 children plus the snakes, rats, cats, snails and a huge dog!

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