IF not exactly popular and lovable pets, j_ ferrets are very useful animals to have about in a country place for hunting rats and rabbits, and, dignified by the title of fitch, which simply means polecat, their native wild ancestor, they are now bred for fur animals. The fitch or polecat ferret is of the shaded brown, wild colour, not the pink-eyed straw-white variety.

The male, which is technically known as the hob, is much bigger than the female or jill. Ferrets are kept in hutches as a rule, and these should be very clean.and dry, with a retiring room which can be shut off with a slide, if necessary, when cleaning. A hutch for a pair should be at least a yard long, but the hob will need separating when the jill is duo to litter; her gestation period is six weeks.

Great care must be taken that they do not escape accidentally. As everyono knows, they are most bloodthirsty enemies to fowls, rabbits, etc., and are by no means safe with children.

Ferrets should be fed as captive, high-class cats, adding such items as rats and sparrows where possible. Water should be supplied regularly.

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