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The American Ferret Association, Inc. Presents...

Breeding Better Ferrets:
The AFA Ferret Breeder Symposium
June 20-21, 2008
Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, VA

The American Ferret Association is an organization devoted to the health and welfare of ferrets. We are offering this one and a half day educational symposium geared to the experienced ferret breeder, the novice ferret breeder, and even those considering breeding ferrets in the not so distant future. That's why AFA is sponsoring this in-depth ferret breeder symposium, with the following goals in mind:

  • The AFA believes breeders should strive to provide each ferret with the best possible existence, through good husbandry, knowledge of breeding and breeding principles, and the education of others.

  • The AFA further believes that because we, as humans, are entirely responsible for the control of the gene pool of ferrets (Mustela furo), that once we take a hand in the creation of life (i.e. breeding ferrets), we are responsible for that life for its lifetime.

  • The AFA recommends that the practice of breeding ferrets not be undertaken without careful consideration of the responsibilities involved.

AFA is proud to introduce Dr. Carmen Battaglia, world renown speaker and author of Breeding Better Dogs. Dr. Battaglia will take a highly sophisticated, scientific and technical subject like genetics and make it not only easy to understand but even fun. He will be tailoring the material he developed for dog breeders specifically for ferret breeders in order to provide an easy method for comprehending genetics and analyzing pedigrees. Dr. Battaglia will be speaking on Saturday, June 21, and his topics will include:

  • Breeding principles and how to develop a breeding plan.

  • Developing and maintaining records for breeding.

  • What information is important in selecting your breeding stock.

  • How to pick the right sire and dam.

  • Pedigree analysis, recessive and dominant traits, heritability of traits.

  • How to understand the strengths and weaknesses in your pedigrees.

  • Evaluating litters and choosing the best ferret kit.

  • How to develop the competitive edge, and win in the show ring.

The symposium will kick off on Friday afternoon with a session all ferret breeders need to attend. Dr. Ruth Heller, a well-known ferret veterinarian and ferret breeder will discuss ferret reproduction issues. This session will include information on; pyometra, pregnancy toxemia, problem deliveries, when to do a C-section, congenital neonate issues, ovarian tumors, carcinoma, vaginal cysts, mastitis- regular and gangrenous, vasectomy, cryptorchids, testicular tumors and more. We will also be providing everyone with a list of items all breeders need to have on hand prior to the start of breeding season.

The ferret reproduction session will be followed by a session on nutrition for breeding hobs, breeding jills, and for kits during their critical growth period. We will also discuss various supplements and when and if you should use them. This session will also include tips and trick for successfully hand raising kits from less than a week old.

Friday will finish with a session titled 'Everything you wanted to know about ferret breeding but were afraid to ask.' This will be a panel discussion lead by several of the leading ferret breeders in the country. If you have questions about ferret breeding, this is the place to ask it!

Breeding Better Ferrets Registration Packet
Contact: 1-888-FERRET-1 or
Download: registration packet