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Old 04-20-11, 01:22 PM   #1
openmindedgent
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Touring with a ferret... bad idea?

I have not posted on here in a long time, wow. I plan to ride the south this summer touring for a few causes and raising awareness for alternative lifestyles. I have most of my gear set up and I am more prepared than I have been in a while (ever). The gear I am working on now will accommodate my furry little friend, Mufasah. I have a good idea of how he will do on the road, he is a tough and super friendly ferret who loves to ride in a basket on my bike. So the creature will do fine, unless he overheats...that is my concern. I looked into portable animal crate A/C units which are around $150 and I have a crate that it would attach to. I could mount this crate to my rear rack and put in a few blankets, a water bottle, and store his harness and accessories in my bags. I am sure this will work but I am going to plan well before I ride.
Anybody know of this being done before?
Done it yourself?
Am I crazy?
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Old 04-20-11, 01:35 PM   #2
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Hope you don't meet anyone touring with a rabbit.

You might be crazy but I'd like to get a second opinion before I commit you to an asylum.

No I've never done it myself. Sounds kind of expensive.

I don't tour to raise awareness of anything. Maybe I'm just too selfish. That's it. I tour to raise awarness of 'selfishness'.
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Old 04-20-11, 01:38 PM   #3
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right on... thanks?
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Old 04-20-11, 01:46 PM   #4
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IF this isn't spring madness or a prank, I think you should look into a trailer.
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Old 04-20-11, 01:50 PM   #5
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Oh its the real deal, my ferret and I are inseparable and I have the traveling itch. I am looking into trailers, that would be ideal.
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Old 04-20-11, 02:08 PM   #6
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I want to tour with my dog, but he is a 60lb basset hound, so I think you have the right idea as far as the size/weight issue.
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Old 04-20-11, 02:46 PM   #7
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I want to tour with my dog, but he is a 60lb basset hound, so I think you have the right idea as far as the size/weight issue.
LOL. The only way to transport a ferret is in your pants.
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Old 04-20-11, 03:00 PM   #8
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LOL. The only way to transport a ferret is in your pants.
Is that a ferret in your chamois, or are you just happy to see me?
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 04-20-11, 03:07 PM   #9
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I think you're overly concerned about the ferret overheating. If its crate is well-ventilated and provides some shade then I don't think it would be a problem. Animals have the good sense to rest when it gets too hot and with the cooling breeze created from your biking speed the crate should be a pretty comfortable environment without the need for any AC unit. It's people who have problems with overheating since we insist on doing strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
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Old 04-20-11, 03:12 PM   #10
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Beware of a lot of goofy state/local regulations on ferrets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferret#...errets_as_pets
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Old 04-20-11, 03:24 PM   #11
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Animals have the good sense to rest when it gets too hot and with the cooling breeze created from your biking speed the crate should be a pretty comfortable environment without the need for any AC unit.
Ferrets don't sweat, so that "cooling breeze" won't cool the ferret. You could bring along a water mister that would take the edge off of extremely hot days.

Traveling with a ferret might constrain the number of places where you can stay. If they allow you to stay at all, they might require medical papers, and they might require that you keep Mufasah in a cage. If there's any trouble, it might not matter if Mufasah was being well behaved, you and Mufasah might be ejected without warning anyway.
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Old 04-20-11, 03:29 PM   #12
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Heat transfer by convection works even without sweat.
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Old 04-20-11, 03:35 PM   #13
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Heat transfer by convection works even without sweat.
Technically true, and it's technically true that ferrets have sweat glands. However, convection and ferret sweat are not nearly enough to keep ferrets from overheating. To maintain otherwise is profoundly unhelpful.
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Old 04-20-11, 04:37 PM   #14
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I'd look into how ferrets handle the heat before committing. I know that my mom bathed a litter of guinea pigs and left them in the sun to dry. It was a nice day, not extremely hot, and they all died. It seems they don't handle even moderate heat and sun well. I do not know if ferrets handle the heat any better or not.
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Old 04-20-11, 04:56 PM   #15
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My unexpertified advice:

I think 80 degrees is the maximum heat you want a ferret to have to endure (ask a vet to be sure). Mount a thermostat on your handlebars and when it gets near 80, duck into someplace with air conditioning. Check the weather everyday, and if the temperature is supposed to go above 80 for that day, don't ride that day. Provide a shaded area for the ferret. Night riding can be a fun alternative. Bring a plastic bladder of some sort; in an emergency, fill it with ice, and put it in with the ferret - he'll know what to do.
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Old 04-20-11, 05:26 PM   #16
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Join and post this on http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/?o=RrzKj. Lots of good people there who are knowledgeable about touring with animals. You won't get many serious answers here.
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Old 04-20-11, 05:35 PM   #17
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Consider this. If the ferret dies, will it ruin your tour?
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Old 04-20-11, 05:39 PM   #18
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I was just reading about ferrets.
I didn't know they were used in the past to hunt rabbits.
I have this damned rabbit that keeps chewing the grass down to the dirt in one corner of my yard.
Anyone know where I can get a loaner-ferret?
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Old 04-20-11, 06:02 PM   #19
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"Beware of a lot of goofy state/local regulations on ferrets:"

Not to mentione municipal laws that vary as to the requirement for helmets.
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Old 04-20-11, 06:30 PM   #20
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Unless the ferret can help pedal, I would live him at home.
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Old 04-20-11, 09:21 PM   #21
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I'm gonna go with "this is not a good idea."

1) You'll do just fine without the ferret.
2) The ferret will do just fine, as long as you leave him with a conscientious host.
3) Taking the ferret along is going to complicate your trip and slow you down.
4) A pet A/C on a bike is wasteful.

I say man up. Leave the ferret at home and in capable hands.
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Old 04-21-11, 04:28 AM   #22
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i don't know anything about ferrets but doing big touring with a small'ish dog has always been a dream of mine
sadly theres just way too much paperwork involved when crossing borders
it would be like riding with a little child though, big responsability
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Old 04-21-11, 04:41 AM   #23
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My unexpertified advice:

I think 80 degrees is the maximum heat you want a ferret to have to endure (ask a vet to be sure). Mount a thermostat on your handlebars and when it gets near 80, duck into someplace with air conditioning. Check the weather everyday, and if the temperature is supposed to go above 80 for that day, don't ride that day. Provide a shaded area for the ferret. Night riding can be a fun alternative. Bring a plastic bladder of some sort; in an emergency, fill it with ice, and put it in with the ferret - he'll know what to do.
If that 80F figure is anywhere near accurate I'd say forget the idea of taking a ferret on a tour of the south in summer. Even in the north I have had many 100F+ days when on tour. We had few days that were not over 90F on our Trans America. Same for my Santa Fe Trail tour and our Sierras tour. In the south highs of over 80F would be the norm.
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Old 04-21-11, 05:43 AM   #24
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Security Guard: Hang On, What's that?
Vyvyan: It's my mascot.
Security Guard: A pig?
Vyvyan: No!
Security Guard: It is.
Vyvyan: It's not, it's a ferret. A severely deformed ferret, I'll grant you that. So severely deformed in fact that it looks a little bit like a pig.
Security Guard: Looks exactly like a pig.
Vyvyan: Yes, well, it certainly has been remarked upon. In fact, just as John Hurt is known as the Elephant Man, Bacon Sandwich here is known as the Pig Ferret.
Security Guard: Bacon Sandwich? Funny name for a ferret, isn't it?
Vyvyan: Ha ha! And that's where I had you fooled. Because it's not a ferret, it's a pig.
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Old 04-21-11, 07:33 AM   #25
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Sounds like a bad idea to me.

It will certainly complicate your trip, but more importantly, I can't see how it would be a good experience for your pet. Does it normally spend 100% of it's time in a cage or on a leash? Or does it run around in your house? What if it gets out of its carrier, is it going to come back soon or is it going to run away? WIll it sleep in your tent with you? Is it tent-trained? What about attracting other animals - bears, racoons... What about it's affect on wildlife, will it attack birds, rabbits, whatever? Will it try to hunt from your handlbars? WIll it jump out of it's basket, entangling itself in your wheels? WIll it get run over by a car?

Bad idea.
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