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Ferrets, Oh Ferrets!

So my post from earlier today was a bit, well, depressing. So here are some clips from an amazing documentary about ferrets — well, about ferret owners, really — from PBS called “The Pursuit of Excellence: Ferrets.”

And here’s a dog who’s clearly enjoying the documentary a great deal:

So now you really only have a couple of choices. You can wait until your local PBS station reruns the documentary. You can rent the video from Netflix. Or you can watch the whole thing online right now.

You’re welcome!

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kittehserf
8 years ago

Kim, Madison’s a nice name, but yeah, it might not suit Bird at all when you get to know zir.

I’m glad to have come across gender-neutral pronouns, too. Y’know what really irks me? When an animal whose sex is known is called “it”. Feckin’ Channel 2 always calling Black Caviar or other famous horses “it” … yet a ship, an inanimate object, will be called “she”.

::spits::

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

I’ve been having a wildly productive day reading through the archives of blogs I’d never come across before (and I made some French onion soup). Here is a link that you must all try. Forthwith. http://nekofont.upat.jp It spells out words you type in cats. It’s a cat-font. It’s a font that makes letters out of cats.

kittehserf
8 years ago

THAT SITE IS THE BEST

Kim
Kim
8 years ago

Thanks for the tip auggziliary. I plan to read ALL THE THINGS before I attempt anything but it is good to know that it is something that will need special attention. I’m not planning on having more than one bird, so I can wait til hir sex reveals itself.

@kitteh. I listen to a podcast about grammar and that topic came up one time. Apparently most publications have a styleguide to deal with the situation. They’ll either refer to all animals as it, or they will refer to named/pet animals as he/she and unnamed/stock/wild animals as it. I imagine it’s in their styleguide what to do about ships as well. So it’s not that the people involved are just doing it that way through bias. It could be worth you writing to them and suggesting they change their policy.

Kim
Kim
8 years ago

P.S. Do you have any sites/books you recommend about parrots? Ones that you know have accurate information about the dangers and best practices.

kittehserf
8 years ago

Kim – yeah, I imagined it was the way the scripts are done/policy stuff, not the newsreaders to blame. I’ve been thinking about writing to them, though without any real hope they’d actually do anything about it.

Calling animals “it” sends me into HULK SMASH mode, I swear – especially when an individual’s sex is known.

Ironic, isn’t it … Black Caviar was named Sportswoman of the Year not long ago. No women they’d bother to recognise – yet the mare who gets the title is still an “it” to many. Sucks all round: men are people, women barely so and their place can be filled by anyone, including animals who are rated as things.

leftwingfox
8 years ago

– non stick pans are toxic for birds. I forget the exact chemical name.

PTFE, i.e. Teflon. It’s only toxic if the pans are overheated, i.e. above 500 degrees.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2748/are-teflon-coated-pans-a-health-risk-to-birds-and-humans

Ceramic non-stick coatings don’t have this problem, and even if you do have a teflon pan, if you are using them at lower temperatures, (I.e. for eggs, crepes, pancakes etc) then you shouldn’t have a problem.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
8 years ago

Since we’re talking about parrots, I’m getting a blue indian ringneck. It’s just a baby atm, so it’ll be a few weeks before it comes to me, but excited!

Ooh, fun! Is it a rescue or from a breeder?

thenatfantastic
thenatfantastic
8 years ago

I have an on-topic question to ask!

A friend of mine recently got a ferret kit (baby), but I don’t think she’s actually aware of how much care it will need or the best conditions to keep it in. At the moment, she’s keeping it (I’m going to switch to zie/zir) zir in an indoor cage about the size that one would keep rats in (about 3x bigger than average (horrible) hamster cage), but zie is still only a kit and will very soon get very big (too big to lie lengthways in the cage) and very smelly. Zie also shouldn’t be alone. She seems to be feeding it well and giving it lots of attention but 1) zie needs more space, including runs and other fun things and 2) zie needs a friend, although it may be too late to introduce another already and she certainly doesn’t have the space for two.

I know how to look after ferrets; I had two when I was younger. They lived in a home-made run in the back garden with dozens of toys, which was 7x6x5, played in the house every night and went out for walks on leashes three times a week.

So, how do I bring this up? I don’t want to go in all guns blazing telling her that her pet will have a terrible life and be unhappy, but I also don’t want to just stay quiet. For context, I know her well enough to text and meet up maybe once a month, but not to, say, go to each other’s houses.

Kim
Kim
8 years ago

Ooh, fun! Is it a rescue or from a breeder?

From a breeder. There is a parrot rescue place very close to where I live though, so if all goes well and I want to get another bird, and feel able to handle one that might have some emotional/behavioural problems I’ll go there.

@auggziliary I found a really great site that talks about handrearing and weaning in wonderful detail. I plan to only be handfeeding hir for a few days but their info has made me feel confident about it.

It’s funny, I would never have considered letting a bird sleep on the bed. Would a bird even want to?

I will definitely be doing lots of vegies. And sprouts. I have ordered a sprouter, for both of us. I always have trouble finding fresh basil, but now I can sprout my own as well as lots of yummy things for my birdie.

Have you had any experience with flight suits and tethers? I like the idea of being able to let hir fly around outside.

Kim
Kim
8 years ago

I’ve been posting on some forums and using the zie/hir pronouns and I’m confusing so many people. Even though I was saying zie, not Zie people were assuming that was my parrot’s name. And not seeming to know what a neutral pro-noun was. I suspect it’s going to be a while before the idea of neutral pronouns catches on outside of spaces like this one.

Has anyone else had better luck using them?

kittehserf
8 years ago

Only other forums I comment on are feminist ones where it’s familiar. The trickiest bit is pronouncing zie/zir without feeling silly (not least since I’m not too sure how to) – Argenti needs to give assistance there, since it’s inevitably zir I’m talking about to Mum!

Kim
Kim
8 years ago

I think maybe if I use zir it would be easier. I want to pronounce hir the same as her (I assume it’s actually heer) which defeats the point. zie/zir flows a bit better so I might switch to that. Up til now I’ve used they/them but it sounds a bit too much like the general you in some situations.

Also, I ordered parrot toys on etsy! They looks like they will be lots of fun for zir. I love buying toys for animals.

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