During the summer, the ferrets get little chance to do anything much. I do try and exercise them as much as possible, but they are a bit of a handful and likely to escape if you take your eye off them, so it becomes too difficult with the number we have.
Throughout the winter, we are totally booked up in dealing with rabbit problems on farms, country houses and even commercial sites where rabbits have just taken over, thus having several teams of working ferrets allows you to rotate their activities – it is very tiring for them so they always need good food, a warm dry hutch and plenty of rest to be on top form.
This week we had call come in to see if a ferret could be used to carry a cable “pull through” along a duct – the answer was of course they can! Basically, this duct had been installed a number of years ago with a view to having power and comms to an outbuilding approximately 90 metres away for the main house, but until now nothing has happened. The owner of the property then went to install a cable but the existing pull through had rotted and broke. Several attempts had been made to push a new cable through, but to no avail.
Hence a call to us. Now we are always looking to help where ever we can and a challenge like this is just what we like. So after a brief chat, we arranged a time and off we went.
Ferrets are inquisitive and like nothing more than a dark hole to explore – this would be no different to their normal work, but without the rabbit in the hole. when we arrived, I introduced the ferrets to everybody (quite a crowd had gathered for this event!) then set about getting one of our best ferrets ready to drag a small but strong cord down the hole. We use tiny leather collars on the ferrets so it was easy to get the cord attached, however it is essential that the cord does not get tangled and panic the ferret.
We went to one end of the duct and popped the ferret in. After a bit of sniffing and shaking, off she went at the double.
After about 30mt the ferret stopped. The client did suspect that over the years there may have been a blockage created but had no way of telling this. A few moments later the ferret came back dripping wet, indicating the pipe was potentially flooded. Whilst ferrets are feisty little creatures, they are not fond of water and would certainly not go underwater under any circumstances.
So we went to the other end of the duct and tried again. Same thing happened, she went of like a train, then stopped at about 35mt. When she came out, I changed ferrets to see if another one would go further, but at the same point she stopped as well.
Due to the unusual amount of rain we have had, I was not surprised really, but at least we now know where the water is and the client can dig down and drain the water before we try again at a later date.
So on this occasion we had to admit defeat due to flooding, but we will be back!
If you have a cable duct and need a ferret to pull in a cable, give us a call as we are always happy to help – and its something different as well! Of Course if you also have a rabbit problem, contact one of our offices. With local offices in Newbury, Oxford, Swindon, Basingstoke and Reading, you can be sure we are ready to help you control your rabbit problem.