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House stoat: features, price, character and things to know before evaluating the purchase. Natural habitat and behavior in captivity.
There is no domestic ermine, very often this term is used improperly to indicate the domestic ferret or to indicate aerminebred in captivity. On this page, with the termdomestic erminewe will refer precisely to a stoat bred in captivity.
The ermine is a restless, territorial animal and a large predator. It is not big but it is agile and shrewd: it approaches the prey and grabs it at the nape of the neck, causing instant death. Attacks the prey from behind by swinging on its back and biting the back of the neck: thanks to this hunting technique,erminesthey can kill prey five times their size!
Ermine: Mustela erminea
L'ermine, scientific nameMustela erminea,is a small mammal with a body length of 22 to 32 cm and a tail of 8 to 12 cm. Males of ermine have a larger average size than females.
This species is present in forests with rich undergrowth, in stony ground, or in the alpine prairie up to an altitude of 3500 meters.
Ermine: character and nutrition
Because it's hard to talk abouthouse ermine?Because it is a very territorial species that in nature gives rise to real hierarchies and sensible searches for food. Just think that the elderly stoats have a territory up to 50 times larger than the younger ermines and "socially inferior". Bemale erminesthat females litter their territory with feces and urine.
L'erminehas a distinctcharacterwild.In nature it is a tenacious predator, thinks that it does not bother digging burrows but “steals” them from rabbits and other rodents that it kills. L'ermineit is omnivorous, preys on nests, burrows… and uses the skins of rodents to "furnish its bedroom".
Males and females generally live separately but with close dens. Everyermineit has several burrows scattered throughout its territory and each single den is very extensive.
Just like in the case of theweasel, me too'ermineit feeds mainly on small rodents, especially voles. Theerminesthey are strong predators: it means that they are able to kill and feed even bigger prey likesquirrels!
Hamsters, rabbits, otters, shrews but also lizards, fish, birds and amphibians are perfect prey.
The ermine is terrible: it kills even when it is not hungry! It can kill excess prey when the opportunity presents itself, without feeding on it. Hunting is one of the most outstanding skills in theermines: to prey on larger animals they use sharp teeth that are sunk into the throat of the prey.
From the paragraph dedicated tocharacteryou will understand why it is difficult to talk aboutdomestic ermineand why it will be difficult for you to raise and care for it at home. Stoats born in captivity undergo a very forced adaptation.
The stoat needs to move, so it is essential to choose a large cage. For feeding, you can use live prey or feed minced meat, worms, locusts, eggs, milk, small fish ... there is no shortage of food for dogs and cats. The diet must be as varied as possible.
If you have a cat, you should avoid adopting a domestic ermine: your cat could kill it and / or the ermine could live in a constant state of anxiety due to the presence of a predatory feline.
Better to take only one male (or female) ermine and make it meet with the opposite sex only in the vicinity of mating. In such a confined territory as a cage, the two stoats (even if of opposite sex) would attack each other.
The most featurecaptivatingofermineare the color variations of the coat. Theerminesthey change the color of the fur according to the season. In summer, the color of the fur is reddish-brown on the back and white in the ventral area, with the presence of yellow-black shades. The tip of the tail is black.
In winter, with the intensification of the cold, its fur turns completely white. In the photo above, the ermine with the summer fur, in the photo below, thewhite ermine.