The basic idea for building ferret houses is to provide a natural habitat for them, as well as shelter and protection. Cages alone do not provide them with enough protection from the weather or other predatory creatures. Build a sturdy, well designed structure to protect them since they can very easily escape from a weakly constructed home and cause themselves harm.
- 1- 4x4x 6’ Pressure treated post
- 4 sheets of construction grade plywood
- 6-2x4s approximately 8 feet long
- Wire mesh (for door)
- Water-proof roofing material
- Carpenter’s square
- Tape measure
- Spot-welded 1/4 inch square wiring
- Brass, exterior door hinges
- Exterior hasp and lock
- Exterior primer paint
- Exterior paint
- Spar varnish (optional)
Step 1 - Selecting Location
Build a ferret house in a location which is free from trees and where it can be observed from the home for much of the day. A shady, sheltered area will also make for a good location if the climate is very hot in the summer, or gets much rain or snow in the winter.
Step 2 - Building The House
Using the 2x4s, construct a simple frame and cut the plywood for each of the walls, floor and ceiling. The ferret house will have two doors. Build the front door with the top half made of screening and the bottom made of plywood. A smaller side door, which will lead into an outdoor screened area, will enable the ferrets access to the outdoors.
In constructing the ferret house, use a hammer and nails. This is an important point because nails will expand and contract with seasonal changes, as will the wood. If screws and glue are used, they will not expand and cause the wood to crack and joints to come loose.
Step 3 - Protect Ferrets
The screened outdoor area for ferrets can be a large cage, an enclosed run, or can be built from 2x4s and spot welded ¼ inch square wiring. This structure must be very secure to prevent the ferrets from getting out, as well as keeping predators from getting at the ferrets.
Step 4 - Attach Roof
Normal tar-paper, or other water-proofing material will be sufficient to cover and protect the roof. Roofing materials can be expensive, but if the budget permits, roofing can be made up of anything from shingles to tile.
Step 5 - Protect The Foundation
Either before, during or after construction, consider placing lengths of the 4x4 pressure treated post under the ferret house to raise it off the ground. This will protect the flooring of the house and obviate the need for an expensive foundation. This idea will also facilitate moving the house to a new location if so desired. Provide steps for ferrets to access screened area.
Step 7 - Apply Protective Finish
Upon completion of construction, paint the entire ferret house, inside and out, with a heavy coat of exterior primer paint. When this is completely dry, apply a first coat of exterior finish paint. If necessary, apply a second or third coat. If a more natural look for the ferret house is desired, consider using several coats of Spar varnish in place of the paint.