Hey everyone! So this is part 2 of how we made a custom-built home for our ferrets. I know this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, so if you’re here for interiors-related stuff, I’ll be back in a few days with a lounge makeover, an update on our master bedroom revamp and some tropical additions to our garden! However if you want to nosey at the house, ooh sorry, I mean mansion for our furry family then keep reading.
After Joe constructed the basic frame and overall structure, on went the roofing felt to ensure it was watertight. Nothing special. In fact, I’d put money on it being B&Q value range which does the job nicely and doesn’t cost too much. They may be an outdoor pet for us, but they must be sheltered properly. Following this, galvanised mesh was added between the frames. It allows the fuzzies to look out onto the garden, and for us to look in! I just adore being able to see them bounce about and play when I’m looking down towards the bottom of the garden from our kitchen table.
So what else has been built since the last update? Bed boxes. Joe used leftover chipboard to create these, with hinges on a door to the front giving us easy access for cleaning. The two bed boxes are raised to make sure any precious floorspace for playing isn’t wasted. In case you don’t know, ferrets are diggers and they are escape artists so to keep their food and toilet areas separate, Joe built contained areas at opposite ends of the hutch. All these practicalities!
From hereon, it was all about making the inside plenty of fun for the ferrets. What I’m so pleased about more than anything is how much of the materials Joe managed to salvage from our other DIY projects. Not only did it greatly reduce waste (and I hate waste) but it kept the cost down too. Let me show you…
See the white shelf in the picture below? Above there, we have a ballpit area, but the shelf is actually a leftover piece of Contiboard from our office desk.
See the corner shelves? These are areas for the ferrets to explore. They can access their bed from here, climb up to snuggle in a hammock, or make their way to eat their dinner. Well it also used to be Joe’s wooden computer desk which no longer fitted our room once we moved the office from ‘Bedroom 3’ to ‘Bedroom 2’.
See the ramps and ridged shelves? The ferrets use these as ladders to reach the different levels, as well as watch outside from a new height. It’s made out of leftover pieces of decking timber from our DIY decking project.
See the tubing? It’s simply various bits of unwanted drainage piping. But to a ferret it’s a ladder, a tunnel, an adventure.
Whilst the fuzzy family of ours get plenty of attention, loads of running time in the garden, and an abundance of cuddles, it was built when I was heavily pregnant (and I wasn’t fast enough to keep up with them at playtime!). One of my favourite bits of the hutch is this step which Joe built for me. Firstly, the ferrets can sit and watch out into the garden. But more importantly, it’s a bench for me.
When I went on maternity leave, every morning I would come into the hutch, plonk my humongous self down on this bench, and with it being winter, all 4 ferrets would come and sit with me. Two on my shoulder, trying desperately to snuggle into my scarf, and the other two (usually the bigger boys) scrapping over who got to lay on my knee. I’ll always be fond of those memories. I envision our daughter sitting here when she’s old enough, learning the responsibility and joy that pets can bring to a household.
You may notice plenty of other quirky bits! The door to exit has a raised floor to make it less easy for the ferrets to escape. The hutch is full of hammocks for relaxing, and braches for climbing and scratching. There are hanging tubs or pots full of soil for digging – and boy do they like to dig! What’s important though is that they’re happy and have a place to call their own.
So there you have it; a little insight into the bottom of our garden, and what we’re getting up to whilst we’re not decorating the inside of the house. I know this post won’t be for everyone, but ferrets get a bad reputation and anything I can do to help change that, I’m going to do. Here’s to our very own ferret mansion.
Do you have anywhere special for your pets? Would you DIY it? Ferret owners, do you have any ideas what we could add? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
P.S Scrabble, Bramble, Itchy & Scratchy say hi. N’awwww so cute.