Wellstead: The Ferret and Ferreting Guide
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Graham Wellstead, The Ferret and Ferreting Guide. Newton Abbot ; North Pomfret, VT. : David & Charles, 1981. 157 pages; illustrated; with bibliography and index.
I ended up being landed with my son's ferrets & after a cob (hob [i.e., male ferret able to breed]) joined his 2 jills [i.e, female ferrets able to breed], I thought I really ought to learn something about these liquid fur creatures. I'm no expert in this field and was not that keen on these animals that regard me as dinner and could easily kill all my poultry stock.
Graham Wellstead has kept, worked, and bred ferrets over many years, so he is an enthusiastic author for his subject. He writes to impart information, starting the book off with an introduction to the beast and its origins as far as they are known or guessed at.
The chapter titles amused me ~ here was an author that could bring light relief into what could be a boring text: "The Mysterious Ferret"; "Confining the Brutes ~ Housing"; "To Satisfy the Inner Ferret ~ Feeding"; "The Ever-Increasing Horde ~ Breeding"; "The Hunt is On ~ Working"; "Net Making"; "Ferreting & the Law"; "In Sickness Health ~ Ailments".
I found this a very readable, short concise book written from experience, but with a Bibliography to back the author up. The science in this book appears in passing rather than being laboured and being the main reason for the book's being. The bibliographic classification points this work to being on domestic animals: books which are usually written to be more popular treatment than to be a treatise on wild creatures (guess who's an ex-librarian!) and to be used in understanding, caring for, and/or working the animal concerned. I even found the ailments chapter interesting and not as hard going as my chicken health books.
I borrowed this book from the library and am seriously thinking of acquiring mine own copy.
-- Notes by KM