Potpie has two sons and a daughter! Unfortunately, there is no good way to tell the three apart just from looking at them on the cam. At this age, the kits’ fur is very thin and grows quickly. Therefore, identifying them with shave marks, like we do with cheetah cubs, is not an effective strategy.
Even though we cannot tell individuals apart, knowing each kits’ sex is essential for studbook planning. A studbook is a record of all the black-footed ferrets born and living in human care today. We use the studbook to help determine who should mate and which kits will be good candidates for the reintroduction program. While none of this is determined until August, knowing how many females and males we have is the first step.
Knowing an individual kits’ sex allows us to assess their growth better. Males tend to be larger and grow faster than their female siblings.