June 1, 2014
Ferret legging is an endurance test or stunt in which ferrets are trapped in trousers worn by a participant. Also known as put ’em down and ferret-down-trousers, it is a sport that seems to have been popular among coal miners in Yorkshire, England. Contestants put live ferrets inside their trousers; the winner is the one who is the last to release the animals. The world record is five hours and thirty minutes. The sport may have originated during the time when only the relatively wealthy in England were allowed to keep animals used for hunting, forcing poachers to hide their illicit ferrets in their trousers…
The sport is said to involve very little “native skill”, simply an ability to “have your tool bitten and not care”.
Nick Roberts, back in 1972, took the sport to an unusual extreme. From The Dispatch (Lexington, NC) – Oct 30, 1972:
And here’s a video I found in which ferret legging is demonstrated. Except that what’s shown doesn’t seem to be a true form of the sport, because the contestants are allowing the ferrets to poke their heads out of the trousers, whereas the idea is to trap them inside, thereby generating a panic response.