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Ranch Mink Breeding: The Second Season

April 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 117

Ranch mink breeding is divided into four seasons. The second season involves weaning and whelping.

Gestation may take from thirty to sixty days, mostly because of a delayed implantation. Ranchers can shorten this time period by extending the daylight period with the use of artificial illumination.

The nests must be prepared with ample bedding so that the females enjoy a comfortable environment. During this period all stresses and noises must be avoided.

An average female will give birth to six or seven kits. In some cases the number may be higher, depending on the color type. The newborns have microscopic size, are hairless and blind.

Females will remain most of their time in their cages, caring for their newborns. Thorough and regular inspections are made by the ranchers to make sure that the females are in optimum health. They also have to be sure that the newborns are being well fed, kept in proper temperatures and that their growth rate is normal. An indicator of good health is normal food consumption. If the females start eating less, then it is a sign that they require immediate medical attention.

In some cases, it is necessary to foster kits if the milk supply is not sufficient to cover their nutritional demands for a natural growth. This happens when a female mink fells sick, displays aggressive behavior or the lactation is hindered by specific diseases. Usually a female mink is a very protective and caring parent.

Throughout this period, Ranchers must make sure that there is a proper balance of fat and protein in the nutrition so that lactation and kit growth are proper. Factors that affect the quantity and quality of food are the size of the females' feces, the age of the kits and their health condition.

The kits are introduced to feed when they become five weeks old. They are rapidly transitioned to a nutrition that consists more of feed and less of mother's milk. The kits will also have to be familiarized with the available sources of water (water dishes or nipples).

During this time, it is of vital importance that nests are kept dry, that there is ample food and water, and that the kits are happy and comfortable.

When the kits become eight weeks old they are separated from their mothers. They will be placed into pairs when they are old enough to keep their body heat levels stable on their own.

Dimitris Zagoudinos is a third generation furrier from Siatista. Visit his online store for more info about the fur making industry.

Source: EzineArticles
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