Postby skandinavikfur » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:25 am
There are four main seasons on a mink farm. Here is the first one.
Breeding season (December - March)
At this time of the year mink farmers aim on bringing mink (both male and female) into excellent breeding condition. The first steps focus on adjusting the nutrition and feeding program so that they get rid of extra weight and stimulate vigorous exercise. This is extremely important for effective reproduction and a successful whelp.
There are farmers that carry out blood tests for Aleutian disease and perform vaccinations during this time. It is the period that mink are more susceptible to diseases caused by bacteria and viruses. Poor health status at this time will most definitely lead to a low quality skin harvest. The guard hair will not reach optimum length and the underfur density will not meet the required standards.
In order to prepare for breeding, mink are placed in the barns depending on the breeding methods that the farm has adopted. Most of the time this involves tiny groups of male mink surrounded by larger groups of female mink. Most farmers choose to breed a ratio of 6-7 females for every male. This strategy facilitates the transfer of females into the males' cages more and reduces the required labour. Females arealways positioned into the males' cages for reproduction - never the opposite, since it is highly important for the males to be on their very own area.
The act of breeding stimulates the females to ovulate. The same thing happens with domestic cats but different from other domestic animals. One week after the first pairing, the ovaries have produced new ova and the females are ready for a new breeding cycle. Therefore, most farmers practise a breeding program of Day 1 and Day 7.A significant number of ranchers also mate the day after Day 7 (Day 8), since this method will often lead to the fertilization of extra ova.
Modern ranchers always keep breeding records. Mating time, genetics of parents and grandparents, success rates and fur quality are thoroughly recorded. This data are analysed and used as points of reference for improvement and corrections.