Effect of feeding level during autumn and winter on breeding weight and result in single and pair-housed minks

Hannu Korhonen, Paavo Niemelä
1997 Agricultural and Food Science  
The effect of feeding intensity (standard vs. restricted ration) and housing system (males and females kept singly vs. animals kept in male-female pairs) on breeding body condition and whelping was studied in farm standard mink (Mustela vison). Dietary interventions lasted from 20 September to 31 January. The maximum body weights of minks fed the standard ration were higher than those fed the restricted ration, and, the weights of animals housed in pairs were higher than those of animals housed
more » ... singly. Daily feed intake was only slightly lower for singly-housed minks. Singly-housed females came on heat slightly later than females housed with a male. No statistically significant differences were found in whelping success due to feeding intensity or housing system. Whelping results tended, however, to be best for the females on restricted feeding and housed with a male (4.1 kits/mated female), and poorest for the females fed the standard ration but housed singly (3.4 kits/mated female), The conventional housing set-up, in which males and females are housed in pairs, is therefore recommended, but feeding from autumn onwards should be restricted.
doi:10.23986/afsci.72793 fatcat:iecvx4pjmbhrnbl67bitaxz574