- Acta Sci. Pol. Zootechnica, 19(3), 2020
Body condition of female mink (Neovison vison) affects reproduction performance and behavior in pregnancy and nursing
Lidia Felska-Błaszczyk 1 , Beata Seremak 2
1Department of Animal Anatomy and Zoology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Animal Husbandry, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Doktora Judyma 14, 71-466 Szczecin, Poland
2Department of Animal Reproduction Biotechnology and Environmental Hygiene, Faculty of Biotechnology and Animal Husbandry, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Klemensa Janickiego 29, 71-270 Szczecin, Poland
Abstract. The study was aimed to evaluate a possible effect of body condition of female farmed mink (Neovison vison) at the moment of conception on their prospective reproduction and behavior. 601 Perl mink females at age 1 and 2 years were assigned to one of five groups according to their body condition. The following parameters were analyzed: gestation and diapause lengths, litter size, live-born litter size, number of weaned per litter, female barrenness, and the incidence of fur-chewing. The effect of body condition was more pronounced in yearling females, where the largest litters, the highest number of live-born per litter, and the highest weaning success were found in the group with the ideal body condition. In both age groups, the shortest pregnancies and diapause periods were observed in the thinnest females. Fur-chewing was most often noticed in either the thinnest or the most obese animals; females of these groups also exhibited the highest rates of barrenness. Consequently, the lowest incidence of fur-chewing, female barrenness were found in females with ideal body condition.