Lidia Felska-Błaszczyk , Natalia Ławrów
Department of Animal Anatomy and Zoology, West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, Klemensa Janickiego 33, 71-270 Szczecin, Poland
Abstract. The aim of this study was to compare the rearing of mink in nests insulated with different materials. The study was conducted on a large-scale mink farm located in northwestern Poland. The results of rearing mink from 144 females of the pearl variety, aged one and two years, were analyzed. Four groups were created, taking into account the type of nest lining material and the age of the females. Two weeks prior to the scheduled birth, the nesting houses were lined with two types of insulating material - sawdust from deciduous trees and a mixture of barley straw and hay from meadow vegetation. Data were collected on: the number of born and live-born cubs per litter, the number of reared mink per litter, and the mortality of mink during the rearing period at the mothers. It was found that the material with which mink nests are insulated has an effect on the number of born, live-born and weaned mink. Better reproductive results were reported for females whose nests were insulated with barley straw mixed with meadow hay. They gave birth to larger litters, with more live mink, and raised more young. The mortality rate of young mink was lower in nests insulated with a mixture of straw and hay. The results showed that the use of sawdust as a nest insulating material is associated with a lower survival rate of reared mink. The study shows that the choice of a suitable nest insulating material can favorably affect the number of reared young mink.
Keywords: mink, insulating material, reproductive performance, perinatal mortality
Received: 23 Jul 2022
Accepted: 28 Sep 2022
Published online: 27 Feb 2023
Felska-Błaszczyk, L., Ławrów, N., (2022). Nursing of mink in nest boxes insulated with different materials. Acta Sci. Pol. Zootechnica, 21(3), 19–24. DOI: 10.21005/asp.2022.21.3.03.