Breeding muskrats on the plot

Breeding muskrats on the plot

Experience shows that the productive period in muskrat does not exceed two years, after which the fertility of females is reduced. I use muskrat for brood for at least three years, which makes it possible to save repair young for replacement of the main herd. This is of particular importance for amateur fur farmers, since every year it is necessary to introduce unrelated animals into the herd, and now they are hard to acquire. What is the most important thing for the continued productive life of muskrats? First of all, it is necessary to properly equip the site where the cells stand, in particular to protect from drafts and sunlight. To do this, it is fenced with a solid fence, cells, necessarily with a water pool, if possible put in shaded places. The cell is shown in Fig. 1.

Breeding muskrats on the plot

This cell protects animals well in the summer from the heat, and in winter from the cold. Keep in it more than 5-6 muskrat should not and not for lack of space, but because the animals develop unevenly, do not make peace (start fights), and, moreover, it is difficult to monitor the eating of fodder.

I propose a convenient cell design for a couple muskrat. Frame 1 of its size of 500 X 500 X 1300 mm is made from a corner of 20X20 mm. From the ground the cage is raised to a height of 500 mm. In its front part the pool 2 with a drainage branch pipe 7 is installed. The pool capacity is 30 l, the size is 500X350X250 mm. The space above it is covered with a grid 3 with a cell 16X48 mm. The side walls, the bottom, the upper part of the lid are lined with a metal sheet 2 – 3 mm thick. In the back of the cage there is a wooden house 4 measuring 500X350X300 mm. In order to make it easier to distribute food, clean the cage and inspect the nesting house, two hinged doors 5 and 6 are equipped at the top with door 5 intended for feeding food and cleaning the cage

and pool, and door 6 for viewing the young and the nesting house. Such a cage can be made by everyone and thus improve working conditions,

On my own experience I was convinced that keeping the muskrats exclusively on grassy and succulent fodders does not give desirable results. Therefore, I necessarily include in the diet 50-60 grams of grain (only not bread), and young – in 1,5-2 times more. Grain is grinded and distributed in the form of a moistened mixture. Good effect on the productivity muskrat mixture of wheat, corn, oats, barley, peas. As a vitamin supplement for increasing the fertility of the queens, especially in the winter-spring period, I give herbal flour of legumes and germinated wheat grain. As nursing females, and the main herd in any period of the year, I recommend adding dry milk to the grains.

It is advisable to pay attention to the time of distribution of feed: in the morning they feed a green mass, and in the evening – grain, which animals should eat completely for an hour. After this, it is necessary to give motley grass for night feeding and, most importantly, to erase incisors.

In summer, a juicy feed, fresh, should always be in a cage. From grasses are useful and well eaten alfalfa, young corn, dandelion, young reeds. In winter, feed carrots, pumpkins, Jerusalem artichokes. With such a diet, there is no need for vitamin supplementation.

Good influence on the life expectancy of muskrats optimal water regime. Swimming pool – mandatory, change the water 1-2 times a day.

To increase the viability of young animals, it is necessary to completely exclude related mating. This is achieved with the help of proper breeding work and the exchange of young growth with other amateur hunters.

Continuing the life expectancy of muskrat helps and shortens the incisors, which grow throughout life and reach such a size that animals can not grind food and die. To prevent this, I designed a device for undercutting incisors, which eliminates the need for any surgical intervention.

Breeding muskrats on the plot

For examination and treatment it is necessary to catch animals and fix them. It should be borne in mind that the catch and fixation is a strong stress for animals, so you should behave with them carefully.

The muskrat is caught by the tail in the cage or at the time of its exit from it. The oral cavity is opened and fixed in this position by means of a device which consists of a handle 1 with a fixed U-shaped frame 2 to the end of which a soldered steel cable 3 having a diameter of 2 mm, a movable frame 4. The handle has a hole for fixing the set position . Use the device as follows. The movable frame 4 is lifted up to the starting position, after which the adjacent cables are inserted into the mouth cavity of the animal by the incisors. Holding the device with one hand, the second lower the movable frame to a position in which the muskrat can not free himself from the grip. After that, the movable frame is fixed in this position with the screw 5. To grind the incisors I use a conventional electric drill, but instead of the drill insert an abrasive wheel.

This device can also be used to determine the sex of animals. But it is better to use a cylinder made of pipe or sheet metal. Having caught the muskrat by the tail, we lower it downward with the head into the cylinder, until the hind legs come to its edge. Fixing the animals by the tail with a free hand, you can accurately determine the presence of three holes in the female. By the age of eight months, the loop is drawn by a hymen and you can determine the sex because of the lack of hair covering in females and the presence of a hollow. Such a device, but larger sizes, can also be used for nutrients.

One can not ignore the prevention of diseases muskrat. First of all, I advise you to keep them in cages near the pond. These animals love to swim and recover only in the water. Hence the purity of the cell, and the good state of the gastrointestinal tract of animals.

Unsanitary conditions, dirt, dampness lead to different diseases. A good means of prevention, which I use in my household, is the use of an ionizer, which saturates the water with silver ions and disinfects it. Animal drinking with “silver” water promotes the prevention of infectious diseases, and if you add it to the pool (2% solution), it will be well marked on the skin-fur coat of the muskrat, and the sanitary condition of the cells also improves.

Feeding of benign fodders, constant maintenance of cleanliness in cages and on the whole territory in combination with preventive measures is a guarantee of successful cultivation of muskrat on the plot of land, in particular the formation of a good breeding herd and achieving the desired result – four litters a year with the use of breeding animals for three years.

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Breeding muskrats on the plot