Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Body conditioning without Welfare problems

Project: Research

See relations at Aarhus University

Description

During the winter, mink that are selected as breeding animal are slimmed, in order to ensure good reproduction. One challenge is to slim the animals while avoiding the animals becoming too hungry for so long that it will affect their welfare. This is included in the assessment of the "Absense of prolonged hunger" criterion in WelFur-Mink, and is recorded as body condition score (BCS), where BCS 1-2 in January and 1 in February are associated with prolonged hunger. There is no doubt that animals that are "too thin" have been exposed to prolonged hunger. But the boundary between what is "too thin" in January and in February are currently very strict and there is a need for a more smooth and gradual development with the date during the period. This could be a combination of BCS 1 and 2, but may be combined with other indicators to get a more accurate assessment of the criterion "absence of prolonged hunger" regardless of the observation date. We will therefore investigate how different management strategies for slimming of breeding animals, which must be associated with different degrees of hunger, are expressed in various welfare indicators. We will also assess whether early indicators can be used to prevent the development of signs of hunger. The project will gather knowledge about how breeders can reduce BCS in a way that achieves the full effect of flushing without the mink experiencing prolonged hunger, thus improving their WelFur-Mink assessment in relation to the welfare criterion "absence of prolonged hunger".

The project is financed by Pelsdyrafgiftsfonden
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date01/01/201831/12/2019

Project relations

ID: 134416403