Mink have long been one of the most desired fur animals in the country. Similar genetically to weasels and badgers, the chocolate colored fur of the mink is highly desirable and sought-after. There are few large farms in the United States, as taking care of mink is generally a small-scare operation. Through proper preparation, even small-time investors can start their own business raising mink.
Choose an appropriate farm location and obtain any and all necessary licenses. Some places classify this as farming, others as fur trapping. Contact a lawyer for further advice. The best location will have plenty of wild game that you could hunt for meat to feed the mink.
Build the pens for the mink. It is generally helpful to visit another mink farm to learn the appropriate pen builds and styles for mink. In the end, only some of it is static in terms of design; many of the features are based on preference. Make sure to construct enough pens to keep all of the mink that you want to have during a season.
Stock your mink no later than the end of fall. Mink mate in the spring, and it is important that they are comfortable in their home and you are comfortable with them before trying to breed them. Segregate the mink by gender; females may live together but males may not. For this reason, you may logically have many more females than males.
Stock feed and water adequately. Mink eat meat, so choosing a farm location where you can hunt food for them is an exceptionally simple and cheap method, if you have the time and licenses. Females with young will drink milk, so make sure that this is stocked by spring as well.
Place a male and female of similar age together to mate beginning in March. Never place multiple females with a male or vice versa. They will fight over one another, and losing animals loses money. About 42 days later the kits will be born. Females may still continue to live together, even with young, as long as there are adequate nest boxes.
When the kits are grown, you may begin selling the old or the young mink, depending on your business style. If you are expanding, you may wish to keep more mink than you give away. As always, make sure you have room to accommodate them. You may sell the mink for fur, sell them as breeding stock, or even fur them yourself if you know how. In every case, there are unique buyers with distinct demand and supply chains. Get to know these by contacting other mink farms that do the same.
Mink raising is an international industry, so opening your business up to the world is a great way to find more clients.
Treat your mink properly, and ensure that they are healthy and happy. You could face fines or jail time for mistreatment of animals, whether they're livestock or not. Mink can produce smell similar to skunks when startled. For this reason, it is important to keep the animals calm and not to handle them too much.
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