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Home / Research / Departments / Department of Animal Health, Welfare and Nutrition / Behaviour and stress biology / Projects finalised 2006 / Course of parturition in relation to early kit mortality in farmed mink


Course of parturition in relation to early kit mortality in farmed mink



Senior scientist:  Jens Malmkvist



Genetics and Biotechnology
Aarhus University


High early kit mortality is a problem in the production of farmed mink. The vast majority of kit mortality is reported to occur during the first postnatal days Based on detailed observations of yearlings we earlier found that birth problems – as indicated by increased duration of parturition and larger variation in inter-birth intervals - may result in suboptimal maternal behaviour and increased early kit mortality. The aim of the present project was to

  1. Investigate whether the dams' opportunity to perform pre-parturient nest building influence the course of parturition, maternal behaviour and stress level, neonate growth and survival
  2. Investigate whether dam body condition from mating to delivery is a valid predictor of birth problems
  3. Using chain graph methods to link behavioural events with different causes of early kit mortality in mink
  4. Investigate whether the duration of parturition has long term behavioural effects on kits.

For further information please contact the responsible scientist.


Last updated: Tuesday 03 October 2006 -