In 2008 my husband and I decided to try our hand at farming. We had no previous experience at what we were doing except for raising a few laying hens. After all the media hype with E-coli and other strange things in our food we just had a strong desire to know where our food was coming from. We both have full time jobs and a 14 year old son. We have jumped into this with both feet and we are learning as we go. We are interested to hear other people's comments.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
It's mating time!
Litter of mink kits.
Ok, well maybe not in the goat world, but in the world of mink ranching it is.
One of the major industries in our neck of the woods is mink ranching. Even though I hate the little buggers, if it wasn't for them this area would be dead. Most of us would need to move away for work.
J. holding a mink kit. These photos were taken last year.
So in a little while the ranchers are going to start getting their mink mated. By the end of April / beginning of May it's kit time! Kits are baby mink. The mink start giving birth. They are soooo cute! Too bad they can't stay that way.
I mean, how cute is that!!But then they grow up.
In July they begin implanting. Which means vaccinating against distemper and other such things. It's really an amazing process for start to finish.
By October is when they are humanely put down and prepared for the fur sales in March and May.
Mink is one of the warmest things you can wear. Cold climates like Russia depend on our mink to last their harsh winters.
I know GreenPeace and Peta would love to shut these places down, stating that the mink are inhumanely treated, but take it from someone who's seen it first hand, these animals are treated better than most people treat their pets! If they weren't treated well it would show in their pelts meaning less money for the rancher. Maybe it's not the best reason for treating the mink well, but at least it's better than nothing.
One of the real threats for the mink ranchers now is a disease called Aleutians Disease. Or AD. It kills the mink early or if it doesn't kill them, it kills their kits. It also is very contagious from mink to mink. We are hoping and praying for a vaccine or cure soon for them.