The nutria, the photo of which is placed in this article, or the marsh beaver is a mammal belonging to the order of rodents. Its appearance resembles a rat in many ways. The length of its body reaches 60-85 cm, and the tail - about 45 cm. The animal weighs up to 12 kg. It has a blunt face with rather long vibrissae growing on it. Due to the fact that the nutria can tightly close the lips behind the incisors, it is able to nibble under water.
All fingers, except for the outer, on the hind limbs are interconnected by membranes. The front legs of nutria are excellently adapted for grabbing and holding food. In addition, she cleans and combing their wool.
The animals have a sharp ear, so they are alarming, even at the slightest rustle. Judging by their appearance, we can conclude that they are cumbersome. But it is not. In fact, they run pretty fast, making jumps, but they get tired quickly.
In order for the young to be fed not only on land, but also in water, the mammary glands of females are located high on the sides. The fur of nutria consists of a coarse and long awn, as well as a thick undercoat, most often of brown color.
Under natural conditions, these animals live in the Caucasus, Tajikistan, South America, as well as acclimatized in the United States, France and the United Kingdom.
Growing nutria is quite an interesting and profitable occupation. Their fur is not only standard, brown in color, but also in other colors, such as golden, pink, white, beige, and black.
There are only 10 mutational and 7 combined species of nutria. They were obtained through a rather long breeding process based on the heredity and variability of their body. The color variety of the fur made it possible to create completely new breeds that are significantly different from the well-known black-brown.
Nutria homemade is considered the standard and most common, not only in Russia but also abroad. It is similar to the wild form of an animal, having fur of various shades and degree of color saturation. If you violate the rules of their feeding and maintenance, fur can be knitted. Nutria can be described as a good mother with high fecundity - 5-6 puppies at a time.
How to choose
A person who wants to breed these animals must first visit at least one farm, find a suitable place to keep them, and also purchase the right amount of feed in advance. In addition, the content of nutria in the home requires some knowledge and skills. And the first question you will encounter is: "Where can I get them?" It's simple: either through the local community of rabbit breeders, or on the market. The second question that will inevitably arise: "How to choose the right animals?"
First of all, pay attention to the appearance of animals. In healthy nutria, guard hair should be brightly colored and shiny. If the animals are poorly fed or improperly kept, their fur will be dull and disheveled. Bright orange cutters also testify to good health. If they are pale, and even with dark spots, this is a sure sign of a weakened organism.
The best time to buy nutria is the warm season, because they can be transported or transferred not in insulated cages, but in ordinary closed baskets or bags. Adult animals, especially males or pregnant females, should preferably be transported one per cage. Its length should be at least 50-60 cm, and the height and width - about 30-40 cm. The cells for nutria can be made independently. To do this, suitable materials such as wooden boards, metal mesh or thick plywood.
Cages and houses for animals are made very diverse. They can be remote and stationary, single-tier and multi-tiered.
Keeping nutria without pools is much cheaper, and the quality of the skins does not deteriorate. In the cold season, the animals do not bathe, and the water for drinking is replaced by vegetables. But in the heat it must be fresh and in sufficient quantities.
The main condition for the successful breeding and maintenance of these animals is the presence of heat. Thick wool protects the body of the nutria from cold, but the soles of the paws and tail devoid of fur can freeze if the room where they live is cold. When severe frosts occur, the nutria loses its appetite, and they try to dig deeper into the litter. If puppies are born at this time, then they can die in the very first hours of life.
The main room for the contents of nutria is a two-chamber house made of wood and upholstered on the inside with a metal grid. Such a precaution will not be superfluous, given that the animals can gnaw the walls and floor of their home. In addition, there must be a mesh cage. Or - as it is also called - walking, intended for exercise. In the cold season, the house is insulated with sawdust, straw, hay or rags. It is then placed in a shed. If there are several such houses, then it is better to put them next to each other, and put insulation between their walls.
Nutrias, the breeding and content of which requires special knowledge, also need the correct selection of food. For them, food that is given to rabbits, sheep and cattle is quite suitable. In addition, the animals willingly eat and marsh plants such as reeds, reeds, young shoots and rogoza roots, as well as branches of poplar, oak, birch and willow.
If the content of nutria occurs on the plot, the feed, carrots, potatoes, beets, turnips, hay and grass are often used for feeding. In addition, in autumn you can give the animals the fallen leaves of fruit trees.
It is worth recalling that the level of feeding nutria at home depends on its health and productivity. Therefore, nutrients that contain high-grade protein (protein) in large quantities are simply necessary for these animals. It is found in fresh greens, oilcakes, leguminous plants and feeds of animal origin. They can not replace any carbohydrates or fats. Proteins in the diet of these animals should be present constantly and in sufficient quantities.
It is necessary to remember the main rule of feeding nutria - use only fresh food. For this, various feeders are used. The ban applies only to products made of tin. The fact is that in contact with this metal in food, which includes feed, harmful compounds are formed that can cause poisoning of animals.
Homemade breeding of nutria can be done both seasonally and throughout the year. With year-round breeding, mating of animals must occur continuously. To do this, you need to constantly monitor the behavior of females, so as not to miss the hunting period and time to plant them to the male. In year-round breeding, the possibility of repeated whelping of females is widely used. Thus, the offspring is obtained almost twice as much. But this breeding method has its drawbacks.
Nutrias, the breeding and content of which in principle does not present any particular difficulties, still require a lot of attention. With the year-round breeding method, the females do not always meet the economic requirements: some of them are pregnant, others have a lactation period, and the others have not yet finished developing and growing hair. It should be noted that large and full-haired skins can be obtained only with the slaughter of animals from October to February and at the age of at least 9-10 months. That is why the young, born in the second half of the year, have to be maintained until the end of next year. This increases feed costs.
Breeding nutria during seasonal breeding eliminates most of the deficiencies that occur in year-round mode. The most advantageous is the option in which all puppies are born in the first quarter. In this case, by the winter they already have maturation and growth of fur. Therefore, it is very important that the females whelp exactly in the first half of the year, since from November to March all the young will reach the desired age.
The main elements of such work are the evaluation of animals, the selection of individuals with the best qualities, mating, raising breeding young animals, their branding, as well as keeping zootechnical documentation. This set of activities is designed to improve the already existing qualities, such as size, color, length of fur or reproductive ability.
The further development of any of the tribal traits in a given animal depends mainly on its hereditary inclinations, that is, the genes, as well as the conditions in which it lives. At home, fans bred not only standard nutria, but also color. Fur color is a qualitative trait that is caused by one or several genes. It happens that they mutate, and then the standard species of nutria will have offspring with a completely new color of fur.
In breeding work, purebred breeding is often used. It is used in those cases if they want to eventually get young growth with the same color as their parents. For this purebred male mate with the same female.
Tribal accounting assumes the presence of stencils on cages where breeding animals are kept. In addition, it is necessary to keep a journal where all the basic data on breeding, breeding and whelping will be stored.
Many believe that these animals are bred solely for the sake of beautiful fur. But the nutria meat, with its excellent taste and nutritional value, stands out favorably among similar products obtained from other animals. It has already managed to gain recognition worldwide.
Nutria meat is a valuable food for both children and adolescents, and for breastfeeding mothers. In its taste and flavor, it resembles chicken. Beef and rabbit meat in calories, the presence of fat, protein and vitamins, as well as mineral substances are very similar to nutria meat. Breeding and maintenance of these animals costs farmers much cheaper than raising, for example, cattle.
As you know, any disease is easier to prevent than to treat it. Most pets have a fairly high resistance to various kinds of diseases. These include nutria. Breeding and keeping them at home with the right approach to business will not bring any problems. The main thing is to carry out regular cleaning of cells and houses, pools and walking areas, as well as the removal of contaminated litter and manure. After that, everything is disinfected, dried and aired. When the necessary actions are completed, you can return the animals to the place.
The corpses of dead animals must be burned. Flies and larvae are destroyed with a 1% solution of karbofos or chlorophos, while animals are better isolated for a while in a small house.
Dishes, where food is prepared for nutria, should be kept clean. The quality of the products must be checked both in appearance and smell, and for the presence of mold. Water used for drinking, cooking and bathing must be clean and in no case contaminated by any pathogens.
Nutrias that are ill with ringworm or tuberculosis, with severe injuries and paralyzed, as well as with chronic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and other deviations are subject to slaughter.
Animals should be purchased only in proven and prosperous farms, where animals are not susceptible to various infectious diseases. This fact must be confirmed by a veterinary certificate. Not only sick people are rejected, but also animals that are poorly adapted to these conditions. This will greatly accelerate the reproduction of only those nutria that are most resistant to diseases and easily adapt to a specific habitat.
Nutria at home feel great and very quickly become attached to people. Many of those who breed them say that animals can be kept as pets. They are very smart, they know their nickname and they are happy to respond to it, because they know the owner very well by their voice.
The animal has 20 teeth, 4 of them are incisors. They do not cease to grow throughout life. The remaining 16 teeth are indigenous. They have strong enamel and are designed for grinding and grinding food.
Such a cute and intelligent animal, like nutria, the reviews about which are in most cases positive, can sometimes be very dangerous. These animals are strong enough and fast. Nutria can easily bite your finger! That is why it should not be disturbed when the breeding season comes. In addition, farm owners warn that bitterness in animals often occurs with constant malnutrition, when animals are caged in groups. In addition, the coypu does not like being touched behind its back, but if she is being stroked on the belly, she is very pleased.
Well, in general, those who are engaged in the breeding of nutria, believe that this is a profitable business, albeit rather troublesome.
Conditions for breeding nutria
Until the moment when new residents arrive at the farm, nutria must prepare housing, stock up on balanced feed, take care of the water and the proper temperature.
If animals receive good care and live in appropriate conditions, as early as 5–7 months they reach 75–85% of the maximum possible weight and have high-quality fur.
If you are going to start breeding and keeping nutria at home, the homeowner must remember that the animals need:
Protection from thick fur allows animals to withstand frosts up to 30 ° C, but even beginners should not allow this when breeding nutria at home. In cold weather, the paws and tail of rodents are often exposed to frostbite. In the summer heat animals feel better if they have constant access to the reservoir.
A video about breeds of nutria, their breeding, maintenance and care of the fluffy inhabitants of reservoirs will give a lot of informative information. Visually presented material will help orient yourself in organizing your own farm for raising these interesting animals.
Feeding nutria when kept at home
When breeding at home, nutria show themselves to be extremely unassuming pets, both in terms of conditions of detention and in the diet. The animals are almost omnivorous. In the diet of these large rodents in central Russia include grain, fresh grass and hay, feed and root crops.
With a lack of succulent fodder, which is most preferable, nutria do not disdain waste from grain processing, remnants from the human table, weeds from the beds, young branches and other very simple foods.
But to achieve the best growth and quality of wool using a "random" diet will not work.
In order for the animals to really develop, multiply and show off in beautiful fur coats, they need:
- the maximum amount of succulent, vitamin-rich feed,
- two meals with the main focus on morning feeding, during which nutria should receive up to 70% of the total daily feed,
- to obtain a sufficient amount of plant and animal protein, which provides rapid weight gain and good quality wool,
- four times more fresh food than concentrated and dry foods.
Those who are just developing the breeding of nutria at home, the beginning owners of these large rodents will be interested to know that with a special appetite and interest the animals belong to the food in the water. In the reservoir, which is used by pets, you can throw any root vegetables, vegetables, apples and grass.
Nutria breeding cages
It is not enough to start nutria in the farm, prepare enough food for them and take care of acceptable conditions of detention. Often, the beginning owners of these rodents do not long rejoice at new pets because of their own hindsight.
Nutria, like otters, muskrats and beavers, are not averse to tasting not only the food they offer, but also their own cages, if they are made of wood. In a matter of hours, gnawing through racks or areas near the bars, the animals simply run away. Therefore, for this species of animals it is better to equip a reliable housing of durable metal:
- Cell walls and fences are made of mesh or fine-meshed lattice, which provides good ventilation and helps to look after animals.
- Floors can be either solid or lattice. In the latter case, you need to accurately select the size of the cell so that the animals do not hurt themselves.
When breeding at home, the place for cages and walking of nutria is chosen so that pets are not disturbed by drafts, and curious animals do not have an opportunity to make an escape.
Если все же нутрии смогли преодолеть все преграды и покинули клетку, следуя инстинкту, они отправляются к ближайшему водоему. Здесь их можно приманить сочными корнеплодами. А в некоторых случаях привыкшие к месту, где их кормят, зверьки сами находят дорогу в хозяйство.
A video about breeding nutria at home tells in detail about all the nuances of animal care, about the features of housing for rodents and the choice of diet.
At the stage of drawing up a business plan, it is necessary to analyze in advance the scale of the future enterprise.. There are three main areas of this type of business. It is possible to breed nutria not only as a domestic poultry, but also for the purpose of selling the meat of these animals. Also, some entrepreneurs bred nutria, with a view to the subsequent sale of skins for the manufacture of clothing and accessories. Each of these areas has its own subtleties and nuances. If the goal of the entrepreneur is the implementation of nutria skins, one should responsibly approach the question of choosing the first individuals. In this case, you need to choose individuals that do not differ in color.
At the first stage of entrepreneurial activity, the future owner of the farm needs to rent a land plot. In the presence of a cottage or a country house, organizational costs are reduced several times. Next, you should install special cells, aviaries and pens. In addition, you will need to build an artificial reservoir and build special feeders.
The people coypu called marsh beavers
The acquisition of the first individuals
A novice farmer should learn all about nutria, in order to know what problems he may face in the future. Starting a business begins with the acquisition of the first offspring. Experts recommend to acquire individuals whose age is not more than two months. The weight of such an individual can vary from one to two and a half kilograms. It is at this stage that it is very important to determine the purpose of entrepreneurial activity, since each of the breeds has its own characteristics.
Standard individuals are very fertile, the size of the offspring may be more than fifteen puppies annually. Such breeds are suitable for breeding for the subsequent sale of meat products, since the skins of these animals have a low price. The cost of skins of colored individuals is much higher, but their fecundity is very small. Representatives of exotic breeds bring about five puppies during the year.
Experts recommend purchasing the first livestock in specialized livestock farms. When buying animals from private farmers, it is recommended to visit the farm in advance in order to get acquainted with their living conditions. Experienced farmers do not recommend buying animals on the market, as there is a high probability of buying sick animals.. It is very important to choose not only a reliable seller, but also the breed itself. To date, there are more than ten different breeds. Considering nutria as a business, you should carefully examine the characteristics of each of the families. Below we offer to get acquainted with the most popular species common in Russia:
- Standard breed. Representatives of this species are brown and gray in color. It is these animals that have the maximum similarity with the "wild" brothers. Today, this breed is one of the most common. Due to the poor development of downy hair, animal hair "sticks together" and has an unpresentable appearance. Representatives of this breed are highly fertile. The average size of the litter is five puppies.
- Golden type. This species is widely distributed in European countries. The sizes and weight of such puppies do not exceed standard indicators. In the case of golden breed, the size of the litter is not more than four individuals. This indicator can be increased by mixing the standard and golden-looking animals. According to experts, mixed couples bring mixed litter, where half of the puppies are gray and the second is golden.
- Black look. Quite a rare breed for Russia, since these individuals are bred in Argentina. This breed of animals is fully consistent with the parameters of the standard species. The only difference is a rich dark color with a gray undercoat.
- Azerbaijani (white) puppies. A distinctive feature of this species is pure white undercoat and downy hair. The size of the offspring is more than four individuals.
- Italian (white) puppies. A distinctive feature of this breed is a white color and cream color undercoat. The average size of the offspring is three puppies.
Construction of enclosures and cages
Breeding nutria at home for beginners has several features that should be considered at the stage of business organization. When building pet houses, you must follow a number of rules.. First of all - it concerns the requirements for the room. When building houses should use wood. You should also properly equip the ventilation so that there is no moisture in the room.
Start-up entrepreneurs with start-up capital can purchase ready-made cells. Experts recommend acquiring cells measuring 100 * 60 * 50 cm. The acquisition of smaller cells can cause low fertility and survival of the offspring. Cells installed in a special structure must be located at a height of seventy centimeters from the floor. A small metal mesh should be attached to the house walls, and the floor should be laid with special materials.
During the construction of the enclosure is very important to take care of its protection from wind, drafts, humidity and cold. Also need to upholster the walls with sound insulation materials. Nutria have a strong susceptibility to loud sound, which affects their reproduction. Constant exposure to strong noise can reduce animal weight, reduce litter size and make an animal irritable. It should also be said separately that during the mating season, nutria are more aggressive. The jaws of these animals have a special structure, which allows them to gnaw through thick wooden beams. Experienced farmers do not recommend disturbing the animals during this time period.
Special attention deserves the question of how to breed nutria. It is necessary to carefully control their livelihoods in order to identify the most favorable time for breeding.. The mating period begins in females at the age of six months. At this moment their weight is more than three and a half kilograms.. It is important to pay attention to the fact that experienced breeders use males whose weight is more than four kilograms. These animals gain such a mass by the age of eight months. To date, there are three main methods of mating:
In case of mating of young individuals, it is recommended to use the kosyachny method. In this case, small groups are formed, consisting of young females between the ages of two and three months. The size of the group can reach 10 individuals. Experts recommend choosing animals that have the same color. Females should live in the “cant” for about four months. After that, they should be given an active male, whose size is larger than each of the representatives of the group.
It is important to note that the male should not be directly related to the "jamb". The term "cohabitation" of the male and female is more than ninety days. At this point in time, the farm owner should regularly examine females to detect pregnancy. When "diagnosing" the presence of small tumors in the abdomen, it can be concluded that the gestation period is about two months. Pregnant females should be separated from the group into single cells.
Pregnant nutria needs a cage whose size will be more than three square meters. When group keeping these animals, the size of the room should be about two square meters for each individual. With a limited size of the room, the number of heads in the joint should not exceed five individuals. It is important to pay attention that it is necessary to organize a free exit from the open-air cage to a reservoir. Otherwise, the animals can get a heat stroke. A shallow bath or specialized units can be used as a “drinking bowl”.
Choice of feed
What to feed nutria at home? Choosing the right food is highly relevant, since the growth of individuals is closely interrelated with the quality of food consumed. Nutria are not picky herbivorous animals that feed exclusively on plants. As a rule, aquatic vegetation growing near water bodies is included in their diet. Cereals, fresh vegetables and fortified supplements should be included in the standard diet of nutria. An adult consumes about one and a half kilograms per day.
Nutria are clean animals and prefer timely care from their owner.
With the right approach to organizational issues, this type of business activity allows you to get a regular and stable income. The main part of the investment pays off after the sale of animal skins and meat products. In drawing up a business plan, you should take into account the costs of building enclosures and purchasing feed. In addition, you need to consider the cost of purchasing the first livestock. Caring for nutria is quite simple. Due to the unpretentiousness of these animals, there is no need to invest in the construction of multifunctional buildings.
At the stage of business implementation it is very important to have a detailed economic analysis of the chosen direction. This step will determine the payback period of invested capital. When analyzing, it is necessary to take into account all the features of a particular region. These features include the level of competition and the availability of points for the sale of finished products.
Let's look at the main costs of organizing this enterprise. The cost of buying one female and male will be about three thousand rubles. Representatives of standard breeds bring about twelve puppies every four months. An adult weighs about four kilograms. Nutria meat costs about eight hundred rubles per kilogram. The skin of the animal costs about five hundred rubles. This means that with one nutria, an entrepreneur can get about two and a half thousand rubles. Based on these parameters, we can conclude that the payback period is six months.
Choosing a breed for home breeding
Experienced breeders recommend buying young animals aged 2-3 months. At the disposal of the novice farmer is usually 4 or 5 females and 1 male sire. The future inhabitants of the farm should not be related. The content of nutria at home begins with the choice of breed.
Some farmers prefer to breed standard nutria with a brown-gray coat color, while others choose representatives of colored breeds. The fur of the latter is valued higher. An important role when choosing the pedigree affiliation of animals is their fertility. For example, from a standard nutria you can get up to 15 cubs at a time, and from a color one - from 5–8.
Diluting standard nutria is even easier for some reason:
- they are less likely to get sick,
- their body is well trimmed, there are almost no defects on the skins.
Giving preference to animals with colored coat color, it is important to learn how to competently carry out selection. There are breeds that easily transfer their outward signs to offspring, they are the owners of the dominant gene. These include:
From these animals receive cubs with the desired color of fur in the first generation. Other breeds are of recessive type - Italian, lemon, beige. If to cross them with the carrier of a dominant gene, cubs will inherit its signs.
Attention! Many farmers prefer to breed nutria, while maintaining the purity of the breed, despite the fact that they get fewer puppies.
Nutria breeding methods
Each nutrient is trying to improve the characteristics of the resulting offspring. Growing nutria at home is impossible without a competent selection. Particular attention is paid to the selection of couples, choosing a female and a male with certain traits. There are 2 ways of breeding nutria - homogeneous and heterogeneous. In Russia, the second is most often used. What are their differences, consider next.
This method has another name - homogeneous. It involves the selection of pairs for joining according to similar features, for example:
- fur quality,
- body type.
In this case, the farmer selects males and females for mating so that both representatives have the desired quality. The offspring received from such couples usually inherits certain characteristics and fixes them. In the future, these cubs are used as high-quality breeding material.
How to breed coypu heterogeneous method, every livestock breeder in Russia knows. In this case, the selection of pairs for mating is made according to various criteria in order to obtain improved offspring. For example, the female has the desired coat color, but at the same time her fur is not thick enough.
In order for the cubs to inherit the desired color and normal coat thickness, farmers select a male with thick fur for mating, even if he has a different color. In this case, there is a high probability of obtaining offspring with the necessary characteristics — the desired quality and color of the coat.
Tips for breeding and culling of nutria
Regularly getting suitable for breeding breeding offspring is possible only when the correct culling of animals is carried out. A farmer can increase it to 30–40% if he has at his disposal a sufficient amount of maintenance young stock.
Experienced livestock breeders recommend sending animals for slaughter:
- giving second-grade offspring - with sparse and short hair,
- old females bringing no more than 4 puppies in a litter during the last two years,
- aborting females,
- female coypu who had not conceived for 4–5 months, provided they were kept together with males,
- sick and aggressive animals,
- males unable to fertilize females.
Care and maintenance
Novice farmers buy for breeding 3-4 females and 1 male. Within a year, the number of animals on the farm can reach 50. During this time each individual female will bring 2 offspring, each of which will have 6–8 puppies.
Caring for nutria is easy. The main thing is to provide animals with housing, in time to distribute food and drinking water to them and monitor the cleanliness of their cages. Many nutritionalists claim that the animals can even do without swimming. In Russia, several methods of keeping nutria are used - cellular, captive and pit. Each of them has its own characteristics.
Depending on the climatic conditions, the cellular content of nutria may be organized in different ways. In regions with cold and long winters, cells are installed in insulated sheds, and a paddock and pool are installed outside.
In an area where winters are warm and short, farmers install open-cage cages right outside. At the same time the houses themselves are insulated.
Attention! The optimal temperature at which the animals feel comfortable, is + 15 ... + 20 degrees. In winter, inside the room where animals are kept, the thermometer should not fall below +8 degrees. Pregnant and newly young individuals with cubs need a higher temperature - +15 degrees.
Cell designs for nutria are different. There are simple and multi-tier dwellings. How to keep nutria in the cells, it is important to find out in advance. Each dwelling houses one family consisting of a male and several females. A novice farmer should get a cage for the young. When the animals are one month old, they are separated from the mother and kept separately until puberty. In the future, the young are sorted by gender. Males are provided with personal cages, as they fight with each other, and females are settled together by 5–10 individuals.
Nutria cage usually consists of compartments:
Cell content nutria
Cellular content of nutria is most common in the middle lane. In the summer, farmers take out the cages on the street, and in the winter they carry them to the barn. Each dwelling is equipped with a folding or removable cover that provides free access inside. The walls and partitions are made of metal so that the animals do not gnaw the structure. Each cell is equipped with drinkers and feeders.
Attention! The cell area is calculated so that each adult has at least 0.5 m2.
Livestock maintenance is practiced by livestock breeders living in the south of the country, where winters, if there are, are short and warm. Aviaries are built from metal corners and chain-link mesh. Inside install partitions that divide the area into several compartments:
The aviary is connected to the pool. Inside each compartment establish a breeding house. In it, animals hide from the weather and the scorching sun in the heat. Drinkers and feeders are placed in the feeding area.
Некоторые фермеры практикуют ямное содержание нутрий. Такой способ разведения применим в местности с мягким климатом. Яма для животных имеет глубину около 1,5–2 метров, ширину 1,5 м, длину – 3 или 4 м.
Стены зашивают шифером, а пол бетонируют. Площадь делят на несколько отсеков, предназначенных для проживания разных групп нутрий. The pits are also equipped with nesting houses, which should be insulated for the winter.
Nutria, like rabbits, reproduce better in good light, so it is advisable to carry electricity into a hole or build a roof of transparent material.
What to feed nutria?
Swamp beavers are unpretentious in terms of nutrition. Under natural conditions, they feed on reeds and reeds, as well as fresh greens growing near water bodies. When food is not enough, they eat roughage - branches of bushes. It helps them survive.
Breeders pursue 2 goals in breeding nutria:
- improving the quality of fur,
- rapid growth and weight gain of animals.
So that animals do not hurt and develop well, they should not be fed only with straw and coarse food. Such nutrition will lead to a deterioration of the appearance of the skins and depletion. The diet of pets should be varied. It includes:
- fresh greens
- concentrates - cereals,
- root vegetables and vegetables.
Attention! The share of roughage should not exceed 15–20%. It is especially useful to give small branches of bushes in winter. Such food stimulates the digestive system.
Nutria eat and tops of garden crops. It is important to ensure that poisonous plants such as hemlock and celandine do not get into the feed. In winter, when the water in the drinkers freezes, it is recommended to add more juicy food to the pets menu.
Many farmers feed nutria granulated animal feed. It is very convenient, as it contains everything you need in the right quantity. The main part of the granules (70%) is distributed in the morning, the rest is offered in the evening.
Experienced livestock breeders pay attention to the quality of water that pets drink. It is better to offer them water taken from a spring or well. Drinking tanks should be cleaned and disinfected every 2–3 days.
How do nutria breed at home?
Puberty in nutria begins at the age of 4–5 months, however, for the first time, the female is recommended at 6 months. This is done during the sexual hunt, when the animal shows signs of anxiety. If fertilization occurs during mating, as evidenced by a change in the behavior of the individual, the female is deposited in a separate cage.
The duration of pregnancy in nutria is 4.5 months. During this period, the animal needs rest. Well, if the future mother moves a lot. An active lifestyle helps to improve metabolism and a favorable outcome of labor.
Reproduction of nutria in the home is fast and allows getting offspring twice a year. The female produces from 4 to 15 puppies, whose weight is 200-250 grams. They are born sighted and independent. Babies begin to swim on 2 or 3 days after birth. Their weight is increasing rapidly due to the nutritional value of breast milk.
Caring for nutria includes care about their health. A farmer needs to monitor the condition of pets, his profit depends on it. A change in the state of the fur indicates a deterioration in the state of health of the animal. He becomes dull and sloppy. Other signs of nutria malaise:
- Change the hue of the incisors. In healthy individuals, they are orange, and in patients they become light.
- Loss of appetite, giving up water.
- Breaking stool
- Nervous phenomena - convulsions, paralysis.
- Apathy, indifference.
- Combs on the skin, hair loss.
The most common nutria diseases are caused by pathogenic bacteria - salmonella, staphylococcus, streptococcus, and others. They affect the internal organs, which often leads to the death of animals. Youngsters under the age of 4 months are at risk, as babies' immunity is too vulnerable.
Attention! Having found signs of indisposition in one or several individuals, patients are immediately deposited in separate cells and begin treatment.
Common Nutria Diseases:
- Salmonellosis. It is manifested by general oppression, diarrhea, abdominal distention, tearing, and sharp changes in body temperature.
- Colibacteriosis The causative agent is E. coli. Symptoms of illness - diarrhea, weight loss, apathy.
- Pasteurellosis. It manifests itself as a depressed state, a shaky gait, refusal from food and drink, the appearance of mucous discharge with blood from the nose, difficulty in breathing and convulsions.
- Streptococcosis. The disease develops very quickly. Animals lose their appetite, pus is secreted from the nose and eyes, and inflammation of the joints is gradually forming.
- Skin diseases, including depriving various types. At the same time on the body of pets appear bald spots and hairbrushes.
- Worm invasions. Different types of worms appear differently. Most often, animals lose their appetite and lose weight, diarrhea alternating with constipation. In other cases, increases the volume of the abdomen, there are nervous phenomena.
Let's sum up. Breeding nutria at home for beginners, instructions on what to do for a novice breeder:
- choose a breed
- to equip homes for pets,
- to equip the swimming pool and free-standing area,
- prepare feed
- monitor cell cleanliness and animal well-being,
- correctly carry out the selection of individuals for breeding.
Lack of knowledge and experience is fraught with loss of livestock. A novice farmer will have to learn a lot in the course of his activities. Many newcomers have difficulty identifying sexual hunting in females. Breeding nutria is a key point to master. Another moment, coupled with difficulties, is the slaughter of nutria. For most novice livestock breeders, it causes hostility and fear, but success comes with experience.
The room where the cells will be installed should have good ventilation. High humidity, drafts and stale air are the main enemies of animals. The cells are not placed directly on the floor - the minimum distance from the cage to the floor is about 80 - 90 cm.
From inside the cage it is necessary to sheathe the net or metal - the wooden parts will gnaw the marsh beaver very quickly.
The size of the cage depends on the number of animals. For one adult nutria, the minimum cage size is 70 * 80 * 70 cm. However, for a female with puppies, the minimum cage size of the other is 150 * 90 * 70 cm. The size of the walk also plays an important role. The bigger it is, the better, but the minimum is 200 * 80 * 50 cm. In the walking area you need to place a small pool or bath for swimming. Also in the cells must have a feeder for dry food or mash, nursery for hay and grass and drinkers.
Nutria Feeding at Home
Growing healthy animals with thick and good fur is impossible without the organization of proper feeding. Under natural conditions, they prefer to eat the young shoots of reeds and reeds, feed on the roots of aquatic plants and young sprigs of trees and shrubs.
Most often, the main part of the diet of the animal at home is concentrated feed. Per day, an adult individual needs from 100 to 250 grams of concentrated feed (grain or mixed fodder). The difference is explained by age, season, and the presence of other additional feed. From cereals nutria can be given:
- Cut in
- Wheat or oat bran.
Especially in winter, it is recommended to steam the cereals and feed them in the form of wet mash. In many houses, after lunch and dinner there are crackers, various cereals and soups, leftover bread or dairy products. In small quantities they can also be fed nutria.
For more information on what else can be given to nutria:
- Fish meal, bone meal, meat flour,
- Meat waste
- Cottage cheese,
- Boiled potato and boiled potatoes,
- Salad greens, parsley, dill,
- Boiled lean fish.
Succulent feed - fresh grass or hay in winter, as well as sprigs of trees and shrubs, are given ad libitum. For winter, nutria is harvested not only hay, but also brooms. Animals especially like brooms from branches of fruit trees. If in the summer it is enough to feed the animals twice a day, then in winter the need for feed increases. Hay should be given 5-6 times a day, and mash or grain - three times.
Sometimes, on especially frosty days, nutria refuse to feed - this is normal and not a sign of illness.
Cultivation and cultivation of nutria at home also involves the acquisition of a family or a pair of marsh beavers. Most often, novice breeders buy an already formed family, but some prefer to buy young. When forming a family, it is worth adhering to the rule: no more than ten females select the male. Nutria are quite early - they are ready for mating at the age of five months, but it is better to carry out the first mating at 6 or 7 months. Pregnancy in females lasts four and a half months and ends with birth to 10 puppies. Pregnant coypu is timid and cautious, needs special rest. Stress can lead to miscarriage. For the health of a pregnant female, you definitely need a swimming pool and spacious walking.
Puppies of the marsh beaver are born fully formed - they have eyes open, there are all the teeth, and the weight can reach 350 grams. Just a day after their birth, they follow their mother everywhere, swim and dive actively, try adult food. And after two weeks they are able to eat normal food of the adult nutria, although they continue to drink milk until about two months of age. Cubs grow quite slowly.
If nutria is bred for meat, the slaughter of young stock is produced at the age of nine to ten months, when the animal gains a mass of five kilograms.
The good news for beginning breeders is that nutria are fairly resistant to diseases and infections. However, drafts, dampness and poor-quality food can lead to various disorders and health problems. Lack of sunlight can also cause illness. Animals kept in cages without the possibility of walking begin to lose hair, become weaker, the young grow poorly and develop, bronchitis or other breathing problems may appear. If the litter is dirty, skin parasites, such as ticks and fleas, may start. The treatment consists of treatment with antiparasitic shampoos and thorough cell cleaning.
Before breeding nutria, it is necessary to determine the breed of the animal. The cost of fur and puppies for sale depends on the breed. All breeds of nutria are divided by fur color into:
Colored rocks, in turn, are divided into dominant:
- Canadian giant.
- North white.
Fur color nutria is always more expensive than ordinary, however, both an adult and puppies are also more expensive.
A good advice for beginner breeders who want to get colored puppies is to purchase a common or standard nutria male and female colored breeds.
With such a cross, puppies are born as a normal color, and color. Very often, puppies of unusual and unique colors are born from crossing the standard with recessive breeds. The approximate ratio of standards and color 50% to 50%, but depending on the breed ratio may vary and vary. So, from crossing a standard nutria with a beige or silver one can make not only standard and silver puppies, but also snow, lemon, and pearl ones.
This method of crossing is also good because it allows to increase the fertility of colored nutria. Regular nutria is capable of bringing up to 20-25 puppies per year with good maintenance, and some colored breeds with internal crossing do not exceed 10. At interbreeding, the indicators significantly increase.
When choosing puppies or an already established nutria family, attention should be paid to the health of the animal. fertility, shine wool. It is better to get acquainted with several nurseries and look at the conditions of detention, feeding, on the attitude towards animals. Paying a large amount of money and eventually buying a weak animal with low fecundity is not the best start for a business. Regardless of breed and age, it is necessary to choose an active animal with thick hair, no visible health problems (lameness, problems with coat, lethargy, dull eyes, yellowish white eyes and pale mucous membranes of the mouth), with a good appetite.
Nutria love heat and can not stand the cold
The marsh beaver is from South America, but this does not mean that the animal does not tolerate cold weather. Warm fur is able to protect the nutria, even when the frost is -45 degrees. Many breeders produce animals for a walk in the winter months, if the weather is not very frosty and the sun shines. Only the feet and tail of the animal are sensitive to cold, so walks in the winter for more than three hours are not recommended.
Growing nutria is possible only on a large plot.
For any animal, large walking is important, but many contain nutria in cages, and even in multi-tiered cages. You can grow healthy nutria with thick fur in a small open-air cage with an area of just a few square meters.
Nutria - wild and aggressive animals
A marsh beaver can bite only when frightened and feels threatened by its life. Nutria differ friendliness and meek disposition, quickly get used to the owner, respond to his name. They are clean and more and more people choose this animal as a pet for apartments.
Nutria - Omnivores
Nutria can not be called omnivorous animals. By nature, the animal is herbivorous and very selective to food. From the fact that nutria eats at home - not only the quality of the fur, but also the taste of meat depends. If you feed the nutria with silage and other low-quality feed, the fertility will decrease, the fur will lose its luster, and the meat will get an unpleasant swamp smell.