Feeding and management of foxes
Division of Fox Biological Periods
During the long-term evolution of foxes, there are obvious seasonal changes in their life activities, such as reproduction and mating in spring, nurturing their young in summer and autumn, accumulating nutrients and growing rich coats before winter. In the process of fox feeding and management, according to the different physiological characteristics of fox in a year, the feeding period is called the biological period of fox (see figure).
It must be emphasized that foxes are intrinsically related to each biological period, and they cannot be completely separated. For example, if the feeding management is inappropriate during the preparation period, although the feeding management is strengthened during the mating period, a lot of animal feed is added, and it is difficult to achieve good results. Only by paying attention to the management of each period, can fox production achieve good results.
Feeding and Management of Foxes in Different Biological Periods
I. Feeding and management in preparation for mating period
It is generally believed that 1.5-2 months before the fox mating is to prepare for the mating period. In fact, the male fox starts from the mating end, the female fox from weaning, and the young fox from the end of August enters the preparation mating period of the next breeding season. The physiological characteristics of the fox during the breeding period are as follows: growing winter hair, the reproductive organs change from static state to rapid development state.
1. Feeding in preparation for mating period
The feeding task of foxes during the whole preparation period is to supply the nutrients needed for the development of their reproductive organs and hair exchange, and to store the nutrients needed for the overwintering period. At this time, the young fox is still in the late stage of growth and development. The adult male fox consumes a lot of physical energy during the mating period and the breeding male fox during the litter and lactation period, so it needs a physical recovery stage. In order to better speed up the physical recovery of breeding foxes, the nutritional level of feedstuffs should be maintained within 10-15 days after breeding of male foxes and weaning of female foxes. Preparing for mating is a long-term preparation process. From the end of August to the beginning of September, the sexual organs of male and female foxes (including young foxes) begin to develop in order to meet the coming of the next mating period. At this time, the testicles of male foxes and ovaries of female foxes began to develop, and the nutritional level of feed should be improved. Silver black foxes can digest 9 g protein per 418 kJ, Arctic foxes can digest 8 G protein per 418 kJ, and supplement vitamin E5-10 mg. Only by guaranteeing the above nutritional levels can the sexual organs of breeding foxes develop normally. Silver-black fox has entered the key stage of breeding preparation since mid-November and Arctic fox has entered the key stage since mid-December. Feed nutrition level needs to be further improved. 418 kJ metabolizable energy digestible protein should not be less than 10 g, and vitamin E 10-15 mg should be added every day. If the feeding diet is not full price or insufficient in quantity, it can lead to sperm and egg formation obstacle of breeding fox, and affect the pregnancy and delivery of female fox; if the skin fox is malnourished in this period, its villus quality is poor and the skin stretch is small, which will inevitably reduce the economic benefits.
2. Management of Preparing Breeding Period
In preparation for breeding period, besides proper nutrition should be added to foxes, feeding management should also be strengthened.
(1) Increasing illumination: Illumination is one of the indispensable conditions for animal reproduction. In order to promote the normal development of sexual organs of breeding foxes, all species of foxes should be raised under sunrise natural light, but not in dark indoors or small holes. Practice has proved that illumination is beneficial to the development of fox sexual organs, estrus and mating, but increasing or decreasing illumination regularly will affect the normal development of fox reproductive organs and the normal growth of fox hair.
(2) Cold prevention and warmth preservation: Preparing for the cold climate in the later stage of breeding, especially in the north, which has entered several nine days, in order to reduce the excessive consumption of nutrients for foxes to resist the cold outside, we must pay attention to strengthening the heat preservation work of the chamber, ensuring that there are dry and soft mats in the chamber, and using felt paper, plastic cloth to block the voids of the chamber. For individual foxes defecating in the compartment, check and clean the compartment regularly, change or supplement matting grass frequently.
(3) Ensure feed intake and adequate drinking water: In the late stage of breeding, due to the gradual cold temperature, the feed freezes quickly outdoors, affecting fox feeding. Feed temperature should be raised appropriately when feeding, so that it can eat warm food. In addition, water is an indispensable substance for Fox growth and development. When water shortage is serious, it will lead to metabolic disorders, even death, and the light will lose appetite and lose weight. During the preparation period, adequate drinking water supply should be guaranteed for foxes at least 2-3 times a day.
(4) Strengthen training: train foxes not to be afraid of people by means of food seduction, which is beneficial to reproduction, especially sound domestication.
(5) To adjust the body balance of breeding foxes: the body condition of breeding foxes is closely related to their estrus, mating and litter-bearing performance. Being overweight or too thin is not conducive to reproduction. Therefore, in the preparation of breeding period, we must pay attention to the adjustment of the body condition balance of the breeding fox, so as to keep the standard body condition of the breeding fox. In the practical work of production, the main methods of identifying the body condition of species fox are eye view and hand touch, and combined with weighing data. Foxes can be divided into obese, moderate and lean.
(6) Heterosexual stimulation: Preparing to visit the male and female foxes at intervals during the later stage of mating, increasing contact time and stimulating gonad development.
(7) Prepare for mating: Silver black fox in mid-January, Arctic fox in mid-February, should do all the preparations before mating carefully, repair the cage and disinfect it with a blowtorch. Develop breeding plans and programs, prepare breeding equipment, such as forceps or nets, gloves, mating records, medicines, and carry out technical training.