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Mink chat

ferrets, badgers, otters, weasels, martens, wolverines etc

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Minkenry
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Re: Mongoose chat

Postby Minkenry » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:00 pm

the_unstable wrote: They also do not spay and neuter from what I've read. The woman I've spoken with in the US who has had two has spayed and neutered hers.


I have never spayed or neutered any of my mink. I've never seen a reason too. As far as it changing their temperament, many mink become aggressive towards each other and strange people before they are old enough to have their hormones even effect them. In my opinion it won't make much of a difference. The only time it MIGHT make a difference is if you want to raise a couple siblings together. Neutering might prevent aggression later on in life, but I think that it would depend more on the individual mink than anything else. Also mink don't stink, so there is no advantage there. One lady did tell me that neutering helped make her males easier to potty train. So it is possible that it helps with some males with potty training. I don't think I'll ever ever fix any of mine.
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Re: Mink chat

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:09 pm

The French are fools if they feel it's best to wait until the baby mink is 6 weeks old. Well, let me rephrase that, if they are taking baby mink from a fur farm that old they are fools.


Unfortunately this is sorta true. People in Europe and vicinity think it is cruel to take a baby animal and bottle raise it. Many get ones that were bottle raised but claim they weren't so they aren't labeled as cruel.

Thanks for joining. It's great to have someone with experience here.
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Minkenry
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Re: Mink chat

Postby Minkenry » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:42 am

The truth is, taking a baby mink when it's much older than 5 weeks is EXTREMELY CRUEL in comparison to taking it before 5 weeks old!!! Sure there are some more laid back mink that you can take at 6 weeks and they'll quickly adjust just fine, and yes there are some minks so high strung that they will freak out for the first day even though they are only 28 days old. However, generally speaking, for the sake of the poor little mink, you should avoid taking a baby mink from a fur farm that is any older than 5 weeks, and any younger than 30 days. Like I said before, my opinion is the overall best age is 32-34 days old. If you take them too young they will be much more fragile and you run the risk of running into compilations, or causing other health problems that arise when a baby is raised on formula instead of their mothers milk. If you take them too old you run the risk of stressing the fragile baby out unnecessarily, or even ending up with a baby that doesn't bond to you the same as one taken younger. Take my word for it, I've bottle raised, amd helped friends to bottle raised many a baby mink.
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FrothingMagpies
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Re: Mink chat

Postby FrothingMagpies » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:34 pm

On Europeans & mink!
Firstly, the main argument I see for not taking them from their mothers so young is that they feel the mink become unstable & that it's better for their mental development to spend more time with their mothers & to be raised more naturally. This is a huge generalization, but Europeans tend to try to keep things as natural as possible as far as I can see, ie the mink diets are almost always fresh meat, like whole chicks, fish & chunks of unskinned prey so that the animals eat what they would have in the wild. No kibble. Neutering & spaying is also less of a trend over here, if a creature isn't in danger of becoming pregnant or wandering off to mate then it stays the way it is. It isn't as popular for altering behaviour, it's more seen as "this is a mink/fox/badger etc, to be appreciated as it is, not altered for what I would want it to be". I mean ofc some people still do it, & it's always there as a last resort if an animal is completely out of control.

The owner of Kobalann the albino mink actually got her's on the day she was due to be slaughtered as a fully grown wild adult. Apparently Koba was very vicious when she first got her, but by the time I saw her (I think Koba was 2?) she was completely comfortable around her human family, people she was familiar with, on the lead going for walks etc She was a little uncomfortable on the metro which her owner said she thought was because the day she got her she had to hold her in her bare hands on the train while Kobalann struggled & bit her, completely feral. Kobalann was a little uncertain around me & was in a bad mood because of the summer heat but otherwise very tame.

She LOVED Tsuki, the little black cross coloured female youngster. Her owner said if Kobalann succeeds in breeding this spring she doubts she will like her babies as much as Tsuki. She grooms her & rolls around playing with her, but doesn't really like any of the male mink. I don't think the males were housed together unattended but I'm not sure.

Maybe the French tame their mink the way they do because they are a little bit rougher with them ^^'' not cruel, but definitely different to the American way of disciplining pets. I doubt they ever just say no or clap their hands or spray water in their face xD When a mink bites someone it's scruffed quite roughly, it doesn't hurt them but is uncomfortable. I wasn't too sure about how I felt with this; I wouldn't do it to my ferrets, but then mink are very different to ferrets. The general philosophy seems to be it's better to be a little rougher if it stops them being aggressive than being gentile & ending up with a mink that is too aggressive to be allowed out of it's cage. But hey, I'm only getting this from the people I met & from lurking around their forum with Google translate doing a bad job of well translating for me xD Ofc they aren't ALL like that.

Actually that's a question I have, how do you know when a mink is submitting to you? I mean like with being disciplined. With my ferrets (it's as close as I have in mustelids) Wyvern will do the belly flop or submissive yawn if I just hiss at her, whereas Bubblegum won't submit unless I hold her by her scruff (not shaking or squeezing her flesh, just holding her)n & hiss at her, to which she would just yawn at me. I'm assuming this works seeing as neither of them bite anymore, aren't scared of people, & were never hurt or frightened. In fact Bubblegum used to bite my chin whenever she could for some reason & now she just licks it instead, so we've somehow established that it's better to be affectionate than aggressive :3 However mink are a lot more "hardcore" for want of a better word.... How do I discipline one without hurting it or being cruel?
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Re: Mink chat

Postby caninesrock » Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:55 pm

Holding an animal by the scruff of the neck isn't cruel. That's how mother animals carry their babies. I'd only worry if they were doing things like hitting or "spanking" the animals.
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Re: Mink chat

Postby FrothingMagpies » Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:55 pm

I know everyone has individual views on the borderline between discipline & cruelty, personally I don't think scruffing is cruel either. Some people have freaked out though when I told them I scruff my ferrets :/ "positive reinforcement" will only get you so far, especially with wild animals that don't have any particular desire to please people like dogs so (referring more towards the mink than the ferrets now). however I do think this is a little too rough, I wouldn't personally do this with my animals http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= ... =3&theater
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Re: Mink chat

Postby caninesrock » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:36 am

Oh. I didn't realize that's how they did it. That's not really scruffing. That's more like squeezing the poor animal's entire head. To me,scruffing is grabbing an animal on that area of the neck that has that extra flap of skin called a scruff which is why it's called scruffing. I've never actually done it myself with animals and I'm not sure I ever will because I'm not entirely sure what part of the neck the scruff is on and I'd be scared of pulling on the wrong part by accident and injuring the animal.
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Re: Mink chat

Postby FrothingMagpies » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:17 am

Yeah their way is.... More intense :/ I was worried about scruffing my ferrets at first (actually scruffing not head grabbing or whatever that is) but with ferrets at least they don't seem really bothered just mildly irritated which is what I was going for. I wait until they yawn because in ferrets that seems to translate as "yeah yeah, I'm sorry or whatever" they're never really as submissive as a dog which I love about them, it's like they don't want to loose face xD
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Re: Mink chat

Postby caninesrock » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:56 pm

FrothingMagpies wrote:Yeah their way is.... More intense :/ I was worried about scruffing my ferrets at first (actually scruffing not head grabbing or whatever that is) but with ferrets at least they don't seem really bothered just mildly irritated which is what I was going for. I wait until they yawn because in ferrets that seems to translate as "yeah yeah, I'm sorry or whatever" they're never really as submissive as a dog which I love about them, it's like they don't want to loose face xD

Lol. XD That sounds adorable. It's good it doesn't really bother them that much,but still enough to discipline them.
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Re: Mink chat

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:57 pm

Scruffing done properly releases hormones that help calm the animal down. This is so when mom picks them up they relax as fighting could get them injured.

An aside not every species has a scruff(loose neck skin).
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Re: Mink chat

Postby Minkenry » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:51 pm

I've never once tried to scruff a mink. I can't say if it's good or bad, but my gut feeling is it's really not a good idea with mink. The people I've heard that tried scruffing found it made things worse, but I don't really know how or why they used scruffing. Most successful mink people I've talked to avoid using any physical punishment, and find a different type of punishment to discipline their mink. I've heard of people who use time outs, and I've recommended timeouts to one of my friends and had it work well, but I've actually never used time outs myself. I'm personally a hypocrite as I tell people to not use any physical punishment, but then end up doing it myself LOL. I guess I just don't trust most people with their wisdom and judgement in using physical punishment.

Physical punishment on a mink obtained as an adult only makes them fear, hate, or avoid you. It will also make them try to get you back in a sneaky way, like bite you when you aren't looking, then run and hide.

With babies I use my voice as a punishment and reward when needed, and try to avoid using any physical punishment until I really have to. I'm not recommending the physical punishment thing, just stating the truth that I do end up using it at times. My form of physical punishment is usually grabbing their head, and holding their mouth shut while looking at them so close it's almost nose to nose and saying harshly "NO!!! NO!!!!" I hold them for a moment like that and then put them down. You don't want to do that for too long, as the longer you do it the more angry they will get. I honestly can't tell if it helps, or just makes things worse, but that's what I do. I avoid the physical thing as much as possible, as more often than not it just makes them mad.

It's really best to find a none physical way to punish your mink, like time outs, or a harsh voice. Too much, or too rough of physical punishment will just get you bit, and make your mink hate you, so use any physical punishment with caution. I really think scruffing a mink will just get you bit and accomplish nothing, but that's only an opinion, as I've never dared to try it. A harsh voice, followed by lots of praise when they do something right is the best way to go. Here's a couple videos showing two different mink I've bottle raised, and how I reprimanded them when they started biting too hard.

This is Rocky when 6 weeks old, and how I get him to bite more gently...

http://youtu.be/_qGEix-uZ58

Notice how I give him a harsh "NO!" then get him to play with a toy instead, and when he does I give him lots of praise.


This is a female mink named Inshta'pede several weeks older than Rocky was in the first video. It shows how I reprimand her for biting too hard, then verbally praise her when she is more gentle. You can skip to the 5:00 minute mark in the video if you want to see what I'm talking about.

http://youtu.be/QRSLYYbvtng
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Mink chat

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:26 pm

Minkenry I appreciate all your info here. I stickied your book but didn't want to comment and mess it up in case you add more, I'm sure others were feeling the same. So don't let a lack of comment discourage you. It's greatly appreciated.
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Minkenry
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Re: Mink chat

Postby Minkenry » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:37 pm

TamanduaGirl wrote:Minkenry I appreciate all your info here. I stickied your book but didn't want to comment and mess it up in case you add more, I'm sure others were feeling the same. So don't let a lack of comment discourage you. It's greatly appreciated.



Thanks I appreciate it, as it will make it more neat and clean that way. Yeah I just have been busy with other stuff (like actually getting out and hunting muskrats with my mink instead of just writing about them :icon-wink: ). So yeah, when I get some more time I'll write some more chapters. I've got A LOT left to write, so it's far from done. I'll try and get another chapter or two in before too long icon-smile
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FrothingMagpies
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Re: Mink chat

Postby FrothingMagpies » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:03 am

It's interesting, the way you verbally train her is a lot closer to the way I am with my dog than my ferrets. She's fine with me but she can play a little too rough with them sometimes so I say "gentle" in a firm voice & she settles down. The ferrets are a little more dense & need it spelled out for them by actually picking them up to make them even notice you when they're playing too rough, they can get too carried away with all the fun.

I guess if I get a mink as a kit biting can be discouraged before it really becomes a problem anyway. If it's raised to like people (well, me at least, I don't expect it to love strangers) biting will probably mainly happen when it's playing, right? I don't mind gentle mouthing though, the more they play with you the more they like you & then they're less inclined to act aggressively or defensively with you I assume? & I like how you substitute he toy for your hand when you see Rocky wants to play a little rougher.

I'd prefer to avoid physical punishment, if verbal doesn't work I can always use a dog crate as a time out space for it to calm down.

& same as above, I read all of your mink as pet chapters but didn't want to disrupt it with questions. It's very insightful.
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Re: Mink chat

Postby Minkenry » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:05 am

Yeah, honestly I was blown away with my first baby mink. She responded to me, and bonded with me like nothing I'd ever seen with any other animal other than a dog. I was totally FLOORED that she actually cared about what I wanted. I thought dogs were the only animals that really cared about what a human wanted, or didn't want them to do. Mink are, after all, an extremely anti social animal in nature. At that point I actually started wondering if all the naturalists were wrong, and mink really were secretly a social animal, kind of like wolverines (everyone originally thought wolverines were anti social, but it turns out they just live in a social community that's quite spread out, so it's not often that you catch them together). But years later I was even more shocked when my attempts to socialize some different baby mink with other mink utterly failed. All 3 mink involved in the socializing experiment openly hated each other, and tried to fight before they were old enough to really walk. All of my adult mink are the same way. For example the two adult female ranch mink I have now. I kept one of them right next to my buddies mink's cage, hoping they would grow accustomed to each other being so close. Instead they both ended up pacing the cage back and forth wanting to get at each other. And any time we let one or the other mink out and didn't keep them totally distracted, the first thing they wanted to do was go over to the other mink's cage and fight through the wire. To this day it totally shocks and amazes me that a wild animal, and one that is so highly anti social, will bond with a human. Many of the mink I've captured as adults eventually bond with me to some degree or another, though nothing like the babies do. Roxy, one of my two females I have right now, was captured as an adult escaped ranch mink about 6 or 7 weeks ago, and yet she has already bonded with me deeper than most of the ferrets I ever had as a kid. When I walk in her enclosure she climbs up my leg, and runs around through my coat, playing peekaboo through the buttons in my coat. She fallows me around like a little dog, and even follows me a little bit when I take her out of her enclosure where if she wanted to, she could just run off back into the wild. Why such a wild creature as a mink, who so strongly disdain their own, would want the company of a human is BEYOND my understanding.

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