Sodium to mink throughout the year

Tove N. Clausen & Birthe Damgaard: Danish Fur Breeders Research Center Herningvej 112C, DK-7500 Holstebro

Salt (sodium chloride) is very important for the health of the animals. If they do not get a sufficient amount of sodium (Na) they will reduce their feed consumption and loose body weight, plasma aldosterone and packed cell volume will be elevated, and urinary sodium excretion will be reduced (Yu & Morris, 1999). Consumption of too high amounts of Na likewise decrease feed consumption and body weight. Further the animals get a dark diarrhoea, rough coat, crusty nose and eyes, irritability in the early stage, and lethargy in the later stages. (Restum et al., 1995). In the nursing period we usually add sodium chloride to the feed to prevent nursing sickness (Clausen et al., 1996; Clausen et al, 2002; Hartsogh, 1960). A change in feed raw materials from animal by- products to more vegetable products, where the content of Na is often very low, has made it necessary to reconsider the Na content in mink feed throughout the year.

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