Farm for nutria: do-it-yourself construction, drawings, arrangement rules
Nutria is an unpretentious animal, so these rodents can be bred on their own in order to obtain tasty meat and fur. In the household, keeping nutria is recommended on special farms that are equipped with everything necessary. For more information on what exactly should be on the farm, a step-by-step instruction for the manufacture of cages for animals, especially the feeding and reproduction of rodents, as well as the rules for caring for young animals and methods of combating possible diseases, are described further in the article.
Breeding Nutria on a Farm: Pros and Cons
Farmers do not often breed nutria in their households, but if the mini-farm is built correctly and simple recommendations for caring for animals are observed, this direction of animal husbandry can be cost-effective.
- The main benefits of self-breeding nutria on the farm are listed below:
- animals are omnivorous and do not require special feed;
- high taste characteristics of meat;
- excellent presentation of animal skins;
- the ability to independently harvest plant food for the winter;
- high immunity to diseases in conditions of proper maintenance;
- excellent fertility of female nutria;
- high profits from the sale of fur, meat and fat of rodents;
- rapid growth of young animals.
Did you know? The homeland of nutria is South America, and the first farms for breeding these animals appeared at the end of the XIX century. in Argentina.
- The disadvantages of this area of livestock are:
- unattractive appearance of rodents;
- the complexity of the arrangement of the farm;
- the need for frequent cleaning in a cage with nutrias;
- difficulties in finding a market for the sale of finished products.
To reduce the risk of failure, before starting self-breeding of nutria, it is recommended to find buyers for the sale of meat and fur of these animals.
Site selection for construction, dimensions, drawings
Before building a nutria farm, you need to choose a suitable place for it where you can rationally place the cells. It is important to take into account the planned number of individuals and the approximate arrangement of cells.
The basic requirements for a nutria breeding site are listed below:
- lack of direct sunlight - in the light the animal skin burns out and loses part of its commercial qualities;
- protection against drafts - with prolonged exposure to cold air currents, nutria can hurt;
- a sufficient amount of free space is necessary for the free placement of rodents;
- lack of noise - nutrias need silence, because during fear they become aggressive;
- the presence of a reservoir with running water on the territory of the site - animals need access to water for swimming;
- the close location of the plot with vegetables and crops - this will facilitate the feeding of animals.
A small number of nutria can be kept on the street, but in winter the animals should be in a heated room, so it is recommended to build a separate barn to organize a farm. Its size will depend on the number of animals and the number of tiers from the cells.
For example, for a two-tier placement of 3,500 nutria, it is necessary to build a room measuring 12 × 100 m with a ceiling height of at least 2.5 m.
On a nutria farm, the most commonly used enclosure is the containment method. For the independent manufacture of such a dwelling for animals, you can use the ready-made drawing, presented below. In the design of these sizes, up to 10 nutria can be contained.
Video: breeding nutria
What should be on the farm
When breeding nutria, care must be taken to ensure that animals have everything they need on the farm. This will allow to achieve high growth rates of young animals and prevent the emergence of diseases. Setting up a farm for rodents will require certain efforts and time from the breeder, but in the future it will bring profit, because in comfortable conditions, nutria breed very quickly.
Usually, the nutrient enclosure is divided into separate zones, each of which has its own functions, and lockable doors are installed between them.
Important! It is recommended to install a special pallet for collecting manure under the cage - this will facilitate cleaning near aviaries with nutrias, and the collected manure can be used as a natural fertilizer.
A cell consists of several parts:
- house with a roof - designed for sleeping and resting animals;
- walking - through this compartment, animals can freely move from the house to the pool;
- pool - a bathtub filled with water;
- channel - through it clean water is supplied to the pool.
1 - house; 2 - floor net; 3 - wooden frame; 4 - floor of the aft compartment; 5 - pool (trough); 6 - rear removable grill; 7 - roof above the paddock and pool; 8 - door; 9 - a lattice; 10 - removable cover; 11 - side grille.
Room for females with newborn offspring
Newborn individuals are with their mother during the entire lactation period, so they need to prepare a separate room in which the animals will be provided with complete rest.
The basic cell requirements for the female and her offspring are listed below:
- for keeping 5–7 puppies, together with the female, a cage of 1 m long and 0.8 m wide is prepared;
- the rear wall of the structure should have a height of 0.5 m, and the front - 0.7 m;
- the back and side walls of the house for the female and offspring are made deaf so that the puppies do not catch a cold from drafts;
- in the cage with the newborn offspring there should also be a pool - they make a descent to it shallow so that the puppies can easily get out of the water and not drown;
- in the cold season, the cage with the female and puppies is kept in a heated barn at a temperature of about + 20 ° C.
Feeding troughs and drinking bowls
Nutria can fight each other for food and water, so when equipping a farm, you need to provide a sufficient number of feeders and drinking bowls for rodents. Ready-made drinkers and feeding troughs for nutria can be bought at a pet store or made on their own.
Did you know? The average life expectancy of nutria is 6–8 years.
The main features of nutrient feeders and drinkers are listed below:
- the feeder can be made of aluminum sheet by cutting a workpiece measuring 45 × 30 cm - on three sides bends 3 cm high on it, and on the fourth side make the upper and lower stops 4 cm and 2 cm high, respectively;
- the corners of the aluminum feeder are fastened with rivets, and a handle is fixed to the lower stop;
- a special hole about 3.5 cm high is cut out under the door of the cage and a feeder is inserted into it;
- after the nutria emptied the feeder, it is put forward and washed;
- in winter, after feeding the animals, it is necessary to close the hole cut out for the feeder with a shutter to keep heat in the cage;
- drinking bowls should be placed quite high from the floor so that rodents do not climb into their paws;
- the drinker can be made from a plastic bottle or stainless steel by cutting a hole in the central part corresponding to the size of the nutria’s head - it is fixed to the cell wall with a metal wire;
- the edges of the drinker should be absolutely even so that the animal is not injured.
Left: a - a manger; b - capacity, tightened by a grid; in - a drinking bowl-feeding trough; g - clay feeder; d - a sliding feeder. On the right there is a nodding drinker: 1 - a steel tube, 2 - a rubber hose, 3 - a guiding bracket (a, b - manufacturing sequence), 4 - a washer, 5 - a tongue, 6 - a pipe.
Air conditioning system
On a nutria farm, it is imperative to equip a ventilation system.It will help to avoid stagnation of air, and also help to control the temperature of the air in the room during the heat.
The main features of the ventilation system in a room with animals are listed below:
- 2 pipes of the same diameter are installed under the roof inside, placing them with a small difference in height;
- fresh air enters the room through a pipe located at a lower height from the floor;
- the processed air is heated, rises to the ceiling, and then goes out through the upper pipe;
- You can install a ready-made ventilation system under the roof of the animal shed - in this case, the recycled air is removed from the room with the help of electric fans mounted in the wall.
In winter, animals should be kept at a comfortable air temperature, i.e., during frosts, rodents suffer from frostbite, and if they are kept in the cold for a long time they can hurt. If in summer the cells are on the street, then in winter they are recommended to be moved to the barn.
Important! The optimum temperature in the room with animals should not exceed + 20 ° C.
In the cold season, a warm room without drafts is suitable for keeping nutria, the air temperature in which is not lower than + 14 ° С. To do this, install small batteries in the form of metal pipes with hot water in the barn. You can also use special cell batteries - each of them is designed for 3-4 cells with animals.
Do I need a pool or a pond
For nutria to feel good and have beautiful fur, they need a pool. You can keep animals without it, but in this case they will be more susceptible to disease, and the fur will partially lose its high commercial quality.
The basic pool requirements are listed below:
- the pool can be made of concrete or wooden boards, covered on the inside with sheet metal and a layer of film, as well as using metal containers of a suitable volume;
- the capacity of the reservoir should be about 70 liters of water per animal, and its depth should be at least 40 cm;
- water in the pool should be changed at least every 48 hours - this will avoid the occurrence of diseases;
- make a gentle descent from the walking area to the pool.
Each farmer independently decides how to place the cells with nutria in the room. In order to save space, enclosures on the farm are usually located in 2 or 3 tiers, but if desired, enclosures can also be placed in 1 tier.
1 - walking; 2 - feeding trough; 3 - car drinker; 4 - rack.
The main features of the location of cells on a nutria farm are listed below:
- if the breeder has chosen to place rodents in 2-3 tiers, then enclosures for keeping groups of animals are placed below, and the highest tier is recommended to be composed of single cells;
- the size of group enclosures can be 1 × 0.8 × 0.7 m, and single cells - 0.5 × 0.8 × 0.5 m;
- between adjacent tiers it is recommended to install inclined metal pallets for collecting urine and animal manure so that they do not fall from the upper cages to the lower;
- each cage should be separated from neighboring enclosures by a door with a deadbolt so that individuals living nearby will not penetrate each other's territory.
DIY manufacturing instructions
Ready-made cells for nutrias can be purchased in special stores, but in order to save them, you can make them yourself. Before starting work, it is necessary to prepare a drawing, and the dimensions of the finished structure will depend on how many individuals it is planned to contain in it.
Video: what to make a cage for nutria
For the manufacture of an aviary according to the drawing presented in this article, the following tools and materials are needed:
- concrete and metal pipes;
- metal grid;
- a bag of sand and cement;
- plywood sheets;
- welding machine;
- galvanized metal sheet;
Did you know? In female nutria, the nipples are located high on the sides, so she can feed puppies even in water.
A step-by-step algorithm for manufacturing an enclosure for nutrias is presented below:
- Using nails and a hammer, hammer together several planks for the frame, following the above drawing.
- Dig holes in the ground about 1 m deep. Vertically lower the concrete pipes into them and fill the recesses with a solution of cement and sand. Wait for the mixture to dry completely.
- Weld metal pipes to vertical supports. Lay the net on them and fix it with a welding machine. To make the structure stable, weld between the supports of the diagonal.
- Connect the frame and the resulting metal structure with screws.
- Install a metal mesh on the inside of the cage using a welding machine and wire cutters. Make doors.
- Cut suitable pieces for plywood from plywood. Set them outside the cage close to the grid.
- Apply a layer of insulation on top of the casing, covering it from the outside with another layer of plywood. Secure all elements with screws.
- For the ceiling, cut a piece of the required size from a metal mesh. Attach it to the finished structure using a welding machine, and then cover with slate.
Video: DIY Nutria Cage
Cages for young nutria
Juvenile nutria is contained in cells of the same construction as adult individuals. But at the same time, the size of such structures should be 3 × 2.5 × 0.8 m. To maintain a group of 10–15 puppies, it is also necessary to increase the length of the house by 2–3 times so that young animals are not too crowded. In the presence of a reservoir with running water and free space on its shore, puppies can be kept in the pen in the summer.
Did you know? While swimming in a pond, nutria can dive and remain under water for up to 10 minutes.
The rules for its arrangement are listed below:
- using a metal mesh enclose a site measuring at least 30 × 10 m, one of the parts of which is located in water;
- the height of the fence should be at least 1 m, and for a person to enter it is necessary to install one lockable door in it;
- the grid is securely attached to vertical supports - metal columns dug into the ground;
- so that the animals do not run away, the lower part of the net is dug into the ground to a depth of 40 cm;
- on the upper part of the net, a visor with a width of about 30 cm is equipped so that young animals do not climb over the fence;
- on the territory of the enclosure, a rain canopy and a feeding area of 4 × 2 m are equipped, pouring it with concrete.
Video: cages for feeding nutria and young animals
Arrangement of the channel near the cells
To facilitate access of water to the cells with nutrias, a distribution channel is arranged on the farm.
It connects the main source of water with each cell, and the basic rules for its arrangement are as follows:
- Ditches 80 cm deep are dug perpendicularly to the distribution channel;
- the width of the lower part of the recess should be about 0.5 m, and the upper - 2.5 m;
- the inside of the ditch is covered with a small layer of concrete and allowed to completely harden;
- along the resulting recess, along its entire length, cells with nutria are installed so that water is evenly distributed along the ditch to each cell.
Did you know? Nutria incisors grow continuously throughout life.
A separate area, which is necessary in the aviary for nutrias, is the walking area. It is designed for the free movement of animals, i.e., for the normal state of health, nutrias need movement.
The main features of arranging the walking zone for nutria are listed below:
- the length of the zone for walking can be 1–2.5 m, and the width is 0.8–1.4 m;
- the floor in this area is recommended to be concreted and covered with a layer of straw bedding;
- the walking area should be connected to the cage using a door about 22 cm high;
- a fence up to 0.5 m high is made around the walk, and the upper part of the structure is covered with a metal mesh so that the rodents do not run away;
- an outdoor walk without a roof can be built, but the side walls should be 0.8 m high, and a peak at least 30 cm wide should be installed on their upper part;
- on the second side of the walking place a gentle slope to the pool.
If there is a reservoir near the farm and a sufficient amount of free space, you can organize a semi-free content of nutrias. At the same time, animals are not limited to the walls of the enclosure and receive much more space for walking and swimming, and in the summer they can eat grass on their own within the fenced area.
With semi-voluntary breeding of animals near the farm with the help of a mesh fence, several hectares of a shallow pond with marsh vegetation are separated. Insulated rooms are arranged on the shore in which nutria can winter, and additional feeding is left in special places.
Nutria content without reservoirs
If the breeder does not have the opportunity to equip a swimming pool for the nutria, and there is no reservoir near the farm, then you can periodically put a small bathtub in the cage for bathing. For a large number of animals it is recommended to use portable houses for rodents.
Important! In the absence of a reservoir, you can water animals from the shower 2 times a day - the duration of each such procedure should be 15–25 minutes.
The main features of their use are listed below:
- in winter, houses are placed along the wall in the barn, warming the outside with thick wooden shields - the space between them and the houses is filled with peat or straw;
- walking from the net is installed on the outside of the barn, connecting it to the houses using a concrete pipe passing through the wall of the barn;
- the walking distance should be raised above the ground by 35–40 cm, and inside, place a container with clean snow;
- in summer, the construction is carried out to the pond - houses are installed on the shore, and the range connected with them is lowered into the water under a slight slope.
Portable cell for nutria: 1 - rack for hanging paddocks; 2 - nesting compartment of the house with mesh floor and upper removable hatch; 3 - aft compartment with a solid floor; 4 - the pipe of the house.
Seasonal Feeding Features
Vegetable food is the basis of nutria’s diet, but animals also need vegetables and cereal feed. They strengthen immunity, have a beneficial effect on the condition of the fur and accelerate the rate of weight gain in young animals.
Important! At any time of the year, animals need to be given about 150 grams of cereal crops, 1.5 grams of table salt, 30 grams of grass meal and tree branches for grinding their teeth daily.
In the summer, one individual should receive about 400 g of fresh grass per day. In winter, instead of fresh grass, each animal is given 400 g of beets per day.
|In addition, 100 g of top dressing containing such components is included in the diet of each nutria:||The need for all the necessary nutrients is met by feeding, consisting of such products:|
|cabbage - 25 g||barley - 20 g|
|carrots - 20 g||bran - 20 g|
|beets - 15 g||oilcake - 15 g|
|potatoes - 15 g||corn - 15 g|
|sugar beets - 10 g||fish meal - 5 g|
|swede - 10 g||soy flour - 5 g|
|silo - 5 g||vitamins - 2 g|
Young individuals of nutria reach puberty at 4–5 monthsbut, in order to increase fertility, it is recommended to use females aged 6–8 months and males aged 7–9 months to raise offspring.
Sexual readiness testifies to the female’s readiness for mating, which appears every 24-30 days and lasts up to 1.5 days. For fast breeding on nutria farms, the jamb method is usually used.
The main features of mating animals with this method of keeping are listed below:
- after the females reach the age of 2-3 months, they are selected into separate schools, grouping the animals according to similar external characteristics;
- for mating in a school with females, a male not related to them is launched;
- one jamb can include 10-15 females and 1 male;
- every month, females in a school are examined to drop pregnant individuals;
- after birth, the female nutria is ready for mating again after 2-3 days, but it is not recommended to immediately pair the nutria weakened after childbirth with the male.
It is recommended that seated females for mating be planted in a cage to the male, i.e. they can aggressively behave in the general group.
Video: when to plant male to nutria
Pregnancy and puppy
Pregnancy in nutria lasts from 127 to 137 days, and you can determine it yourself for a period of 1-2 months. To do this, put the female with her front paws on a stand, grab the tail and lead her second hand over her stomach. In the presence of pregnancy, small rolling balls will be felt under the palm of your hand.
Important! A pregnant female needs to be moved to a separate cage and provided with peace, because during severe stress or fright, she may have a miscarriage.
The main features of puppy nutria are listed below:
- a few days before giving birth, the female loses her appetite;
- in the cold season for whelping, the cage with the female is moved to the barn, maintaining a temperature of + 15 ° C in it;
- at the bottom of the cell lay a thick litter of straw so that newborn puppies are warm;
- animals usually reproduce at night or early in the morning;
- childbirth lasts from 20 to 60 minutes - at this time you should not disturb the female;
- on average, one litter contains 6–10 puppies weighing 400 g;
- the females feed the cubs for about 2 months, after which the offspring must be placed separately from the mother.
Video: how to determine pregnancy in nutrias
Puppies from one offspring after being separated from the mother are kept in the same group or placed with other young individuals of the same age, recording the birth date of each batch of cubs, the number of the female and the number of puppies in each offspring.
Did you know? Nutria came to the territory of Russia in 1930 from Argentina.
The main features of young care are listed below:
- if there are too many cubs in the offspring (8–10), then only 5–6 puppies are left with the female, and the rest are placed in a nest with another nursing nutria, in the offspring of which 3-4 puppies;
- the first few days you need to protect the young from hypothermia and monitor the behavior of puppies - lethargy and depression of the offspring may indicate a lack of milk in the female;
- at the age of 3 months, young individuals are divided into 2 groups by gender;
- animals intended for further breeding are sorted by fur color, degree of development and origin;
- when young animals are kept together, they are too aggressive and injured in fights are sent to separate cells.
Disease and Prevention
In the process of breeding nutria, it is recommended to regularly examine the animals and monitor their well-being, i.e., rodents can get sick when mistakes are made in the care. A problem detected at an early stage is easier to treat and can significantly reduce animal mortality from disease.
The main diseases that occur in nutria are listed below:
- Bronchitis. An ailment can affect rodents in the winter if they are kept in the cold or are constantly in a draft. Signs of bronchitis are sneezing and coughing, wheezing, mucus secretion from the animal’s nose. For treatment, you need to eliminate the cause of the disease, and also use sulfonamides and antibiotics prescribed by the veterinarian.
- Ringworm. The disease occurs in violation of sanitary standards for the content of rodents, as well as with a lack of sunlight. On the skin of infected individuals, areas with falling hair are formed, which are subsequently covered with scabs and flaky.The affected areas are treated with a soap solution, and then smeared with 10% iodine solution. As prescribed by the veterinarian, specialized antifungal agents can also be used.
- Colibacillosis. Errors in the sanitary care of the cells lead to the appearance of the disease, as a result of which the causative agent of the disease enters the intestines of the animal. Symptoms of the disease are severe diarrhea with an unpleasant odor, refusal of food and general exhaustion. Vitamins, antibacterial agents and special serum are used to treat colibacteriosis.
- Salmonellosis (paratyphoid). This ailment most often affects young animals, and its pathogen is a pathogenic stick that enters the body of the animal along with food or water. Infected rodents lose their appetite, lose weight and become lethargic, they have bloating, diarrhea and a short-term increase in body temperature. Antibiotics are used to treat salmonellosis, taking them for 2 months.
Important! To avoid the spread of infection, diseased individuals should be quarantined, and then the cells and equipment should be disinfected with a 4% formalin solution.
To prevent the occurrence of these diseases, it is recommended to carry out simple preventive measures:
- monitor cleanliness in cells and pool;
- give animals quality food;
- disinfect cells every 6 months;
- to prevent the appearance of mice and rats near rodents;
- locate a nutria farm at a great distance from the dung pit;
- vaccinate animals regularly;
- place new individuals in quarantine for 30 days before you add them to the rest of the livestock.
Video: Nutria diseases
Building a farm for nutrias and properly organizing the care of animals requires a certain effort on the part of the farmer. But if you follow the recommendations listed in this article, you can quickly grow a large livestock of nutria, which gives tasty meat and valuable fur.