Muskrats-Breeding in Numbers
Muskrats-Breeding in Numbers-How many male muskrats would be necessary to breed with fifty female muskrats? How many young could be excepted from this number of females? What is the smallest enclosure that could be used for them the first year.
An answer to this must necessity be largely theoretical. I doubt seriously whether anyone can really tell, with certainty, how many young are brought forth at a litter, and how often in a year muskrats breed. It is commonly mum figures only and we have believed that they have two or three litters in a season, and six to mine at a time. Taking this for granted we will consider the mini-twelve for each female. For fifty females this would mean 600 muskrats in a year, but we know that is entirely too many. In all probability only one-half of the animals would breed and that would cut the number down to 300; then only one half of these could be expected to reach maturity (in the wild state only about one-fourth or one-third), and we have 150 muskrats, which sounds reasonable anyway. You have about ten males, and this would mean 210 muskrats at the end of the year, providing all the old animals lives, which is improbable, and 200 would be nearer right. The smallest enclosure for this number would be about 50x100 feet, one-third of which should be water. In this enclosure the animals would require plenty of food, as none would be enclosed there.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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