Nutria is an unpretentious fur-bearing animal from South America.
One of the most peaceful pets is the nutria. The animal that lives on the banks of rivers is now gaining great popularity in domestication and breeding. Nutria are native to South America, the Indians called them “koipu” and hunted them for meat. In Spanish, nutria means otter, although it is a completely different animal. Nutria is called a marsh beaver, but it differs from a beaver in that it has membranes on its paws and a flat tail without hair. In the water, only the head is visible in the beaver, and in the nutria also the back. In nature, nutria are very calm, but they are afraid of humans and aggressively protect the young, so it is better not to tease the female.
Nutria meat is considered dietary, it is easily absorbed by the body and even attributed to some people as a medicine. They say that nutria meat is a real delicacy, if you try it once, you won’t be confused with anything.
When breeding nutria, it must be borne in mind that the animal is quite large, the weight of one individual is from 2 kg, so the cages should be spacious. In the summer, the cages can be placed in an open courtyard and equipped with trays for the animal to swim and drink. But it is very important to change the water every day, because nutria is a clean animal. In winter, nutria should be transplanted into a heated room, if the outside temperature is freezing, then you can organize a bedding. However, these animals have good fur and can withstand temperatures down to minus 10˚С. It is better to make the cells themselves metal, because wooden nutria will gnaw on the very first day of their settlement. One cage can contain from 5 individuals, but females must be removed from males.
To form a family, one male and 5-7 females are placed in special cages-aviaries. Moreover, females are selected first, and then the male, which is larger. The female gives birth every 4 months, regardless of the season. The cubs are in the same enclosure with their families for six months while they grow up. For the first two months, small nutria feed on milk, and then they eat common food. After 6 months, males and females are selected from among the pups and distributed to the cages. Females are considered adults at the age of about a year, and the male is 1.5 years old and can be put in a family.
It’s amazing that this southern tropical animal can eat absolutely anything. For nutria, both plant food, consisting of herbs, cereals, apples, various branches, and dry – a grain mixture consisting of wheat, barley, peas, are suitable. From the grain mixture, you can cook porridge, which is better to salt a little, add a vitamin complex and meat and bone meal. One of the characteristics of nutria feeding is clean food. The animal is very clean and if unwashed grass comes across, the nutria will sniff, hold it in its paws and throw it away.
When keeping nutria, it is worth taking care of sanitation. One of the reasons for the onset of diseases is a violation of the conditions of detention and feeding. Untimely cleaning and lack of disinfection can lead to various diseases of the animal. With an unbalanced diet, cannibalism can develop. Nutria must be vaccinated, as they suffer from infectious diseases and are treated quite hard, which means they cause financial economic damage. The period for illnesses is spring, the main reason is dampness. But despite this, nutria have strong immunity and they are not susceptible to epidemics, such as rabbits.
Nutria fur occupies a special place in fur production. It is not particularly expensive, like a fox, and very light, for example, a long fur coat will not hamper movement. Also, it is similar to the fur of other animals, such as beaver and mink fur, so that an inexperienced buyer cannot tell the difference. Another advantage of nutria fur is water resistance, so the fur does not care about rain or wet snow.
Basically, meat is in demand, it is appreciated by gourmets, they prepare dishes in restaurants and home cooking. The value of meat is low in calories, so diabetics use it.