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Breeding for increased survival in mink

Title: Breeding for increased survival in mink.

Funded by: The Fur Levy Foundation

AU project manager: Postdoc Trine Villumsen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics

Project period:  1 January - 31 December 2020

Grant: 433.000 DKK from the Fur Levy Foundation (90 %), plus 48.000 DKK ( 10%) own financial contribution from Aarhus University

Project description:

The purpose of the project is to examine the possibility of increased cub survival in mink breeding.

The 1-year study is based on data from the test farm at Aarhus University and the Kopenhagen Fur farm. At both farms, mortality is registered from first count to pelting on litter/individual level, with indication of the date of death. From Aarhus University’s test farm, we have many years of pedigree data available, and based on this we will calculate genetic parameters and develop a model for survival analysis. The model will both take into consideration that survival is affected by the mother’s as well as the cub’s own genes, and that the genetic components change over time from birth to pelting.

The results are expected to form the base of breeding for more robust mink with an increased survival potential.