Feeding European mink
In the wild the daily energy requirements of a male (800 grams) is estimated at 1100 kJ a day. For a female (500 grams) this is 775 kJ a day. The energy need depends on the activity which the animal exhibits as well as the ambient temperature. Therefore, the energy need will not be the same all year round. (Dunstone, 1993)
It is important for animals living in captivity to keep up their energy balance. The feed condition influences reproduction. Animals which are overweight have less breeding success. The ovulation of the female is also induced by the feed.
Also not without importance is the percentage of protein in the diet. This is estimated at 33 grams per MJ ME (metabolizable energy) in the wild. According to the NRC (National Research Council) the minimum required need is 22 grams per MJ ME. When the diet contains no or hardly any carbohydrates, it is even more important that the diet contains sufficient protein. A surplus of protein, however, is not good either and can cause problems of the kidneys and bladder, usually at a later age.