The potentially high levels of productivity of fitch - 2 litters per year, 8 young per litter - is rarely achieved in practice. Annual litter rates vary from 0.9 to 1.7 per female kept, due to high rates of false pregnancy (up to 90%). Kit mortality can reach high levels (to 50%). Young fitch grow rapidly and reach mature body size at 20 weeks (males 1400 g; females 800g). Subsequent fluctuations in body weight are attributable to adipose depositions.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 44, , 53-56, 1984
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