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#843310 - 08/20/08 01:19 AM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: johnsd16]
DFronek Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 2332
Loc: N.e.WI. 45
Originally Posted By: johnsd16
The maximum or minimum fur density is not genetically determined.


Have to disagree there.Working with fox and mink in the artificial breeding genetics has pretty much everything thing to do with density and fur quality.

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#843642 - 08/20/08 09:29 AM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: DFronek]
johnsd16 Online   content
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 1874
Loc: MN-30
Originally Posted By: Blak coyote
Originally Posted By: johnsd16
The maximum or minimum fur density is not genetically determined.


Have to disagree there.Working with fox and mink in the artificial breeding genetics has pretty much everything thing to do with density and fur quality.


I agree with that, but not in an absolute sense. The animal is capable of increasing their density beyond a previous season's highest density. What I'm saying is that they will adapt. I would have to think that if by some bizarre global phenomenon the transition to fall/winter started in the end of june and daylight remained on its normal schedule. Say it would be roughly 20 degrees by the end of august (when it would normally be 60-70) animals would have grown thicker fur despite the light. Critters wouldn't be freezing to death all over. I realize that if a catostrophic cold snap happened out of season in a sudden way, animals would not be able to adapt and many would perish.
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#843784 - 08/20/08 11:41 AM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: johnsd16]
foxtail Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 3770
Loc: MN
No, it is from angel tears.

When the WI DNR screws the WI sportsmen, the angels cry.

These tears make the fur prime up.
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#843869 - 08/20/08 01:14 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: johnsd16]
DFronek Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 2332
Loc: N.e.WI. 45
Originally Posted By: johnsd16
Originally Posted By: Blak coyote
Originally Posted By: johnsd16
The maximum or minimum fur density is not genetically determined.


Have to disagree there.Working with fox and mink in the artificial breeding genetics has pretty much everything thing to do with density and fur quality.


I agree with that, but not in an absolute sense. The animal is capable of increasing their density beyond a previous season's highest density. What I'm saying is that they will adapt. I would have to think that if by some bizarre global phenomenon the transition to fall/winter started in the end of june and daylight remained on its normal schedule. Say it would be roughly 20 degrees by the end of august (when it would normally be 60-70) animals would have grown thicker fur despite the light.


Still have to disagree.I worked extensively with fox on the ranch for around 10 years mostly in the AI breeding end of it handling and keeping records on the average of 20,000- 25,000 fox a year.Contrary to belief the money is in the breeding stock and the low grade furred fox and mink are what get pelted.Most have seen ranch fur garments and seen how nice the fur is but your eyes would pop out if you seen what the top grade fur was that it came from.Where I worked we graded fur on a check system others do it with + or -.Anyway the scale was 1 on up to 15 check sometimes 16 check.The cut off was around 9-10 check and lower that got pelted and that was further determined what the parents graded out at.Most pups that graded out say around 9 or 10 with parents grading out higher like 12-15 would be held over and fed another year or 2 because they could still possibly develop better fur genetically also by breeding those with a higher quality animal the offspring could be better than the parent.This is the only time I've seen fur quality actually get better was with pups in there second year.We also bought fox from all over the country for breeding stock and I can tell you animals from the south didn't improve fur density or quality when they came to the ranch here in the north,they already had it.The same went for fox bought from Canada,their fur density and quality didn't regress due to a warmer climate.Now on a different note we also raised Polars and Blue fox,these animals are from the extreme cold climates and their fur density is thick but it's because of their genetic make up,there fur density did not diminsh being in the lower 48,we also crossed these Polars and Blues with Silvers,Red and various other colors of fox.That in turn produced Silvers,Reds etc with a higher fur density but with sorter guard hair but were a sterile animal,so you can increase the fur density and quality through breeding either way.I don't claim to know everything on this subject but worked side by side with a man I believe did,he was very meticulous in his records and went through and found the different genetic codes that could produce every single color possible in the Red Fox genus Vulpes Vulpes.He was only 1 of 3 in the world at the time to know how to breed fox AI without using a surgical procedure.In all the time I worked with the fox I did not see an increase in fur density and quality with fox being brought in from warmer locations or diminish coming from colder regions,only with pups after their first year,pups are usually flatter than adults anyway.But the fact is their stuck with what their born with.

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#843879 - 08/20/08 01:18 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: johnsd16]
CharlesKS Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 11447
Loc: Kansas,32,6-1,220,B/B NS
Originally Posted By: johnsd16
What I'm saying is that fur primeness has alot to do with photoperiod, but there is absolutely no way that that is the only factor.

Also, fur density is not genetically predetermined, it is to some extent but not to the point that it would inhibit survival in the event of a large northward migration or dramatic climae change. ... A texas coyote could survive a MN winter if he moved north in July.



you couldnt be anymore off base.

it IS genetic in a sence that due to years of evolving to the surrounding climate, and i mean YEARS the fur gets adapted to the enviroment.

NO WAY NO HOW will a texas coyote grow northern fur in his life EVER.

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#843925 - 08/20/08 01:50 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: CharlesKS]
DFronek Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 2332
Loc: N.e.WI. 45
Originally Posted By: CharlesKS


it IS genetic in a sence that due to years of evolving to the surrounding climate, and i mean YEARS the fur gets adapted to the enviroment.

NO WAY NO HOW will a texas coyote grow northern fur in his life EVER.


Now that I would agree with.

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#844074 - 08/20/08 04:04 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: DFronek]
leenkat Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 142
Loc: WV
Here's a basic explanation. When studying fur growth it's usually done on an individual hair basis and referred to as a hair. Hair growth is not a continuous process. There are different periods in the hair growth cycle. They are the growing phase(anagen), the resting phase(telogen) and the period between the two phases(catagen). These phases vary by species. In most wild animals, the growth process(anagen) takes days or weeks, depending on the species. It is then followed by the transition phase(catagen) in which the melanin formation in the hair bulb(root) slows and stops. The lack of melanin in the bulb gives the skin side of the pelt a creamy white appearance. The resting phase(telogen) is next. At the beginning of this phase, the pelt is considered prime. All growth in the hair has ceased and wil begin to fade and show wear. The completed hair is referred to as a club hair. The club hair may be dislodged when the new hair begins to grow in the anagen phase or kept while a new hair grows beside it (like in dogs) and is shed later. For animals that molt once(muskrat,beaver,otter,red fox, wolverine,bear,etc.)or twice(arctic fox, snowshoe hare, marten, weasel, mink, etc.) per year, the resting phase is the longest to ensure the animal will always have fur. For animals with only one molt per year, hair growth begins in spring and continues gradually thru summer with a burst of growth in the fall resulting in prime furs in Nov./Dec. Numerous hormones produced by the pineal, thyroid, adrenal and gonadal glands influence these stages of growth. The effects these hormones have on stopping or starting growth are mediated by the pituitary, which is triggered by light,i.e. daylength.

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#844152 - 08/20/08 05:00 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: leenkat]
Fox Claw Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/05/07
Posts: 786
Loc: backwoods N. Wi.
Nice post! Informative! How closly in time does the "fall burst" occur from year to year? Within weeks?, days?, minutes? What factors contribute to the yearly variation, if any? Thanks!

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#844192 - 08/20/08 05:34 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: Fox Claw]
leenkat Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 142
Loc: WV
My last post is a basic explanation. There are obviously other factors involved, but the main trigger(the one constant in the environment) is daylength. However, regardless of daylength an undernourished animal will not have as 'prime' a coat as a healthy animal. In other words, healthier animals(a yearly variation) should mean better furs.

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#844281 - 08/20/08 06:50 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: leenkat]
merlin Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 2720
Loc: NB
Animals need their winter coat to protect them from the cold. So, it's cold weather that makes fur turn prime. Pure and simple.

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#844366 - 08/20/08 07:24 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: merlin]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14669
Loc: McGrath, AK
Originally Posted By: Joe B
Animals need their winter coat to protect them from the cold. So, it's cold weather that makes fur turn prime. Pure and simple.



I'm afraid that all the science proves that statement incorrect.



To the question of does it happen within days or minutes or weeks each year I can tell you that there are very large amounts of empirical data that show that the mink in the Sitka, Alaska area will be fully prime within 2 days of december first every year. It may be sooner or later depending on your latitude but I'd bet the date is similarly consistent in different areas.

Hudson Bay Company has a couple hundred years worth of records on various species, particularly coon, that give loads of information on this subject. Whats nice is that the records usually contain the location that the hides came from.
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#844371 - 08/20/08 07:26 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: white17]
Paul Dobbins Offline
"Trapperman custodian"

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 7530
Loc: Goldsboro, North Carolina
I noticed that also White. The very first fox I caught in Alaska was a cross fox the first night of the season. It wasn't but a few days before, when the kids went Halloweenin it was below zero. Well, that fox was as blue as an early November Maryland fox.
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#844402 - 08/20/08 07:39 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: leenkat]
johnsd16 Online   content
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 1874
Loc: MN-30
Originally Posted By: leenkat
Here's a basic explanation. When studying fur growth it's usually done on an individual hair basis and referred to as a hair. Hair growth is not a continuous process. There are different periods in the hair growth cycle. They are the growing phase(anagen), the resting phase(telogen) and the period between the two phases(catagen). These phases vary by species. In most wild animals, the growth process(anagen) takes days or weeks, depending on the species. It is then followed by the transition phase(catagen) in which the melanin formation in the hair bulb(root) slows and stops. The lack of melanin in the bulb gives the skin side of the pelt a creamy white appearance. The resting phase(telogen) is next. At the beginning of this phase, the pelt is considered prime. All growth in the hair has ceased and wil begin to fade and show wear. The completed hair is referred to as a club hair. The club hair may be dislodged when the new hair begins to grow in the anagen phase or kept while a new hair grows beside it (like in dogs) and is shed later. For animals that molt once(muskrat,beaver,otter,red fox, wolverine,bear,etc.)or twice(arctic fox, snowshoe hare, marten, weasel, mink, etc.) per year, the resting phase is the longest to ensure the animal will always have fur. For animals with only one molt per year, hair growth begins in spring and continues gradually thru summer with a burst of growth in the fall resulting in prime furs in Nov./Dec. Numerous hormones produced by the pineal, thyroid, adrenal and gonadal glands influence these stages of growth. The effects these hormones have on stopping or starting growth are mediated by the pituitary, which is triggered by light,i.e. daylength.


So are you saying all "hairs" on an animal are in the same phase at the same time?

Charles, I'm not saying that a Tx yote would grow fur equal to that of a northern animal But, I would hypothesize that if you took that Tx yote and decreased his light by 4 min/day until he was down to 8hrs of light/day but kept him at 100 degrees his coat would not be as thick as if you did the same light regimen and kept him at 10 degrees.

My whole point is that light alone cannot accout for 100% of fur condition, no way no how!
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#844404 - 08/20/08 07:40 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: Paul Dobbins]
playin4funami Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/25/07
Posts: 1881
Loc: nebraska
I thought the aliens came each year to hunt for bigfoot and scare the critters so bad their hide turns white and it takes all winter for them to recover back to normal, all except for lions that the aliens catch and paint black and release them where they don't belong to make people think there are jaguars on the loose. Being a well informed trapperman addict I don't know where these ideas come from? smile wink
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#844511 - 08/20/08 08:30 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: playin4funami]
leenkat Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 142
Loc: WV
I am saying that there are phases. When it looks like it's shedding, it is. Most of the individual hairs are doing the same thing at the same time. Later in the year when it doesn't look like it's shedding, it's not. When a fur is prime, it's prime for the same reason.
As far as the Texas coyote example, unfortunately it would have the same coat it would have got if it were in the wild. It doesn't have the ability to predict the weather and will do it's best to stay cool while waiting on cooler weather in it's new heavy fur coat. Daylength change is the same time every year, weather(temperature) is not.

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#844529 - 08/20/08 08:41 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: leenkat]
johnsd16 Online   content
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 1874
Loc: MN-30
The phase cycles must be very different in animals than in humans.

So would a furbearer from texas die in the winter if brought to MN in June and be allowed to experience the decrease in photoperiod?
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#844531 - 08/20/08 08:42 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: leenkat]
GritGuy Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 5143
Loc: Magna, Utah
johnsd16, I think your missing the point of the original question, what causes the fur to prime?

No one here has said that light is the only source of priming, what we have tried to say in many different and intelligent and very informed ways is that light is the triggering point for the priming action to begin and end.

While there are many other factors to consider for the primeness of the fur, diet, habitat, latitude, stress, male or female, genetics. And lots of others.

The single fact remains that less light during the day is the activating agent for priming to begin.
_________________________


Sorry if my opinions or replies offend you, they are not meant to !

www.wasatchwild.com

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#844551 - 08/20/08 08:53 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: GritGuy]
johnsd16 Online   content
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 1874
Loc: MN-30
I understand, but answering the complex question of what makes fur prime by saying - "light...period" I see as inacurate. That was said at the beginning of the thread.

I still am curious to know, and I'm sure there are guys who have worked on fur ranches on here....

...If you bring a southern wild animal to the north in the summer and put them in an outdoor pen will they die when winter comes?

I really am wondering if this happens with furbearers, I know it doesn't with deer.
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#844565 - 08/20/08 09:01 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: johnsd16]
Paul Dobbins Offline
"Trapperman custodian"

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 7530
Loc: Goldsboro, North Carolina
johnsd16 - "If you bring a southern wild animal to the north in the summer and put them in an outdoor pen will they die when winter comes?"

There is a big difference in the fur density when comparing some southern fur to northern fur. If a species migrated to the south from a colder northern climate eons ago, there would be an evolution of the animal to adapt to the warmer climate.

This has nothing to do with primeness. Fur in the south does prime up, but the density of the prime fur in the south isn't as thick as that of the northern prime fur. Therefore, it would not be as protected against the colder northern climate.
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#844594 - 08/20/08 09:14 PM Re: What makes a fur turn prime.... [Re: Paul Dobbins]
johnsd16 Online   content
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 1874
Loc: MN-30
I'm not asking if southern fur primes. I'm really just asking if you bring a coyote from say, south texas, to MN in june and put it in a pen, will in be incapable of growing a sufficient coat to survive a northern winter come january?

It doesn't take eons for evolution to occur. Animals can also migrate from south to north.
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