Cairneyhill Mink Part 2

Dear blog reader

Quite some time ago I published a blog post on the mink farm that used to be at Cairneyhill. I have since discovered further information to be featured in this present blog post and another blog post, including, this time, a photo of the mink!




Half a pound of condemned meat, fish, cereals, vegetables, tomato juice, and five drops of cod liver oil – all mixed up in one dish. A peculiar mixture, but delicious fare for a healthy young mink.

On this daily diet, ten young mink at Cairneyhill, near Dunfermline, are thriving and growing fur which some woman would be proud to wear.

This small farm was started just over a year ago. It is in charge of the part-owner, Miss Norma Rawlence, whose home is at 11 Main Road, Crombie. With her two brothers, she shared in the initial outlay of about £250.

Everything is now going smoothly in the little herd, but they have had their ups and downs like every other family.

Originally they numbered nine, but one died from an unknown cause. When 18 young were born in May, the Rawlences thought they were well on the way to building up their farm.

All but two – a male and a female – died.

The wife of a mink breeder in Oregon, USA, was holidaying in Fife. She heard of the venture at Cairneyhill and visited Miss Rawlence. She suggested the young had died because their diet had been changed.

Cairneyhill Mink

When rearing their young, the mink get a hard boiled egg between three every day, in addition to their normal diet.

Everything has gone well since, and the minks are happy captives, especially in biting cold weather when everyone else is shivering.

But care has to be taken that their bed boxes are dry and draughtless, otherwise they contract pneumonia and die overnight.

The mink don’t like hot weather. During the heat wave last July they wilted and were uncomfortable until a biscuit tinful of cold water was put in each of their cages. Within seconds they were swimming in the tins.

‘We have had many enquiries from people who would like to keep mink’, said Miss Rawlence, ‘but none so far as I know has started a farm. The initial outlay is the drawback with mink I think’.

‘We hope to get more young next May and be able to sell some pelts’.

Miss Rawlence’s ambition is to breed mutation mink. They are freak animals which can be made almost any colour. Pastel blue is her choice.

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