64 wild possums which had been in captivity for 8-14 wk were divided into 4 groups based on colour (dark or grey) and sex, and housed in individual cages on 2 Mar. Within each sex, animals were pair-matched for fur quality and growth, and 1 animal of each pair was implanted with 18 mg melatonin. Melatonin had no effect on pelt characters or body weight. Differences in growth scores among the 4 sex-colour groups were not significant at the beginning or end (28 June) of the experiment. Pelts from female possums graded higher (P<0.001) than pelts from males in Mar. and June, and fur quality of younger possums was significantly superior to that of older animals. Body weight in Mar. averaged 2.46§0.11 kg, dark possums being heavier than grey possums. Body weight increased by 0.54§0.16 kg during the course of the experiment.
|Author||A. J. Pearson, M. G. Ashby and R. J. MacGibbon|
|Secondary title||Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal P|