ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 95, Number 4
Research Papers
Didelphis species, neo-tropical animals with the potential for intensive production Part 3: Theoretical models of a semi-intensive housing facility for the neo-tropical opossum (Didelphis marsupialis insularis, Allen, 1902)
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Models can greatly reduce time and expense when designing housing systems for non-domesticated species like the opossum. Using housing design guidelines and animal production principles, three theoretical models of a semi-intensive housing facility for the widely hunted, neo-tropical opossum (Didelphis marsupialis insularis, Allen, 1902) were developed. The models were then critiqued to determine the most cost effective and efficient design features. Overall, it was found that the behaviour of the opossum was very important to the design of the housing system. Features of the neo-tropics, safety and affordability were important considerations, while accessibility and layout did not always agree. The designs presented in this paper can serve as a blueprint for the construction and trial of experimental housing systems for the neo-tropical opossum.

Keywords: Animal housing; Didelphis marsupialis insularis; neo-tropical marsupial; opossum; theoretical modelling; wildlife management Livestock Science; Agriculture