Effect of sight barriers in pens of breeding ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus): I. Behaviour and welfare

Deeming, D. C., Hodges, H. R. and Cooper, J. J. (2011) Effect of sight barriers in pens of breeding ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus): I. Behaviour and welfare. British Poultry Science, 52 (4). pp. 403-414. ISSN 0007-1668

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2011.590796

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Abstract 1. The study investigated the effects of providing sight barriers in breeding pens on 10 pheasant mortality, feather damage and behaviour.
2. Data were collected from 11 conventional pens (control) and 11 pens with additional sight barriers (barrier) over the course of a ten week breeding season. Each pen contained 8 males and 56 females at the beginning of the season.
3. There was a higher rate of mortality in males (625%) than females (211%) that was unaffected by 15 treatment.
4. Feather damage increased over the breeding season and both male and female pheasants showed better feather condition in the pens with barrier at the end of the season.
5. The pheasants spent most of their time walking or standing. Providing barriers increased perching, but reduced preening.
20 6. The provision of sight barriers had no effect on the incidence of courtship and mating, but did reduce aggressive interactions such as pecking and chasing.
7. The study provides baseline data on the behaviour of breeding pheasants under these husbandry conditions, and suggests that barriers may improve pheasant welfare by reducing potentially harmful aggressive interactions, without affecting activity patterns or reproductive behaviour.

Keywords:Pheasants, Welfare
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:4709
Deposited On:05 Oct 2011 18:18

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