Game bird breeding, brooding and rearing: health and welfare

Pennycott, Tom, Deeming, Charles and McMillan, M. (2012) Game bird breeding, brooding and rearing: health and welfare. In: Alternative systems for poultry - health, welfare and productivity. Poultry Science Symposium Series (30). CABI, Wallingford, pp. 155-168. ISBN 9781845938246

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Item Type:Book Section
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Large numbers of game birds, mainly pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) and red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) are released for sporting purposes in the United Kingdom. The released birds are derived from eggs produced by captive breeding flocks and incubated artificially. This paper considers the systems of housing of adult pheasants and partridges during the breeding season, including group size, stocking density and the use of sight barriers as a means of environmental enrichment and refuge provision. The conditions and constraints of artificial incubation are explored. It is concluded that radical changes to the conditions under which pheasants and partridges are bred will require experimentation and research. Further development of the game industry will also require a switch to modern incubation equipment designed for poultry but adapted to hold pheasant and partridge eggs. The paper then goes on to describe some of the current methods of rearing pheasants and partridges from day-old to release, and relates husbandry practices to the requirements of the new Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Game birds Reared for Sporting Purpose. In general most of the recommendations in the welfare codes are being complied with. Areas that require further attention by game bird rearers include improved environmental enrichment in some systems; the best use of artificial lighting; a re-evaluation of the use of bits; improved cleaning and disinfection of crates and vehicles used to transport birds to release pens; greater involvement of local veterinary practices; preparation of flock health plans; and improved biosecurity.

Keywords:pheasant, incubation, partridge, brooding
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C140 Developmental/Reproductive Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:5774
Deposited On:01 Jun 2012 19:59

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