Picking among pen-reared quail

Journal of Wildlife Management

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During five years (1939-43) of nutritional research on pen-reared bobwhite quail at the Patuxent Research Refuge, Bowie, Maryland, observations on picking among birds of all ages showed the following results: 1. Picking occurred on all grains tested: corn, wheat, oats, oat groats, barley, millet, buckwheat, kaffir, and mixtures of cereals. The lowest incidence was with buckwheat as the sole grain in a growing diet....2. Picking occurred on all levels of fiber from one to 11per cent in a growing diet....3. Picking occurred on various grinds of corn, barley, and oats, but was least when these cereals were ground in a hammer mill with 3/32 inch mesh screen....4. The incidence was as high on diets containing animal protein as on those containing no animal protein. ....5. After picking began, the addition of one or two per cent of salt to the diet for several days was effective, in many instances, in checking the disorder. Results at the Refuge and the answers to questionnaires from 222 private propagators of gamebirds showed that in two-thirds. of the cases, treatment with an increased quantity of salt successfully stopped the trouble. As a preventative, however, salt was of little value. Picking occurred on both low and high levels of salt.....6. Supplementing the regular diet with certain feed concentrates such as fishmeal, soybean oil meal, liver meal, or chopped greens offered in a separate feeder for a day or two, was as efficacious as the addition of salt.....7. More picking occurred among quail chicks on a 22 per cent level of protein than on higher levels.....8. There was less picking on diets relished by the birds than on those seemingly unpalatable.....9. There was no correlation. between the amount of floor space per chick and the incidence of picking.....10. Increasing the feeding and drinking space seemed to have a marked beneficial effect.....11. Some adult birds on wire floors resorted to self-picking of their feet after the toes were frost-bitten.

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Journal Article
Picking among pen-reared quail
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Journal of Wildlife Management
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Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
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Journal Article
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Journal of Wildlife Management
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