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The sumac fruit: a food for bobwhite quail

American Midland Naturalist

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Abstract

Five feeding tests were conducted at the Patuxent Research Refuge, Bowie, Maryland, to determine the value or dwarf and smooth sumac fruits as the sole diet of quail, as well as a supplement to other feedstuffs.....When whole sumac fruits were force-fed quail, either alone or in combination with millet seed, many of the sumac seed were defecated undigested, whereas the millet seed was digested. Likewise, many sumac seed passed through the quail undigested when sumac fruit was fed ad libitum subsequent to a fasting period.....The quail did not relish sumac fruit as the sole article of diet. They lost weight nearly as rapidly on the fruit, ground or whole, 'the ground seed, or the pulp as they did when not given any food....Quail maintained their weight for 14 weeks during the late fall and winter in outdoor pens on a diet containing 50 per cent sumac fruit-pulp and other feedstuffs of high feeding value. A severe neck molt, however, occurred during the ninth week.....Quail lost weight rapidly on a diet containing 75 per cent sumac even though kept away from adverse weather conditions. A severe neck molt took place during the first week of this high-sumac diet. Heavy mortality occurred during the third and fourth weeks....Where the birds had a choice of many feedstuffs, they made sumac fruit 2 to 4 per cent of their diet....Therefore, it must be concluded, that even though sumac fruit is eaten by quail, and as a small percentage of the diet it may have a definite nutritional value, nevertheless as the sole or primary article of diet, it cannot be expected to maintain quail through a critical period in the winter.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The sumac fruit: a food for bobwhite quail
Series title:
American Midland Naturalist
Volume
31
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1944
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
689-696
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
689
Last page:
696
Number of Pages:
8