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Summary of work on pheasant nutrition conducted since 1949 at the Patuxent Research Refuge. Pheasant chicks fed experimental diets failed to develop normally on protein levels of 15 and 18%. With 22% protein they grew at a reduced rate as compared to those on 28%. Protein level of the reproductive diet was shown to be important; low production of eggs and young resulted from levels below 25%. Calcium was found to be even more critical than protein level for reproduction; birds on a winter diet that furnished 145 mg./kg. per day had poor reproductive success the following spring. About 600 mg./kg. of Ca per day was necessary in the reproduction diet. Birds on an intermediate level of Ca (about 0.5% of diet) showed evidence of cumulative deficiency. It was concluded that pheasants receiving levels of Ca no higher than 0.5% in nature might display 'straggling failure' such as has been observed in several midwestern areas.
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Calcium, phosphorus and protein levels as factors in the distribution of the pheasant
Transactions of the North American Wildlife Conference