We compared the effects on growth of backpack-mounted and surgically implanted radiotransmitters used as marking techniques in studies of wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) poult survival. We applied repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Bayesian analysis to evaluate the null hypothesis that marking technique did not affect growth. Growth in body mass was similar among treatment groups. We did, however, find differences in wing-growth rates among treatment groups. The control group had the highest wing-growth rate, the backpack group had the lowest growth rate, and the surgical implant group was intermediate. Latex backpack harnesses also caused physical developmental problems that would have negatively biased wild poult survival estimates in the field. Surgically implanted transmitters affected wing growth less than the backpack harnesses and are therefore recommended for attaching transmitters to wild turkey poults.
Additional publication details
Evaluation of transmitter attachment techniques on growth of wild turkey poults