As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Changes to environment help protect young pheasants

Date: March 23, 2016
Source: University of Exeter

Summary:Making changes to the early lives of young pheasants can help prevent them dying needlessly, researchers have found. Giving pheasants raised perches in their pens during their first seven weeks helps them grow larger with bigger leg bones, fly higher and grasp, and roost off the ground safe from predators. This makes them less likely to be killed than birds bred without perches.

Creating a three dimensional environment for birds bred for field sports can help many more survive when they are released into the wild, a new study shows.

Giving pheasants raised perches in their pens during their first seven weeks helps them grow larger with bigger leg bones, fly higher and grasp, and roost off the ground safe from predators. This makes them less likely to be killed than birds bred without perches.

Researchers also discovered the introduction of raised perches helps pheasants develop better spatial awareness and memory. This may enable them to remember where good sources of food could be found, and therefore thrive in the wild.

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