Author(s): Đorđević M, Pekeč S, Popović Z, Đorđević N
Keywords:pheasants, growth, conversion, mortality
The effects of different levels of dietary protein content and population density in growing pheasants, up to the age of 42 days, on production results and mortality have been studied in this paper. The experiment was set as a two factorial study (2 x 2). Factor A was the influence of crude proteins in the diet (A1 = 26% up to 4 weeks of age and 20% from 4 up to 6 weeks of age; A2 = 30% crude proteins up to 4 weeks of age and 24% from 4 up to 6 weeks of age). Factor B was the population density (B1 = 450 and B2 = 550 birds/group). The total number of birds in the trial was n= 2000. Body mass was measured at hatching, 15 and 42 days of age. Up to 15 days of age the pheasants were housed in cages, but thereon they were reared under floor conditions with free access to outdoors. The highest body mass measured at 42 days of age (457.07 g) and the utmost daily body mass increase (4.22 for the first period of growth and 13.31 for the second) was achieved by the pheasants which were fed a diet with the highest protein content (30% in the first stage and 24% in the second) and reared at a lower population density (450 birds/group). These differences were significant (p<0.01). On comparison with the available literature data the mortality was at a satisfactory level (1.27 - 3.00%) and was not influenced by the studied factors. The mortality values were numerically higher for all treatments for the period up to 15 days (0.73 - 2.70%) compared to the period from 15 up to 42 days of age (0.44-1.00%). Based upon the obtained results and the previously published literature data it can be concluded that feedstuff protein content is the key factor required in order to obtain satisfactory final body weight and subsequently good quality material for the repopulation of hunting grounds.
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