During the first few days after hatching, partridge chicks need to feed on insects to grow and feather-up quickly. Without this protein-rich diet the chicks become stunted and die. Unfortunately insect numbers are much reduced in cereal crops because herbicides and insecticides have broken the natural food chain. Agricultural pesticides rarely poison the birds directly.
Since the early 1980s the GWCT has developed techniques to help put the insects back into cereal crops and increase chick survival in ways that are compatible with modern agriculture.
A conservation headland. Annual weeds have been allowed to develop in the crop
edge to provide the food base for the insect fauna on which partridge chicks depend.
Dos and don’ts for farmers
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An essential guide to conserving the grey partridge produced by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust.
What's inside your FREE guide
✓ The decline of a common farmland bird
✓ A safe place to nest - plenty of tussocky grass
✓ Chick survival - insect food is crucial
✓ Surviving winter and spring - food and cover
✓ Conservation targets - Partridge Count Scheme
✓ Grey partridges and shooting
✓ Common questions
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