Comparing fostering success between wild-caught and game farm bred captive red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa, L.).

Author Sánchez-García, C., Alonso, M.E., Pérez, J.A., Rodríguez, P.L., & Gaudioso, V.R.
Citation Sánchez-García, C., Alonso, M.E., Pérez, J.A., Rodríguez, P.L., & Gaudioso, V.R. (2011). Comparing fostering success between wild-caught and game farm bred captive red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa, L.). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 133: 70-77.

Abstract

As fostered game birds are better prepared for releasing in comparison to those intensively reared, fostering of wild and game farm red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) was studied on a semi-natural rearing farm using farm-hatched chicks. Parent pairs, barren pairs and single individuals from wild and game farm strains were used in a total of 208 attempts. Fostering was observed in both strains, but more successful attempts were in wild parent pairs (27 of 29 pairs, 93%) than in the game farm strain (12). In the game farm strain all fostering was done by barren pairs and single individuals; as none of the game farm pairs raised their own chicks it was not possible to test game farm parent pairs. Wild parent pairs also showed a high percentage of fostering at a second attempt one week after the first (25 of 27 pairs, 93%), suggesting that fostering is strongly related to parental care behaviour. A low proportion of barren pairs and singles adopted unrelated chicks (9%), with most of these (12 of 13 attempts) being farm-bred. When fostering was observed, adults displayed behavioural patterns related to parental care (brooding and calling) and spent 35% of time in proximity to chicks, compared to19% and absence of parental care when fostering was unsuccessful. Successful fostering increased brood size four weeks after hatching by 4.4±2.3 fostered chicks. This study suggests that fostering for releasing purposes is a feasible technique in semi-natural rearing systems. Wild strains of partridges and parent pairs should be chosen as foster parents.

Cookie Policy

Our website uses cookies to provide you with a better online experience. If you continue to use our site without changing your browser settings, we'll assume you are happy to receive cookies. Please read our cookie policy for more information.

Do not show this message again