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Animals 2019, 9(4), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040165

Comparing the Effect of Different Management and Rearing Systems on Pigeon Squab Welfare and Performance after the Loss of One or Both Parents

1
Department of Veterinary Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Ash Sharqia Governorate 44519, Egypt
2
Animal Wealth Development Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Ash Sharqia Governorate 44519, Egypt
3
Department of Animal Production, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
4
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44519, Egypt
5
Department of Nutrition and Clinical Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Medic, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Ash Sharqia Governorate 44519, Egypt
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 14 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Environment and Stressors on Animal Welfare)
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Simple Summary

Preserving the life and welfare of newly hatched pigeon squabs after the loss of one or both parents will improve pigeon farmers’ income. In the case of losing one parent, the other parent broods the hatched squabs singly. It has however been observed that the growth performance and behavioral development of young squabs provisioned by both parents is improved compared to squabs provisioned by one parent. In case of the loss of both parents, provision by humans (hand-rearing) sustains the lives of squabs. The growth performance and behavioral welfare of squabs provisioned by the hand-rearing method were improved compared to squabs provisioned by foster pigeons.

Abstract

Pigeon squabs completely depend on their parents for care and nourishment. The loss of one or both parents affects squabs’ successful fledging. This study was carried out on young squabs to compare the effect of pigeon parent sex and different fostering methods on squab welfare (behavior and growth performance). Two experiments were carried out. In the first experiment, the squabs were divided into three groups. Group 1 (control) consisted of 10 parent pairs with 20 brooding squabs; group 2 consisted of 10 male parents with 20 brooding squabs; and group 3 consisted of 10 female parents with 20 brooding squabs. In the second experiment, the squabs were also divided into three groups. Group 1 (control) consisted of 10 parent pairs with 20 brooding squabs; group 2 consisted of 20 brooding squabs fostered by 10 foster parent pigeons (either male or female); and group 3 consisted of 20 brooding squabs fostered by the hand-rearing method. A significant improvement in growth performance, behavioral welfare (head waggle, squab note and squab wing shake); increased repetition of these behaviors indicates stress and discomfort), and survival rate was observed to be higher in the group brooded by both parents compared to the group brooded by either a male or a female parent. In addition, the group fostered by hand-rearing showed a significant improvement in growth performance, behavioral welfare, and survival rate compared to the group brooded by foster pigeon parents. View Full-Text
Keywords: brooding care; pigeon squabs; rearing system; hand-fostering; growth performance; welfare brooding care; pigeon squabs; rearing system; hand-fostering; growth performance; welfare
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Abdel Fattah, A.F.; Roushdy, E.-S.M.; Tukur, H.A.; Saadeldin, I.M.; Kishawy, A.T.Y. Comparing the Effect of Different Management and Rearing Systems on Pigeon Squab Welfare and Performance after the Loss of One or Both Parents. Animals 2019, 9, 165.

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