Laying characteristics of one- and twoyear old pheasants (Phasianus colchicus, L.)
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The aim of the study was to assess laying traits, the weight of eggs and characters of the laying rhythm of pheasants in the first and second years of reproduction. Pheasants (10 cockerels and 50 hens) were kept in aviaries. Daily, individual control of laying was performed beginning with the day of the first laying and ending with the last egg. The following parameters were evaluated: age at first laying, length of the laying period, number of laid eggs and the average weight of the egg in the 8th week of laying. The laying rhythm was also assessed and comprised: the number of egg clutches, the number of eggs in a clutch, the number of eggs in the longest clutch, the number of intervals, the length of intervals and the longest interval between clutches. During the first period of reproduction, in comparison with the second, pheasants laid slightly more eggs of similar average weight. The first laying period was longer than the second and was characterised by a greater number of egg clutches and greater number of intervals between clutches. The greatest number of eggs was laid in 10-egg and longer clutches, although the 1-egg clutches were the most numerous. A positive correlation was found between the number of eggs and the number of clutches, the greatest number of eggs in a clutch and the number of intervals between clutches. The similar values of the reproductive characters of one- and two-year old pheasants point to the possibility of longer utilization of these birds than only for one laying period. On the other hand, the considerable variability between the experimental hens with regard to the number and the length of egg clutches, as well as the intervals between them, indicate the possibility to carry out selection taking into account traits characterising the laying rhythm.
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Stanislawa Krystianiak, Department of Poultry Science, Agricultural University of Poznan, Witosa 45, 61-693 Poznan, Poland