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Alternative Methods for Marking Bobwhite Broods

A. Vincent Carver, L. Wes Burger, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, PO Drawer 9690, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762 USA, and Leonard A. Brennan, Tall Timbers Research Station, P.O. Box 670, Tallahassee, FL 32312 USA

Using chicks leg-banded proportional to size as control, we compared survival, weight gain, and mark retention of wing bands and passive integrated transponders (PITs) on day old bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) chicks (n = 50 for each treatment and the control). A repeated measures, generalized completely randomized block ANOVA of the weekly weight gain showed no significant difference in the chicks' growth from hatch to 12 weeks (F = 0.60, df = 2.18, P = 0.5583). Survival to 12 weeks was not significantly different (X2 = 1.5643, df = 2, P = 0.4574) among marking methods. During the 12 week growing period, 2 birds from each treatment lost their marks. Retention of marks during simulated harvest was not significantly different (X2 = 2.55, df = 1, P = 0.11). The wing band had a marginally higher, yet not significant, survival, growth, and tag retention rate when compared to the PITs. Either of these marking methods may be satisfactory for marking young galliforms, however, because of marginal advantages in terms of growth, survival, and tag retention and because wing bands are less expensive and are externally visible, we conclude that wing banding is the preferred method.

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