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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Development of pigeon feed for commercial squab production in British Columbia Waldie, Gwenith A.


Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the protein and energy requirements of squabbing pigeons. The first experiment was carried out at a commercial farm, with birds housed in pens, each containing 10-12 pairs. Two pelleted feeds of different protein concentrations (low protein (LP) with 16% CP and 2937 kcal ME/kg, and high protein (HP) with 22% CP and 2783 kcal ME/kg) were fed, with and without whole yellow corn, cafeteria-style. A low protein intake was observed with LP + corn, which adversely affected squab growth and livability, without affecting egg production traits or adult body weight. HP without corn resulted in a high protein intake with no effect on squab production. The other two treatments (HP + corn and LP) had intermediate protein intake while squab production was unaffected. It was concluded that the cafeteria feeding program (HP + corn) may be replaced by a single pelleted ration, such as LP, without adversely affecting squab production. The second experiment was carried out at the new UBC Pigeon Nutrition Unit, to determine the requirement for, and utilization of, different fat sources by pigeons. Birds were housed in pair-cages and fed one of 5 pelleted rations, with 35 pairs per treatment. The treatments consisted of a basal diet (with no added fat , 15% crude protein and 2650 kcal ME/kg) to which was added either sunflower oil (SFO) or animal tallow (AT) at levels of 3% or 6%. Birds fed the basal diet produced no squabs, whereas those on other treatments produced at least 6 squabs. Intake data from the first seven weeks of the trial indicated that pigeons eat to meet an energy requirement of approximately 235 kcal HE per pair per week when not producing squabs. Energy intake of those adults raising squabs vas highly variable and did not appear to correlate with squab production. The source of fat did not significantly affect squab production.

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