Variations in Nutritional Indices of Texas Ring-Necked Pheasants

Gizzard fat (GF), wing fat (WF), eviscerated body weight (BW) spleen weight, and thyroid weights were analyzed in 84 ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) to determine area, sex, and seasonal variations. Birds were collected from 2 study areas in the Texas Panhandle during 4 seasons. Area differences in major grain crops and food habits were not reflected in the nutritional indices examined. However, differences in pheasant densities between areas were detected. Gizzard fat and WF were greater in hens than in cocks. Highest values for GF and BW occurred in February; lowest values occurred in August. In May, a drastic decline in WF and GF occurred in cocks, and probably reflected reproductive/territorial activities. Spleen weights were greater in males than females, and were greater in August and November than in February. In juveniles, no differences between sexes in WF were detected, but GF was greater in hens than cocks. Sex X Month and Area X Month interactions were detected in the GF analysis.

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