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Abstract

To explore the effects of breeds, number of nurturing squabs, and temperature on nest feed conversion ratio and analyze the effects of number of nurturing squabs on parent pigeon body mass, fertility rate, and laying intervals, 5 widely used breeds of pigeon were nurtured under the condition of natural laying and hatching in this research. In each breed, 24 pair pigeons nurturing 1, 2, 3, and 4 squabs were chosen to measure the production performance, respectively. The results indicate that different numbers of nurturing squabs had a significant effect on parent pigeon body mass changes and survival rate of 28-d old squabs (P<0.05); the nest feed conversion ratio of breeds nurturing 1 squab (7.58) was extremely significantly higher than those of nurturing 2, 3, and 4 squabs (P<0.01); the nest feed conversion ratio of breeds nurturing 2 squabs (4.75) was extremely significantly higher than those of nurturing 3 (3.95) and 4 squabs (3.75) (P<0.01); there was no significant difference between breeds nurturing 3 and 4 squabs (P>0.05). Laying intervals of breeds nurturing 4 squabs (43.8 d) were significantly higher than those of nurturing 3 (37.4 d), 2 (35.4 d), and 1 (33.8 d) squabs (P<0.05). Nest feed conversion ratio significantly increased with the decrease of environment temperature (P<0.05). The breed showed no effect on the nest feed conversion ratio. In production, nurturing 3 squabs of parent pigeons is appropriate. In some cold areas in winter, cold protection measures should be taken.

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