7.

Shooting Gazette - - Gamekeeping -

For the au­thor, the health of reared game birds is an area where there is al­ways room for in­prove­ment and more knowl­edge­able vets are there to help.

The switch from pel­lets to wheat is of­ten a cause of dis­ease out­break. Ob­vi­ously from a fi­nan­cial point of view the sooner they are on wheat the bet­ter. The prob­lem is that if the changeover is too soon or too sud­den, then health is­sues will arise. I am a great be­liever in in­tro­duc­ing a small amount of wheat al­most im­me­di­ately and a grad­ual build-up. From a pro­tein per­spec­tive it is al­ways im­por­tant to use good-qual­ity wheat. The at­ti­tude of “it will do for the pheas­ants” could not be fur­ther from the truth. Pro­tein in wheat may vary from 8 per cent to 15 per cent – an enor­mous range that at the top end is com­pa­ra­ble to the usual 16 per cent of re­lease pel­lets. It re­ally is worth that few pounds ex­tra for qual­ity wheat, and you will see the ben­e­fits in growth and later flight.

“Ev­ery keeper in the land needs knowl­edge of game bird dis­ease.”

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