Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Red Junglefowl

A scientific paper from the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, Food and Feeding Habits of Red Junglefowl, focuses on the Malaysian Peninsula.

Tom Condon's captive junglefowl

Plumage varies on Junglefowl

The paper points out that females need more calcium than males and are laying eggs year-round, but that they probably get that from the snail shells and arthropods they eat. It also makes note of the Red Junglefowl as a "non-obligatory drinker." "On very few occasions the birds were seen drinking water in the morning. It has been reported that the required water intake can be compensated by the ingestion of arthropods, leeches and tender leaves, which contain higher contents of water," the authors write.
Tom Condon took these photos in India

Junglefowl prefer to scratch for their food.

The study on food and feeding habits of Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus spadiceus) was conducted in three agriculture areas (orchard, rubber and oil palm plantation) by direct observation and crop contents analyses in Selangor, Malaysia. Red Junglefowl moved continuously in search of food and preferred by scratching the litter. It would feed in open areas early in the morning and evening. The rest of the day it would feed in shaded areas especially under trees. Red Junglefowl eats a variety of animals and plants. It prefers to eat the pericarp of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) fruit, Iskandar palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae), Chiku (Achras sapota), Papaya (Carica papaya), Cempedak (Artocarpus integer), rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) nuts, and seeds of Macaranga sp. Analyses of crops content shows that among the animals, Dermaptera, Hymenoptera, Isoptera, Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Crustacea (Isopoda), leeches and snails were the predominant food. It also ate snails, eggshells, bones and snakes. The male Red Junglefowl consumed oil palm fruit more than did the female whereas the female consumed invertebrates and vertebrates more than did the male.

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