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North West Island Feral Fowl - Expression of Interest

27/02/2019 11:36 PM | Anonymous

Expressions of interest to participate in the North West Island Feral Fowl breeding program.

  • The “NWIFF Breeding Recovery Program” has enjoyed remarkable success during the 2018/2019 breeding season.

    The “Recovery Team” have to date successfully increased significantly the population of the endangered NWIFF breed.

    Establishing satellite flocks is the next step of the project as we endeavor to secure this unique Australian breed’s future.

    The NWIFF breeding recovery team is offering birds to approved breeders wishing to participate in our studbook “Breeding Recovery Program”.

    The PWSA NWIFF Breeding Recovery Team stipulate the following to “Approved Breeders”.

  • 1              The PWSA offer a minimum of one (1) pair of a unique Australian breed and provide a rare opportunity for involvement in a breeding program. Cost is $100 per bird in pairs.
  • 2              A detailed report based on a field study conducted on the social behavior of NWIFF.
  • 3              Mr. John Fritch’s account of his experiences with Feral Fowl on North West Island.
  • 4              A report on the NWIFF recovery breeding results and general observations.
  • 5              PWSA closed leg rings in two sizes for closed ring banding of birds. (obligatory to use)
  • 6              Provided bird(s) come with a four (4) week health guarantee
  • 7        In the instance that a bird is lost, stolen, or suffers sudden death in the first four (4) weeks a replacement will be considered by the “Breeding Recovery Team” based on individual circumstances.
  • 8              Full access to breeding recovery stud book to enable selection of less related birds thus maintaining diversity of genetics by effectively utilizing current DNA diversity.
  • 9              Free telephone advice from the “Breeding Recovery Team”.
  • 10            The PWSA will maintain the stud book and provide approved breeders closed leg rings at a suitable time for banding their chicks.

    Responsibilities those seeking “Approved Breeders” status.

  • 1     Provide a submission seeking approval status to the PWSA detailing:-
  • a          Provide photos and description of proposed holding facilities (photos required)

    b          Submit a brief resume of relevant experience.

    c          Briefly outline their objectives in breeding program participation

    d          Describe their proposed breeding/incubation methods 

  • 2     Provide appropriate husbandry and care of the birds.
  • 3     Enter an “Approved Breeders” formal contract with the PWSA.
  • 4     Maintain membership of the PWSA whilst involved in the program.
  • 5     Guarantee unrelated genetics are not introduced to North West Island Feral Fowl.
  • 6     Guarantee North West Island Feral Fowl genetics are not introduced to other poultry breeds.
  • 7     Participate in the PWSA stud book breeding program.(obligatory condition)
  • 8     Agree to sell birds at prices set by the PWSA.(currently $100 per bird) This restriction applies until bird numbers reach sustainable levels. ie 500+ birds.
  • 9     Agree to offer birds only to PWSA “Approved Breeders” until flock numbers reach sustainable levels ie 500+ birds
  • 10    Arrange suitable freight for transported birds.

    Responsibilities of Approved Breeders on receipt of birds

  • 1     Maintain ongoing membership of the PWSA whilst involved in the program.
  • 2     Guarantee and ensure new/unrelated genetics are not introduced to the NWIFF.
  • 3     Guarantee to not introduce North West Island Feral Fowl genetics to other poultry breeds.
  • 4     Participate in the PWSA stud book breeding program.
  • 5     Accept a $10 per bird cost of approved closed and uniquely numbered leg rings for each bird bred, banded and registered in the PWSA stud book.

    Breeding of North West Island Feral Fowl

    Parent reared birds are more desirable than artificially incubated chicks, so the PWSA will give preference to prospective breeders whom agree to parent raise NWIFF chicks for the following reasons:-

  • ·               Many character traits/behaviors are learned from parents
  • ·               Many interesting character traits will diminish with artificial incubation and brooding.
  • ·               Artificial incubation and brooding was initially implemented to maximize the increase of numbers initially but continuation of the process is undesirable long term.

    Nutrition and care

    Appropriate nutrition is an important factor in successful keeping, breeding and the long term health of NWIFF.

    Chicks require sufficient protein to ensure satisfactory early growth rates. Poultry/turkey crumbles are a suitable feed initially which can progressively be substituted with a grain based scratch diet.

    Greens should be offered daily, initially finely chopped for the day old chick with size increasing as the birds grow.

    Fresh, clean and cool water should be available at all times.

    Shell grit should be made available regularly.

    Deep litter (sugar cane mulch, saw dust, wood shavings, rice husks or similar) enables “Dust Bathing” and minimizes the adverse effects of excrement build up.

    Birds should be treated for both external and internal parasites as required.

    Birds in the wild are exposed to seasonal variability and availability of food and are not uniformly nourished throughout the seasons. A constantly available food source will result in overweight birds resulting in deterioration of general health and breeding success. Generally breeding cycles are linked to the availability of food often including an increase in protein prior to and during the breeding season. Birds should not be overfed in the non-breeding season, with higher protein diet being introduced in early spring.

    The arrival of seasonal warmer weather and particularly increased rainfall ongoing through early summer results in an increase in available protein as protein rich insects and invertebrates, breed and proliferate. NWIFF which breed seasonally will exploit these conditions to breed.

    Bird’s condition should be maintained during the 6 month period from February to August with lower protein feeds with increased dietary protein provided for the breeding season which commences from August thru to January. These dates may vary dependent on climatic conditions to which they are subjected.


    Closed Ring Leg Banding of NWIFF Chicks.

    Banding of chicks ensures birds offered for sale by members are direct descendants of North West Island Feral Fowl. (Introduction of new/additional genetics to a NWIFF flock would result in a chicken of little value with no breed heritage)

    Closed Leg Banding Data

    Bird sex

    Leg Dim.


    Leg Dim.


    Closed Band Size

    Tube Size ID

    Age to band


    0.50 inches

    12.07 mm

    20 x 1.6 mm

    16.8 mm

    8 weeks


    0.67 inches

    17.02 mm

    22.22 x 1.42mm

    19.4 mm

    8 weeks


    Banding Advice

  • 1              Timely application of closed leg bands is crucial to ensure success.
  • 2              Closed leg bands to be applied to the right leg of hens and cocks.
  • 3              The leg ring should be orientated so that characters are correctly aligned when the bird is standing.
  • 4              Hens are banded at 8 weeks when the closed ring will fit over the bird’s bunched toes yet remain in position.
  • 5              Cockerels combs are evident at 5 to 6 weeks of age. The leg ring should be applied at 8 weeks. The leg ring will need to be repositioned above the spur when spur development is such that the ring can be raised above the spur
  • 6              Leg size will accommodate the leg ring which should be positioned above the emerging spur.

NB - Cockerels must be banded above the spur to ensure the band is not forced by the spur, applying pressure on the rear facing toe. This pressure may result in long term injury to the rear toe.



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