Oil Gland pigeons
One of my German friends told me about his observation
while back. According to him, pigeons with 14 or more tail feathers do not
have the oil gland above their tails and they are much more vulnerable to
diseases. I did a small research on this:
A study of surgical removal of oil gland in rock pigeons shows no effects on the physical and general condition of the birds. A similar study in quails shows no difference in physical growth, body heat and hematological (blood values) between normal birds and the ones with removed oil glands. However, one of the important things to keep in mind is the limited observation period of both studies.
study on titmouse "Parus" shows a
positive relationship between the size of the oil gland, amount of
oil secretion and the amount
mites that lived on each bird. The birds with large oil glands
and high oil secretion have more feather mites on them. Researchers conclude,
of the oil gland secretion has an attractive effect on the parasites.
According to this, the breeds with no oil glands have an advantage
others against the parasites.
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