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The Environmental Husbandry Manual
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Individual Methods for Enclosure Design
Nesting Rings

The methods outlined in this section relate to features of enclosure construction and layout which may be used to enhance the living conditions of animals, including the use of shelter areas, vegetation, viewing platforms and climbing structures.

Nesting Rings

Method Concrete ‘doughnuts’ 3 feet wide placed in breeding area 1 feet apart. Rings are selected by mating pairs, who fill them with nest substrate (pebbles). Rings are provided 3-4 weeks before breeding starts.
Species Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins.
Purpose To define territorial area of nest, reducing inter-pair aggression and disputes, and to make monitoring and management easier.
Pro Raises nest above the ground, for better drainage, reduces aggression between pairs, and makes monitoring easier.
Con Birds do not always prefer the nesting location provided for them.
Improvements --
Comments Macaroni Penguins were originally given nest rings in a sheltered area of their enclosure, but preferred to nest in the exposed, high region of the enclosure near the public area. When provided with rings in this location, they used them, so presumably felt insecure nesting in an area with restricted views of the surroundings.
Frequency of Use Constant During Breeding and Rearing Period.
Ratings Usefulness 7
Convenience 8
Value For Money 8
Range of Users 7
Contributed By Bird Section

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