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Estimating the age of domestic fowl (Gallus gallus domesticus L. 1758) cockerels through spur development.

Doherty, S.P., Foster, A., Best, J., Hamilton-Dyer, S., Morris, J., Sadler, P., Skelton, C., Smallman, R., Woldekiros, H., Thomas, R. and Sykes, N., 2021. Estimating the age of domestic fowl (Gallus gallus domesticus L. 1758) cockerels through spur development. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. (In Press)

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DOI: 10.1002/oa.2988

Abstract

Determining the age of bird remains after the cessation of growth is challenging due to the absence of techniques such as tooth eruption and wear available for mammals. Without these techniques, it is difficult to reconstruct hunting strategies, husbandry regimes, and wider human–animal relationships. This paper presents a new method, developed from a collection (n = 71) of known-age specimens of domestic fowl (Gallus gallus domesticus L. 1758), for assessing age based on the fusion and size of the tarsometatarsal spur. Using this method, we reconstruct the demographics of domestic fowl from Iron Age to Early Modern sites in Britain to reveal the changing dynamics of human–domestic fowl relationships. We highlight the advanced age that cockerels often attained in their early history and how their life expectancies have subsequently declined.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1047-482X
Additional Information:Research Funding Arts and Humanities Research Council. Grant Numbers: AH/L006979/1, AH/P009018/1
Uncontrolled Keywords:aging; chicken; sexing; spur development; zooarchaeology
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:35643
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:14 Jun 2021 15:17
Last Modified:14 Jun 2021 15:17

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