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A changeover test design is described in which treated seed corn was planted and the emerged sprouts were unearthed and offered in different treatment sequences on consecutive days to groups of caged birds. This design exposes each test group of birds to each seed treatment (including untreated) consecutively over time and offers a way to identify and separate any possible residual effects carried over from direct treatment effects. This design eliminates the need for birds to differentiate among treatments offered simultaneously, thus avoiding testing problems associated with the inability to differentiate between treatment areas. The test design corrects some deficiencies of previous cage and field evaluations of chemical seed treatments and has a high degree of statistical precision. The results of one evaluation with three chemical seed treatment repellents indicated that difficulties in assessing bird damage caused by confounding factors, such as uneven germination, insect and disease damage to sprouts, weather-related sprout mortality, and treatment phytotoxicity, can be eliminated by using this test design.
vertebrate pest control, repellent, test design, test methods, cage testing, efficacy tests, bird damage, corn sprout damage, seed damage, Mesurol, Curb, Borderland Black, control devices
Research Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver Wildlife Research Center, Kentucky Research Station, Bowling Green, Ky.
Statistician, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver Wildlife Research Center, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colo.