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Birds of a feather, bound together

These peacocks were all wrapped and ready to leave their farms in Xiangyang, in central China's Hubei province, on Wednesday.

The birds were encased in plastic bags and then bound with adhesive tape by their breeders.

This is believed to protect them from stress-induced deaths during transit, and also to prevent their feathers from falling off.

Rearing exotic poultry, such as peacocks and pheasants, is booming business in China.

Peacocks are bred for their eggs, meat and beautiful, multi-hued feathers.

Live birds are also sold to zoos and other breeding centres. They are much coveted by private businessmen too, reported China Daily, as peacocks are seen as symbols of good fortune and well-being.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2017, with the headline 'Birds of a feather, bound together'. Print Edition | Subscribe