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 Post subject: Anyone raise their own birds?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:07 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:19 pm
Posts: 36
We really enjoy training with our dogs at a local hunt club that typically offers pheasant, chukar and quail at reasonable prices. Unfortunately, from about April to September, birds are not available, particularly now that the supply chain seems to be tightening up. We are giving more and more thought to raising our own birds for training (and eating), probably quail.

I've seem quite a few videos on the subject, but wondered if anyone here has first hand experience with this. Any advice, resources or guidance is appreciated, even if it's to tell me not to go down this road. Thanks!

Eric




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 Post subject: Re: Anyone raise their own birds?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:55 am 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2003 4:59 pm
Posts: 1843
Location: Minnesota
Hi,

I have but don't any longer. It's an iffy proposition between shipping chicks, disease, and predators wiping out all your hard work for private small poultry farmers. So now I just trap pigeons or buy a few. I might not be able to eat them, but they are a whole lot less of a hassle.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone raise their own birds?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:51 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:11 pm
Posts: 292
Location: Soldotna, Alaska
My neighbor was raising pheasants and quail. Last year a brown bear tore out his fence and killed the pheasants and quail. The bear didn’t eat any of the birds, just killed them. The bear then went into another neighbors yard and killed 1/2 of his chickens.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone raise their own birds?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:44 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:03 pm
Posts: 189
In my State you have to have a license from the State Wildlife Agency to raise any kind of game bird. There are two types of licenses. One type for large scale commercial raisers and the other is a hobby license for small scale raisers. About 25 years ago, I had the hobby license for a few years for raising pheasants for dog training. The license was renewed yearly. You had to meet certain standards as to the kind and size of the pen and were subject to possible inspections. I am familiar with raising birds since I have been raising a small flock of chickens for over 30 years. I only did the pheasant raising for a few years because the cost and effort was not practical. I did not hatch my own birds. Buying day old chicks, feed and loss to predators did not make it worthwhile. It was cheaper to just buy the few birds I needed. In my area I can get chukars year round.
Best wishes if you decide to try it.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone raise their own birds?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:40 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:19 pm
Posts: 36
Thanks everyone for the insights. Based on your experiences and further research, I'm leaning away from raising birds and instead buying farm-raised ones and keeping enough at a time to train the dogs. I've learned I can acquire quail from a local game bird breeder and let him take care of all the hard work!

Now, onto building a johnny house! Thanks again for the helpful information.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone raise their own birds?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:24 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:19 pm
Posts: 6092
Location: Herefordshire, United Kingdom
Eric,

if you limit yourself to birds for training, as opposed to the table, keeping a few pigeons is pretty simple.

Knock a small loft together as per the pic below (bigger would be better) and connect with the local pigeon fanciers / racing fraternity. They've always got cull birds to dispose of for the price of a couple if pints.

They can guide you on how to get the birds "fixed" on the loft so that don't all b****r off. 8) it's simple enough.

Image

You will lose a few to predators, but hey ho, just another trip to the pub.

Eugene

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For my part, I mind my belly very studiously, and very carefully; for I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else." Doctor Johnson quoted by Boswell.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone raise their own birds?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:49 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:19 pm
Posts: 36
Great advice, Eugene, thanks! Looking forward to the days when we can all connect over a couple of pints soon! Cheers :B3


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone raise their own birds?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:17 pm
Posts: 454
Location: Midwest
Eric719 wrote:
Thanks everyone for the insights. Based on your experiences and further research, I'm leaning away from raising birds and instead buying farm-raised ones and keeping enough at a time to train the dogs. I've learned I can acquire quail from a local game bird breeder and let him take care of all the hard work!

Now, onto building a johnny house! Thanks again for the helpful information.

That's what I did years ago. I bought quail from a breeder and kept them in a pen I made out of chicken wire, 2x4's and an old screen door. I kept them inside a barn in this coop and it worked out well. Keep them fed and watered with clean straw on the floor and they will be happy enough.




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