Partridge

Before ordering partridge, check with the state game-bird regulatory agency in your area that controls wildlife management. You may need a permit. Chukar partridge come from India, weigh about P/2 lb., and are raised for meat. They have a beak that grows so fast, it must be trimmed (debeaked) frequently or it will become difficult for them to pick up feed. Males and females look the same, but the males are a little larger. Adult chukars are sexed on the basis of the leg nubs. The male has short nubs on both legs. Hens may have the nubs, but never as large as the male ones.

Vent sexing is the surest way to tell. Chukars are not monogamous. They reach breeding age at 26-28 weeks, but hens will wait to begin laying until the next spring after hatch unless forced with artificial light (17-hour days).

Shelter and Food: A2x2x 4-foot pen could house 15 chukar. One 8 feet long could hold 30-35 chukar. Breeders are usually housed in a colony pen (2x2x1 foot) with 1 male to every 3 or 4 females. It's better to house these polygamous birds in separate families to avoid cock fights. Young chukars are easily stressed by rough handling, changing pens, changing their food, or changing their feeding routine. They do best if kept in the same pen from hatching to maturity, after which their nerves get calmer. Chukar do well on a game-bird ration, starter until 3 months old, then grower mash until butchering. For your breeders there's a game-bird breeder mash. After 6 weeks of age, supplement with grain and crisp fruits and vegetables to reduce cannibalism.

Incubating Chukar Eggs: The incubation period will be 23 or 24 days. Forced-air temperature for incubation is 100°F, dropping the last 3 days of incubation to 99°F Still-air incubating temperature should be 101-102°F. Humidity is best at 80-82. Do not turn eggs after 21 days. Humidity during the last 3 days should be 90-94. For information on vent-sexing chukar chicks (and other fowl) see Sexing (Stromberg Publishing; 800-720-1134; strombergschicken.com).

Continue reading here: Bobwhite Quail Recipes

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