The Game Birds

Pheasants, partridge, quail, grouse, and peafowl—the "game birds"—vary a lot, but in general they all are fragile, they typically do not reproduce efficiently or at all in confinement, their eggs must be incubated, they are raised in total confinement (either in runs or cages), and they are chronically nervous. The main argument for keeping them is the extraordinary beauty of some varieties (the pheasants in particular), the small size of some (particularly the quail) that make "garage ranching" possible, and their market value as specialties. Game birds are usually fed commercial game-bird starter/grower/finishing/breeding rations. Whether you can make them pay or not depends on your knowledgeability and skill as a handler and the quality of your facilities—as well as the current state of the market and your ability to network with it. For highest egg-laying rates, many growers send older birds continually on to market, replacing them with their offspring as breeders. That way they're assured of having young, vigorous breeders all the time.

Game-Bird Books and Supplies: There are lots of books on raising game birds in general and on each specific game bird, too. Inman Hatcheries (see "Poultry Supplies" under "Chickens") offers game-bird books: Raising Game Birds, Game Bird Propagation, Pheasant Breeding and Care, and Partridges—Their Breeding and Management by G.E.S. Robbins. Other useful game-bird references are Pheasants— Their Breeding and Management by K. C. R. Howman (helpful to newcomers) and Raising Game Birds.

Join the North American Game Bird Association, run by and for game-bird breeders, for $45 ($55 Canada) per year. You get a directory of members, listing in a hunting preserve directory, and Wildlife Harvest, a news magazine covering new and proposed regulations, meetings, courses, and ads for birds and equipment: 803-796-8163; PO Box 2105, Cayce-West, Columbia, SC 29171. Or subscribe to the Game Bird Gazette ($23.95/yr). It covers breeding, hatching, brooding, feeding, and housing of game birds such as quail, pheasants, guineas, partridges, doves, ducks, and swans. There's a large classified ad section in every issue: 801-575-1111; PO Box 171227, Salt Lake City, UT 84117-1227; www.gamebird.com. Sources

B&D Game Bird Farm is where Bert and Dianne Tumey offer bobwhite, Tibetan, and Pharoah quail, ringneck pheasant, chukar junglefowl, guineas, books, videos, supplies, and a free brochure: 405-964-5235; Rt. 1, Box 812, Harrah, OK 73045; [email protected]; www.bdfarm.com. Bayou Bird Farm offers many varieties of pheasants, junglefowl, and peafowl: 318-949-2294; 846 Elsie Dr., Princeton, LA 71067.

Cutler's Pheasant Supply: 810-633-9450; 1940 Old 51, Applegate, MI 48401; [email protected]; www. cutlersupply.com. Free 56-pg. catalog lists incubators, brooders, feeders, waterers, ringers, netting, catching nets, coated wire, books, medicine, blinders, and much more.

Cottonwood Grove Bird Sanctuary offers quail, pheasants, partridge, junglefowl, and peafowl. Contact David Bauer: 308-893-2707; 5480 W 85th St., Kearney, NE 68845; [email protected]. Stanley Downey offers many varieties of pheasants (also bantams and pigeons): 863-646-5410; 4725 Old Gov't Rd., Lakeland, FL 33811. Thomas G. Horan, RR 4, Box 417, Tamaqua, PA 18252; 570-467-3683 (evenings), offers pheasants, chukar partridge, French red leg partridge, Barbary partridge, bobwhite quail, mallards, Hungarian partridge, Gamble quail, blue scale quail, and valley quail. George Irons offers many kinds of pheasants (also peafowl and ducks): 508-252-3148; fax 508-252-3992; 117 Hillside Ave., Rehoboth, MA 02769; [email protected] yahoo.com.

Jarvis Farms offers various pheasants and quail, including bobwhites: 330-549-3536; 9649 Detwiler Rd., Can-field, OH 44406. Thomas R. Kent offers to ship various kinds of pheasants and partridge: 912-433-5172; 1070 Kent Smith Rd., Pinehurst, GA 31070. Oakwood Game Farm hatches 50,000 ringneck pheasants and chukar partridge weekly. Established in 1966. Free price list: 800-328-6647; fax 763-389-2077; PO Box 274, Princeton, MN 55371; [email protected]; www.oakwoodgamefarm.com. Quailco Game Bird Farm offers chukar, quail, pheasant, and wild turkey day-old chicks. Contact owner Mikel Hays: 505-477-2397; Box 368, Dora, NM 88175; [email protected]; www.quailcogbf.com. Reston Gamebird Farm ships eggs and adults: 14 pheasant varieties, three of quail, three of partridge. Contact: 541-679-0844; 3621 Reston Rd., Roseburg, OR 97470; www.restongbf.com.

Continue reading here: Game Bird Housing

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