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How To Raise Game Birds

Raising game birds can be a rewarding experience! Whether you decide to raise them for profit or for your own personal use, there are a few things to know before getting your game birds. Read this guide to help you learn the steps needed to successfully raise game birds.


5 Things To Consider To Successfully Raise Game Birds

For all game birds, there are five important categories that one needs to focus on in order to successfully raise game birds!

Genetics
One of the first and most important things that you have to look at prior to raising game birds is ensuring that you’re getting quality birds from respected hatcheries! Stromberg’s is a great company to look at when shopping for game birds. The company works with well-respected partner hatcheries to ensure you have access to quality birds! Choose from game bird babies or fertilized game bird eggs if you’re interested in incubating and hatching them yourself.

Environment
Make sure that you have a proper place to raise them! In most cases, when you get game bird chicks you want to have the following set up:

Brooding Area
This is where your game bird chicks will stay when they are young. Make sure that the area is cleaned and disinfected prior to the birds arriving. This area should be weathertight and free from any drafts. Create a stress-free environment with bedding, like wood chips, burlap, or brooder paper.

This area should have a heat source and easy access to water and feed. It is recommended to use a 250 Watt Infrared bulb for every 100 chicks. As the chicks get older, you’ll slowly ween off of the lamp heat source so that the birds can have an easier transition to the outside environment.

Flight Pen
Once the chicks are old enough, move them into a flight pen! Below is a list of everything that you’ll need to make one a flight pen:

  • Posts – Place them 12’ apart or 10’ apart in the center. Make sure that all four corners of the pen are braced. This helps prevent the corners from pulling in.
  • Side Wire – Bury and flare out PVC-coated mesh hex wire to prevent predators from digging in. Ring the sections of wire together to make it bigger.
  • Top Net – Get heavy-duty knotted netting to put over your flight pen. This will help prevent your game birds from flying away.
  • Pen Support – Aircraft cable can add extra support to the pen. Run the cable along the tops of all of the posts. It also adds support for the top net. In addition to supporting the structure, it can also divide the pen in half if needed.
  • Prop Posts – Place these posts at each location where the cable crosses in the pen.
  • Cover – Make sure that there is a low cover in the flight pen. Adding this cover to a flight pen can help birds from getting restless and pecking one another. In addition to the lower cover, add a taller cover to help protect the flock from the elements.

Nutrition
Ensure that the chicks always have access to water and feed. Depending on the number of birds you’re raising, it is recommended to get large game bird waterers and large production and range feeders to ensure that the birds always have access to water and feed. It is also important to make sure that there are plenty of waterers and feeders available for the birds and that they are spaced far enough apart from each other.

Sanitation
It’s important that the brooder and pen areas are clean and sanitized prior to getting your chicks or when moving flocks of different age groups.

Disease Anticipation
Although there are preventative measures to take for your birds, that doesn’t mean that your birds are free of getting sick. It is recommended to keep birds of different ages separated from one another to prevent any disease spread and to limit the number of people working with the chicks.

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With these things in mind, it’s also important to know that these steps can vary depending on the kind of game bird that is being raised. This guide will focus on the main game birds that are raised: pheasants, quail, and chukars.

Raising Pheasants



Time in Brooder: 6-8 Weeks
Space Needed:
First 3 weeks: ¼ square foot per chick
After 3 weeks: ½ square foot per chick; Keep them like this for 6-8 weeks before moving them to flight pens.
Space Needed For Flight Pens: If the birds have peepers, allow 25 square feet per bird. If they don’t have peepers, allow 60 square feet per bird.
Heat Source: 250-watt infrared bulb for every 100 chicks
Start at 95ºF and reduce the temperature by 5ºF each week.

Amount and Type of Feed:
The type of game bird feed needed for your pheasant chicks depends on their purpose!

Raising Quail
Insert Quail Photo Here

Time in Brooder: 5-6 Weeks
1-7 Days: Check them daily and nightly
7-14 Days: Reduce the temperature to 95ºF; Add [KH1] to the water.
14-21 Days: Reduce the temperature to 90ºF; Make sure the birds are not overcrowded.
21+ Days: Reduce the temperature to 85ºF; Reduce every week after
5-6 Weeks (Weather Dependent): Move the birds to the grow-out pen.

Space Needed (per sq ft):
1-10 Days: 6 birds
10 Days: 6 Weeks: 4 birds
6 Weeks: 2 birds

Flight Pen:
If raising for meat, add wire floors to the floors. If raising to release, have a dirt floor.

Flight Pen Space Needed: At least 8 ft wide x 25 ft long. Allow 2 sq ft per bird.

Heat Source: Infra-red brooding lamp or a [KH2]
Start at 95ºF and reduce the temperature by 5ºF each week.

Amount and Type of Feed:
The type of game bird feed needed for your quail depends on their purpose!



Raising Chukars
Insert Quail Photo Here

Time in Brooder: 8 Weeks

Space Needed:
As Chicks: 1 sq ft for every 3 chicks
As Adults: 2 sq ft per bird

Heat Source: Brooder Plate
Start at 95ºF and reduce the temperature by 5ºF each week.

Amount and Type of Feed:
The type of game bird feed needed for your chukars depends on their purpose!



Start raising game birds for meat or to release! Shop Stromberg’s for your game birds and all the game bird supplies that you need.