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Raising Quail

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Loyalist Dave, May 22, 2019.

  1. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    So my buddy wants to get some quail, and raise them for eggs, to be sold to gourmet restaurants. (He's a chef btw). Apparently the breed he's looking at getting lays well for 1 year. Then he wants to get a new batch, while we take out the old batch, put 'em out and hunt them. Only problem I see is that he doesn't have enough land to put in a large pen where they could fly some so they would fly well when hunted. His egg laying part will work, but I don't think without the exercise they will be any good. Better I think to simply harvest them and eat 'em.

    Anybody have any experience with raising birds for upland hunting?

    LD
     
  2. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    I made a feeble attempt at raising quail last spring. Out of 50 eggs I think five hatched of those one lived about a week. I got the eggs late in the year and that may have been part of the problem with the poor hatch. A friend of mine tried raising quail years ago and his survival rate wasn’t good either. Keeping predators away is a big problem. If the chicks feel threatened at all they’ll pile up on each other and smother themselves.
    I spoke with someone recently in a southern state that raised quail for a hobby. His success rate was not good and this is a guy with virtually unlimited funds.
     
  3. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Hatching eggs is a tough situation for newcomers. The incubators with light bulbs don't work that well so you have to invest in an expensive one that turns the eggs automatically and regulates the temperature properly. Bobwhite eggs taste the same as itty-bitty hens' eggs but are a pain to peel after boiling. Just tell your friend to buy quail eggs from a distributor.

    If he persists, you will need a flight pen that is high enough and long enough to condition the birds for flight. They must be exercised regularly.
    I bought some bobwhites to train my bird dogs but had to buy a launcher to toss them in the air if the dog got too close when pointing. Otherwise, the dog would just run in, flash-point and grab the bird. My non-conditioned birds would only fly about 30-40 yards before landing which encouraged the dogs to break point and chase them. A BIG no-no.
     
  4. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Some of my friends have raised birds, still do in fact. Tame birds dont seem to fare too well in the wild. They lack the necessary instincts.
    Unfortunately.
     
  5. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    My old wild bird dog wouldn't hardly point a tame bird. He would just come to a stop and look at me with a stink-eye.
     
  6. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    LD
    Don't let my comments deter you and your friend. Your plans are honorable.. some of my most fond memories are upland hunting. Mrs keeps chickens.
    Read and consult. You will do fine.
    Best wishes for success.
     
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  7. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I have raised both pheasants and quail. Quail are easier than pheasant, especially once they get full grown.

    You didn't say what kind of quail you are going to raise. For the most part, you will probably need some form of license or permit to raise Quail, since most are considered a game animal. In my state, I need a game farm license to raise quail. Then in order to release them to shoot, I need a bird dog training permit designating exactly where they are to be released. My state does not condone the random release of captive/pen raised game birds into the wild and without the proper permits, it is illegal. Odds are, Maryland is similar. That said, I bought both eggs and newly hatched quail. Cost by the time they got to adult size was about the same. Once they were to flying size, I did not have a flight pen, but a recall pen. IOWs, birds were put out within hearing distance of the recall pen and then hunted. Birds that were missed or not shot at, would be called back to the recall pen by the birds inside to be hunted another day. They don't need a lot of flying exercise iffin you want to shoot them on the released area, or if you want them to return to the recall pen. As long as the recall pen is predator proof, losses to predators is minimal, especially after the birds get used to going back to the recall pen. My suggestion is to contact your local DNR and find out what you need to raise quail and to release them for hunting. Here would be a good place to start too......http://www.charmcityfarms.org/quail-raising-and-processing/
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  8. George P

    George P Member

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    When I lived out West, the dentist my first wife worked for raised pheasants. He had the egg layer/breeders, incubators, feed, flight pens. He also owned 1500 acres and leased another 5000. Birds were stocked in the fields before the season started and restocked as hunters came in with their bag. Everything went well untyil a major storm decimated his flight pen nets and 5000 pheasant got out.
     
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  9. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    That is very true. Just because we put them in a pen and they can hide under the grass doesn't make them wild.

    As did our Weimaraner. He was actually insulted if he ran up on a stupid bird and it just sat their. If it didn't launch he would just turn around and look at us like ***.

    We raised 500 Pheasants a year for 15 years for the State of Pa. We would get about 505- 515 at a time the same day they hatched and Dad usually always had within 495 to 500 birds at netting time, 6 weeks later.
    We had over an acre under wire so they could fly quite a ways before landing if they decided to. When a Great horned Owl would show up they would all launch and some would break their necks in the wire on top of the cage.

    We got to where if we saw an owl it got popped immediately. They didn't mind our shotguns as bad as they minded an owl landing on top of one of the roof posts.
    They are not that hard to raise but they take constant vigilance, and I mean several times a day, every day. You have to be devoted to it.\

    As far as harvesting eggs, good luck.
     
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  10. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    I have had pen raised quails before and I have two comments. If you put them in a pen together and one gets out of favor the others will peck it badly. When this happened we would release the one being pecked and our stock would keep going down. The other point is when you release pen raised quails into the wild the hawks, owls, coyotes and bobcats will feast upon them quickly as they have no natural defense. If you raise them in a pen you should eat them yourself. If you want to raise something wild get some Mallard ducks.
     
  11. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I built an incubator that has done a number of batches with 100% hatch rate, using light bulbs a humidifier, a hot dog rotisserie and 3 other electronic devices to control temp, humidity and turning.

    That said “caged” birds won’t act like wild ones. Put the 12 & 20 ga away unless you like bean bags.
     
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  12. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    People raise chukar around here, then use them to train dogs.
     
  13. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Ever heard the term "Triple S"?
     
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  14. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Get a pole barn. Put the feeding area inside a netted off/ mesh fenced off area. (8'x8'x8' ) Let birds fly around in main area. There will always be some birds in the enclosed area (leave door open when not in there) When you want birds for hunts, go in, bring a feed bucket with you, and bird boxes, shut door of feeding area, and catch what you need. (Fishing net) Leave door of feeding area open when you leave. It helps to have an outside and inside door to the pole barn.
     
  15. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Thanks folks
    I think he's going for the egg production, since there is no way on his property that he can put up a barn or any flight pen...., this is what I told him.
    He's probably, being a chef, more interested in selling the eggs to other chefs. The hunting part was just a bonus. I believe he needs an "non-native" breed of quail as a "native breed" would equal penning in game animals, and that's a "no no" here in Maryland.

    LD
     
  16. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Unless your buddy is going into the business
    Has he researched the Market in his area? Is he in it to make money or cover the cost of a hobby. Quail will lay an egg a day. Still, it takes a lot of quail eggs, even for an appetizer. Quail lay for about a year under ideal conditions. Quail also cannot be sexed until they are 6 weeks old. So iffin he's gonna buy chicks he will get straight runs and a good half will be males. Most quail for egg operations have a large quantity of hens, that require a fair amount of care and work. Unlike raising a few for your own consumption. Lot of folks around here raise chickens and sell eggs. Basically they recover enough to make their eggs and meat free. Chickens are much easier than quail.
     
  17. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    We practiced it often.
    Back then in the earlier days in PA there was a bounty on owls, $2.00 a head. Game Commission thought they were carrying rabies or something. Dad would cut their head off, wrap it in plastic and mail it to the Game Commission.
    Can you imagine doing that now? Times have changed.
     
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