View Full Version : quail and pheasant
16-12-2010, 04:16 PM
When I was a kid we used to hunt quail and pheasant. Now there are hardly any left around my area mainly due to the habitat being turned into farm ground and not much shelter for them in the sometimes cold winters of iowa. So my question is does anyone know if I tried to raise my own quail or peasants if that would similar to raising chickens. It would be on about a 75 acres plot that I will start turning into a forest garden this spring, so the birds wouldn't be introduced until there was enough for them eat and hide.
17-12-2010, 06:45 AM
Quail and pheasants share many characteristics, but are both really different from chooks in their habits.
They don't go 'home', so setting up any serious permanent housing's pointless unless you plan to fence them in.
They might make use of some form of man-made shelter, but in my experience (I haven't kept pheasants, but the ones I've met have been flighty, to say the least)! They'd rather huddle under a bush or hide in a tree.
Be warned, I live in a temperate climate and anything I say could be useless...
17-12-2010, 08:15 PM
If you are going to do this, i would suggest you search for a book written by people who have done this before. I noticed from taking up chickens and ducks that i learnt most valuable detail from books.
21-12-2010, 04:07 AM
I don't know much about pheasant, but I'm interested in raising quail so I've researched them a bit. Most of the people who keep quail say that you have to keep them in cages that are no taller than two or three times the height of the bird, because they fly when they're startled—that means that if you don't have them in a covered cage you'll lose them, but if the cage is high enough for them to get up any speed they will concuss and kill themselves when they hit the top. Quail owners call this "head-bonking".
However, I've talked to a few people who keep them in large covered runs with plenty of height and say they haven't had a problem. I think a layer of shadecloth below the roof of the run, something that gives a little, might help prevent injuries from head-bonking. I'd rather keep them in a more natural environment, personally.
If you want to just introduce quail on your land so you could hunt them, I know people do that, but I don't know much about how to do it successfully. As pippimac notes, they don't return "home" to roost or gather in the same area all the time to eat, and they don't understand property boundaries and they fly. So if you want to keep your investment on your own land, you might have challenges. 75 acres might be big enough that most of them stick around, if there's plenty for them to eat. If this is your plan, you should research how far they naturally range.
My favorite information thread on raising Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) (http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=102281). Folks in that forum should also have a lot of helpful information if you want to ask questions.
21-12-2010, 10:31 PM
I had a wild one run through my yard a few months back first one I have seen in the area.
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