If you’re like I am you’ve noticed our wild game bird populations have declined recently. Mostly due to weather, but also due to less CRP, less food sources, and less natural cover for game birds to thrive. This affect has even hit states like South Dakota where Pheasant Hunting is huge business and brings thousands of dollars in tourism income into the state. This has created a nice demand for those that raise pheasants and quail for public hunting preserves and private hunting farms. The ultimate goal for those that purchase game birds for hunters is to provide them the hunting experience that closely represents wild bird hunting.
Can you tell the difference in pen raised vs. wild birds? Well that depends…I’ve experienced both good and bad hunts and can tell you there’s nothing more disheartening than having your prized bird dog catching birds on the ground because they aren’t able to fly well. If you’ve got a pointing dog, that’s a big issue as old Spot you’ve been steadying to wing and shot, can have serious issues to overcome once he starts catching poor flyers.
Causes of poor flight birds can range from improper nutrition, lack of exercise area for flight conditioning, overcrowding, poor health, under or over weight, and poor feather growth. As you can see many of the potential issues are directly related to proper nutrition. To prevent this from happening it’s important to select a good reputable nutrition company to work with like the folks at Hubbard® Life. Secondly you should follow the feeding directions as close as possible to maximize performance and eliminate secondary effects. Medication options are available to prevent health challenges and maximize growth potential. It’s also important that you feed the proper products to your birds to provide the correct nutrition for each life stage.
For flight birds that will be released use the following directions;
Hubbard® Life Game Bird Starter – Feed as the sole ration (free choice) from hatch through 8 weeks of age. Birds can then be switched to Hubbard Life Game Bird Flight.
Hubbard® Life Game Bird Flight – Feed as the sole ration (free choice) from 9 weeks of age and continue until release.
Water – Birds should have access to clean fresh water at all times. When starting day-old birds or after moving or transporting birds, give access to water before putting feed in the feeders.
Grit – When birds have access to coarse litter or whole grains, an insoluble grit should be fed. Limit intake of grit to 1 pound per 100 pounds of feed or 2 pounds per 100 birds per week. Grit can either be blended with their regular ration or offered free choice in a separate feeder.
For further nutritional information on the Hubbard® Life Game Bird Feeds go to www.hubbardlife.com
Most states allow Hunting Preserves to operate through the month of March so get out and enjoy some late season hunting while getting you and old Spot some exercise.
Best of luck!
Posted on 2/18/2014 by Doug Rowse | Category: Game Bird
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