When it comes to raising quail or pheasant, making a list of what needs to be accomplished prior to purchasing your birds is the best idea as opposed to winging it as you go along. This way you have a tangible way of keeping up with your not only your progress, but also keeping order to what still needs to be done.
The first thing on your to-do list should be the matter of cages. Whether you intend on building your own aviary or simple cages or if you are planning on acquiring ready made cages is something you will need to decide before moving forward with any other actions.
Building your own cages enables you to take liberties with the design and sizes to accommodate what you expect to house, as opposed to having to buy what is available. Paying someone to build custom cages is another option, but you should expect to spend quite a bit of money on it, as it will be handmade by someone else.
Regardless of how you get the cages, they must be the correct sizes to suit the number of quail or pheasant you will be raising. Quail are smaller birds, and take up far less space than most of your usual breeds of wild game, and much like pheasant, the ratio of male to female is a preferred three or more females to each male to lessen or prevent any fighting between the males.
Because pheasants tend to be cannibalistic, the number of chicks you allow to group together once you have placed them in the coop, will need to be monitored. No more than fifty chicks should be grouped around a heat lamp at one time.
Buying the quail and pheasant as chicks is advised to better control the age group you will be attending to. Having a largely mixed age group can cause problems not only between the residents of the coop or aviary, but also for you as you attempt to keep the egg schedule straight.
Pheasants tend to lay eggs every week to ten days, which sets a cycle for you to follow for gathering. Remember to keep your birds indoors through the winter season if you intend to gather eggs year round since quail will not lay eggs past autumn if they are kept outdoors.
The feed you select for your birds is dependent on their ages and nutritional needs based on their purpose for being. The laying birds need to be fed a diet rich in protein and nutrients to assist them in producing excellent quality eggs, and those that are going to be fryers or broilers need a diet to keep their bodies low in fat and cholesterol.
Because the diet is important to the health, ultimately, of those ingesting either their eggs or the birds themselves, seeking professional advice and assistance is recommended and can be found most usually at your local feed store.
Raising these game birds can be an exciting hobby, or simply a means to an end. Either way they are exotic and amazing birds and can add enjoyment to anyone’s life.