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Author Topic: Reintroducing Quail  (Read 9851 times)
Keith13
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« on: October 06, 2008, 03:48:06 PM »

I was wondering. My family has a bunch of land we are taking out of farm production and going to return to trees and native grassland. My uncle and mother both said quail used to run through the fields before they were farmed. My question is can I just buy a bunch of  quails and turn them loose? I understand the survival rate would be low but maybe after a few attempts it might establish a population. Any thoughts on this.

Keith
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Frantz
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2008, 04:53:19 PM »

Depends on the quail, and how you intro them to your land. Setting up ample habitat for a bit would be the first thing to do. There are lots of different ways to intro quail but don't just buy them and release them. You should buy quail that have been raised with little or no human contact and they should be flight ready. Lots of things to think about. You don't want to just dump money down the drain. I raise quail, pheasant and other fowl, so let me know what you are thinking and I would be happy to assist if I can.
figure out what kind are native to your area and go from there. That is great that you guys are doing that. I wish I was closer to your locale, I would be over in a heartbeat to help out.

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Keith13
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2008, 05:23:01 PM »

Frantz Hey saw you on TV you looked good.

 I am just starting to think about doing this and really have no clue what type of bird or species of quail lives down here. I have an empty pallet to work with. We have a few hundred acres that I will enroll into a CRP program with the federal govt to plant a mix of hard woods on. Also in there we have carved out areas not in the program to make food plots, deer stands, and of course bee yards. I was just wondering if someone else might have done something like this before. And I was wondering the cost of birds.

Right now the bulk of the land has soybeans on them but they will be cut and gone in the next few days about a third of the land was grazed by cattle up until this past September. So, like I said I have an empty pallet to work with. I am about to buy a new tractor and get to working on those food plots soon though I can't wait to get going.

Keith
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Shawn
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2008, 05:42:32 PM »

Contact you local conversation officer and find out what Quail are native to your area. I work part time for a wild game bird farm, raising bob white quail, chuckars, and pheasants, roughly 70,000 birds are rasied a year. Right now the quail are selling for $5.00 a piece and yes you can just buy them. Once you find out what kind you want or need let me know and Ill find a person that sells birds closest to you. Junt PM me when you know.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2008, 08:30:52 PM »

Estes Hatcheries out of Springfield, MO. have Bob White for $1.90 each.
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Keith13
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2008, 08:02:15 AM »

Hey Jerry will they ship them to me?
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Wes Sapp
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2008, 09:02:38 AM »

Louisiana Game and fish web-site:
If I release some pen-reared quail, will they help restore the quail population?
Pen-reared quail usually have very low survival rates, and thus are not an effective way to restore quail populations. As part of a research project conducted on Sandy Hollow WMA in Tangipahoa Parish, 30 pen-reared female bobwhites were radio-tagged and released in good habitat. Over 50% of the birds died within 3 days of release, and 96% were dead within 30 days. In Virginia, the average survival rate of pen-reared and F-1 (one generation removed from the wild) bobwhites was less than 6 days, and all were dead within 41 days. Even wild bobwhites have mortality rates of over 75% per year. It is unrealistic to expect that birds raised in captivity would have a better chance of survival than wild birds. There are some techniques that hunting preserves use to improve survival of released birds. These may increase the survival of released birds through the hunting season, but do not appear to have a significant impact on the breeding population of bobwhites. Improving habitat is the only way to effectively increase bobwhite populations.

Note: Louisiana law and Wildlife and Fisheries regulations prohibit release of bobwhite quail into the wild except on licensed hunting preserves or under a dog-training permit.
Look up Quail Unlimited on the web, they have habitat improvement programs that you can take advantage of.
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Keith13
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2008, 09:09:25 AM »

Thanks for the info Wes even though it wasn't that inspiring  Cry Cry Undecided but its better to know than not know.I was already reading through Quail Unlimited When I checked on the forums

Keith
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greg spike
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2008, 09:48:13 AM »

No experience on restoration, but I've whacked a few birds at my parents place, and food and habitat is esential to keeping them arround.
My parents live on an old farmstead in North Florida, sorounded by fallow fields, the climate may be simalar to yours. Mild winters no spring or fall to speak of and summers range from hot and too wet to hot and too dry. They mostly nest in blackberry brambles, on the edge of fields. The brambles provide food and excelent cover from predators, and they can slip into the field, and forage for seed and bugs.They seem to like tall wild grasses, rarely seen them in food plots.
They like all fruit but, the best forage I've ever seen for quail is fig trees, a few fig trees can provide dead fall fruit for two to three months and draw flies for a month after. I've often seen them too fat to fly, after gorging all morning, below a fig tree. You can literaly scoop them up with a net.
But, that kinda takes the sport out of it.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2008, 01:06:20 PM »

Hey Jerry will they ship them to me?

Yes they will. I was just trying them and seems there is a server problem but you can try

https://www.esteshatchery.com/

There is a minimum of various birds they will send. But you can mix them up to get the required numbers. Has something to do with body heat. And they do ship extras of each to guarantee you get the number of birds you ordered. I ordered 2 guineas and got four. Ordered 25 chicks and got 27. They all arrived alive so I got more than I ordered. 
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Shawn
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2008, 03:16:53 PM »

I like that most conversation places say pen raised birds wont survie in the wild. Blizzard 1997 in SE Colorado, owner lost about 500 pheasants due to the top of the pen caved in. 2 years later we were still finding pheasants around the lake and weeds with "blindrrs" on them. Blinders are used to kep the birds from picking at each other. Delivered Chuckars to a place close to Colorado Springs 2 years ago. Went up last year to visit the family and saw a covey of chuckars on the road about 1 mile from the place we delivered. Chuckars are "native" however you dont see many of them, but they were out and doing good. We have ranchers coming from all over SE Colorado buying birds and releasing them on their lands. I have not yet heard of anyone saying they did not survive.

Most hunters say they dont like to hunt pen raised birds because they wont fly or too easy to hunt. Places we sell to say the birds are acting to natural and flying to soon and too far. They say the pheasants are not flying and running on the ground. What do pheasants do in the wild, run on the ground until their path is blocked. Some pheasants hold still until they think you see them or until you pass them, same with the pen raised birds.

Im not trying to market birds nor do I get paid to work on the gamebird farm where I go, i do it for the fun and the ability to get birds free to eat. I just want people to know that some pen raised birds will survive in the wild for years IF the habitat is right!
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HAB
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2008, 05:09:57 PM »

Your in a good position for the "Build It and They Will Come" program.  If you follow the recommended practices for Quail Management they will "Flock" to your property.  Since we started managing our property to be more beneficial to small game we have had a tremendous increase in the Quail population.  Your local county wildlife resources office will give you a ton of info and help.
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Keith13
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2008, 05:45:34 PM »

HAB
I thought I  was to but, I'm not sure the local population is there any longer. I planned to improve the habitat then try to release the birds back. I still plan to move forward on the habitat improvements and I guess take a wait and see approach. If the birds how up great if not maybe a pen of birds might accidentally escape a few times  Wink I wouldn't want to break any laws of course

Keith
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2008, 04:53:22 AM »

depending on the number you order, also buying from a hatchery you will have to raise, the only hatchery I ever dealt with was mcmurray's hatchery, you can get 100 bobwhites for $1.32 each, they sale a few different kinds, I thought about doing the same as you but with eastern turkeys, you can buy most any bird from the site below.

http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/category/turkeys_ducks_geese_game_birds_guineas_peafowl.html
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charlescfry
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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2008, 06:08:54 AM »

start by restoring habitat... native grasses and the like. don't jump in and start releasing birds - it is a waste of time and money. i have done this before, and if you are dead-set on spending the money, then nothing i tell you will stop you, but it is a waste of time. we have tried even raising them in 'wild' confinement settings, and it just does not work. (we raised quail and pheasant)

restore habitat to native plants and trees, then see what moves in. you have a multiyear project on your hands, but if you are use to farming, then you can manage this restoration project! good luck, and good thinking!
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JP
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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2008, 08:54:33 AM »

Here's an idea, why not acquire some pen raised and feed them, leave them uncaged and with improvements in habitat perhaps they will become feral and start multiplying, works with pigs, just a thought.


...JP
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HAB
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« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2008, 11:36:05 AM »

Here's an idea, why not acquire some pen raised and feed them, leave them uncaged and with improvements in habitat perhaps they will become feral and start multiplying, works with pigs, just a thought.


...JP

It just won't work.  The hatchery/pen raised/simi-domestic birds simply do not have the survival traits that are found in wild birds.  Been tried with Quail all around the country and failed every time.

Habitat improvement, that's the way to go.  You may not see many or any at all, but if you give them what they need they will find it. Also, try to control any feral cats.  One feral cat, if he finds a covey's feeding route, will pick one off every day.  That's a covey every month per cat.
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Wes Sapp
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« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2008, 11:44:52 AM »

If it were me, I think I’d contact Quail Unlimited and ask their opinion. Seem like they may have experience doing this sort of thing.  Or just buy some pen raised quail clean’em, cook’em, make some biscuits and gravy,  and invite all my friends over and have a “eat off.” That way your not wasting your money on feeding predators. BTW, I’ve never seen a hawk fly off with a pig!  Wink
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Wes Sapp
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« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2008, 12:13:34 PM »

Pheasants are an entirely different animal. Tame quail are ruined, or so Ive been told. I agree that providing quail habitat would probably be best.
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JP
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« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2008, 08:37:45 PM »

If it were me, I think I’d contact Quail Unlimited and ask their opinion. Seem like they may have experience doing this sort of thing.  Or just buy some pen raised quail clean’em, cook’em, make some biscuits and gravy,  and invite all my friends over and have a “eat off.” That way your not wasting your money on feeding predators. BTW, I’ve never seen a hawk fly off with a pig!  Wink



Will trade bees for quail meal any day Keith!!


...JP
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