Says Gustavo Gomez, "Raising bobwhite, coturnix, button quail, California Valleys and other quail as a hobby or for hunting is very popular in many parts of the country. I think the Game Bird Gazette is the best place to buy game birds and eggs. I originally found the magazine through the University of California and now use the Gazette classified ad section to buy my eggs and birds. I like how most advertisers include their phone numbers and addresses in the magazine which is helpful. Everyone I've dealt with has been honest, helpful, and provided excellent eggs and birds that I've been very happy with!"
Dr. Tom Baldwin says: I'm sometimes asked by newcomers to the quail raising business and by hobbyists whether coturnix or bobwhites would be best for a business startup geared to producing eggs and meat for the restaurant and gourmet food market. Coturnix quail are most often used for this purpose. They are generally more resistant to disease, they mature and can be marketed more quickly, and they do better in closer confinement and mass production. Coturnix quail are selected and bred for a variety of purposes and many breeds are hugely popular among hobby breeders.
Bobwhites are also flavorful and used to some extent for meat and eggs, but the main demand for them comes from shooting preserves, breeding farms, wild release projects, hobby breeders, etc. There are some nice breeds of bobwhite quail that have also been selected for size, meat, egg production, color and markings, and other traits. It takes about 10 to 16 weeks for bobwhites to reach market weight, while coturnix reach market weight at only about 6 to 8 weeks of age.
In the Gazette appeared a super article and pictures by John Kerr of Duck Haven Farm telling all about how they keep, breed, and market gamebirds and ducks. Jenny, one of his daughters (shown in picture upper right), shows us some of their newly hatched ringneck pheasant chicks!
Says Susan Cole: "The articles and pictures in the Gazette are amazing and the eggs & chicks I've bought out of the classified ads have turned out great. The article on raising quail by Nancy Egerer showed me a great way to provide water for newly hatched chicks!. The care and feeding tips in the magazine are especially helpful.
By the way, I received two of the Ketch-all automatic mouse traps last week and have now caught over 75 mice! What a savings on feed, not to mention that our birds should now be healthier! "
Shelly Johnson said, "I've found the advertisers in the magazine to be very reliable and helpful. After reading the great articles on button quail and coturnix quail in the last Gazette, we bought some out of the classifieds and they're doing great. We've got the button quail in cages in the house and they're doing fine. The information on ducks in the Gazette is also great and we're now building a small pond in our backyard and will begin breeding wood ducks and pintails in the spring--they are absolutely gorgeous!"
We receive many inquiries about diets for game birds and waterfowl. There is a lot of information on feeding game birds in each issue of the Gazette.
Mazuri Game Bird, Ratite, & Waterfowl Diets
The most popular feed among exotic game bird, ratite, and waterfowl breeders is Mazuri. This company has put decades of research into the nutritional requirements of exotic animals and its feeds have been developed to maximize health, longevity and breeding results.
Purina Mills also has a high quality feed for commercially raised game birds like ringnecks and chukars (look for their ad in the Gazette). The Mazuri and Purina diets are often mentioned as the feeds of choice by many successful game bird breeders and zoo curators writing about their breeding experiences in the Gazette. This feed is of the highest quality and formulated especially for specific types of birds. To locate a Mazuri dealer nearest to you, or for more information, visit the Mazuri website.
Says Jim Matheson, "We're seeing an increasing demand for eggs and meat for the gourmet food market. Hunting clubs are buying lots of bobwhite quail, chukars and ringneck pheasants. Hobby breeders also buy thousands of eggs each year. Many of the quail breeds are especially in demand now and some of them can be produced all year long. We credit the Game Bird Gazette and the great articles, people, and contacts we've made from it for our success."
Teachers and others interested in hatching eggs in a classroom setting will want to check out our web page on hatching quail eggs in the classroom by Melissa Yell (pictured at left holding a button quail). Many breeders help out with education related projects by donating eggs and chicks to educational projects. You will find great information on how to hatch game bird eggs in each issue of the Game Bird Gazette magazine.
Horizon Micro-Environments is the best place to purchase approved shipping containers for quail, pheasants, partridges, ducks, geese, swans, etc. The shipping containers available from Horizon Micro-Environments and advertised in the Gazette are attractive, have an excellent design, and are the most popular shipping containers used by game bird breeders. Horizon is the largest developer and manufacturer of universally approved, environmentally-secure shipping containers for live birds, designed primarily for the U. S. Post Office's Express Mail Service. Quail breeders will want to check out Horizon's new shipping boxes for quail--the "Strongest 50-bird baby chick box in the world"! This company has a sterling reputation and their products are endorsed by the Gazette. Adult gamebirds such as quail, pheasants, partridges, ducks, geese and swans can be conveniently mailed through the U. S. postal service express mail using an approved shipping container such as is available from Horizon MicroEnvironments. Check out the Horizon ad in the Game Bird Gazette and call Horizon toll free at 1-800-443-2498.
Many breeders of game birds and ducks provide their birds with live food such as mealworms. An outstanding and reliable source for mealworms, crickets, and other live foods is Rainbow Mealworms in Compton, California. Many bird breeders feed a handful or two of mealworms to their birds every day throughout the year to help ensure nutritional adequacy. Some producers believe that mealworms or other live food helps to stimulate breeding activities. Live foods (most often mealworms because they are easy to feed) are also used by many breeders for starting their chicks of some of the species of quail, partridges, pheasants, guinea fowl, tinamous, grouse, doves, ducks, and other gamebirds. Techniques and considerations in providing live food is often discussed in the Game Bird Gazette. You'll find an advertisment from Rainbow Mealworms in the Game Bird Gazette. To order mealworms and crickets call Rainbow toll free at 800-777-9676. For inquiries call 310-635-1494.
From Madison, Ohio, Richard Nielson writes, "I could not get along without the Game Bird Gazette. The large number of ads have helped me locate the birds I have needed. I've found some breeders in the Gazette classified ads that live near me that I didn't even kno\w about! Although we raise mostly quail and ringneck pheasants, my wife saw some Crested Ducks for sale in the magazine and she has fallen in love with them! The breeders selling birds to me over the years have been wonderful and have gone out of their way to help me. I haven't found that kind of care, kindness, and comradery at the auctions I used to visit. What they say about bird breeders being some of the best people in the world is really true!."
Popular Coturnix Quail
More and more people are raising quail and producing eggs to supplement their incomes in these difficult economic times. Coturnix are a type of quail that are easy to keep and breed in small cages and some hens will produce up to 200 or more eggs during their first year. So just about anyone can raise coturnix and produce eggs to sell, even if you don't have much space. Coturnix quail are produced by many breeders the year round. They have been an important source of meat and eggs for human consumption in many countries for a long time. Pickled coturnix eggs are a tasty and increasingly popular gourmet food item. Another market for the eggs is from egg crafters, as the distinctive mottled brown eggs are used for decorative purposes. Coturnix quail are often sold to laboratories and used in research, as they can thrive in small cages and are capable of producing several generations in a single year. You will find many quail and eggs listing in every issue of the Game Bird Gazette.
Pheasants For The Table
We're frequently asked at the Gazette offices where to obtain high quality pheasant meat for the table. MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. offers an impressive variety of meat products and game meats, including dressed whole pheasants, pheasant breasts, and smoked whole pheasants. They also sell a variety of other delicious game meats, including ostrich, duck, quail, and alligator. MacFarlane is a purveyor of pheasant meat and other food products to restaurants and food markets all over the country. MacFarlane Pheasants also produces pheasant chicks, started, and mature pheasants and partridges of the highest quality for hunting and game bird farms. Visit their website and online stores to view and order from the impressive array of products and services that are available.
Betsy Thatcher in England writes, "I bought a book on game bird breeding and care and saw where the book's author references and highly recommends your Gazette. I saw in this book that there are dozens of references to the articles and pictures in your Gazette magazine. And my friend, who breeds quail and pheasants, also said your magazine is of great help to him. So I thought to myself, 'I must have your publication for myself!' I want to tell you that I am very, very impressed with my first issue. I can see why there are so many recommendations everywhere for this magazine. I am in turn recommending your Gazette to others here in the United Kingdom. Thank you for a great magazine."
Incubating And Hatching Gamebird Eggs--Some Featured Products Offered in the Gazette
One of the world's leading manufacturers of incubators and other products for hatching and rearing gamebirds is Brinsea Products, Inc. Brinsea has a fabulous line of incubators to meet any need. Shown at right is the Mini Advance 7 egg incubator and OvaScope egg scope which are great for kids especially. Seven hen eggs or 12 quail eggs (with optional small egg insert) are gently warmed and turned automatically as they incubate and the display even counts down each day to tell you when they are due to hatch. And with the OvaScope you watch the live embryo develop inside the egg and even hook it up to a webcam. Shown in the picture at left (photo by Frank Pearce) is Brinsea’s Executive Vice-President, Pascale Deffieux, showing chicks hatched in a Brinsea Octagon 20 Incubator. Go to the Brinsea Products website for information on the outstanding range of incubators, brooders, and other great products that are available. Schools and teachers will find Brinsea incubators to be excellent for use in classroom hatching projects. In fact the Mini Advance and OvaScope have won 2011 Teacher’s Choice Award for the Classroom. You can reach Brinsea Products by phone at 888-667-7009. You will find helpful information on pens and aviaries in every issue of the Gazette. Netting is very popular among game bird breeders in covering all or portions of pens and enclosures for all types of game birds and waterfowl. The advantages of netting include its flexibility which helps to prevent injuries.
One of the leading companies offering game bird netting and other products in the Game Bird Gazette is Endurance Net www.endurancenetinc.com Endurance Net has been manufacturing Barrier Netting since 1966 and has a reputation for excellence and reliability. They sell knitted nets, knotted nets, aviary netting, duck pond netting, privacy screen, shade screen, and many other excellent accessories and products for game bird and duck producers. Be sure to check out their page on pen construction with diagrams of their free span pheasant fly pens. Call Endurance Net for a catalog and free samples of their netting. They can be reached toll free at 800-808-6387 or 609-499-3450.
One of the best sources of high quality game bird netting for use on game farms and in making aviaries is the J. A. Cissel & Co. of Lakewood, New Jersey. Their Toprite netting has been one of the most used and trusted products in the industry for decades. It is available in the size and strength needed for any type of game bird pen. J. A. Cissel & Co. offers grid flooring made of sturdy polyethylene that makes excellent flooring in quail, chukar, and other pens and side fencing for all types of pens. Their catch pen and side netting is great for use on pheasant and waterfowl enclosures in particular. They manufacture shade cloth, anti-sight barrier, and a host of other materials for use in making game bird pens and aviaries. They also have nets for catching game birds, game bird shelters, transport coops, feeders, fountains, peepers, and many other products for the game bird breeder. In addition to the many products designed for game bird producers, zoos, and hobbyist breeders, the company has related products for recreation, sporting goods, conservation, etc. Check out their ad in the Game Bird Gazette and visit the J. A. Cissel website at www.jacissel.net. E:mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Give them a call toll free at 800-631-2234.
The Game Bird Gazette office receives many inquiries each month on where to obtain leg and wing bands to identify and help you keep track of your birds.
The National Band and Tag Co. is the best source of leg and wing bands as well as blinders and bits for preventing cannibalism in gamebirds and poultry. One of their popular easy to use products is their Pinless Peeper which prevent birds from pecking and harming one another. This is a plastic "clip-on" blinder/peeper that the company spent a decade developing into a state of the art product. They are made to stay in longer and don't get caught in the netting (see the information at their website for more details!). National Band and Tag Co. has been in business since 1902 and their products are endorsed by the Gazette. Their bands and tags are used by thousands of game bird farms, bird breeders, public zoos, fish & wildlife departments, conservation agencies, etc. You can also get identification tags for cats and dogs, livestock, etc. Tags engraved with laser-etched bar codes and custom laser marking is available on many of their tag styles. This is a family run business and is recipient of the Tri-State Family Business of the Decade Award from the University of Cincinnati. Check out the National Band and Tag Co. advertisement in the Gazette and go to their web site at www.nationalband.com. You can also get more information or place an order by calling National Band and Tag at 859-261-2035.
Fedex and UPS are under contract with the U. S. postal service to transport live birds for the post office as mail. This is very important to our industry. Requiring postal service contractors to carry lives for the post office is something the Gazette has advocated for years, and we must work to ensure that the service continues and is improved. Included among the species and breeds allowed to be mailed by the post office (see domestic mail manual) include quail, pheasants, partridges, doves, pigeons, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, geese, swans, etc. Go to our bird shipping pages for more information. On keeping peafowl,
Rosalie Adams said in part, "Peafowl are easy to keep and breed. The India Blue and its mutations are best if you are located in a colder climate. The Green Peafowl are more tropical and need to go inside during cold weather. Many people have let their India Blues roam about freely but we keep ours in pens. We really enjoy the articles on peafowl in the Game Bird Gazette."Clutch sizes in my Blue Peafowl range from about 4 - 9 buff to pale creamy white eggs which take about 27-29 days to hatch. The Green Peafowl lays 4-6 eggs in a clutch with an incubation period of 28 days. They eggs are somewhat larger in size tha those of the more common India Blue Peafowl. Peafowl are pheasants so you can have them shipped to you through the post office." There is terrific information on peafowl coming out in the very next edition of the Gazette!
Shown at left is Karl Milner of Lakenvelder Farm, Gillette, Wyoming, holding two of his fine India Blue Peafowl. Karl wrote an excellent article with great pictures for the Gazette on how to breed pheasants and quail right through the fall and winter months! Also a fabulous article and pictures on button quail (see picture of one of Karl's gorgeous pair of button quail at upper right).We receive many questions about how to properly catch and handle ducks and other birds (example of golden-eye duck being correctly held at right), how to clip or pinion waterfowl and gamebirds, and how to keep them in the best feather condition. Answers to questions like these appear in the printed magazine.
From Debbie Rosen, "I visited the Michigan State University web site and some of the other state university poultry sites looking for info (and reliable sources for birds) on how to get started raising ducks, pheasants, chukars and quail. At the university website, it says the Gazette has all the information required to raise game birds. We subscribed to the magazine and are very happy with it. The magazine is a fantastic source for eggs, chicks, breeder birds, incubators. I've also purchased some of the good books and the vionate vitamin supplement at the Gamebird.com webstore. This has been helpful -- the birds love it! What a wonderful business or hobby… especially for the kids!"
Dan Cowell is has been one of the leading figures in the avicultural, zoo, and conservation communities for decades. Dan is especially known for his contributions to our knowledge of Galliformes husbandry and conservation. He is founder of Animal Wonders LLC which offers a variety of programs and activities designed to increase an appreciation and understanding of bird and animal life. A few of the services available for schools and others include in-class workshops, pre-school and day care programs, husbandry education sessions, animal birthday parties, etc. Special programs and options are available for scouts, 4-H, FFA, and other youth groups. Visit the Animal Wonders website for information on available programs and activities. Dan also sponsors gbwf.org which is an important avicultural and conservation website. It is dedicated to the aviculture and conservation of the world's Galliformes. Look for more an article on the great work being done by Dan in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
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