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Author Topic: Pheasant release in Texas  (Read 45574 times)
skipper3905
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2008, 09:26:12 PM »

Jake,

You gave me the idea that I think solves my problem. I am building a 4800 sf metal bldg that will have three 3200 sf flypens behind it. If I build a very small pen (maybe 30 sf) at the far end with a door that can be opened (I will make a funnelling structure inside the flypen to this door) then a small opening that will go into boxes I will use for transporting the birds. I think that will work. I have been burying sheets of tin around the flypens for varmints but I think I can figure out how to still make that varmint proof in the area where I will have the transporting boxes. 

The 4800 sf bldg with have entrances into the flypens and small doors for putting feed inside. Want birds to see people as little as possible. Will have about 1600 sf bunk area for friends that come over for shoots.

Any thoughts on time of year  to disc feed plots or weed fields? BTW, I am going to put out quite a few feeders. In the reading I've done, most people don't seem to think feeders are a big problem but probably when birds are first out it will be helpful. Will get in touch with Pheasants Forever. 
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Jake Levi
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2008, 10:53:24 PM »

Hi Skipper


I always disced in the fall just because that was the easiest time, next best being spring.
Your bldg design to allow least contact with people is a very good idea. 

Back in the 70s I worked with the Peregrine Fund in rearing Falcons at Cornell, later I got to help with the 'hacking' of the Falcons back into the wild.  This involved putting the not fledged chicks into high boxes, secured from Great Horned Owls and crows while feeding them,  the chicks were as far as possible not related hoping to establish pairs. To me having feeders around is in the same vein, getting the stock established. Our results with the Raptors were far better in survival then most state restocking efforts of simply release of birds with no or little follow through with then. Having feed available as the stock gets established is pretty basic to me.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 06:14:40 AM by Jake Levi » Logged

Jake Levi
Curran, MI

"A government big enough to give you all that you want is big enough to take all that you have".
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skipper3905
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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2008, 09:20:31 PM »

Jake,

Any suggestions on places to purchase exterior feeders. The place that sells "surragators" has them for about $200 each. Since I was thinking about around 15 was hoping to find them cheaper than that. That may be the best deal, just don't know. Have run search for feeders but almost all seem to be for inside pen.

Was thinking was best to put them under some brush or some such. Don't want a "ambush" site.
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Jake Levi
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« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2008, 08:56:09 AM »

Hi Skipper
Cutlers Supply carrys them , also Nasco at: http://www.enasco.com/farmandranch/action/ProductDetail?sku=Z16179N
and  the Cutler at: http://www.cutlersupply.com/store/index.html

I like a couple of them that Cutler carrrys, they also stock the G.Q.F. ones.  All in all I find Cutler the most helpful on stufff I am looking for.

That seems to be the going price for them, I cant believe though that you couldnt get a discount for a quantity.I think 5-6 should rate a good discount.  My local Amish owned feed store stocks one that Steve at Pheasant Hollow Farm told me about, a pic here somewhere I think on this section of one, it has a feeder, more for deer but it'd feed Quail and Pheasants too. That one  is $210, I know my Amish friend would discount several for me. We have at least six mos before we need them, the main thing is to have them out when the birds are released. I am putting netting over several to keep the Owls out or give them some trouble. I also have Goshawks and dont know what the answer is unless its just to stock enough so some can survive. I am interested in survival of stocked birds not filling some hunters bag, that comes down the road from a healthy and thriving population.

Theres quite a range for capacity from 50-225 lbs of feed, I am going to get one of the small ones as it will be through some deep snow to get to where it will be, right now the site is almost clear but I had to plow through deep snow this week to get to it. I'll get some of the bigger ones for other sites, including two here. I think I am going to be investing in six at least this year.

For sure whatever you can do for each feeder, even worth it to stack old xmas trees around them, place under trees and put netting over them.
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Jake Levi
Curran, MI

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skipper3905
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« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2008, 01:12:30 AM »

Jake,    I have not made a contact on the feeders. Probably could get a discount but a 20% discount would still make them pretty pricy. Actually came on a good idea on this forum. Put out 5 gallon plastic containers with the sprayer set twice a day. Seems the inserts are available. Think I will try that. Probably a good idea to put one of these in each flypen. That way the birds will recognize the can and associate the sound with food. Hopefully they will anyway. I would think just having the feeders out a few weeks after the release will get them over the hump. Will try to put them over brushpiles or other cover.

Another thing I am curious over. Do you think it is better to let out a few birds at a time or dump all of them out at a time. I was thinking a 500 bird quail release. Maybe 1000. They are territorial but not sure at what age that instinct kicks in. Also, it seems to me that putting them out a few at a time would attract predators. Could be the reverse of that though. Of course, won't be releasing anywhere near those numbers with pheasant.

I looked at the Cutlers site. Good supply of goods. Going to get some stuff from them. Will look at other site you recommened also.

Question on bands. On pheasant, do you band them when they come out of the brooder? That is 3 weeks. Size 7, right? Not going to band quail. Think simple color bands will work for pheasant. Just using them as sort of a system to see what works on age release. That looks like a pretty important thing. I see Steve with Pheasant Hallow puts them out at a year or more. Some say six months. It seems like the "surragator" folks are on to something with the 5 week thing with quail. A friend of mine here in East Texas has had good luck with 5 weeks on quali. It seems to me there is so much similarity between pheasant and quail that the loss of survival instincts at weaning age would apply to pheasant just like quail. Trying to figure out what the 5 week quail equivalent is for pheasant. I think earlier you mentioned 10-12 weeks as a good release time for pheasant. Did that time frame come as a equivalent weaning age for pheasant? That seems a little long. I mentioned 8 weeks but that was just a guess on my part.

BTW, I emailed Pheasants Forever on the age release question and the subspecies question. Will let you know response.

Was out on my place today playing on my bulldozer and pushed down a old tree that had two of the biggest coons I have ever seen and was full of bees.
Bees covered me and did not get stung. Spooky on that big dozer with bees all over me, paniced and tried to cut throttle to get out and opened it wide open instead. Almost comical. Living right here in Texas. If these birds are lucky as me, I'll have a bumper crop.   
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Pheasant Hollow Farm
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« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2008, 05:37:25 AM »

Jake,    I have not made a contact on the feeders. Probably could get a discount but a 20% discount would still make them pretty pricy. Actually came on a good idea on this forum. Put out 5 gallon plastic containers with the sprayer set twice a day. Seems the inserts are available. Think I will try that. Probably a good idea to put one of these in each flypen. That way the birds will recognize the can and associate the sound with food. Hopefully they will anyway. I would think just having the feeders out a few weeks after the release will get them over the hump. Will try to put them over brushpiles or other cover.

Another thing I am curious over. Do you think it is better to let out a few birds at a time or dump all of them out at a time. I was thinking a 500 bird quail release. Maybe 1000. They are territorial but not sure at what age that instinct kicks in. Also, it seems to me that putting them out a few at a time would attract predators. Could be the reverse of that though. Of course, won't be releasing anywhere near those numbers with pheasant.

I looked at the Cutlers site. Good supply of goods. Going to get some stuff from them. Will look at other site you recommened also.

Question on bands. On pheasant, do you band them when they come out of the brooder? That is 3 weeks. Size 7, right? Not going to band quail. Think simple color bands will work for pheasant. Just using them as sort of a system to see what works on age release. That looks like a pretty important thing. I see Steve with Pheasant Hallow puts them out at a year or more. Some say six months. It seems like the "surragator" folks are on to something with the 5 week thing with quail. A friend of mine here in East Texas has had good luck with 5 weeks on quali. It seems to me there is so much similarity between pheasant and quail that the loss of survival instincts at weaning age would apply to pheasant just like quail. Trying to figure out what the 5 week quail equivalent is for pheasant. I think earlier you mentioned 10-12 weeks as a good release time for pheasant. Did that time frame come as a equivalent weaning age for pheasant? That seems a little long. I mentioned 8 weeks but that was just a guess on my part.

BTW, I emailed Pheasants Forever on the age release question and the subspecies question. Will let you know response.

Was out on my place today playing on my bulldozer and pushed down a old tree that had two of the biggest coons I have ever seen and was full of bees.
Bees covered me and did not get stung. Spooky on that big dozer with bees all over me, paniced and tried to cut throttle to get out and opened it wide open instead. Almost comical. Living right here in Texas. If these birds are lucky as me, I'll have a bumper crop.   

Skipper,

If I have more then one hatch, I will band the Chicks with the miniature cable ties in different colors at week 3. I will re band them around 7-9 weeks later with the alum bands size 7.

If you are going to band the birds at 3 weeks with size 7, you will be losing the bands, they will come off. Use the cable ties and just make sure that they are lose enough that they won't fall off, and replace them at a later date with the size 7.

Steve
Pheasant Hollow Farm
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Specializing in Manchurian Ring-necked Pheasants and Melanistic Mutant Pheasants for release, propagation and the hunting community. Licensed by the State of WV. DNR# D6-16-16-GF1
Jake Levi
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« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2008, 06:29:24 AM »

Skipper
in their first year there is a value to releasing them the oldest as can be, they'll be obviously more mature, and able to get away from predators, up north here they can take cold weather better, and can fly better.

Quail dominance kicks in the 2nd year, then males will fight. Ringnecks about the same. I've seen young ringnecks crowded like broilers like you wouldnt believe, but older and casualties would be high.

I agree on using the same feeders in the pens and outside, at the moment I only plan on using one small feeder, its in an area I have to wade through deep snow to fill.  The feeder itself will be in a sheltered area.  The other feeders I can pretty much drive right up to.

I am going to release my birds in small numbers, the Quail in covey size groups, and the Pheasants a couple dozen to a site.  I will keep a small number over the winter in the flight cage and release them in the spring. On those I might add a colored band to help tracking them.Mass releases to me just mean mass dieoffs.
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Jake Levi
Curran, MI

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finnegan
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« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2008, 08:50:05 AM »

Growing up in ireland  i remember we had an old  guy that raised a lot  of  pheasants he had about two hundred bantams and  raised most of his pheasants under them for release the ones he raised in the brooders he kept for the following season for layers or sold  the bantam raised chicks were the ones he releases on the farm the bantams were very wild and free ranged most of the time he always watched where the bantams were brooding and removed them to brooding boxes with the pheasant  eggs he rarely missed one  then when hatched he had  small pens  for the bantam and  chicks  when they were about two weeks old  they were allowed out with the mother  she trained the chicks really well to watch out  for for predators and normally would  raise up most of the chicks they were all caught up when about four weeks old  and  removed to a large release pen  for several weeks  when released he had really good  luck with them and  losses were not  bad  we always  had  several wild clutches every years  on the  farm from releases stock i was back there last February and  saw  several wild  birds  descendent's  on these birdsthe last ones releases around there was at least 20 years ago Jim
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Jake Levi
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« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2008, 07:43:50 AM »

Hi Skipper

at the moment the best buy I have found on a bulk feeder is a Brower from Cutler, they are under $200 ea, 180 something, I will probably get two for the Pheasants.  It holds right at 300Lbs. The others I have seen are around $200 for 225-250 lb models.
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Jake Levi
Curran, MI

"A government big enough to give you all that you want is big enough to take all that you have".
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TexAg
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« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2008, 10:17:41 PM »

You can probably make your own currie feeder for pretty cheap.  Here is a link to how to make a quail feeder - just click on the link on the page to how to make a currie feeder.  I don't see why you couldn't do this for pheasant as well.

http://teamquail.tamu.edu/videos.htm

You could probably even stick this in your flypen as a way to feed your birds in the flypen and that way they'd already be accustomed to eating from these guys when you released them, might lessen the learning curve for them.
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skipper3905
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« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2008, 01:24:49 PM »

Tex ag,

Looked at the Currie feeder. Looks like the trick. Getting some 30 gal metal drums now.

From your handle I gather you are from Texas. If so, what part? I live in Tyler.
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TexAg
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« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2008, 08:04:57 PM »

Been raising quail here in houston in my backyard as a hobby for a couple years now.  The neighbors haven't complained yet surprisingly.
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coldwind
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« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2008, 09:34:11 PM »

Skipper, You have started a great conversation I have learned a great deal. This is only friendly advice, you must make the final desicions. It will be great when you walk out in your fields in the fall of 2008 and 2009 with your dog and see wild pheasants flush and glide across the countryside, I want you to hear them crow in the spring and see chicks hatch in the wild in the summer. I have been studying and researching on the wilder strains of the "True Pheasant" Ringneck type for 30 years, so I know a little bide about all of the wilder subspecies of the True pheasant.
I raised the wilder species years ago.

There is a lot of confusion about the subspecies of the true pheasant, let me share some of what I have learned with you. All subspecies of the True Pheasant (Ringneck type) produce fertile offspring. In the native wild state all forms of the True Pheasant interbreed freely when they are geographically close together producing completely fertile hybrids.

They are all completely similar in behavior and habits, the cocks crow alike the mating habits are all the same. The hens look alike, average person could not tell the difference between a  Ringneck hen in Kansas, a Manchurian hen or a whitewing hen  (some a bite smaller).

The True Pheasants are made up of one Genus (Phasianus) and Species and subspecies. For example Specie            ( Phasiananus Colchicus) Subspecie (Torquatus) pheasant is commomly know as the chinese ringnick some people call them "bluebacks" because of their bluish green rumps.
The Manchurian Ringneck is Specie (Phanasianus Colchicus) Subspecie (Pallasi).

Remember these are man made names the scientists or  Ornithologists put the bird into subspecies based on distinct markings.

There are four subspecies of the White-Winged Pheasants 1. ( P. C. Principalis) Afghan Whitewing, 2. (P.C.Zarudnyi) Zarundy's Pheasant, 3. (P. C. Bianchii) Bianchi's Pheasant, 4. (P. C. Mongolicus) Kirghiz Pheasant (This pheasant is often called the Mongolian pheasant).

To see an good example of wild cross or hybrid of the subspecies White-Wing and Ringneck pheasant Google or Yahoo  "Upland Birds photo gallery by James Prudente at pbase.com Ring-necked Pheasant" then ckick on all upland birds. Review all of the photos.

The white-wing pheasants are gifted with a strong survival gene pool, not only are they alert and wary they have excellent parenting skills both the hen and cock care for the chicks. That attribute along will increase survival. These birds are seen for hundreds of miles along the tough Rio Grande river, they have been there for 40 years and are expanding. If those birds can make a living in that tough country they can make a living in any part of Texas even other parts of the south.

I spend a little time watching game birds in the wild both quail and pheasant. With wild south Texas Bobwhite quail and when I was in Arizona watching the  Gambel's Quail both parents care for and watch over the chicks.

When you cross whitewing pheasant to a ringneck (hen are identical) 95% cocks from that cross will inherit the full ring or a partial ring. However, the most important thing about the cross is that the ringneck pheasants will also inherit strong survival genes of the whitewing. The average hunter can't tell (Most of the pheasant have a full ring) but the pheasants in the Texas Panhandle have the whitewing gene, they are wild and wary.

The reason the whitewing lay just a little later than the the ringneck is two fold: 1.Pheasant resently removed from the wild state (never been in the pen) will lay late. Truly wild Quail will also late late waiting for the summer or tropical rains the start, 2. On the other hand some of the ringneck hens over the years in the pen have been selected as good layer.

So Skipper, I hope this information is helpful, keep us posted on your progress.


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skipper3905
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« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2008, 02:32:41 AM »

Coldwind,

What a great post. Thanks for taking the time.

Just got through reading "Pheasants" by Peter Robertson along with Dennis Anderson (co-founder "Pheasants Forever"). A little discouraging, to tell the truth, as far as a chance of getting a sustaining population going.

Going ahead anyway. Have 500 quail in the incubator now. Have six 500 sf brood pens built and starting on three 3200 sf flypens. Have quite a bit of winter wheat, oats, and rye in the field now. Will start planting milo and gamebird mix about the middle of March. Got some Giant Ragweed seed also. Have dozens of 2 to 5 acre areas in the woods cleared now but will take a year or so to get good broomsege and brush cover on edges. I ask Jake earlier about feeders and came up with a "Currie" feeder mentioned on this board. Think it will do the trick.

Should get a hatch around Feb 28 or so. Will stick them in brooder for four weeks, growout pen for a week with "currie" feeder so they will know what that is and let most go. It will be six months or so before I have habitat in such shape that I feel I don't need feeders.

Hopefully in early March will order 200 or so pheasant eggs. Just want to see how that goes. Probably ringnecks. Will probably use them in shoots with friends. Whenever I figure out I sort of know what I am doing will get some Afghans. Have spotted several sites that sell Afghans. As I get comfortable with raising will get some of the McFarlane crosses. Already thinking about more flypens and don't have the three I'm building finished. Where I have the pens they will never see a person (at least rarely). Tying the flypens into a 4800 sf bldg that has slides for feed where they will not see a person.

Going to try different release ages but from what I have read leaning on 7 weeks for pheasant.

Trying to do some predator control. Have caught five feral cats so far. I have not seen a feral cat on my place in years. Thought the cayotes were taking care of them but they are there. From what I have read feral cats and snakes are worst predators. Don't think I have much of a snake problem but didn't think I had a cat problem either. 

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labmancan
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« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2008, 08:50:10 AM »

Your setup sounds great! how about some pictures, I love stealing ideas :grin:
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