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Author Topic: Huns in surrogator  (Read 11850 times)
Iowan
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« on: June 14, 2008, 07:42:54 PM »

Here's the info. Been raising BW's for a few years with a friend, mostly for fun & dog training. Tried a few releases w/o success.

Now for the good part....a VERY generous landowner has bought a surrogator for us to use on his property. We have 65 two day old chicks ready to transport within the next few days..Iowa weather being the main decisive factor.

Just wondering if anyone else has tried this. I'm guessing we're the 1st!!

Land is 50- 50 CRP (very well managed & very thick) & corn/beans, along a small river.  Will post our success or failure..welcome any advice!!
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wildergamebirds
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2008, 11:30:14 AM »

  I'm not sure why you picked Huns.  Pretty expensive chicks.  I would suggest brooding them in a more normal manner until 2-3 weeks of age.  They take such special care, I doubt the Surrogator will give good results.  After three weeks, it might do the job.  Do you already have a population of Huns on the property to "adopt" the youngsters?  Have you tried the Surrogator with Quail, or Pheasant to get a feel for how they work?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 02:31:40 PM by wildergamebirds » Logged

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slider
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2008, 01:17:33 PM »

Wilder is right...its gona take a trick to pull this one off...save your money and do Bobwhite first..
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puphood1
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 10:04:37 AM »

My experience with raising  Huns is limited to 2 years. I find that for the first 2 weeks they need and if they get special care do very well. I have for the first 10days to 2 weeks feed them daily hard boiled eggs and good old water melon and have very few looses of the healthy chicks. I don't know if the surrogator can do this. But at 2 weeks old it may work for huns once they are past this eating ajustment period. My question is why would you use a surrogator if you have a flight pen as these birds I raised last year never tamed down at all and were released here this spring. We have lots of wild Huns here and what I have found is the birds are not to particular about very thick cover like pheasants. They are found in growing grain fields and grass with the same thickness so they can move around in under the canope. However they seem to nest in the thick stuff and then move the coveys into the adjacent grain fields. Good luck with the Huns as I have found they are worth the extra $$$ and are a great release bird....puphood1
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Iowan
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 01:04:30 PM »

Thanks for all the info. Yes the eggs were a little spendy, but the surrogator use is free.  Have the chicks in a brooder for now and are doing very well. Lost only 1 chick since they hatched. Doing the boiled egg thing, will ad watermelon also.

There used to be alot of Huns here 15-20 years ago, but farming practices have changed...not alot of small grains anymore, that in my opinion was key for them. I know they are very tough birds that wait out the winter storms out in the open not in heavy cover.

The flight pen is full of BW's, and they just can't handle an average winter in Northern Iowa after release.  The owner of the surrogator wanted to try Huns, and after they're released, we'll going to cycle some pheasants.
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puphood1
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2008, 02:11:32 PM »

Well I live in Alberta Canada the land of ice and hockey and if these birds can live here they can live in your area. The key is some sort of grain crops with small cover plots 40 plus acres. I have let my 30 acre hay field grow out for the last 3 years and can attest to the increase in not only Huns but Pheasants on the farm. In our area the biggest populations of Huns is with the crop and cover next to each other however in winter they benefit by hedge row cover for shelter from snow storms.
I have personally witnessed these birds in the winter tunneling under the deep snow with no obvious signs any where on top of the snow of there were abouts to a standing pointer during training. With further investigation after 6-8 Huns rocketed to the surface I found a maze of tunnels on the grain field floor where they had been scratching and feeding if I had not seen it myself I would not have believed it. There was over a foot of snow at that time and they were in close proximity to some thick hedge rows. If they do not have winter protection they either die of move away to suitable cover areas. They do not need hedge rows in the summer but they are important in their winter survival.....puphood1
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 02:21:56 PM »

We did not say that they could not take the cold...its raising them in the  surrogator thats the problem...but if he does not put them in it until they are 2 to 3 weeks old then he may not have a problem. They are pretty much over the hump by them...The purpose of the surrogator is to keep them totally from human intervention..which means that most put the birds into it after leaving the hatcher.
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puphood1
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 09:45:32 PM »

We did not say that they could not take the cold...its raising them in the  surrogator thats the problem...but if he does not put them in it until they are 2 to 3 weeks old then he may not have a problem. They are pretty much over the hump by them...The purpose of the surrogator is to keep them totally from human intervention..which means that most put the birds into it after leaving the hatcher.
Not trying to get anyone upset however the advantage of using Huns in the first place is from what I see they don't imprint on me at all. I have raised B.W.'s for 10 years and by the end of summer the birds tame down some what in my flight pen however the 2 years that I have raised Huns at the end of the following spring  they still want nothing to do with me and still crash into the sides of the netting etc when I enter the pen. So I guess my question is if you have a flight pen and limit your contact with them why would you go to the trouble of a surrogator? P.S I can see it with Quail, Chukar and even Pheasants that all seem to be able to tame down or imprint but I have not seen
this with Huns. just some thoughts....puphood1
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Iowan
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2008, 01:23:09 PM »

Updated info...Once again I thank you for your input!! We're going to hold the birds in the brooder a while longer to ensure a healthy start.

The property should be ideal. About 700 acres. A mix of crops & grassy cover. The hillsides do have alot of Wild Plum thickets also.

I agree with you in questioning the use of the surrogater.  Please note the landowner supplied the surrogater & eggs. We already had everything else in place from our BW hobby..ie..incubators, brooding areas, & supplies.  Our only investment money wise is the the feed & time spent. My friend owns a feed store, so we buy in bulk at cost.

This project is just the product of a conversation over coffee early one cold morning last winter in a small town in Iowa.
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slider
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2008, 03:57:43 PM »

Good Luck with them I hope that they do real good for you...
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jbird
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2008, 09:11:31 PM »

puphood1   (I have personally witnessed these birds in the winter tunneling under the deep snow with no obvious signs any where on top of the snow of there were abouts to a standing pointer during training. With further investigation after 6-8 Huns rocketed to the surface I found a maze of tunnels on the grain field floor where they had been scratching and feeding if I had not seen it myself I would not have believed it.)

WOW,  thats really neat! I have never heard of Huns or any other bird doing that before. I'm originally from Iowa when I grew up the winters were really cold, snow up to your --- and you thought spring would never come.
Dad always would let the Pheasant hunters go through his picked corn fields in the fall as he did not hunt himself.  I always felt sorry for the birds in January and February because of the deep snow and cold. It was nothing unusual for it to be 10 to 30 below at night and if it got above 0 during the day you thought it was a warm spell.
Anyway, good luck with your birds
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Iowan
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2008, 01:12:11 PM »

The chicks have been out in the surrogator for several days now. Lost 5 the 2nd night. A cold front came through and dropped the temp to 51. This could have been prevented if we rounded off the corners...a serious flaw in the unit.  No losses at last check 3 days after.  Plan to only check them once a week from now on.
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Bird Brained
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2008, 07:49:09 PM »

...the advantage of using Huns...they don't imprint on me at all.

...Huns at the end of the following spring  they still want nothing to do with me...

 P.S I can see it with Quail, Chukar and even Pheasants that all seem to be able to tame down or imprint but I have not seen this with Huns.

Yeah, it's not like you could ever tame Huns to the point of eating from your hand...and this pic proves it!   :grin:

P.S. I raised them for many years and they would tame down without even trying...you actually had to work harder to make them not go tame.


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puphood1
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2008, 01:31:34 PM »

I have never tried to tame down my birds and as a matter of fact have gone to great lengths not to. Feeding Huns out of your hand thats great if thats what you want to do I guess. The thread is going under the assumption of trying to keep the birds as wild as possible for release hence the attempt and use of the Surrogate brooder.
I give my birds min. contact and go and feed and water my Huns once a day more to check on them when they are chicks and they want nothing to do with me at all and they are 4 weeks old now. Heah maybe I'm not treating them like pets then expecting them to live outdoors with the other pet skunks, weasels, hawks etc. I think you get my picture. I don't intend on getting my birds tame and all I was saying was my Huns with min. contact don't.  Compaired to my Quail and Pheasants treated the same way which by the way won't eat out of my hand either by the end of the year. However they are no way as wild acting as the Huns by example the Pheasants and Quail come a running to me when I enter the pen and they are out of feed which my Huns would never do.
My Huns are going next week at 5 weeks old out in the 15X 20X 100 foot  flight pen weather permitting and again will have min contact with me as every thing is set up for min. contact such for h2o and feed. These birds should be flying well at 7-8 weeks and ready for release in groups of 6-10 birds at 10-12 weeks old. I believe that even with there wildness the released Huns still have a high mortality as they have no older birds to learn from but it is still better than releasing a imprinted hand feed bird. And by the way I didn't say they could not be imprinted. Have a good day....puphood1
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Bird Brained
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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2008, 07:35:43 PM »

Someone had a bowl of bad post-toasties today...Is that a play on words?...."post"-toasties   lol :)

Lighten up there "hun-e", I'm just fun'n.....there I go again  :laugh:

Good lord, life's too short for such a short fuse.  Live a little, smile and have some fun.
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