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Author Topic: releasing birds  (Read 12908 times)
jgalo
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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2008, 09:44:25 AM »

100 to 105 during the day and 78 to 85 at night.  These birds came from Wadley Quail Farm.  Just got another 600 yesterday except about 75 came broken.  Probably more but it was dark when I was placing them in the incubator.  I'll make a closer inspection later.

Should I leave a small light on them anyway?  They made it thru the night.  Yea.
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wildergamebirds
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« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2008, 10:05:04 AM »


  They don't need light.  They don't need heat, either, if they are over 5 weeks old (I am assuming these are the ones you mean.

  That breakage rate isn't unusual form them, wish they would use foam.  Part of the problem is egg size in small quail trays.

  The spiral leg bands are a little tricky.  I just pull them a little, turn them sideways, and twist/wrap them around.  It would be easier with three hands, but there isn't really room for three hands dealing with young birds.
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jgalo
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« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2008, 11:04:38 AM »

3 weeks Friday the 4th.  Temp as above.
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CharlieHorse
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« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2008, 12:26:13 PM »

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The spiral leg bands are a little tricky.  I just pull them a little, turn them sideways, and twist/wrap them around. 

Same here.  I always have someone else put them on as I hold the bird.
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wildergamebirds
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« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2008, 12:39:51 PM »

3 weeks Friday the 4th.  Temp as above.

  A little bit of heat, on a thermostat, would be nice for them through the night, just in case of a sudden storm.  A chill of 65, or even 70 will likely cost you a few birds, at that age.  If you have heat set to come on at 75-78, you will be safe, and probably won't burn a dollars worth of energy the next two weeks.
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jgalo
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« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2008, 11:57:58 PM »

Have been building several more prototypes of release pens.  Still not sure what is going to work best.  It was a bit of a setback going from releasing 125 birds at a time to 40.  Need a lot more pens.  Started with 4 x 8 x 4 with 1/2 wire cages that I can butt up to my brooders and let the birds go back and forth.  The birds really love to get out in the dirt only problem is I don't think the wire will hold up.  Coons, bobcats, coyotes and hogs will rip them up. Trapped over 175 coyotes since January.  Few bobcats in there too.  Tried to design a hog panel enclosure but it got to complicated.  Thought about electric wire, then just changed to the 1/2" flat expanded metal cage.  That should keep everything out, but may still have to use the electric fence if the hogs bump them around to much. ( Oh by the way we offer predator hunts year round)  Made a real nice round pen.  Wish I could post picture, but I have switched over to Mac and can't figure anything out yet.  It is actually easier to build a web page than to change the size of my photos so I am in the process of building that too.  Cons to the round pen is that it doesn't have the exercise room of the 4 x 8 cage.  I am very suspicious of the claims of the Surrogator.  The first 17 (because the other 283 day olds died because they were shipped over a weekend) birds I raised went straight from the brooder to release at five weeks and they just sat there and didn't even fly even after kicking the brush.  I don't know if it was the birds, but these new birds have become very skiddish since having access to the exercise cage and the ones that went in the first cage at two weeks are wilder then the ones at 3 weeks and the ones today at 4 weeks spend more time in the brooder.  ( Still don't have enough cages)  Some even escaped and if I can catch them anything can. How is everyone else doing with their releases?  Anybody had good success out there?

Fixxing to learn from experience....
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skipper3905
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« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2008, 10:23:17 PM »

Jgalo,

I am up in East Texas and trying the same thing. Got habitat in pretty good shape. Planning on pheasant releases next year and have been releasing quite a few quail. First quail release last of March, about 150 birds. Still seeing quite a few of them. Released some jumbo BWs about 3 weeks ago (different area) and have seen none of them. I have about 350 jumbos about ready to release now but apprehensive about them. Just don't seem as wild as regular BWs. Just put 600 reg BW eggs in hatcher so should get a good fall release with them. Of course, it's way too early to tell if any of this will take or not. Will be next spring at earliest.

A big problem I see is the quail I find in the field do not flush well at all. I raised them in large flypens with little or no human exposure. Still, they fly much later than wild quail when approached. Have been pretty aggresive in predator control and that may be the only reason I have any survivors. I'm afraid that won't last.

Like you, I just don't see how the surragator will work but I may be missing something. I have a large brooder (250 sf) and have released right out of the brooder at five weeks. Birds just stood around. Weather permitting, better to put in large flypens with lots of grain plants around 4 weeks and give them 1 1/2 weeks to adjust. Birds a lot wilder when released.

Can't imagine trapping 175 coyotes since January. I have a few but nothing like that. Little bit of a hog problem, they are all over the place here. Have about 1200 acres but not much bottomland so hogs worse elsewhere. Do have a few bobcats but nowhere near the predator problem you have.

Have you found a good strain of drought resistant corn? Tried several types of drought resistant sweet corn this year. Almost nothing produced though it has been a exceptionally dry year. Going to try field corn next year. I have about 150 Afghan-ringneck crosses that I am going to try to use for base stock on pheasant. I think it's important to have some large grain feed plots. Will get serious on pheasant next year. Sort of using quail as training wheels now.

 

 
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jgalo
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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2008, 11:29:08 AM »

No fields down here.  We have only had 2.5" of rain for the year.  The ranch is 9700 acs.  Thats why so many predators.  We made adjustments to reduce our release numbers because of the blogs posted here, but I am not sure which way will work.  I was hoping survival because of numbers as in Africa.  I know the predators are going to get theirs, thats why I thought it would be better to release more at one time.  It seams like small groups in many areas will be picked off slowly until you have nothing because they will be exposed to more predators where as bigger bunches in less areas, it would seam, have a better chance.  I did not know that the birds would travel such great distances. 
I am they to keep a pictorial log of what we have been doing.  You can see it at    http://web.mac.com/johngalo


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jgalo
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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2008, 03:40:07 PM »

Released 50 birds this morning.  I say released, they can come and go, but they stay close to the release pen.  They flush (not easily) but return to the pen.  Should I remove the release pen and make them be on the own or leave it for couple of days? (Updated pics on the web page)  Afraid if I leave it a coon or something will get them at night.
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wildergamebirds
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« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2008, 10:06:30 PM »


  Your instincts are probably right.  It might be OK to leave it out there, if you could close it, and release them every morning.  Something like a "Johnny House".
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CharlieHorse
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« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2008, 09:48:54 AM »

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Afraid if I leave it a coon or something will get them at night.

It's not a matter of "if"...........it's more like "when".    :-|   I'd take the pen up myself.
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jgalo
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« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2008, 09:54:04 PM »

  Had a quail drive today.  Had to push them like cattle.  Herded them out to the field to a feeder we set out there.  Found some sleeping in the flower bed other under the feeder.  They will run from me but don't fly.  I don't mind them staying close to the house, probably safer anyway, but they sure aren't wild.
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jgalo
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« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2008, 08:59:19 AM »

Released all of the quail yesterday.  I had birds that were move to exercise cages at different times.  Some at 2 weeks some at 3 weeks and the rest at 4 weeks.  The only ones that are wild are the ones that I moved at 2 weeks.  The rest you can walk up close and they just push ahead.  The ones that were moved at 2 weeks flew as soon as I approached.  They flew about 30 yards to the cattle pens and some landed in a tree.  Thats pretty good for never having flown before.  I expected the results from my observations of how they acted in the cage,  but had thought the later moved birds would have been wilder since they had less visible contact.  I am going to try to repeat the results with Chukars and Gambels.  Only 1 of the Chukars I hatched has died in the brooder as compared to 40 of the day old Gambels I bought. Still losing 1 to 2 Gambel chicks everyday.  They are 11 days old now.  They get vitamins and medicine in thier water.  Any suggestions,

 Anyway, I am going to split the Chukars (67 birds) into 2 cages.  Group 1 will go into the brooder with the 8' exercise cage at the barn and group 2 will go into the round release cage and be moved over to a nearby pond to be left alone.  I installed a 12v light with a car battery and solar panel and wafer thermostat to the round cage for heat.  Only thing that scares me is rain.

I going to give the Gambels another week to 10 days before I move them, if I have any left.  They are still tiny.


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jgalo
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« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2008, 11:04:25 PM »

Project update....  Released all 350 GGBW's near the house. Figure they have a better chance like that.  Neat seeing all those birds like that, but they are pretty easy prey.   Hawks were getting some.  Had Hurricane Dolly come thru.  There was about 50 that rode it out under the barn.  Now I only see about that many.  Was moving 400 newly hatched GGBW to the brooders when they  came flying in.  They are 6 weeks old now and are big birds.  They act like wild quail except they don't mind us being around as long as we don't try to get to close..  Hopefully if they make thru the year their offspring will be wilder.

Both the Chukars and the Gambel quail are in the exercise cages and seem very wild.  You can't approach them because they start flying and crashing into the walls.  Hopefully that's a good sign.  Building some portable flight pens/release pens.  Got some questions.  How do you transtition from the sides to the netting.  I bought 1" netting.  Is that to big for 3 and 4 week old birds?  It will start 2' above the ground ( birds on the ground).  I was thinking of alternating the 2' tall side panels with 4' plywood or tin and 4' flat expanded metal.  I want these birds to see what's out there, but be able to hide also.  Is 30' to 40' long ok?  Will move the whole brooder inside at 2 weeks and open the gate so they can come and go.  Release at 5-6 weeks.  Do you think they will lose more instinct if I leave them in longer?
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Iowan
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« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2008, 02:17:00 PM »

For what it's worth....We put a few used Christmas trees in the flight pens. Up here at least, they stay green (frozen) until spring, then we'll dig out clumps of switchgrass, roots and all for them to root around in. Don't know if it helps, but at least they do run & hide into some cover whenever I approach.  Wild Cedar trees & branches last the longest in warmer weather, & they are readily available from any pasture. I don't have much land as you do, so I take what I can get. The neighbors love my quail-pen, just for my cutting the Cedars from the pastures.

Good luck, I've enjoyed reading about your progress!
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