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Mar 25th, 2012
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Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... #7420718 01/31/19 09:22 PM
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I have recently purchased a ranch that has a large set of flight pens with attached shed. I also have a friend that hatches and raises all kinds of birds. Even though the property has a native population of Bobwhite quail we are thinking of supplementing them and possibly also doing some pheasants.

The down side is the ranch is 4-1/2 hours from home. Is it possible to set up food and water to hold them for 10-14 days or do they require more maintenance than that?


Last edited by Tbar; 01/31/19 09:24 PM.

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Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: Tbar] #7420734 01/31/19 09:33 PM
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They should be fine for 14 days except for varmints.


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: Tbar] #7421180 02/01/19 03:46 AM
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deer feeder full of scratch or milo and an automatic waterer.
You should consider an electric fence or heavy duty hardware cloth along the lower four feet -- raccoons will grab quail near the fence and pull off their heads if the can get their paws thru the fence.

Pen raised quail only last a day or two in the wild. They have no survival skills. So you won't be supplementing the native population though you can use pen-raised for training birds.

Birds from the Tennessee Red strain of bobs are better fliers and wilder than other bobs.

Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: Mundo] #7421372 02/01/19 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Mundo
deer feeder full of scratch or milo and an automatic waterer.
You should consider an electric fence or heavy duty hardware cloth along the lower four feet -- raccoons will grab quail near the fence and pull off their heads if the can get their paws thru the fence.


The pens have tin run all the way around them but have a couple of predator penetrations that would need to be fixed.

Originally Posted by Mundo
Pen raised quail only last a day or two in the wild. They have no survival skills. So you won't be supplementing the native population though you can use pen-raised for training birds.

Birds from the Tennessee Red strain of bobs are better fliers and wilder than other bobs.


We have tried a couple of releases in the past at the other ranch without much luck. If we were to get the pen raised quail released in close proximity to a wild covey would they merge and learn?

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The story we got about the pens was the PO leased the property to 5 people to hunt/work their dogs for $5k a piece. When the drought hit and numbers plummeted they built the pens so they would have birds to work the dogs.



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Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: Tbar] #7422122 02/02/19 12:26 AM
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They are unlikely to join a wild covey--if it is not a shuffle period the wild birds are likely to drive them off.

I released @ 150-200 birds before I started one covey in good habitat. I think the birds that took were young ones that I let a puppy chase every day or so and then recalled as soon as he was put up. If this is the case you need a puppy that is too small to catch birds.

Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: Tbar] #7422134 02/02/19 12:34 AM
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I had a Johnny house across the road, and hosted NSTRA trials over there. Found feral birds for a couple of months.

One year and one year only there were two roosters with two different clutches at the entrance to my subdivision. Never saw then again.


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: Tbar] #7423312 02/03/19 02:21 PM
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Pens are 100’ x 30’

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Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: Tbar] #7424306 02/04/19 03:31 PM
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looks like a good start


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Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: Tbar] #7425205 02/05/19 03:30 PM
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I personally don't think it would work. I have a friend that raised quail for many years. His comment about raising quail was, "They are all just looking for reason to die." PM me if you want his phone number. A very few may survive, but everything in the wild loves to eat quail. Hawks are especially lethal on them.

Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: DoubleB20] #7425678 02/06/19 01:34 AM
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I have raised quail for the 12 years. DoubleB20 is right. Quail are just looking for a way to die. Holes in nets. Varmits (you will not be able to keep them out unless your there daily). They will die trying to get in. Both airel and ground predators.

Then the real problem. Disease unless you know what to look for and see it on a consecative day basis. You will likely release sick birds into the wild. Which can spread rapaidly through wild birds. Their immune systems are very week in response to pen raised bird DIsease.

Cheaper and more responsible to buy birds from a good breeder.

Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: Tbar] #7425692 02/06/19 01:51 AM
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My grandfather tried to get me to raise qual 20 years ago to sell and they weren’t worth it then.

Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: Tbar] #7429264 02/09/19 09:19 PM
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i raised BW for 10 years in so cali before moving here - i had three cages with 8x20 each- each pen had a small door to move them from one pen to another.

we normally got our day olds from kansas = we would buy 200 at a time and get a 50-60% survival to flight ready birds =when we found them locally and could get them 4-5 weeks old we were looking at 70% survival =

we had to add concrete floor after rats and coons got in and killed several runs = we would raise about 300 per year - and final cost averaged about 5 bucks after feed, water etc. rain was a killer if we got the birds early in the spring - even with raised houses they got wet and die- we added lights and that helped - we could keep about 80 -100 per cages and took 16 weeks for full flight ready- we would clean the cages every week sweeping up the crap and adding new straw. lots of hard work- but there was no other choice if you wanted to hunt and work the dogs in so cali.

chucker were easy - 1 day old never lost a bird as they eat the wheel for food during the trip- but they eat like pigs = we were paying 14 buck per 50 libs feed and 7 bucks bail for dry wood chips.

we added a barrier between the feeders and water so they had to fly back and forth- work great- about every 3rd or so batch we would get crappy flyers - maybe they were too young and just did not want to fly but the dogs had a blast anyway

we would get 90% harvest out in the desert and never found any pen raised when we went back the next week end- we even left water and food to see if they would survey - never

but we got to hunt year round and the dogs were in heaven = bw are no native to calif so there was no issue the fish and game

there were 5 of us taking turns cleaning and buying the food so it was not a real issue

i want to do that here but seems like the fish and game guys have alot of regs how to raise and where to release as they are native birds in TX - Tennessee reds were the fastest flyer and george jumbos were the biggest -

if anyone is near waco - and want to look into raising birds pm me -

Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: ikoolu] #7430033 02/10/19 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ikoolu

i want to do that here but seems like the fish and game guys have alot of regs how to raise and where to release as they are native birds in TX - Tennessee reds were the fastest flyer and george jumbos were the biggest -


In Texas you need aprvate hunting reserve license, to be able to show the source of your birds and have banded all birds to release pen raised birds.

Many game wardens don't require this for covey house birds as they are recalled, but they will for any released bird you don't recall.

Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: Mundo] #7431881 02/12/19 02:33 PM
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yes i read that in the regs - so i we did this we would need a place to post and register - real pain here in tx compared to calif - i wonder if Tennessee reds are considered native in tx?

i finally meet one of three gm for my county - i will call him and ask what he thinks

Re: Quail Flight Pen Maintenace......... [Re: ikoolu] #7433264 02/13/19 07:42 PM
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Yes, reds are considered bobs and you have to band them. The gamebird reserve license doesn't cost that much as I recall. You also need a license for chukar and pheasants. Any bird you take after release needs a band or some sort of identifier. You can release coturnix quail but they are pretty tame and hard to get wild enough for training--also, they migrate and will leave the area when weather or food changes and probably never return. You just aren't likely to be able to raise birds that survive in the wild and repopulate an area. For training purposes you might consider homers. They have to be penned for a long time before they recall but are easy to recall--much easier than bobs.

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