Game Bird

Feeding Game Birds for Life

Wellness : Management

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Purina Animal Nutrition

The Purina Game Bird Life Cycle Feeding Program has been developed and tested at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center in Gray Summit, Missouri.

All phases of the game bird feed program are designed to meet specific nutritional requirements of game birds at various stages of growth and production. Purina feeding programs stress efficiency based on research conducted exclusively with game birds.

Quality game bird feeds from Purina®

Purina® Game Bird feeds are manufactured according to strict specifications. Purina® Game Bird feeds are not commercial turkey or poultry rations; they are unique products for unique species grown for unique reasons. We feel this is important because game birds eat such a relatively small quantity of feed. A quail chick, for example, eats only a thimbleful of feed in four days. Every bit of Purina® Game Bird feeds are Micro-Mixed® with Purina’s exclusive process. Every bite brings your birds complete, wholesome nutrition. Purina’s Life Cycle Program can help you efficiently raise all types of game birds from hatch to release or finish. 

How to feed game birds for shooting preserves

  • To grow solid well-feathered game birds that will fly in the field like natives, start chicks on Purina® Game Bird 30% Protein Starter. For the first few days sprinkle starter on egg flats or pieces of cardboard several times a day outside the brooder where plenty of light is available. As chicks begin to eat out of small chick-size feeders, remove the cardboard. 
  • When game birds are 6 weeks old, change to Purina® Game Bird Flight Conditioner. This highly fortified, low-fat ration is a complete diet and should be fed free choice. For best results feed Flight Conditioner until birds are released. Game Bird Maintenance is recommended for birds held over for breeders. Do not practice restricted feeding with game birds as it may produce molting. 


How to feed game birds for show condition

Fanciers want beautiful, bright plumage and firm, solid body condition on show birds, including ornamental varieties and waterfowl. Birds must be alert and proud — in the peak of health.

Start chicks on Purina® Game Bird 30% Protein Starter. When they reach 6 weeks of age, slowly change them to Purina® Game Bird Flight Conditioner. Continue to feed Game Bird Flight Conditioner free-choice right up to show time.

How to feed game birds for breeding 

By the same principle that a mother grows a stronger, healthier baby by eating well during pregnancy, the game bird hen directly improves the vigor of her chicks by eating a well-balanced ration while she is producing hatching eggs. That’s why Purina has taken such care in formulating Purina® Game Bird Layer which is specially fortified with nutritionally important vitamins and minerals.

Four weeks before the breeding season begins, switch to Purina® Game Bird Layer and feed it free-choice to all breeders through breeding season. No extra grain needs to be fed.  

Five special rations for game birds

  1. Purina® Game Bird Layer (20% protein) is formulated to support egg production, fertility, embryo development and chick vigor. Feed Game Bird Layer from one month prior to start of egg production until birds go out of production.
  2. Purina® Game Bird 30% Protein Starter is formulated to promote rapid growth through bone and muscle development. Feed Game Bird 30% Protein Starter for the first 6 weeks of life.
  3. Purina® Game Bird Flight Conditioner (19% protein) is formulated to stimulate growth and feathering with a minimal amount of body fat. Feed Flight Conditioner from 6 to 16 weeks to attain maximal feathering. Continue feeding Flight Conditioner until release to keep flying birds in top condition.
  4. Purina® Game Bird Maintenance (12.5% protein) is a holding ration for game birds that have reached maturity. Maintenance can be fed after 16 weeks of age or after the shooting season, whichever is desirable. This product is especially valuable for holding breeders over the winter.
  5. Purina® Gamebird Pheasant feed is available with or without Amprolium. Line up consists for five products each which include Starter, Finisher, Flight Conditioner, Maintainer, and the Breeder ration. Legally cleared for pheasants only to prevent coccidiosis in growing pheasants. 

Total game bird feed consumption

Game Bird 30% Protein Starter is a complete feed for starting quail, chukars, pheasants and mallard ducks.
Game Bird Feed per Bird Age
Quail 0.8 lbs 0-6 weeks
Chukar 1.4 lbs 0-6 weeks
Pheasant* 1.8 lbs 0-6 weeks
Mallard 6.5 lbs 0-6 weeks

Game Bird Flight Conditioner® is a complete feed for developing and conditioning birds for shooting preserves.

Game Bird Maintenance is a complete feed for supporting egg production, fertility, and hatchability.

Game Bird Maintenance is a complete feed for maintaining shooting preserves and breeding birds.

Figures shown here are actual amounts consumed by birds at the Purina Animal Nutrition Game Bird Research Unit in Gray Summit, MO. Under similar conditions birds on preserves or raised for finish can be expected to consume approximately the same amount of feed.

* Pheasant Chow® feeds are available in medicated (Amprolium 0.0175%) and non-medicated rations. Feeding recommendations are those given in the above outlined program.