Efficient game bird production requires a thorough understanding and application of the fundamental principles of good husbandry.
These game bird management tips include breeding, nutrition, sanitation and general management.
Game bird breeding
Good breeding gives game birds the ability to perform satisfactorily and produce chicks that are healthy and free from infectious disease.
Game bird nutrition
An adequate amount of a balanced ration containing all required nutrients, vitamins and minerals is necessary for good health and resistance to disease.
Cleanliness is essential in providing a healthful environment to minimize exposure to infectious disease agents.
Provide the proper environment and care, to minimize stress which precipitates disease loss and lowers resistance to infection, and ensuring the first three principles are successfully implemented on a regular basis.
Practical application of these basic principles can minimize disease loss and repay the slight cost and effort many times.
Game bird management timeline
- Prepare brooding facilities.
- Disinfect facilities with an appropriate cleaner/disinfectant.
- Test all equipment 1 day prior to starting chicks.
Weeks 1 - 6
- Place birds immediately after emergence from egg.
- Provide Game Bird Startena® on paper with plenty of clean, fresh water.
- Trim beaks.
Week 6 to maturity
- Provide recommended brooding temperatures and maintain dry quarters. Chicks should be started with a hover temperature of 90 degrees F the first week. Lower it 5oF per week for the next three weeks. In warm weather, heat is usually not necessary after the fourth week. Remember to check the temperature near the floor where the birds are. If you are using heat lamps to raise the temperature, be sure to allow places for the birds to escape the heat and cool off if they feel the need.
- Watch for symptoms of paratyphoid, coccidiosis, aspergillosis, navel and E. coli infection.
- Obtain a laboratory diagnosis if disease mortalities occur.
- Feed Game Bird Flight Conditioner or Finisher depending on the purpose for which the bird is reared.
- Trim beaks again at 6 weeks. Further routine beak trimming can be done at 10 or 14 weeks.
- Watch for symptoms of illness.
- Examine birds for parasites such as round worms, capillaria, gape and cecal worms, lice and mites.
Keeping Records or Productions Costs
The intelligent way to sell birds for release or for market is to know what it costs to grow them. Here are items on which you will need to keep records in order to figure total production costs: Chick cost, labor, feed cost, medication, depreciation on facilities and equipment, insurance on facilities and birds, utilities, litter cost, repairs and maintenance cost, interest on operating capital and taxes1
1 Please contact your local authorities to understand local ordinances and proper facility management.