4 Tips on Raising Gamebirds for Release
People raise birds like quail, pheasants, turkeys and partridge for many reasons. One often cited reason is for release. Just as some people raise swans so they can enjoy seeing them, people raise game birds for the joy of knowing there is a healthy population on or near their property. Hunters also raise game birds for release so that there will be an adequate supply for hunting.
Regardless of your reason, if you are thinking about raising game birds for release, there are a few things you need to know:
1. Some states have strict rules regarding what can and cannot be raised and released, and many states require special licensing and permits for individuals to do so. Check with the Department of Fish and Wildlife or the Department of Natural Resources in your state.
2. A 5-10% survival rate is considered successful. You should not expect to have a huge increase in population in the first or even second year you raise and release game birds.
3. You should be aware of disease and proper management techniques. For one thing, you do not want to introduce disease into the native population and for another, you do not want to see the birds you are raising stricken with disease.
4. Do not mix domestic poultry with game birds you plan to release. Some bacteria and viruses that do not make domestic poultry like chickens sick can make game birds ill. Also, the more you interact with the game birds, the less their chance for survival after release.