Grouse are native to Canada and the Northern United States to include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Grouse are also known to live as far south as Georgia. Grouse populations are currently declining by as much as 40% in some locations in the US. The average lifespan of a Grouse is approximately 7 to 8 years of age.
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Shopping List: Gamebird Feed, waterer, and feeder, nesting box or ground cover.
Suggested Reading: Upland Game Birds: Their Breeding and Care by Dr. Leland Hayes, Ph.D
At the Post Office: Grouse are shipped express mail in a USPS-approved box. Promptly pick up your grouse from the post office as soon as possible to minimize stress and follow the release recommendations below.
Housing: Grouse will need to be placed in single pens by sex, side-by-side, that have a clear visual field that allows them to see one another, while maintaining a calm composure, and handle them minimally. Single pens will allow the male to gain his confidence throughout the winter and spring months and prevent the birds from causing damage from being aggressive to one another upon joining in the late spring.
Release: When Releasing in the late spring, you may begin reintroducing the birds into the shared pen one bird per day. Grouse require a minimum of 20 square feet per bird in an aviary setting and will need the pen to be soft-topped, such as netting, to avoid injury upon flight and the “hopping up” that the grouse tend to do. Their enclosure should provide ample space and have an area where they can hide if desired. As well as access to water and food. In addition to an aviary or pen, a grouse will require a sandbox and both a high (5 ft high) and a low (20 inches from the floor of the pen) perch pole within their shelter.
Water: 1 ½ oz of Apple Cider Vinegar per Gallon of water provided to the Grouse will prevent a condition called “Sour Crop”. Heated water bowls can be used in the winter months to prevent water from freezing.
Feed: Grouse feed on a 24% protein Game Bird Feed and are wonderful foragers, if given enough space. Our Grouse breeders add 1 cup of Vionate Minerals to each 5 gallons of Mazuri brand Game Bird Maintenance feed for optimal nutrition, proper digestion, and less waste. Offering #1 grit is also recommended.
Treats: Grouse enjoy treats such as chopped cranberries, smashed boiled and peeled eggs, dark green vegetables and other high-quality additions sparingly.
Safe Handling of Poultry: After handling poultry, wash your hands with soap and warm water. Do not let young children, elderly persons, or people with weak immune systems handle or touch live poultry. Do not snuggle or kiss your birds. You can get Salmonella from touching live fowl. Your birds can carry Salmonella and still appear healthy and clean. Regularly clean your poultry equipment.