Game Bird Housing

Sep 19, 2019

Game Bird Housing
Game Bird Housing

A successful game bird program begins with proper housing that allows adequate space for birds to consume water and feed. 

Before you bring home your first game bird, ensure your facility is properly set-up to meet the needs of a growing game bird.

How much water space do game birds need? 

Game birds need lots of water to grow fast and stay healthy. Clean, fresh water should be provided at all times.

The following water and drinking space requirements are recommended for day-old game bird chicks: 
Game Bird Three 1-gal. water founts will take care of: Drinking space needed with through-type waters:
Quail 300 birds 1 foot per 100 birds
Chukars 200 birds 1 foot per 50 birds
Pheasants & Mallards 100 birds 1 foot per 25 birds

How much feeder space do game birds need?

The following linear feeder space requirements are recommended for game birds at different ages:
Game Bird 1-10 days 10 days - 6 weeks 6 weeks & over
Quail 1/2 inch 1 inch 1 1/2 inches
Chukars 3/4 inch 1 1/2 inches 2 inches
Pheasants &
1 inch 2 inches 3 inches

Game bird housing requirements

Good ventilation and adequate space per bird are the most important factors to remember when building a brooder house regardless of the area where you live. A good rule of thumb for ventilation is to provide one cubic foot of air per minute for each pound of body weight. 

The accompanying table gives estimates of bird density requirements per square foot of floor space.
Number of Birds Per Square Foot of Floor Space
Game Bird 1-10 days 10 days - 6 weeks 6 weeks & over
Quail 9 6 3
Chukars 6 3 1
Pheasants &
4 1 0.05

We suggest you talk with successful game bird producers in your state about housing specifications. The same advice goes for building flight pens, a duck flight tower or other facilities.

Game bird litter

To help chicks maintain health and grow, keep the brooder house floor clean and dry. Wood shavings and rice hulls have been used successfully as litter.

Rearing bird shooting preserve stock

When birds are to be grown for release it is best to move them from the brooder house to flight pens at the end of their sixth week. Switch to Purina Flight Conditioner® product and provide it until 14-16 weeks or until the birds are fully feathered. To keep birds in optimal shape you can feed Purina Flight Conditioner® product until the time of release. Provide small shelters or vegetation to protect birds from driving rain and hot sun.

---- Purina Animal Nutrition

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