In December of 2008, I got a new puppy, who brought on the long and unexpected, but rewarding journey of raising wild quail. When I first looked at getting another dog, it was strictly to keep my other dog, our “lawn furniture”, company- it was so much more.
She’s the first dog I’ve ever had that was worth a damn. From a young age, I could tell that she really had both the nose, and the passion for quail hunting. I found that invigorating.
However, I know absolutely nothing about training a dog and the more I read, the more confused I got.
The dog trainer I found, Harlan Winters, is an incredible man who worked wonders with my dog. Not only did he train my dog, but he also trained me in how to handle her.
He was also one of the first people who introduced me to raising wild quail and the idea of repopulating out at our family ranch. Thus began my journey on the path that now sees me raising wild quail for the fourth time.
Raising Wild Quail
When I first began raising wild quail, I spent countless hours and dollars experimenting with what so called experts considered to be the “best” release places, food type, and habitat after their initial release. I soon came to realize that what worked for them, may not work for me. As it turns out, baby quail don’t need any fancy green or blue goo to ensure their health. Infant mortality rate definitely fluctuated those first few cycles, and the more I saw, the more prominent a few key things became.
One: when raising wild quail it is important to remember that in this Texas heat, baby quail burn through food and water faster than greased lightning- replace food and water about once a week.
Two: the younger the quail are, the more likely they are to die. If you buy one week old quail as opposed to one day old quail, your experience raising wild quail.
Feeding Wild Quail
Update from 7/6/11 – One of the things I failed to consider early was the long term planning for feeding wild quail. Wild bobwhite quail are curious birds and are a challenge to supplementally feed. In my search for the best wild quail feeder, I spent many of my days experimenting with enclosed quail feeders and quail range feeders. I also made several attempts using quail starter feed and also quail chick starter feed (the aforementioned blue and/or green goo) with little progress towards finding a consistantly successful wild quail feeder. However, I do feel that I’m now narrowing in on an economical and long term solution for feeding wild quail. The reality of raising wild quail means that feeding the chicks becomes a priority, despite the challenges of doing so. Starter feed, enclosed feeders, range feeders (etc.) are all available choices for feeding wild quail, but not all feeders are considered equal.
Read up on our updated quail feeding design.