Releasing Quail Chicks

ilhunter

New member
I recently spoke with someone who raises quail and pheasants and they suggested releasing 4-6 week old chicks in the spring. They said that they have a lot of clients who do this and if the client has sufficient habitat the birds will learn how to survive and will last until hunting season in the fall.

Has anyone had success with this? I have a property that had a wild quail population until about 15 years ago. With some habitat improvements I think it can work again but I don’t want to waste the money if this person is just trying to make a sale.
 

Quailnerd

Member
Do your habitat work first which will be good for all the wildlife your property might hold. It’s HARD to get birds transplanted successfully for a sustainable population. Not impossible, but without great habitat your pissing in the wind. I’m not trying to talk you out of it by any means, but on my property all my success came from habitat improvements which brought wild birds in… and patience, there is not a quick fix. Best of luck!
 

ilhunter

New member
Thanks for the advice but I don’t think I made my question clear.

My intent isn’t to try to build a sustainable population with these chicks (as nice as that would be). The woman advised me to put out chicks in spring because they will learn to survive and therefore be better fliers and more enjoyable to hunt with my dog. She said that if I release full grown adults in the fall they would probably only last a week or two and would not be great fliers.

Does it seem realistic that 4-6 week old chicks released in the spring could survive until fall?
 

Huede

Member
A lot would depend on the amount of predators in the area,type of cover and also what type of cover the bordering properties have. I released some in September and have been seeing them through the middle of December. They weren't full grown chicks but close. We have excellent cover to help control predator killsvand keeping them on the property.
 

birddude

Active member
Its hit and miss. My brother and his wife raised and sold quail for years. We tried it several times. It somewhat worked when released out in a bean field and fed for a while. I think the beans helped protect them from arial predators. There must be adequate cover around also. We had more failures than successes though. We once released 80. In a place with good cover. 5 made it. The best way to do it is bite the bullet, buy flight pen raised adult birds. Release and shoot. I also knew a guy who was fairly successful at it, but he had a big farm with good habitat. He raised his own chicks and released a couple thousand a year.
 
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