Feeding red leg partridge

dryan

Well-Known Member
Incubating a load of partridge at the moment and am trying to plan how much feed I will need.

I'm planning to keep on pellets till 4 or 5 weeks old, then move into bigger pens and put on wheat.

Birds will be kept in the pens till 1st November, then released on a weekly basis to allow for a bit of walked up shooting.

Not having raised partridge before, I'm looking for advice on feeding- does the above feed plan sound prudent ?
 

Tim.243

Well-Known Member
Incubating a load of partridge at the moment and am trying to plan how much feed I will need.

I'm planning to keep on pellets till 4 or 5 weeks old, then move into bigger pens and put on wheat.

Birds will be kept in the pens till 1st November, then released on a weekly basis to allow for a bit of walked up shooting.

Not having raised partridge before, I'm looking for advice on feeding- does the above feed plan sound prudent ?
It is a long time to keep them in a pen with the weather coming up to Nov. it could be dry but come a wet cold spell they could well had enough. I had them for 2 years but never had enough cover to hold them as the farm scheme changed.
 

BigPat

Well-Known Member
That does sound like a long time in pens. Honestly, I am not a partridge expert and on the few occasions I have had them I found them to be quite fragile and very susceptible to getting unwell when in the pen. So my methodology has been to get them out ASAP but to have a lot of water and food stations to hold them…….even then the % return has been very poor compared to the humble pheasant.
 

jimmer.13

Well-Known Member
I used to recieve my Partridges at around 14 weeks old. Until that point they had been fed crumb micro pellet rearer pellet etc. Mine would be in decent sized release pens for the shortest time possible to reduce stress and the possibilties of disease and pecking. All the time being fed on maintainence pellets and then by feeders in the covers with a mixture of wheat and pellets.
By the end of August all were out as I dont think they do well in pens for any time longer than they have to be. I wouldnt know how game farmers with closed flocks go on but my advice would be feed them good quality pellet until released and then keep on with a mixture of pellet and wheat to keep them interested.
Some may question canned partridge shooting and the top up method gets bad press amongst the game shooting comunity.
Release them as early as you can control the predators and manage and feed their habbitat pal.
Best of luck👍
 

Scandially

Well-Known Member
No wheat until 12-14 weeks and release on to game crop with seeds. Love artichokes but too late to plant them now. Plenty insects out so will save you a fortune on pen feeds.
 

JH83

Well-Known Member
Keep on pellets permanently is what I have always done, and been told by several experienced keepers. Not just not as partial to wheat. I guess that hinges on the second point, you can’t keep them locked in a pen for that long, they are devils for dying of stress and disease. I usually have most in the pen for 2-3 days then start dripping them out until a week later there’s 10% as call birds, the rest stick like 💩 to a blanket....but I keep them on pellets all season. It’s expensive but we hit them hard in October/November. All shoots hold birds differently but this works for me.

Forgive me but you aren’t suggesting letting go just prior to the shoot are you (maybe I mis understood this point) Not trying to cast aspersions but that’s not ideal. They really need to be out of the pen at the start of the season or you’d risk running foul of the WCA. Just friendly advice.
 

baguio

Well-Known Member
Not sure that they will fly well if only let out just before you want to shoot them. Plenty of feeders in the cover will hold them and keep them a lot healthier than keeping them penned up. Coccidiosis will probably kill them is you pen them for that long anyway.
 

steve sxs

Well-Known Member
Incubating a load of partridge at the moment and am trying to plan how much feed I will need.

I'm planning to keep on pellets till 4 or 5 weeks old, then move into bigger pens and put on wheat.

Birds will be kept in the pens till 1st November, then released on a weekly basis to allow for a bit of walked up shooting.

Not having raised partridge before, I'm looking for advice on feeding- does the above feed plan sound prudent ?
JMHO but this sounds like manner from heaven for the WJ lot (or a windup) or tell me if I am wrong please
 

old keeper

Well-Known Member
Having tried partridges a few times I realised that where I was it was basically a waste of time! Return rates were pretty awful and basically, they just disappeared. As opposed to pheasant I think you really do need to be located on "real" partridge ground to make a go of it.

I agree with others who said keeping them in pens that long is not ideal.
 

DrewDD

Well-Known Member
Incubating a load of partridge at the moment and am trying to plan how much feed I will need.

I'm planning to keep on pellets till 4 or 5 weeks old, then move into bigger pens and put on wheat.

Birds will be kept in the pens till 1st November, then released on a weekly basis to allow for a bit of walked up shooting.

Not having raised partridge before, I'm looking for advice on feeding- does the above feed plan sound prudent ?
I get a lot of my feed (including high protein superfine crumbs) from Massey feeds. I've attached their booklet which might be useful guide with timelines. Grey partridge have a requirement for this high protein feed, particularly in the first week of life. I've reared redlegs using the same feeds. High protein feed isn't all that easy to get hold of here, unless you can find someone selling Turkey crumbs. I dont put onto wheat until close to release at about six months old (i release greys in spring after the seasons finished). Six weeks is definitely too young for wheat, as a quality feeds needed for development at this age. Not to mention, a good avian vet isn't a bad idea to have to hand for advice too. Keeping birds for long periods can be tricky to get right and is no good for high density (I rear very small numbers see). I have details of two specialists that are very reasonable price wise if this helps too? Best Wishes, Andrew.
 

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Tamar

Well-Known Member
'Trickling' partridges out during the season is problematic for 3 reasons.

1) It goes against the code of good shooting practice https://www.gwct.org.uk/media/768987/CodeGoodSHootingPractice.pdf which recommends that all birds be released prior to the start of the shooting season (RLP = 1 Sept) and pens removed. Any antis finding penned birds will see this as canned hunting and immediately point to a breach of the code. This is ultimately very bad for the public perception of shooting and the sport as a whole.

Even if you treat the code as purely voluntary and not your problem, there is:
2) Keeping birds for that length of time and at those densities will lead to damage and disease. You could dose them with heavy antibiotics but (apart from the costs) given the withdrawal period for those drugs, I'd not want to be eating them. Sick and injured birds won't fly well.
3) If you release birds that are totally naive to the ground and immediately shoot at them, survivors will flee the area and you'll never hold them. If you've let them out (months) earlier, they can learn the ground, establish a home base (maybe even around the release pen if you keep some call birds, feed it, shelters and low disturbance), and they'll come back there. Also makes it slightly more predictable to drive them.

So no, I'm afraid the plan is not prudent from either the perspective of your own shoot, or shooting in general. Either make sure that you've got the habitat to hold released partridges or don't bother releasing them. I know that some shoots do this, especially some of the big ones on moorland edges, even replenishing during the season. IMO that sort of behaviour will be the downfall of released bird shooting.
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
Incubating a load of partridge at the moment and am trying to plan how much feed I will need.

I'm planning to keep on pellets till 4 or 5 weeks old, then move into bigger pens and put on wheat.

Birds will be kept in the pens till 1st November, then released on a weekly basis to allow for a bit of walked up shooting.

Not having raised partridge before, I'm looking for advice on feeding- does the above feed plan sound prudent ?

You will need to keep on pellets longer than that.
 

Sakoodin1

Well-Known Member
Keep them in pens until 14-15 weeks old with plenty space, then take to the release pen and start letting them out 24 hrs after putting them in the release pen, some people leave some in as call birds some don’t. feed with wheat replacement pellet all the time in feeders and every second day or so spin some 85% kibbled maize and 15% wheat mix or just pure maize. If you put them on wheat they will wander off.
 

boltmaker

Active Member
Partridges will need to be on pellets much longer than 5/6weeks probably double that depending on the weather.The other thing is vermin (Fox and Feathered ) are a no no for partridges.Good luck I hope it works out.
 

User00025

Well-Known Member
Sorry my friend it sounds like an ecological and financial disaster to me.
Partridge need varying types of food from specific chick crumbs through mini pellets to full pellets then maintenance pellets. Roughly 3weeks, three weeks, 8 weeks, 3 weeks mixed with kibbled maize then onto kibbled maize and wheat.
They need to go out at approx 14 weeks, you can do it through small release pens trickling out daily but retaining call birds until season starts.
Hopefully there will be no ground or winged predators about. Perhaps your main worry will be stoats when in release pen as I believe they are still protected in your neck of the woods.
I tried it over there many years ago releasing 500 but with sparrowhawks, stoats and Martens it failed miserably, so stuck to pheasants. I started keepering as a partridge man (but with English). French are easier but you still need the right conditions, and as somebody else says, watch out for coccidiosis.
 

Stalker1962

Well-Known Member
Birds will be kept in the pens till 1st November, then released on a weekly basis to allow for a bit of walked up shooting.
On the basis this is a genuine post.

Herewith is rule 5, of the Five Golden Rules" taken from the Good Shooting Practice.

Birds must never be released to replenish or replace any birds already released and shot in that season.

Notwithstanding the practicalities of your proposed plan, it is unsporting and provides ammunition (intended) to those who would see the sport further restricted or consigned to history.
 

steve sxs

Well-Known Member
Grey Partridge, can anyone remember them, we use to have a nice few coveys, if ever a bird needed help it's this one, when I was a boy the red legs were just in books and imho still should be
 

steve sxs

Well-Known Member
The thing I was trying( badly) to explain was Grey Partridge = wild indigenous species that's far superior in every way that for some reason is in decline, Red legs well, is a sad alternative in every way, one pair of greys is worth a hen hut full of the other
 
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