Feeding gamebirds is a science. Making sure you are offering your birds the correct protein percentage will help you raise the highest quality game birds. Gamebirds need the right protein content and an abundant supply of fresh water. Accessibility to quality feed is also an important consideration. When necessary, we make changes to make sure our feed is readily accessible to the thousands of birds raised in outside flight pens each year.
Hungarian Partridges are territorial when it comes to feeding. To eliminate some of the competition, we changed the placement of feeders in 2019. We put five feeders on the road side of the pen, two feeders down the center, and three feeders along the lane side. Once the feed was more spread out, the birds stayed healthier, had better feather quality, and increased in size!
At the beginning of the flight bird season in 2019, we noticed the feeders were not feeding down correctly. Staff ingenuity led to a fix for this problem. We added a cone to the feeder’s inside to help the feed flow out of the feeder. We also lifted the opening to improve how the feed fell down into the trough.
Feeder issues can be affected by significant rainfall. We have specially designed hooks to hook under the feeder’s ledge and move them back and forth till it pushes the wet feed out. We use rebar hooks for the pheasant feeder and a smaller size hook for the partridge feeders. In the past, we dumped the partridge feeders into 5-gallon buckets and dug the feed out by hand. Then, one of our employees designed and manufactured a hook for the smaller feeders. Because the partridge feeders have a smaller lip, when we have a hard rainfall, the water bounces up from the ground and into the feeders. The pheasant feeders do not generally get wet unless we get a hard sideways rain.
MacFarlane Pheasants is continuously looking for new ways to perfect the feeding situations in our flight pens. Our staff does daily bird checks to make sure we catch feeding issues before they cause problems. Innovation and vigilance are the key to our success!