The Hungarian partridge is also known as a gray partridge, an English partridge, or simply called a “Hun.” The Hun is a small bird with a short neck and tail and tends to be a little skittish, but quite beautiful. The juvenile Huns are pale brown with some darker streaks. As the birds mature, they develop a dark reddish patch on the belly, a brown back and chest with chestnut coloring on the flanks, and a reddish coloring on the face and throat.
The Huns are hardy birds and tend to travel in groups. They blend well in their surroundings. This attribute makes the hunt more exciting. The ideal habitat is short native grass about 2 feet high mixed with small brush, especially on the edges of the fields, to provide wind barriers.
At MacFarlane Pheasants, we buy our Hungarian Partridge eggs from France and hatch them in our own hatchery. Heidi Welch reported the details of this year’s hatch. “We’ve hatched 48,000 Huns this year and as of this third week of June, the last group was placed into the barns. It’s a happy, yet a sad moment when we are in the” lasts" of the hatching season!”
After our little quarter size chicks hatch, they stay in our barns under our watchful eye until they are grown and healthy enough to be moved to outside pens at 8 weeks. They are mature at 20 weeks. You can learn how we raise the Hungarian Partridge at MacFarlane Pheasants in a 2016 blog called: Steps to Raising Hungarian Partridges.
We actually place the order to our shipper in France at least 4 months before we need the eggs and we place the order for the whole season. This helps the farm we buy from know how many breeders they need to keep and to ensure us that will we get all the eggs we will need. The eggs are flown to Chicago and we schedule a driver to pick them up and bring them to our Janesville hatchery. Most Hungarian Partridges are shipped from our farm to customers all over North America between September and November. Our goal is for all of them to be delivered by the beginning of the new year.
We have many orders of 200-500 birds at a time. One of our customers is the Deer Creek Lodge in Sebree, Kentucky. It is worth taking a look at their facility to get an idea of the types of clubs that carry the Hungarian Partridge. Hunters love these noisy, interesting birds.
Heidi Welch at [email protected] is in charge of the Huns while they are in the barns and Trudy at [email protected] is responsible for them, once they are in the pens. They can tell you how many people are involved in raising the 48,000 Huns we will raise this year. It is definitely a team effort. If you have questions about these great birds, feel free to contact us.