These valley quail chicks hatched out today from some eggs I got from Travis Proctor in Nephi, UT. It was fun to visit his gamebird farm and see his small quail and chukar operation. I also got some french red leg partridge eggs from him but the hatch was not as good as the valley quail. The next day I had a dozen bobwhite quail chicks hatch from some of my breeder that I got from Travis last summer. If you are in Utah and need some birds or chicks for dog training give Travis a call. Email me for his phone number or you can check out his page on the game bird breeders directory.
Now that the hunting season is actually over I have spent some time in the woodshop working on upgrading the pigeon coops. I have two seperate coops for raising pigeons for the purpose of dog training. Today I found an abandoned shelf project that was collecting dust in the corner of my shop. With a little work I was able to convert it into some overflow nesting boxes for my white pigeons. The perches on the front are made with 2×2 lumber scraps. I also had to glue in blocker peices to keep any nesting materials or eggs from falling out of the nest. The pigeons seem to like the extra space. This week I hope to explore my options of raising some chukar and pheasant chicks from eggs. When researching such topics about gamebirds I usually consult the folks at That Quail Place Forums.
Through all of my reading and learning about dog training I have found it impossible to train a bird dog without access to plenty of birds. This week I finished construction on a small pigeon coop in the corner of my existing chicken coop. I framed in a 4×8 area with a raised wire floor next to a window. It should work well for 6-8 breeding pairs of pigeons.
In the rear of the pigeon coop is a small window that opens to an outside aviary where they can perch and get some fresh air. When my little flock of pigeons gets larger I will fly my younger birds and train them to home back to the aviary. The two pigeons in the pictures are common barn pigeons that I trapped.
The nesting boxes were built above the window to the aviary. There is room for 6 breeding pairs of pigeons with the current setup. I placed some grit on the floor with clean water, food and straw for nesting materials. Next week I will purchase a few breeding pairs of roller pigeons from a neighbor. These are basically his culls that don’t fly/roll as well as he would like. Should be perfect for bird dog training.