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Author Topic: Feeding quail  (Read 5058 times)

Offline Angry Perch

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Feeding quail
« on: May 17, 2021, 08:33:23 AM »
I'm trying to maintain/ boost the quail population at our place in Sequim. I'm leaving some margins on the the edges of the field when mowing, adding some more thickets (there is currently some thick stands of wild rose and a tree line of shore pine), and putting in some brush piles for cover as the place is crawling with raptors. I'm also looking into feeding, and have been looking at 5 gallon bucket feeders. Anyone have experience with feeding quail, or any game birds? Any advice would be helpful.

Offline ellensburgpo

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2021, 08:38:41 AM »
I out bird seed mix from the hardware store and they hammer it. There’s tons of natural food but they still will eat the store stuff.
KCCO

 The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929

Offline Angry Perch

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2021, 08:41:35 AM »
I out bird seed mix from the hardware store and they hammer it. There’s tons of natural food but they still will eat the store stuff.

Are you using a feeder, spreading it on the ground, or?

Offline Fishmaker57

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2021, 08:49:16 AM »
We have been feeding Quail every winter for the last 13 years, and it seems to maintain  our groups at very healthy levels. Our feeders is a 55 gallon drum, as we hold around 250 - 300 Quail at any one time. We only feed once the snow is on the ground, as there is ample habitat and feed until that point. Several things you can do to help with increasing the numbers of birds, some of which you mentioned. Brush piles are great, as they can evade predators and gives them a place to get out of the weather. Racoons, Opossum, Crows, and Magpies are a big problem, as they are egg stealing machines, and will pick on the young. When putting up feeders, make sure you put sheep fence or some other barrier around them, so Deer / Elk don't eat it all. One thing we have learned, both through reading books on the subject, and our own experience, is that you can only increase the population to a certain extent. Habitat and predation will keep things at a certain level, but feeding is key once the weather sets in.

Offline Angry Perch

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2021, 08:56:41 AM »
We have been feeding Quail every winter for the last 13 years, and it seems to maintain  our groups at very healthy levels. Our feeders is a 55 gallon drum, as we hold around 250 - 300 Quail at any one time. We only feed once the snow is on the ground, as there is ample habitat and feed until that point. Several things you can do to help with increasing the numbers of birds, some of which you mentioned. Brush piles are great, as they can evade predators and gives them a place to get out of the weather. Racoons, Opossum, Crows, and Magpies are a big problem, as they are egg stealing machines, and will pick on the young. When putting up feeders, make sure you put sheep fence or some other barrier around them, so Deer / Elk don't eat it all. One thing we have learned, both through reading books on the subject, and our own experience, is that you can only increase the population to a certain extent. Habitat and predation will keep things at a certain level, but feeding is key once the weather sets in.

Thanks for the great info. As far as fence around the feeder, I was also planning on some type of screen over the top, as they'll be easy pickings for the hawks.

Offline ellensburgpo

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2021, 09:07:39 AM »
I out bird seed mix from the hardware store and they hammer it. There’s tons of natural food but they still will eat the store stuff.

Are you using a feeder, spreading it on the ground, or?

My kids just throw it out on the ground in an area they use. My dad does the same thing at his place and they learn where it’ll be. They like doing it so no reason to make it more complicated by getting a feeder.
KCCO

 The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929

Offline Special T

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2021, 10:13:47 AM »
Ive done some research on this as well. One of the brush pile designs was a log cabin fire styked stacking of 4-6" logs then tossing the brush over the top some designes secured thenlogs together then places a piece if tin or plywood over top to keep the pule dry. This may be less of an issue depending upon if your in the rain shadow or not..

That and do everything in your power to kill of predators.

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In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

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Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2021, 10:14:13 AM »
Tag.  I'd like to foster a bevy or two here.  I'd noticed here that they like thickets and for landscaping shrubs, evergreen, low ground covers, and a few take up residence in a neioghbor's dwarf ornamental evergreen, maybe a fir, with the limbs down low.

Offline Angry Perch

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2021, 10:28:02 AM »
Ive done some research on this as well. One of the brush pile designs was a log cabin fire styked stacking of 4-6" logs then tossing the brush over the top some designes secured thenlogs together then places a piece if tin or plywood over top to keep the pule dry. This may be less of an issue depending upon if your in the rain shadow or not..

That and do everything in your power to kill of predators.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

I've seen that as well. Some use a stack of pallets, but I'm not leaving old pallets laying around the joint. 

Offline ellensburgpo

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2021, 11:15:31 AM »
I have two “quail condos” on my property. I just used the slash from cutting a bunch of willows and everything I didn’t want for firewood. It’s big enough and random enough it would be difficult for predators to get in there, and certainly not very quickly. They closely resemble the area by our creek they also naturally use for roosting. Turkey hunting last week I saw tons of quail using old slash piles for the same thing in clear cuts and selectively logged areas.
KCCO

 The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929

Offline Special T

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2021, 12:26:24 PM »
Ive done some research on this as well. One of the brush pile designs was a log cabin fire styked stacking of 4-6" logs then tossing the brush over the top some designes secured thenlogs together then places a piece if tin or plywood over top to keep the pule dry. This may be less of an issue depending upon if your in the rain shadow or not..

That and do everything in your power to kill of predators.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

I've seen that as well. Some use a stack of pallets, but I'm not leaving old pallets laying around the joint.
I belive pallets are a better solution on  the East side where they are less prone to rot as quickly. If i were so inclined  i would debark notch and pin logs 3 tall and cap with something rain proof. Perhaps drill a hole and pin with a short chunk of rebar then brush up.

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In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

Confucius

Offline Special T

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2021, 12:28:24 PM »
Tag.  I'd like to foster a bevy or two here.  I'd noticed here that they like thickets and for landscaping shrubs, evergreen, low ground covers, and a few take up residence in a neioghbor's dwarf ornamental evergreen, maybe a fir, with the limbs down low.
In the cold NE ive read that keeping snow off them in the pile and a thick pile of brush helps keep the wind chill down and drifing snow out. I think that is why you often see them in ornamental trees like you describe.

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In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

Confucius

Offline nwwanderer

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2021, 12:43:15 PM »
The soon to be hatched babies are dependent on temperature and protein, insects for wild quail.  Dominant pairs will gather more than their own and subordinate pairs will often set again giving many different age classes during late spring and summer.  Winter annuals, biennials and some perennials give great thermal cover and insect production.  Try to focus on those if you do food plots.  Winter feeding certainly helps but expect predators, owls and hawks especially, to take advantage of your program.

Offline Special T

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2021, 01:16:15 PM »
On the bug portion of the program i heard that disking strips of dirt make it easier to get at bugs. Not necessarily applicable to Sequim but in the south the disking of strips next to cover or in amongst the pine trees helped.

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In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

Confucius

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Re: Feeding quail
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2021, 01:46:01 PM »
The best crops for cover and bugs that I have used are sweet clover, biennial, and winter canola, winter annual.  Both tall for cover and insect factories.

 


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