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Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

Game Birds


Overview

Game birds are native or non-native birds that historically were wild game or decorative fowl but are now raised commercially for their meat or egg production or as "flight-ready" birds for release on hunting preserves or by state wildlife agencies. Game birds may include guinea fowl, partridges, peacocks, pheasants, pigeons and doves, quail or squab (a young pigeon), swans, wild turkeys and some ducks, such as mallards or wood ducks. Only a few species of pheasants, partridges and quail are raised as flight-ready birds; an incredible number of species and variants are raised for the “decorative pet” exhibit or hobby market.  January 2014 . . .  Game Birds

 
Marketing

Processing/Manufacturing

Production

  • Agricultural Alternatives: Pheasant Production, Penn State University, 2004 - This free downloadable or for-purchase print publication covers the economics, problems and considerations inherent in full and part-time pheasant farming. The six-page publication covers pheasant marketing, getting started, hatching and rearing young birds, and disease problems, and includes sample budgets and references for more information.
  • Avian Influenza, USDA - Provides fact sheets, news releases, links and guidelines.
  • Bobwhite Quail Production, Agricultural Alternatives, Penn State University, 2002 - Includes two sample budgets that summarize costs and returns for producing quail to sell for flight birds and for meat birds.
  • Feeding Game Birds, Mississippi State University Extension Service, 2003 - Explains how game birds raised for meat production are fed differently than birds saved for egg production or breeding.
  • Gamebirds, British Columbia Agri-Food Knowledge Platform. 
  • Game Bird Raising and Hunting Enterprise Budget, Kansas Rural Center, Sustainable Agriculture Management Guide, 2003.
  • How to Begin and Survive a Commercial Gamebird Farm, Leland Hayes.
  • Raising Bobwhite Quail for Commercial Use, Mississippi State University Extension, 2001 - This publication is on production, management, with some marketing information included for those wishing to raise game birds for hunting preserves, the restaurant market or for wildlife release.
  • Raising Game Birds, University of California, Davis, 2007.
  • That Quail Place - A Web site created for individuals interested in raising quail and game birds. There is information regarding the general care, breeding, incubating, brooding and raising of various species. An area also is provided for those interested in purchasing supplies, including equipment used for raising and breeding quail, live birds, hatching eggs and literature.
  • Upland Journal - Online magazine where bird hunters can share knowledge and gain information.
     

Businesses/Case Studies

  • American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society - Organization to promote the rights and interest of the members to keep and rear pheasants, waterfowl, and other upland aquatic and ornamental birds. The group also collects and distributes pertinent and scientific data and information relating to keeping and rearing of pheasants, waterfowl and other upland aquatic and ornamental birds by means of its magazine.
  • Baker's Wildwing and Angling Adventures, Clemons, Iowa - Denny Baker has created two businesses or as he calls them, “post-retirement hobbies:” one, a natural-reproduction aquaculture operation that produces several species of fish for stocking programs and the other, a unique seasonal preserve-hunting business.
  • Brush Dale Farm, Iowa - Example of an integrated agritourism operation hunting preserve. More than 200 acres of prairie restoration with nesting pheasant, quail and wild turkey. Other recreation includes swimming and pond fishing, lodging is available. Operation publishes and e-newsletter for clients and interested individuals.
  • Doc's Hunt Club, Adel, Iowa - A bird-hunting club that has private memberships and is open to the public by reservation. The club also has a clay target range and offers trap, sporting-clays and "5-stand" shotgun-sport opportunities. The game bird hunting experience may include pheasant, quail or chukar partridge, or combinations of these species. The hunting operation runs from September 1 through March 31.
  • High Plains Game Ranch, Nisland, South Dakota - In the mid-1980s, this cattle business diversified by adding commercial pheasant hunting.
  • Hunts Point Sportsman's Club: a Case Study, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota - The main goal of this operation is to provide guests with a true hunting experience and exciting, unique shooting opportunities.
  • Lake Cumberland Game Bird Farm & Hatchery, Kentucky - Example of a major operation providing packaged meat, gifts, flight-ready birds and brood stock.
  • MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc., Janesville, Wisconsin - A company that offers pheasant meat products, along with a variety of specialty products, such as rabbit, wild boar, ostrich, buffalo and quail. The business has an online store and provides resource information on the product line.
  • Oakwood Game Farm, Princeton, Minnesota - In 1967, the operation started raising pheasants with 50 chicks. In 2003, they produced more than a half million live and processed pheasants.
  • The Parrot Pages - Gamebird breeders, producers, suppliers and businesses listing of many online sites.
  • Pheasant Hunting Pumps New Life into Farming Community, The Seattle Times, 2007 - Describes the Cannonball Company formed by a group of farmers in North Dakota who are using managed pheasant hunting as a way to increase their farm revenue and protect their property.
  • Toubl Game Bird Farms, Beloit, Wisconsin - This family-run operation produces pheasants, wild turkeys and partridges for hunting, gourmet meats and dog trainers; for wildlife restoration projects; and for the taxidermy market.
  • Viking Valley Hunt Club, Ashby, Minnesota - Les and Bette Bensch have turned a marginal farm into a hunting and shooting business they say earns five times the revenue of a conventional farm.

Links checked July 2013.

AgMRC Documents

NEW!! Game Bird Preserve Business Development Guide

Preserve Marketing: Deliver a Quality Service

Insurance and Liability Issues for Agritourism Operators

Baker's Wildwing and Angling Adventures, Clemons, Iowa - Denny Baker has a natural-reproduction aquaculture operation and a unique seasonal preserve-hunting business.

Doc's Hunt Club, Adel, Iowa - A bird-hunting club that has private memberships and is open to the public by reservation.

Hunts Point Sportsman's Club: a Case Study, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota - The main goal of this operation is to provide guests with a true hunting experience and exciting, unique shooting opportunities.

Toubl Game Bird Farms, Beloit, Wisconsin - This family-run operation produces pheasants, wild turkeys and partridges for hunting, gourmet meats and dog trainers; for wildlife restoration projects; and for the taxidermy market.

 

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