40 eggs on the way! Pen ideas?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Dogfish, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Found a friend of a friend who has a whole bunch of Valley Quail, around 20 or so. Apparently they are dropping eggs like raindrops. Got the incubator from my father-in-law, a hovebator with an egg turner. The pheasant chicks should be out of the brooder and into their grow out pen in time for these guys to take their place.

    The bulk of the birds will be released onto our property, 5 acres of great habitat that are next to 3,000 acres of private timberland, and I am planning on keeping a few pair in captivity. (Counting eggs before they have hatched). What type of pen would they require, size, etc? Building a pen isn't an issue, just need some rough specs to base my pen off of.

    My guess is that once you let them out, they won't return to their pen like chickens, or am I wrong.

  2. My guess is that you should find out if thats legal to do in Washington, which I bet its not . . .
    Usually, in any state, you cannot release CB gamebirds unless you are a lisenced hunting ranch . . .
    I live in Ca, and could be wrong . . .

    HTH [​IMG]
  3. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    These won't be hunted on our property, as we are in the city limits (of a very small town) but our property line is the city limit, but some may be used as a training aid for my yellow lab. Because they will be pursued by my dog during training, we are good. Across the ditch, they may be hunted. These will essentially be "free range quail", on our property, like an established safe zone. I checked with the WDFW, and there is no permit needed. I would need a permit if I sold them.

    Now about the size of the pen, what requirements do these guys take? I'm assuming that I would keep them in pairs, and it might be wise to have more than two pair. Do they return to a recapture pen?
  4. Valley quail should get as much room as you can give them, dont think of it as "how small" but instead think "how big" . . .
    If 3x4 or 10x10 or 100x100 is all you can give em, thats what they should get.
    They are nervous and flighty and dont do well in small cages, at least in my experience.

    They will return to a recall pen, but you would need a male valley in the reCALL pen to CALL them back in . . . but its illegal!
    I was just reading Washington States regs, I definately know you can not trap a bird with a recall trap.
    Once you let that bird out, it is considered a wild gamebird, if it can be found in the state(which it can), and no game bird can be taken by trap in Washington State.

    If you are doing this in your backyard, somebody would probably have to report you to get caught . . . but you never know.

    I also read that there are specific "dog training zones" that are specified to train dogs using wild birds, which is what your birds will be considered if you let them out of a cage.

    Basically, in a legal sense, you cannot do what you want to do here.
    Is that "fair", or "right" . . . thats a matter of opinion.

    I got myself a Ca Gamebird Breeder liscence, just to be legit, and because I like to blab all about it on the internet . . .
    I still cannot release them, only hunting ranches can do that.

    I was gonna call them, as I cant find any info about the release of gamebirds, but I just came to the conclusion that I really dont care all that much, its your problem/decision . . . [​IMG]

    HTH [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  5. http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/game/water/mwug2009.pdf

    Firearm Regulations
    Game birds or game animals in a manner other
    than with a firearm, a bow and arrow, or by

    No persons shall take migratory game
    a) With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol,
    swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10
    gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine
    gun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive,
    or stupefying substance

    Bird Dog Training Season
    Aug. 1, 2009-Mar. 31, 2010.
    Dog training may be conducted yeararound
    on posted portions of:
    Region One
    Espanola (T 24 N, R 40 E, E 1/2
    of Sec. 16)
    Region Three
    South L.T. Murray Wildlife Area
    Region Four
    Skagit Wildlife Area
    Whatcom Wildlife Area - Lake
    Snoqualmie Wildlife Area
    Region Five
    Shillapoo/ Vancouver Lake
    Wildlife Area
    Region Six
    Scatter Creek Wildlife Area
    Fort Lewis Military Base
    A valid small game license is required
    to train dogs on wild birds at any time,
    except only a Western Washington
    Pheasant License is required to train
    dogs on wild pheasants​
  6. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Then it sounds like I just need to let them go once I release them, no recall pen. I talked with the folks in the Wildlife Mgmt dept today, and they said that I could release to train. So that is what I'll do. Looks like I'll get the breeder license, just to CYA. It isn't too much.

    Thanks for your help!
  7. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Cool beans! Checked with the WDFW Willife section today now that I have hatched a few quail. Birds I raise can be used for bird dog training on my property in conjuction with a recall pen! Just need to band their legs to be able to ID them from other birds. I can also release and hunt my birds on a friend's property using a recall pen, however, if I get any wild birds back they need to be released. There aren't any wild birds, so that shouldn't be an issue.

    Also, no breeder license needed if birds are for my own personal use. We might have our fair share of government mommies in Washington State, but luckily we aren't as bad as CA. [​IMG]

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