Game Birds


Game birds are those birds that historically were wild game or decorative fowl that are now raised commercially for their meat or for egg production; some quail, pheasant and grouse species are raised as "flight-ready" birds for release in hunting preserves. 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. Of these species, only pigeon, quail, squab and wild turkey are native American species. Game birds are also raised for exhibit or for hobby purposes.  March 2009 ... Game Birds




  • Avian Influenza, USDA - Provides fact sheets, news releases, links and guidelines.
  • Avian Influenza Info - This Web site provides up-to-date information about the concerns related to avian influenza.
  • 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, OMAFRA, Ontario, Canada, 2007.
  • 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.  
  • Illinois Specialty Farm Products, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - This research project was developed in collaboration with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University. The Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research is funding this project as part of its Special Research Initiative on Rural Community Development. List of Internet sites dealing with game bird production, including cost-production budgets, avian influenza and other information, and issue updates from a range of state extension services.
  • Issues: Shooting Preserves, Hunting and Conservation Issues/Gamebird Shooting Preserves, USDA - A publication that discusses the ethics and recreational impact of preserve hunting for upland game birds. This publication includes a breakdown of the economic benefits for owners, operators and the community, as well as overall habitat improvement and benefits for non-game species.
  • Managing Game Birds, Michigan State University Extension, 2000 - This publication provides complete feed ration suggestions in addition to other management information.
  • 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. This 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.
  • Raising Bobwhite Quail for Commercial Use, Mississippi State University Extension, 2001 - Publication on production and management with some marketing information included for those wishing to raise game birds for hunting preserves, for 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. The site contains information about coturnix quail, bobwhite quail, pharaoh quail, button quail, pheasant, partridge and other 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, scientific data and information relating to keeping and rearing of pheasants, waterfowl and other upland aquatic and ornamental birds through its magazine. The organization advocates and encourages public appreciation and understanding of wildlife conservation and promotes the breeding of endangered bird and waterfowl species in their pure forms.
  • 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. Game bird production augments natural nesting and offsets harvest during the regular hunting season. Other recreation includes swimming and pond fishing; lodging is available. Operation publishes an 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.
  • 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 and Hatchery, Kentucky - Example of a major operation providing packaged meat, gifts, flight-ready birds and brood stock.
  • MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc., Wisconsin - This company 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, Minnesota - In 1967, the operation started raising pheasants with 50 chicks. They continue to produce live and processed pheasants.
  • The Parrot Pages - Gamebird breeders, producers, suppliers and businesses listing of many online sites.
  • Toubl Game Bird Farms, Beloit, Wisconsin - This Wisconsin-licensed game farm, certified under both the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) and National Turkey Improvement Plan (NTIP), has been supplying the live bird-hunting market since 1969 and the gourmet meat trade since 1983. The Toubl Game Farm is a family-run operation that produces pheasants, wild turkeys and partridges for hunting, gourmet meats and dog trainers; for wildlife restoration projects; and for the taxidermy market. They are one of the largest wild turkey producers in the Midwest. Their flocks are USDA Avian-Influenza-Certified Clean through an ongoing blood-testing program. This business takes great pride in their flight-ready birds and gourmet meat products. Toll-free: 800-875-0603; Business: 608-365-1789.


Links checked December 2013.