Age Of Maturity Of Male Birds

The age of maturity of male birds will differ between species of birds. The maturity refers to the age at which the males reach sexual maturity and will start breeding with their female partners.

Quail = about 60 days old.

Hen = about 6-8 months old.

Partridges = male grey partridges mature from about 10-12 months old.

Pheasants = about 6-7 months old.

Guinea fowl = about 8-10 months old.

Ducks = about 8 months old.

Turkeys = about 8 months old.

Geese = about 8 months old.

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Age Of Maturity Of Female Birds

The age of maturity of female birds will differ between species of birds. The maturity refers to the age at which the females reach sexual maturity and will start laying eggs and breeding with their male partners.

Quail = about 50 days old (I have observed that female Japanese quail will start to lay eggs from about 6-8 weeks old.)

Hen =  about 6-8 months old.

Partridges = female grey partridges mature from about 10-12 months old.

Pheasants = about 6-7 months old.

Guinea fowl = about 8-10 months old, however female guinea fowl can start to lay as early as from 16 weeks old.

Ducks = about 4 months old, generally domestic ducks will start to lay from 21 to 26 weeks of age. My khaki campbell ducks started to lay from about 20 weeks old.

Turkeys = about 7 months old.

Geese = about 7 months old.

If you would like a book on keeping any of the birds mentioned in this article then visit the farmingfriends book shop to browse through our collection of books on sale.

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Male To Female Ratio For Keeping Different Varieties Of Poultry

Here is a rough guide to the male to female ratio for keeping different varieties of poultry together.

Quail = 1 male to every 3-4 females.

Hen = 1 males to every 6-10 females. (The Domestic Fowl Trust normally recommend 1 male to 6 females for breeding chickens.)

Partridges = 1 male to 1 female.

Pheasants = 1 male to every 6-7 females.

Guinea fowl = 1 male to every 2-3 females. Although best paired up.

Ducks = 1 male to every 4-6 females. (Debbie at South Yeo Farm normally puts 1 drake with min of 6 ducks and she says, “but some are more rampant than others!” I too have 1 drake to 6 ducks.)

Turkeys = 1 male to every 10 females.

Geese = 1 male to every 4 females.

If you would like a book on keeping any of the birds mentioned in this article then visit the farmingfriends book shop.

If you keep poultry, gamebirds or waterfowl or are thinking of keeping pouultry, gamebirds or waterfowl then join the free farmingfriends forum.

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Rearing Pheasant And Partridge Chicks

I received a comment asking about rearing pheasant and partridge chicks and how long to leave the lamp on in the brooder.

I am thinking of trying to rear some pheasants and partridge this season for my small shoot.I have not done this befor so I just need to know how long i leave day old chicks under the lamp befor moving them out into a night shelter and then runs.befor putting them into the release pens.

Hi Daryll,

Thanks for your enquiry about rearing pheasants and partridges.

I don’t have much experience of rearing pheasants and partridges. Only that we found a young partridge chick and I raised it with the guinea fowl keets that I had in a brooder at the time.

It is recommended that the lamp for pheasants and partridges is a red lamp to keep the birds calm. My partridge was raised under a normal heat lamp though but then I only had 1 partridge and a dozen or so guinea fowl.

I keep my guinea fowl under a heat lamp for the first 6-8 weeks depending on the temperature outside.

For guinea fowl keets the temperature should be 95-100 degrees fahrenheit for the first two weeks and then decreased by 5 degrees fahrenheit each week after that. Watching the behaviour of the chicks will also help to determine if they need the lamp. Huddled under the lamp is usually a sign that it is too cold, all away from the lamp too hot. A good indication that the temperature is right is if the chicks are just even spread out under the lamp. I usually start to turn the lamp off during the day by week 4-6 depending on the weather outside.

I have read that game birds need to be kept in indoor pens until they are fully feathered and mature and then they can placed in outdoor pens.

I have also read that when the game birds don’t need the lamp for heat so much then a 40-60 watt lamp can be placed above the feeders and drinkers to signal for them to eat/drink at night.

Hope this information is useful.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

Here is a book about Modern Pheasant Rearing and a book about Modern Partridge Farming:

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If you keep pheasants /partridges or are thinking of keeping pheasants/partridges then join the free farmingfriends game birds forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about pheasants/partridges and game bird related issues.

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Tips On Rearing Partridges

I received an email asking for tips on raising partridges.
Hey I have recently hatched some partridge and after 2 days on the brooder that is homemade they have started to die. I have no idea why, they all started feeding and drinking once put in the brooder. they just seem to lack strength. do you have any tips to raising partridge from a day old? I have done ducks and pheasants before and they were all successful in to adulthood.

Hi Michael,
I had a partridge chick placed in my guinea fowl keet brooder by my father-in-law when I was at work. http://www.farmingfriends.com/theres-an-impostor-in-the-brooder/ The brooder had carpet on the floor so that the chick and keets didn’t get splayed legs. I fed them chick crumbs and gave them shredded lettuce. I placed marbles in the drinker so that the chicks could still have a drink but wouldn’t fall into the water.
I would avoid sawdust/shavings on the floor to begin with as the chicks can often peck the shavings mistaking them for food.
I think that the best litter for the floor is corrugated cardboard with straw on the top.
I hope you find this information useful, if you have any specific questions then let me know. I look forward to hearing more about your partridge.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

Here is a book about Modern Partridge Farming:

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If you keep partridges or are thinking of keeping partridges then join the free farmingfriends game birds forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about partridges and game bird related issues.

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Rearing Day Old Partridges

I received an email about rearing day old partridges

Rearing English partridge from day old all set to go two questions.
Heat lamp should it be a Red glowing infrared lamp or white.
Why have I been recomended to make sure no daylight is can be seen and for how
long.
These birds are just to be released to the open in a no shooting area.
Cheers
Roger

Hi Roger,

Thank you for visiting my website and leaving this comment.

It is my understanding that a red heat lamp calms down the birds. When I have raised guinea fowl in the past few years I have used a white lamp and this has always been fine. My father in law found a partridge chick one year in the yard so the chick went into the brooder with the guinea fowl chicks and was successfully raised into adulthood when the partridge was then released back into the wild.

When I put quail chicks in the brooder this year I put a red heat lamp as this was recommended in the books I read. As I said it was recommended as the quail are quite skittish and the red light is supposed to keep them calm.

I don’t know why you have been recommended that the birds should not see daylight. May be it is something to do with releasing them back to the wild without having seen the area they are in so that they behave naturally and don’t try to say in the area of the hut that they have been kept in? My partridge was kept in a homemade brooder and saw daylight as all the birds I rear do. I have now got a metal brooder that I line with corrugated card on the sides but the birds still see daylight from the top of the brooder.

I believe that partridges as well as quail don’t stay around if they are allowed to free range but I kept my partridge in a hut with a run on it once it no longer needed the brooder and infact the partridge did free range with the guinea fowl for a while before it just naturally went back to the wild.

I hope this information is useful.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

Excellent, thank you for your quick reply. Shall not avoid some daylight as I like you think it is normal.
Cheers Roger

If anyone has any experience of raising dayold English partridges then I would like to hear from you.

Here is a book about Modern Partridge Farming:

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If you keep partridges or are thinking of keeping partridges then join the free farmingfriends game birds forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about partridges and game bird related issues.

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There,s An Impostor In The Brooder!

The first set of guinea fowl chicks had hatched out and we had set up a brooder for them in our kitchen. Yes, not very hygenic, I know, but I wanted to have them close at hand so that I could keep an eye on them!

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Anyway on this particular day in June I had gone to work as usual and on my return home that evening I found something wasn’t right about the brooder. I looked and looked again but I just couldn’t put my finger on what was different from that morning. Can you?

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No, well I decided to count the chicks and I realised that there were now nine in the brooder instead of the eight I had left this morning. Upon closer inspection, one of the chicks didn’t look like the other guinea fowl. Being new to guinea fowl breeding I thought that another chick had hatched out and it was just a different type of guinea fowl chick.

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When I asked, “What type of guinea fowl, is this?” my husband howled with laughter.

“It’s not a guinea fowl, it’s a partridge!”, he laughed.

I considered this for a moment  and then replied,” Well, what an impostor, fancy pretending to be a guinea fowl!……….. and hang on a minute, a partridge, how can a partridge get into my brooder? It’s not even an outdoor brooder!”

It turns out that my father-in-law had found the partridge chick in the yard at his farm and the mother was nowhere in sight. He had thought, “I know just the place I can put this partridge so that it’s safe.” Yes, you guessed it, my kitchen brooder.

My partridge stayed in the brooder with the guinea fowl until they were ready to live outside. They were all transferred to the chicken hut, partridge aswell and happily lived together.

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I named my partridge Party. She grew up into a beautiful bird who continued to live along side the guinea fowl long after she was released.

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In time, I saw Party less and less as she searched for a mate. Occasionally, I will hear her call out and our neighbour tells me that he has seen a very tame partridge following a gang of pheasants in his field, so I know all is well with Party and she is still enjoying life.