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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Raising Chuckar

I am looking at getting a few chucker as adults, to train my lab with. She is 4 years old and has hunting experience.

I am looking at getting about 10 birds or so for training. I plan on working on her finding abilities by putting the birds in a small cage and staging them in brush piles and such and have her find them.

Contemplating getting a launcher but not sure this will help with a flushing dog anyway.


I am looking at tips and things you have done to raise these birds.

I am thinking of either constructing or purchasing a small house with a small caged in area for the birds to be able to get some movement and small flight.

These guys will pretty much be pets, and will be something for my son to enjoy.

What size should I look at for about 10 birds.

What things do I need to consider. I am in PA, and we do have some pretty rough winters as well.

Any plans out there or places to get pre constructed pens?

Any tips or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Mike

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 03:21 PM
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Re: Raising Chuckar

Just don't keep them where your dog can see or smell them.
I raised pheasants to close to my pointer one year and it messed him up that season, he'd find them but show little interest.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 03:32 PM
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Re: Raising Chuckar

Mike, don't you already hunt grouse and pheasant with your dog? I don't know why you think you need to work on her "finding abilities?" From your posts here in the past it sounds like Lilly is doing just fine at finding and flushing game. I don't think the chukars are going to increase her abilities more than hunting her as much as you can will.

All that said, if you want to raise some chukars to keep her sharp and have fun during the off season go right ahead. If you're going to build a pen for them be sure to keep then off the ground. Chukars are susceptible to some sort of parasite or something if kept on the ground. I
As far as space, I think 1sq.foot per bird is enough. We built a 10x10x6 flight pen for our training birds. The biggest problem with chukars is getting a pen big enough that they can fly around in and exercise their flight muscles otherwise they will not fly well when planted. I take it you're going to try to reuse them by keeping them in some sort of cage when planted in the field? I don't think you need to buy a launcher either, that would likely be an expensive waste for your purposes.

For our pen we framed out a floor using 2x6's and attached that to 2ft legs to keep it off the ground. We stapled 1" mesh across the floor frame. We had an old 10x10x6 chain link kennel that we set on top of the floor and then attached a framed roof built from 2x4s. We put a few covered nest areas in there along with some elevated perch sticks in the corners. It houses our ducks, chukars, pheasants & a several "kill" pigeons. We don't plan on having these birds winter over either. My training partner also has about 40 or so homers right now, a out half of which are squeakers right now.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 03:35 PM
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Re: Raising Chuckar

your pen needs to be up off the ground to avoid parasites. Make sure you have at a minimum 2 square feet of pen space per bird. I use 1/4" wire mesh for the bottom, sides, and top and have them around 3+ feet off the ground. This allows the "waste" to fall to the ground away from them and keeps them at a good height to feed, water, and grab. I also like to have a "shelter" for them to go into as well like a little wooden box or a small chicken coop type space. That way they can get out of the wind and rain. Another thing to think about is you can "recall" chukar. I put a "shelf" about 6" or so below the pen for them to fly on to and then the funnel up from that into the pen. The do not recall as good as quail but some will come back. Winters will not be a problem. Make sure you deworm them once a year as well. no need for launchers in my experience. they usually hold pretty good and will move around on the ground so, for me, it was a little more natural for the dog to find them. If you are keeping them longer you may want to make your pen 5-6' tall so the birds can get up off the ground and fly. If you don't you will have a bunch of road runners. If predators are a problem just put a little electric fence a few inches up on the legs of the pen or use chicken wire or the wire mesh and angle it down and away from the pen about a foot up and have it about 8" or more wide but predators shouldn't be an issue with a pen like this with the wire mesh off the ground. PM if you have any more questions.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Raising Chuckar

I guess I just want her to keep sharp is the main thing. Lilly does quite well but I didn't want to go to my favorite grouse spots with her and "educate" the birds before the season start. I know that from last season the birds flushed farther away. Not sure how smart they really are.

I was thinking of keeping them for off season practice as well. I was thinking quail could be a better option though, but you don't get that year round practice, as they have a specific season.

I have a large yard, where I can have a pen that size as you described ryan. would it be best to have their shelter off the ground, but allow the pen to go all the way to the ground? or is the whole flight pen and such to be elevated?

I think I would like to be able to take some out and shoot them over her as well, and keep her retrieving as well. so having a decent sized flight pen would be a good idea as well.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Raising Chuckar

Ryan tried to send you a pm but you are over your limit

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 05:46 PM
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Re: Raising Chuckar

im picking up a dozen chukar today after work.. but they wont make it past the weekend lol

Reggie is going to get some work with the remote bird thrower.. and if I miss, we will just go after them like a pheasant.. I assure you I will miss at least 1 out of 12 lol

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Raising Chuckar

I am with you on that Chris. I think the main thing I want is just to get her more hunting time. And more time in higher grass. She does great in the woods, but has very limited exposure in the high grass and crp type fields.

I doubt it really makes much of a difference. I also think it would be great to be able to just go out and "hunt" with your dog any time you want.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 07:10 PM
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Re: Raising Chuckar

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurkeyMike
I guess I just want her to keep sharp is the main thing. Lilly does quite well but I didn't want to go to my favorite grouse spots with her and "educate" the birds before the season start. I know that from last season the birds flushed farther away. Not sure how smart they really are.

I was thinking of keeping them for off season practice as well. I was thinking quail could be a better option though, but you don't get that year round practice, as they have a specific season.

I have a large yard, where I can have a pen that size as you described ryan. would it be best to have their shelter off the ground, but allow the pen to go all the way to the ground? or is the whole flight pen and such to be elevated?

I think I would like to be able to take some out and shoot them over her as well, and keep her retrieving as well. so having a decent sized flight pen would be a good idea as well.
About 20 years ago I kept some pheasants and quail for a buddy. He was training a setter. The pheasants fought until there was only one left.

The quail were cool because they would come back to the coupe. I would just leave a couple in there and they would call them back. We were launching them several hundred yards away. YMMV. After we were done I released them and about three days later there were a couple under the pen. I flushed them and never saw another quail to this day on the farm.

As far as training on grouse.

I would stay out of the good spots and go to new spots where you think there may be some. Both you and lilly can learn a lot.

I do this for bunnies after mid august and it works well for me.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 07:50 PM
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Re: Raising Chuckar

Unless you have a pretty good size pen, I suggest just buying birds when you want them and let the suppliers worry about feeding them, etc. It's cheaper in the long run. The only benefit I see from having a pen at your house is having birds any time. Otherwise, you will spend more time and money taking care of birds then they are worth.

I disagree with the comment on keeping the dog away from a pen if you do build one. I have 3 dogs that run around my pigeon loft and chukar pen daily trying to get at them. They show no lack of interest in birds and have no issues finding and producing game or holding point. In fact it may actually build desire.

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