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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking of getting some quail for training. I found some pre built quail/chicken pens on ebay from 99.99-160.00. Thinking of just picking one of them up, in the spring when I get some money together.

Any tips on making one instead. Also any pictures of your pens would be appreciated. Any tips on where to get some quail in SWPA would also be appreciated. Anyone ever try ordering the hatching eggs, or day old chicks?

Starting to get deep now
 

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You could look into starting a Johnny house for quail.
I think pigeons would be the easiest to keep for training.
Your looking at a big expence to hatch eggs or raise day olds. Esp. if your only trainkng one dog.
 

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Johnny house is the way to go. Quail recall pretty well and can be used over and over. Pick up 6-8 week old chicks, provide a little feed and water. It's pretty cheap and birds will covey in fields instead of having to plant pigeons.

4x4x6 johnny house can hold around 30 bob's. Pvc pipe for water and feed. Everything can be gotten at lowes and tractor supply.

Wood frame with plywood walls, opening screen window, return funnel.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am worried about just letting the return on their own where I live. I am flat up against a mountain, and could see them being sitting ducks for predators. Last Saturday I had bobcat, fox, and coyote tracks within 100-150 yards of my back porch.
 

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They usually recall pretty fast, especially if they've had a dog after them. I've got raccoon and fox here.The ones I've had picked off were ones that didn't recall before it got dark.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How do you set up the door so the predators cant get into the cage. I saw some inserts but they look pretty expensive.

Saw a plan where a guy used a 55 gallon drum, but that seeme like they wont have enough room to fly in my opinion. I don't think my wife is going to like this but oh well. Corbin will and Lilly will. LOL

I mean whats the worst that could happen she divorces me? LOL
 

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The set up for pigeons and quail are fifferent. Quail walk in from the ground through a tube of wire and pigeons fly to a rest to walk in. As far as getting pigeons, if you go talk to some farmers they will more than likely allow you to go in the hay loft and take some preflight squabs out of the nest. Put them in your pen and feed them, by the time they can fly, the pen will be home.
 

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Quail come in at ground level though a wire funnel. Just take your leftover wire, role a funnel with one end about the size of a cantaloupe- the other the size of your fist and then weave wire through it to sew it so it stays in place. The clip down the fat end and fold tabs back some you have something to staple it to around the hole at the bottom of your pen.
 

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http://gundogforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=23704

Check out the above post. I have some pictures of the JH I use. I now have two of them where I run my dogs.

Come winter you will have to make a choice about the water supply. Have a way to heat the water so it doesn't freeze, put water in on a daily basis or release the quail. I released the quail the past two years and found or heard birds in June.

You can have a lot of fun with quail from a JH and get some good bird work. Here are some pictures and video I got when working the dogs:







This is one of my favorite pictures:


Good luck. And start out with good birds. The JH I used is from Lion Country Supply plans. If you have any questions let me know and I may be able to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I can design and create my own plans on these to be honest.

if I could get any sketches from guys on here, I could draw up some plans, and put them in a pdf form and keep them for anyone who would want them. If anyone wants to sketch anything up and scan and send it to me I can put It on paper, that way instead of trying a wild goose chase for free plans, we can have a one stop shop. I may start my own layout tonight, and draw something up at lunch tomorrow.
 

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Hawks are the number one killer of my birds. I lost 10 pigeons this year. A friend of mine had a hawk fly into his pigeon coop and it killed all his birds. I looked into hatching eggs. I just don't have the time. Seems like a job in itself. I live in a residential area and I can't have quail running around. I take my pigeons about 5 miles away and train with them. They fly home everytime. I also prefer pigeons because they are way better flyers, they get up in the air and fly rather than fly at 6ft off the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
does it matter, what type of bird it is? I would assume a quail would smell more like a grouse, or is it any bird will work for the training.

I was happy tonight as Lilly was retrieving a frozen grouse that a buddy gave me to train with, pretty well tonight. She did not like feathers in her mouth previously, hoping to break her of that, and those stopping at 5 ft away retrieves >:eek:
 

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For training quail or pigeons will work just fine. If you want a grouse dog, you need to work them and hunt them on grouse most of the time.

I believe that dogs will excel at the target species when worked on that species more, but will hunt all upland birds. A woodcock will hold tight where a grouse will walk, and a pheasant will run. While the dog will smell them just fine, learning how to work the different birds takes time on that type of bird. Hope this helps.
 

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A couple of years ago my son had a school science fair where he needed to hatch eggs. We went with bobwhite quail because hatching eggs were real cheap from a place in Everett, PA. I found plans online for a pen and when I did release them, they did hang around the house all summer in the nearby fields. However, the numbers of quail hanging around did lower week to week. By the time November rolled around they all disappeared.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
trapperrick said:
A couple of years ago my son had a school science fair where he needed to hatch eggs. We went with bobwhite quail because hatching eggs were real cheap from a place in Everett, PA. I found plans online for a pen and when I did release them, they did hang around the house all summer in the nearby fields. However, the numbers of quail hanging around did lower week to week. By the time November rolled around they all disappeared.
I think the objective of these johny houses, is to let 30% out of the house at one time. Work your dog, then leave. The other quail should call the other members back to the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Is it best to have / let the quail out on a field, I have some grapevine thickets and brush piles right behind my house in the yard, I had thought about placing some brush piles and other cover areas and such.

My main objective out of this would be to get Lilly to work cover, and understand that the birds are in brush piles. She does this on her own, but just want to instill it in her mind, as that is the first areas I want her to scent check.

I am not planning on building this until after season/ spring time as we will be going out for grouse every chance that I get in season. I found a few coverts where the numbers are decent enough for her to pick up on it. Plan on training through spring, while we are out shed hunting as well.

When should you stop with training? spring gobbler season?
 

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Doesn't matter what the bird is when training. They will associate all birds. I do agree to work on specific birds you will prefer to hunt. Work and train are 2 different things. When I work my dog I let him learn on his own.
 
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