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So as of next season I am taking on a small farm shoot. I have been involved in shoots and helping keepers for years but a bit of of touch on the purchasing side of things now. I have a meeting with the farmer next week to discuss some ideas, work out the way forward and draw up some plans. With the farmer also out of touch with prices of birds/feed ect, and with him being involved in the funding of the shoot he has asked me to bring to the meeting an outline of costs for us to discuss.

 

I am aware of the pro's and con's of poults vs ex-layers but I want to preasent to him the different options we have. I have my own opinion on a few of these questions but would really appreciate the opinion of others. So, my questions to you kind folk are as follows......

 

The rough price of pheasant poults? (250)

The rough price of ex-layers? (250)

 

The prce of pellets for poults and how much will be needed and for how long?

The price of pellet for ex-layers and how much will be needed for how long?

 

Ex-layers

 

When is generally the latest I will be able to get ex-layers?

How long before they will be ready to shoot?

Is pulling wings benificial to keep them in the pen a bit longer or is it best to get them out? - Risk of wandering sooner vs risk of disese and pecking?

I'm thinking as ex-layers will come early then get a couple of early season shoot days in whilst they are still around (hopefully) How do you guys shoot your ex-layers?

 

Best tips for holding ex-layers? I know its all depending on habitat and without knowing that its difficulst to give an answer. basically I have 2 small woods, couple of cover crops, conservation strips and a small river within around 600 acres.

 

The farm shoot has been inactive for a few years but I have an old pen to fix up and possible extend. The current pen is around 40 feet square so about 1600 square feet in size. How many birds would you put in this? I am aware I may need to extend or build a second pen. I'm guessing 150 ish max?

 

How do you guys feed small rivers with thick low reeded banks with no real ledge? I'm thinking 4 scaffold poles with a pallet dropped over the top in a floating pontoon fashion??

 

I would really appreciate any advice you can give.

 

Thanks in advance.

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We used poults at £3.85 each. You can get cheaper (£3.40 each maybe a bit lower) but the guy we buy from has a good name for top quality, healthy birds.

 

For 300 we used 5 bags of medicated pellets @ £11 a bag + 15 bags of pellets @ £9 a bag.

 

Can't help with ex-layers sorry.

 

We put ours down mid July and could have started by mid October.

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First I would consider type of ground you are on, woods etc can you hold the birds or is there something that could be achieved with habitat tweeking. I am a bit of a anti when it comes to ex layers seen several shoots put them down then shoot hens ex layers do not fly backwards/upside down so how do they distinguish and within a few seasons have depleted wild breeding stock as these hens are shot because they are the better flyers in a flush ( rent over) partridge are easier to hold. Look at feeding all year round as this is something many do not do my feeders use most food end of march to april least food about then. Our keeper had some partridge available this year will ask on price of his lot he did 2500 from day olds.

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If you are looking for 150 birds I think you will have to extended or build another pen. General rule of thumb 1 bird per metre of fencing around your pen. Your pen is quite small at 40ft x 40ft, roughly 160ft around the circumference about 53 metres so you should be looking at 50 birds in ideal conditions in this pen.

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I don't know the exact costs, I do the donkey work and someone else pays on my shoot, but basically more than you budget for! Don't scrimp on pellets and try to swap them to wheat too quickly, you just end up with small, weak diseased birds. Try and get some sort of flowing water drinker system, poults love to climb and poop in open troughs.

I've got my first day tomorrow, and looking at weather forecast it is going to be extremely soggy!

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our poults are £3.80 each

 

we have 800 split between two pens

one pen is about 250 metres round and the other is about 350...might even be bigger

 

the smaller pen is a better pen as there is plenty of cover in the pen <rhodedendrons> the birds like it and hold well

the bigger pen is more open and the birds vacate the pen early .....have you any cover in your pen?

 

they eat two tons of pellets ,that's 80 bags and then they are on the wheat.

 

it sounds a lot of pellets but you want the birds to grow quickly and reach full size ..the quicker they grow the less chance of getting ill

the pellets are medicated with anti cocci treatment and wormer<again to grow quickly ....they are about £10 per bag

 

so working on those figures it will cost about £1200 before you start fixing the pen etc

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I have just been doing food costing on a ;larger scale. Based on this seasons prices you need to work on about 1-80 to 2-00 per bird. Hopefully this will stay similar in the new year. Poult quotes, while not fixed yet seem to be ranging from 3-50 to 3-85 depending on numbers and suppliers. Don't forget to factor in for pen repairs, capital costs for drinkers and feeders, diesel etc.

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So as of next season I am taking on a small farm shoot. I have been involved in shoots and helping keepers for years but a bit of of touch on the purchasing side of things now. I have a meeting with the farmer next week to discuss some ideas, work out the way forward and draw up some plans. With the farmer also out of touch with prices of birds/feed ect, and with him being involved in the funding of the shoot he has asked me to bring to the meeting an outline of costs for us to discuss.

 

I am aware of the pro's and con's of poults vs ex-layers but I want to preasent to him the different options we have. I have my own opinion on a few of these questions but would really appreciate the opinion of others. So, my questions to you kind folk are as follows......

 

The rough price of pheasant poults? (250) We paid £3.85 per bird this season on syndicate shoot.

The rough price of ex-layers? (250) We paid £2.75 per bird this season on rough shoot, and did last season also.

 

The prce of pellets for poults and how much will be needed and for how long? Can't help you there.

The price of pellet for ex-layers and how much will be needed for how long? We don't buy pellets for ex-layers.

 

Ex-layers

 

When is generally the latest I will be able to get ex-layers? We are phoned in May by supplier who likes us to collect as soon as possible in early June.

How long before they will be ready to shoot? Most have bare patches on their backs but recover well once they have more room in our pen. We don't shoot any until early November. Next Saturday will be our first shoot of the season on rough shoot. We leave it this late as ex-layers keep laying and some of those raised in the wild we feel are still not fully mature come October.

Is pulling wings benificial to keep them in the pen a bit longer or is it best to get them out? Advice from NGO is not to clip wings as some will not be fully feathered in time for the season. If you clip their wings then your pen must be bulletproof against predators. - Risk of wandering sooner vs risk of disese and pecking? Provide the right habitat and they wont wander too much.

We've never had a problem with disease but those ex-layers showing blood at time of purchase can be picked on by others, but if they have room to spread out chances of this can be minimised.

I'm thinking as ex-layers will come early then get a couple of early season shoot days in whilst they are still around (hopefully)We've found we can't shoot any earlier than normal for the reasons given above. How do you guys shoot your ex-layers? We've found guns work best. :)

 

Best tips for holding ex-layers? I know its all depending on habitat and without knowing that its difficulst to give an answer. basically I have 2 small woods, couple of cover crops, conservation strips and a small river within around 600 acres. Your ground sounds very similar to ours, but I can't really give any hard and fast rules for keeping birds on your ground unless you're dogging in am and pm. We keep our ex-layers in the pen (125 in a pen about half the size of your average football pitch) for the first few weeks after delivery, given feed and water and allowed to wander freely after that. The popholes are left open so they can come and go at will; they often return to roost each night.

There will come a time when you think all your birds have disappeared, and to be frank they may have, but we find come the season come the birds..hopefully. :)

 

The farm shoot has been inactive for a few years but I have an old pen to fix up and possible extend. The current pen is around 40 feet square so about 1600 square feet in size. How many birds would you put in this? I am aware I may need to extend or build a second pen. I'm guessing 150 ish max?

 

How do you guys feed small rivers with thick low reeded banks with no real ledge? I'm thinking 4 scaffold poles with a pallet dropped over the top in a floating pontoon fashion??

 

I would really appreciate any advice you can give.

 

Thanks in advance.

This is what we do; others will do it differently, and all advice above is based on my own personal experience. The NGO have been very good at advising us; they are very nice people.

Edited by Scully
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Poults prices as per already quoted. Then I work on 1 bag of pellets for every ten poults followed by 1 ton of wheat 100 poults, although wheat consumption can be much more depending on what else is eating it.

 

 

So for 250 poults

 

 

Poults. 250 X £3.70

Pellets. 25 X £10

Wheat. 2.5 X £120

 

£925 + £250. +. £ 300

 

£1475

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I generally base the sums on about £7 a bird and ur not far away, i feed more pellets than some on here usually 1T for 350ish abd the birds look well on it.

The above is around £6 a poult, but were paying more for wheat than that and i like to err on the side of caution when estimating cost's. esp if u need any unexpected medicine. Always better to have some left over than struggling for cash

 

Do not scrimp on the quality of poults or feed, well worth getting decent birds and putting good gear into them

 

Depending when u want to start shooting, early birds are obviously ready far earlier, but as summer goes on birds grow slower, start aug poults will take longer than 1 month to grow to a start july poult size if that makes sense (due to shorter days etc).

 

Not a fan of ex layers and by the time they eat wheat all summer i doubt they're will be an awful lot in it price wise. I had early season poults (3rdweek June) once and was shocked at how much food they ate throu the summer when birds all fully grown and eating adult portions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So as of next season I am taking on a small farm shoot. I have been involved in shoots and helping keepers for years but a bit of of touch on the purchasing side of things now. I have a meeting with the farmer next week to discuss some ideas, work out the way forward and draw up some plans. With the farmer also out of touch with prices of birds/feed ect, and with him being involved in the funding of the shoot he has asked me to bring to the meeting an outline of costs for us to discuss.

 

I am aware of the pro's and con's of poults vs ex-layers but I want to preasent to him the different options we have. I have my own opinion on a few of these questions but would really appreciate the opinion of others. So, my questions to you kind folk are as follows......

 

The rough price of pheasant poults? (250)

The rough price of ex-layers? (250)

 

The prce of pellets for poults and how much will be needed and for how long?

The price of pellet for ex-layers and how much will be needed for how long?

 

Ex-layers

 

When is generally the latest I will be able to get ex-layers?

How long before they will be ready to shoot?

Is pulling wings benificial to keep them in the pen a bit longer or is it best to get them out? - Risk of wandering sooner vs risk of disese and pecking?

I'm thinking as ex-layers will come early then get a couple of early season shoot days in whilst they are still around (hopefully) How do you guys shoot your ex-layers?

 

Best tips for holding ex-layers? I know its all depending on habitat and without knowing that its difficulst to give an answer. basically I have 2 small woods, couple of cover crops, conservation strips and a small river within around 600 acres.

 

The farm shoot has been inactive for a few years but I have an old pen to fix up and possible extend. The current pen is around 40 feet square so about 1600 square feet in size. How many birds would you put in this? I am aware I may need to extend or build a second pen. I'm guessing 150 ish max?

 

How do you guys feed small rivers with thick low reeded banks with no real ledge? I'm thinking 4 scaffold poles with a pallet dropped over the top in a floating pontoon fashion??

 

I would really appreciate any advice you can give.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

You really need to get some expert advice in, perhaps a local keeper or shoot captain who knows what he is about or join the Game Conservancy and use one of their guys although that costs or as someone else suggested the NGO.

 

Habitat is everything on a pheasant shoot, needs to be warm, kept quiet, well fed and have some water, either natural or from drinkers. Cover needs to be low laying so that its not drafty at foot level.

 

A pen 40 feet square is almost useless except for maybe 50 partridges at a time, so 50 in, 2 weeks later let them out and put another 50 in.

 

One of my pens is about 100 yards x 50 yards we put about 150 poults into, that has plenty of nettles and I am working on laying some Laurels I planted about 10 years ago to create low cover. I do a few a year in each drive.

 

Put your birds to pen mid August, they should be ready by early November. Getting ex layers in maybe in June will result in higher preditation and birds walking off your ground, false economy in my book.

 

We use about a ton of wheat of the year per 100 poults, pellets about a ton for 500 poults, you will need some medicated about 2 weeks after release to treat gapes.

 

Feeding edges of streams is tricky, small feeders on the top of the banks is what I would do but we don't have that feature so no hands on experience.

 

What you will need to do is start with tunnel traps asap and Larsen traps in mid March time if you can get a decoy and run those traps all summer, or at least until your birds go to pen. You might guess there will be a big head of vermin to be removed, foxes need a centerfire rifle, start now if you can.

 

You are taking on a MASSIVE amount of work especially in year one, it would be almost a full time job. I would suggest you get some experianced help if you can.

 

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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