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Thread: What's your favorite training bird?

  1. #1
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    Default What's your favorite training bird?

    We're just starting out, raising chukars and bobwhites, and planning for ringneck pheasants this summer for production next Spring. We wanted to get a feel for what birds you prefer for training your dogs, to see if there's a specific need for a particular breed up here. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Depends on what you are training for.........
    I primarily train for duck hunting. So that is the bird of choice for me.
    I also use pigeon, pheasants and chukkar. To teach trailing, quartering and sit to flush. But not as many.

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    Thank you for your input! Do you use mallards primarily?

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    Default wild birds of any sort

    For pointing dogs, The best training bird is wild.
    However, for use when wild is not so accessible, planted birds are necessary.
    For me, cost is a major factor and therefore homing pigeons can't be beat. When it comes to shooting birds,the next best price wise would typically be quail. Shooting my homers is counter productive.
    For young dogs, the size of the bird can make a difference. A fully grown rooster can scare the dickens out of a young dog that has not been fully introduced to birds. They can brow beat and scratch pretty darn hard.
    The main thing, regardless of price is the quality of the birds. By quality I mostly mean the flight capabilities. If the bird can not fly well, it is not as useful.

    For retrievers, almost any dead bird will work, larger birds like ducks or pheasants are better, especailly for the live flyers. For teaching them to flush, pigeons, chukar and pheasant, as long as they are strong flyers.

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    Default pigeons

    they are tough, and cheap compared to the others. If you use them live, they will last longer than just about anything else. Shot, they still hold up well. the feathers are pretty tough.
    On water marks I'll still use them if I want the mark to hit the land. Otherwise young mallards are my choice. Sometimes dogs have trouble handling them though and they take a beating.
    I've never had the money to buy upland birds.
    I have never had a problem with a dog blanking a bird. Once they get used to birds, anything with feathers seems to be good. Heck, the dogs get so used to things dieing after a gun goes off, the first time I shot a hare for my lab to retrieve he acted like it was just the same old thing. Just something warm to bring back to dad, who by the way was acting the fool and all happy. How can a lab say no to that?

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    Is this your website? http://www.freewebs.com/sterlingmead...aska/index.htm

    The retriever clubs in Alaska that hold AKC licensed events use primarily mallards for field trials & hunt tests, as they hold up better than pheasants. At times we've used pigeons or chukars for land series. We're in need of a more affordable bird source too!

    Karen

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3CBRS View Post
    Is this your website? http://www.freewebs.com/sterlingmead...aska/index.htm

    The retriever clubs in Alaska that hold AKC licensed events use primarily mallards for field trials & hunt tests, as they hold up better than pheasants. At times we've used pigeons or chukars for land series. We're in need of a more affordable bird source too!

    Karen
    Hi, Karen,
    Yes it is! We started out with the poultry, but when we kept getting requests for Bobwhites and Chukars, and now pheasants, we decided to slowly branch out in the area of gamebirds too. We spent all summer acquiring breeders stock, and now we're working on building up our flocks. Our Mallards (the ones that survived the -35F we had for two weeks straight!) just started laying. We're trying to figure out what the demand is to ease up some of the shipping costs from the Outside, but since we're running out of room we wanted to make sure we concentrated on the most requested birds. I sure wish I could find someone with a bunch of open land here close to Sterling that would allow us to borrow a couple of acres to put up extra flight pens! LOL!

    Thank you all for your replies... I hope more people will chime in.

  8. #8

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    I've always just used whatever I end up raising. I've hatched and raised mallards, quail of several varieties, chukar and phesant. The quail do not hold up well for young dogs and they tend to fly the poorest. This year we've go a great deal on hen pheasant chicks, so we will play with them. It is all good and fun to work the dogs.

  9. #9

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    I use mostly pigeons, some ducks. After they die/shot I freeze them to get some extra mileage.

  10. #10

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    I primarily use mallards. Seem to go through them abundantly.
    Pigeons I use a lot of as well. Since they breed like rats, I always have a good supply.
    Pheasants would be a close third. Hens and roosters.

  11. #11
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    Hmm... I hadn't really thought of pigeons, since I don't see very many of them down here. Might have to look into that.

    Thanks!

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