Heart of England Farms - Breeders of Quality Game Stock


Heart of England Farms - Breeders of Quality Game Stock

Our primary aim in rearing pheasant and partridges is to produce poults that are fit, strong and well hardened off and as such best suited to acclimatise to life in the wild once they have been released.

It is not easy to consistently produce quality poults and can only be achieved with good chicks, quality feed, modern rearing equipment and a high labour input. Day old chicks for rearing are placed in large controlled environment buildings where the latest technological equipment ensures all the birds' early requirements for temperature, ventilation, lighting, food and water are met giving the chicks the best possible start. Temperature is reduced daily and the birds grow well up to three weeks of age when they are moved to grass pens on the rearing field. 

We use, and recommend, the A-frame rearing system as these pens are designed to keep off the worst of the weather but still allow plenty of fresh air to 'harden off ' the birds. The rearing fields are regularly rotated around the farm and the A-frame units are 'walked' sideways onto fresh ground between each batch of poults to ensure chicks are only reared on clean fresh ground. With these units it is only necessary to shut in for the first few nights so that by four weeks of age the growing poults are left largely unattended. They thrive in these small batches with plenty of freedom and space to grow.

Before the pheasant poults are 7 weeks and partridge poults are 12 weeks of age we introduce 3mm growers pellets and supplement the nipple drinkers, which were used for rearing, with bell drinkers so the birds learn to drink from open water sources. The poults are now well feathered and best prepared for release but before catching commences the health status of the poults is assessed by our specialist game bird veterinarian who visits the farm each Tuesday. 

Poults can be caught late in the day and travel through the night to be at any destination by daybreak. Our policy of using four-wheel drive delivery vehicles ensures the poults are delivered quickly and easily, directly to the pens.  We believe these factors help reduce stress and dehydration and ensures a smooth transition to their new home.