Give Your Birds A Break
According to the calendar, quail nesting season is beginning to wind down. Or is it? Listed below is data from a conservation area located in Southwest Missouri:
Quail Hatching Dates 2005-2010
From 2005 to 2010 hatching dates of harvested juvenile quail were determined by measuring the length of replacing primaries on one wing from each bird and backdating from the day of harvest. A total of 175 wings were aged.
Hatching Date Range Percent of Total
- June 4 – June 20: 5%
- June 20 – June 30: 30%
- July 1 – July 7: 14%
- July 8 – July 14: 13%
- July 15 – July 21: 14%
- July 22 – July 31: 5%
- Aug. 1 – Aug. 31: 14%
- Sept. 1 – Sept. 30: 5%
By now you all have your crops planted and hay in the barn. Many of you may be itching to mow--please resist this temptation! As you can see from the table above, there are several hens still on the nest trying to pull off a brood.
Those of you with Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts know that you can apply mid-contract management practices on your CRP acres after July 15. In above data, 38 percent of the birds hatched after July 14. If you feel your quail population is low on your farm you better wait until mid to late August to conduct your management practices. Give your remaining birds every opportunity to pull off a successful nest.
Check out the Winter 2009 Covey Headquarters Newsletter to learn how to determine the age of your harvested birds.