Species: Alectoris chukar
CITES Status: not endangered
Distribution: Extensive - China west thorough the Middle East
(from The Quails, Partridges, & Francolins of the World, Paul A. Johnsgard)
• Both Sexes: Typical chukar feather patterning. Body and wings are a light grey. Head and chin are white with dark brown bandit eye streak and bib outline. Rump and tail are greyish. Sides have dark brown vertical bars on a greyish tan background. Beak is reddish orange. Legs are orangish - pink. Males are slightly larger and stockier than the females with thicker legs and large knob like spurs.
• We feed our breeders and young adults 16% layer pellets and 20% crumble, our tiny chicks 25% Turkey Starter crumble, and our growing chicks 20% crumble.
• They get fresh greens (lettuce, chickweed, dandelions, grass) and fruits (tomato, grapes, berries, etc.) when available.
• Done in pairs or trios.
• Chukars are first year birds meaning that the female will lay eggs the spring after she is hatched. The male is fertile the first year.
• If they are put on light, they start laying eggs usually in February and will lay every second day until they lay up to 40-50 eggs if you let them. If they are natural light, they will start laying eggs in May.
• They lay a small creamy egg with tiny pinkish speckles.
• Eggs are collected twice a day and marked with the date and breeding pen number and set daily.
• Eggs are set in an automatic turning Lyons Roll-X (RX2) with grid 109 or in a Turn-X on a small pheasant egg grid.
• Temperature 99.8°F, humidity-wet bulb 84 with humidity adjusted periodically depending on development of the air space shown by candling
• On the final day of incubation, each egg is placed in its own oval wire mesh hatching basket (6" x 3" x 3") and set in the Sportsman Ratite hatcher.
• Incubation for Chukars is 23 days.
• After the chick hatches, it stays in the hatcher for a minimum of 8 hours.
• Chicks look like tiny pompoms after hatching. They are a light creamy grey colour with brownish highlight markings and a greyish crown.
• They start out in our round 18" brooder pen with a mixed assortment of chicks. After a few days they are separated into a 2' x 4' baby pen for about a week. They can be raised with either ornamental quail or docile pheasants in 2' x 6' pens for the next 7-9 weeks. Once there are enough Chukars, they are put into a Chukar only pen. They stay with this grouping until they are sold. All of these brooding pens have wire bottoms with a heat lamp at one end and feed & water at the other end. The heat lamp is attached to a dimmer switch so we can turn down the amount of heat as the chicks get older until it is turned off completely.
• After they are off of the heat for a few weeks, they are moved outside to the pheasant house (has outside grassy pens and a heated inside house part where they are blocked in for the night). After they are toughened up, they are moved to an outside chick pen or a walkway since they are very calm and tame.
• Chicks are very easy to raise together with their own kind.
• Breeding pens are 6 feet long x 2 feet wide x 1 foot high.
• Breeding may also be done in outside pens of any size.
• Are calm and very quiet birds. They can be tamed down with no difficulty. They can become so tame that they let our Sheltie pick them up or herd them. They are friendly and curious birds who love fresh greens or grains.
Article By Krissy & Donna Bush