To purchase Chukar Partridges at Meyer Hatchery, shop our website.
Chukar Partridge are considered a good choice for people just starting out in raising game birds. They lay eggs in early spring to late summer but will not easily brood in captivity.
While we do not anticipate a loss, Meyer Hatchery does cover losses of properly cared for birds that arrive deceased or that pass in the first 48 hours after arrival. Losses must be reported within 72 hours of arrival. To report a loss with a recent order, fill out our Loss Reporting Form. Chukar Partridges originated in eastern Europe and western Asia. They were first released in California in the states for hunting purposes and now have established self-supporting wild populations. Chukar Partridge can be kept in a wide variety of climates, but they do better in drier locations. If you live where winters are cold, you will need to provide a good, draft-free shelter for protection.
Chukar chicks can be brooded in a manner similar to chicken chicks; they need to be in a draft-free brooder for the first 8 weeks, kept warm, and have access to fresh water and game bird or turkey starter feed at all times. The temperature of the brooder should start at 95 degrees for the first week of life, then decrease the brooder temperature by 5 degrees each week. Once the chicks are fully feathered by around 8 weeks of age, they can be allowed outside to acclimate to their permanent housing.
Gamebirds like to pile in the brooder, so rounded corners in your brooder can be helpful.
Special notes when using a brooder plate-
- Place your brooder plate on the opposite side of your brooder space away from waterers.
- Set the height of your plate making sure there is a minimum of 1 1/8" space between the brooder plate and your bedding
- Allow enough space for your poultry to be able to move freely from underneath the brooder plate. Some brooder plates give you the option to adjust one side of the plate a bit higher than the other giving your poultry the option to choose their preferred height.
- Turn your brooder plate on 24-48 hours prior to the arrival of your poultry
- When your poultry arrives be sure to encourage them to go underneath the brooder plate showing them where warmth is.
- Brooder plates mimic a mother bird using warmth and touch so using a thermometer to measure the temperature is not reliable. It is important to watch the behavior of your poultry to determine their comfort level. If they are peeping and huddled together, adjust the plate lower, as this is a sign they are too cool. If they are avoiding the heat plate altogether it may be too low, therefore providing too much warmth.
- Brooder plates are ideal for indoor brooding. If the temperature of the room falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit your brooder plate will not provide enough heat for your new hatchlings.
Learn more on how to brood poultry using a heat plate here: Brooding with the Brinsea Ecoglow Safety 600 Chick Brooder Plate. **Note--all game birds are more sensitive to temperature fluctuations and stress during the brooding phase. Take special care to make sure the temperature is steady at all times.
It is very important to watch closely for any signs of aggression as the Chukar chicks begin to mature. Once cannibalism has started, it can be very difficult to stop and can lead to the demise of your entire flock. Make sure they have plenty of space and ventilation. If you see cannibalism, you can try darkening the room, blinders, peepers, or even beak trimming.
Chukar chicks require a higher protein ration than chicken chicks do. Feed 28-30% game bird starter until they are 9 weeks old, then you may switch them to the game bird grower with 26% protein. If you cannot find game bird starter, you may use turkey starter and grower but do verify that the protein is high enough.
Medicated feed is OK to use for game bird chicks, especially if the weather is hot and humid which encourages the growth of coccidia in the environment.
Chukar Partridge are primarily ground-dwelling birds but they are able to fly. If frightened, they prefer to run instead of taking flight. The young Chukar can begin to fly as young as 12 days of age, so be prepared to cover the brooding area with top netting as they grow. Allow 1 square foot of brooder space for every 3 chicks, and then 2 square feet per bird as adults. Chukar Partridges will not usually use a coop-like structure. They do prefer an enclosed aviary that has plenty of hiding places with brush, shrubs, small trees, and grasses. Males can be very aggressive towards each other as they reach maturity, so be prepared to house males separately if needed. For this reason, there must be a good amount of brush or cover in the aviary or run.