Sporting Shooter - - Keeper’s Diary -

1. GET OR­GAN­ISED Get a team of peo­ple to­gether and al­lo­cate ev­ery­one a job to do so you end up with a con­veyor belt sys­tem. Re­duc­ing the time that the birds are ei­ther penned in or be­ing han­dled re­duces stress on the birds.

2. THE EARLY BIRD Re­lease birds early in the day to give them time to ad­just to their sur­round­ings and find the feed and wa­ter rides be­fore roost. Also, re­leas­ing early means nei­ther you nor your birds end up with heat­stroke.

3. FEED­ING Feed­ers and drinkers should be po­si­tioned in clear rides so they are easy to find. Con­tinue to feed the same as what the birds have been reared on – now is not the time to switch rations.

4. SAFE WA­TER Open wa­ter drinkers spread dis­ease, even if you empty them ev­ery day so use an acid­i­fier in the wa­ter. Po­si­tion grids un­der drinkers to keep birds off the ground and out of the dis­ease hotspots.

5. SCOPE OUT THE SUR­ROUND­INGS Spend the first night in the wood around the pen from dusk to keep an eye on preda­tors and to check where the birds come down from roost, es­pe­cially if you haven’t clipped their wings.

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