Originating in Europe, Hungarian partridges were introduced in parts of Wisconsin in the early part of the 19th century. Today, these birds are found on many farms located throughout the northern part of the United States and parts of Canada. Raising Hungarian partridges requires little effort from the owner. Providing a partridge friendly habitat, plenty of natural resources for food and safe areas for breeding are key components in successfully raising Hungarian partridges.
Things You'll Need
- Game bird starter food
Habitat and Feed
Set up a partridge safe area. Ideally, Hungarian partridges need a pen size or area that is at least 6 feet long by 2 feet wide. Hungarian partridges thrive well in open range areas or wire pens. Open areas such as alfalfa fields and grain fields help provide the nourishment and appropriate area that Hungarian partridges need to thrive. Open area habitats need travel paths near fences and roadways to allow the birds to travel around without harm.
Add small bushes and grasses to the habitat. Hungarian partridges are hardy birds that do well in extreme environments. However, adding small bushes and grass that is at least 2 feet high ensures that they have shelter during inclement weather.
Provide plenty of food and water. Hungarian partridges feed off of small grains, various insects and grass. Areas that are rich in insects and grass are ideal locations for raising Hungarian partridges. Birds in areas that are not rich in natural food resources need to be fed additional grains, grasses and insects to ensure that the birds are fed properly.
Breeding and Caring for Chicks
Prepare the partridges for breeding by separating the birds in late February. Partridges are ready to breed during their first year of life. Breeding occurs from early April through September.
Begin pairing off the birds. Place the breeding partridges in a large cage. Allow the partridges to naturally pair off. During the mating ritual, fighting occurs mainly between the hens. Pairing off is not a short process; it often lasts a few days and must be monitored to ensure the safety of the birds.
Place the birds back in their regular habitat after breeding. Ensure that the habitat features enough bushes and private areas for the hen to lay eggs. Hungarian partridges often make their nests underneath bushes by scraping a line in the dirt and filling it with the appropriate amount of leaves and grass. Hungarian partridges kept in pens must have a pen that features a solid bottom with sand or straw in order to allow the hen to make a nest.
Allow hens to lay eggs. Each hen lays one egg a day until a full clutch is laid. Typically, Hungarian partridges have a clutch size of 15 eggs.
Incubate the eggs. As the hen lays eggs, you can either allow the hen to naturally incubate the eggs or incubate the eggs yourself with an incubator. The incubation period for natural incubation is 23 to 24 days. Incubating the eggs in an incubator takes 25 days for completion.
Take care of the new chicks. Ensure that the new chicks are provided with finely ground, game starter food for the first month. After the first month, ensure that the partridge area has plenty of insects. Chicks keep a diet of mainly insects during their first few months of life. Hungarian partridges are very nurturing toward their young. Once the first month is over, feeding is fully taken over by the bird parents.