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Planting & Managing Food Plots For Quail

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Conservation Of Quail By Planting Food PlotsFemale Quail

Quail have a very short life span with a small range of activity and live in coveys from few in number to up to maybe twenty. Due to the small bird size quail coveys can be sustained on ¼ acre food plots.

Like all wildlife species man has had a hand in almost decimating the quail populations and they have been drastically reduced over the years by loss of habitat. Planting food plots for quail and other wildlife species will help remedy this situation.

Quail are not migratory and live and die within the small areas that each covey claims as their own.

Quail in WoodsQUAIL FOOD PLOT SEEDS

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Due to the efforts of the Federal Conservation Program and Quail Unlimited (a non profit organization) these beautiful birds live once again in record numbers. One main factor that has helped to return these birds to the wild is the ability of the chicks to be raised in "nurseries" and released without losing their "wildness". Many wild animals of all species cannot be bred in captivity let alone raised with success for returning to the wild.

The plantings of natural habitats for quail are easier than with most other animal species. The main requirements being brush, hedges, seeding grasses and weeds, some nearby trees and watering areas. A large backyard planted in a meadow atmosphere adjacent to a neighboring covey can give a bird watcher hours of fun. Adding a small watering spot and dusting area and they might just move in!

Quail are found in most of the United States and Mexico in many related species. The most popular of the quail in North America are the bob white species of which there are many sub-species.

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Quail eat insects, many varieties of vegetative matter and mainly seeds. Seeds make up nearly the whole diet of quail by fall when all the surrounding plants have matured and seeded out for the next spring. Areas with heavy dew provide enough moisture for quail but otherwise quail need a  nearby water supply. Many quail can be found along creeks and ponds after a day of feeding. The range of crops that can be planted for quail conservation is quite extensive. Perennial grasses like Bahia, weeds, indigenous wildflowers, lespedeza, vetch, clovers, and the list goes on.

Add to these perennial food plot and cover plants some annuals such as brown top millet, clovers, soybeans, sorghums sunflowers, sesame, buckwheat, peas, trailing beans, and anything that produces small seeds or attracts insects. Low bushes and hedges can be used in the development of a habitat with the addition of oak trees (or similar), any type of brushy growth that quail can hide, roost, or pass through as undetected as possible to decrease attention from predators and make it harder for said predators to get to them. This might possibly include blackberry and raspberry stands. This could be a wonderful family project for those who are living in the country and already have seen quail nearby. Note that domestic cats are big killers of quail so if you have cats you won't have quail.

Recommended Plantings For Quail Food Plots & Habitats

Quail Mixture | Brown Top Millet | Crown Vetch | Soybeans | Bahia Grass Seeds| Clovers |
Iron & Clay Cowpeas |Fall Food Plot Mixture| Spring& Summer Food Plot Mixture

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How to Plant & Manage Wild Game Mix Food Plots

Deer, rabbit and turkey will begin to browse food plots in about 45 days after planting. Quail and pheasant will begin to eat the seeds that mature in about 60-70 days. Deer will begin to graze when plants are several inches tall. Plant food plots near water sources for Duck and other waterfowl feeding.

To avoid overgrazing pressure on plots located near heavy deer population, additional plots should be planted about 300 yards apart. Excess deer grazing can damage food plot seedlings. Pennington Spring and Summer Food Plot Seed Mixture provides food plot feeding and game bird habitat from spring through summer. Some plants in this mixture provide quail, pheasant and other wild birds edible seeds for fall and winter.

Most Food plot seed mixtures are best planted on a fully prepared and well placed seedbed for optimum growing conditions (harrow and broadcast the seed). The best food plot size is about 5000 sq. ft. of forest area with at least 50% sunshine available. Alternatively you may plant a number of smaller food plots. Fertilize food plots with food plot fertilizer when planting for best results. By re-seeding every spring you will develop a sustainable food plot that can result in returning feeding habits for area game. When planting for ducks or waterfowl plant in close proximity to the water sources.

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