Game Birds

Game birds have long been consumed for food by hunters. In modern times certain species have become popular for domestic production (Fig. 7). The cost of raising these species in captivity varies with their reproductive biology, disease resistance, and adaptability to captive rearing. Artificial incubation and brooding (away from the mother) have dramatically reduced production costs. All of the popular species can be raised in confined houses, tiers of small wide floor brooders, or outdoor flight pens. Nutritional needs of the difference species vary, but game birds can generally be raised on feeds used for turkeys of a comparable age or breeding condition. Differences in behavior and disease susceptibility make it advisable for a novice to get professional advice before attempting to raise game birds commercially. Game birds, ratites, and squab have low fat levels, especially when they are skinless (Table 14). To overcome the effects of low fat content, they require special cooking techniques to produce a juicy and highly palatable entree.

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