This section will be dedicated to members who may want to post how they got interested in raising birds or any other stories they may want to tell.
Gallinaceous birds are so fascinating in many ways. Their different
variations, types, and species are enough to keep a 37 yr old man like
me in constant awe and wonder. I first started studying and observing
chickens while working for Dr.Tom Whiting, of Delta, CO. His operation
includes the breeding, husbandry, raising, and harvest of 120k birds
annually. While working there, I was taught many things, including how
to grade the beautiful saddles and capes (necks) from his birds for
the fly fishing industry. What a dream job for a young fly fisher! As
the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The time spent
there and the lessons learned under him and his tutelage will be
something that I’ll always carry w/me. Now that family
responsibilities require me to be closer to home, I’ve had to fill
that void of “awe and wonder”. I still long to be grading feathers and
pelts and “arms and legs deep” in the industry.
Pheasants for me have filled and continue to fill that need to be
around the birds, to look at them and admire them just as I did as a
young fisherman. At the show last month, Roy Bouck and Richard Fuller
were so kind to escort me around the show land answer a hundred
questions w/patience and grace. (Admittedly, I was holding back a few
tears when Roy showed me the tragopan as they are so beautiful!)They
both must have been exhausted after my, what seemed, interrogation.
Fast forward a month. I’ve been fortunate to have some very
enlightening and educational conversations w/Charlie Park, David Carr,
and Steve Keller, Joyce Bouck and others. Everyone has been so kind
and gracious w/my “newbie” questions and sometimes ignorant
Great and patient teachers are critical to establishing a strong
foundation in any craft. As my education shifts from chickens to
pheasants, I’d like to humbly express gratitude to those who have
taught me so much already. I look forward to learning more about you,
your passion, and these beautiful birds in the society. May the awe
and wonder continue to push you to learn more in 2019.
FROM ONE OF OUR MEMBERS
I’ve had a fascination with birds for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories of pheasants are of seeing wild ringnecks. The thrill I got from seeing them was a high for which I developed a craving. My father also had an interest in birds and I loved hearing stories of his experiences raising them in his own childhood. When I was still very young, probably between 4 and 5 years old, my father picked up eggs from a pheasant nest after the hen had been killed by a swather. He brought them home and put them in an old incubator where we were already attempting to hatch chicken eggs. The eggs my father brought from the hay field produced several pheasant chicks the memory of which is a highlight of my childhood. I’m afraid more than one met an early demise at my hands because I just couldn’t leave them alone. Although they were brooded with several young chickens it was the pheasants that were special to me and was also them who suffered my constant attention and handling. Once the survivors feathered out we took them back to one of the family hay fields and released them back into the wild. Maybe it was having the experience at such an impressionable age or perhaps I was predisposed to love pheasants from the start but whatever the reason from that time forward they have been on my mind and in my heart. I was blessed with a father who devoted his life to the happiness and comfort of is family. He provided me with the means to acquire and house birds of my own, of which there were thousands at times. He was also the person who discovered and introduced me to the Utah Pheasant Society in the late 1980’s. I remember receiving the monthly newsletter back when Bob Wellington was the Editor and Parley Roundy was the President. I repeatedly read every word of each issue. I would turn through the pages of the breeders guide dreaming of my next purchase until the booklet fell apart from over use. During one of our trips to Bob and Afton Wellington’s aviary we learned that Bob built and sold cabinet incubators and we upgraded from my first still air model to one produced by Bob. That original “Wellington” incubator is now a highly prized relic of my childhood and is included in my plans to expand my current aviary. After graduating from high school my focus had to temporarily shift away from the birds but I never lost interest and was always happy to visit my parent’s home where some of my birds continued to reside, in my father’s care, after I moved off to college. The prospect of resuming propagation of gamebirds on my own farm was a highly motivating factor to succeed in school and in the early stages of my career. During the extended time I’ve been away from the Pheasant Society much has changed but I’m glad to find some things remain the same. I’m pleased to again be receiving the monthly newsletter and my thanks go out to all those who make that possible. It appears that Joyce Bouck especially has earned the appreciation of me and the rest of the society members for the newsletter’s continuation. Thank you Joyce! I’ve enjoyed seeing some familiar faces recently including Roy and Joyce Bouck and Ken Lund. I look forward to becoming reacquainted with the remaining members who I looked up to as a junior member and to meeting and developing friendships with those who have joined while I was away.
From one of our Members
How does a person get caught up in a life long passion of raising game birds and ornamental? For better or worse this is what happened to me.
It all started back in the late sixties. I was with my Dad visiting a friend of his over in Walsburg, Utah. I grew up in Heber, Utah but we had friends and relatives that lived in Walsburg. My Dad’s friend had a small aviary in his back yard and in it had several pair of pheasants. At the time we thought they were Chinese Ringnecks. I thought that they were the coolest things that I had ever seen. I got my Dad to fix up an old chicken coop in his backyard and eventually got a pair of birds from Dad’s friend. A good friend of mine Kenny Rasband seen my birds and he started building pens at his parents house. His Mother was all for us to have something to do. I think to help keep us out of trouble. She worked at the bank in Heber and her boss was a man called Bryan Cheever. He raised Golden Pheasants and Red Jungle Fowl. We both got to go visit his place and he was very helpful and gave us both a couple of “Gazzette” magazines. It got kind of crazy from there. I think my 1st pure breed pheasant came from an ad in the “Gazzette” from a man named Del Gay from Provo, Utah. He had Chinese Ringnecks and ornamentals. He had the 1st Platinum’s, Dilutes and White Pheasants that I had ever seen. I couldn’t believe how beautiful I thought that they were.
I have been interested steadily all my life in these birds and they helped me meet some great people of the “Utah Pheasant Society”. I am Thankful for the lifelong friends that I have met because of these birds.
If you are just getting started into these birds be ready for a bumpy road. There are lots of highs and lows. But I believe it has all been worth every minute. GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU !
By: Brett Prevedel
I thought I would write a short note about myself and share some ideas about wintering cold sensitive quail outside.
I live in Roosevelt, Utah and raise primarily quail. I started raising them about forty five years ago. Over the years I have picked up a lot of pointers from others about what specific species of quail need. I remember going to Bob Wellington’s place and seeing Mountain Quail for the first time. They are my favorite species of quail. In Roosevelt we have a perfect climate to raise them. It is dry and cool. They are very hardy and do not require any heat.
I also raise Mearns, Elegant (Benson), Gambel, Scaled, and Valley quail. In addition to quail I raise a few ornamental pheasants, doves, parakeets, and NeNe Geese. In 1998 my wife Suzi and I started a small elk ranch and we usually have 10-15 of them around. They are fun to watch but not fun to handle.
The Mearns Quail are really enjoyable to have. They are tame and colorful. Many think that they are very sensitive to cold. I have a friend in Kansas and one in Maine that raise them outside like me and have little to no winter mortality. In fact, I feel they are healthier than the ones I have brought in for the winter. Their native habitat in Arizona and New Mexico also receives snow in the winter.
I combine my pairs into colonies of 8-10 birds for the winter. I usually separate the hens and cocks. They are housed in raised pens with the floor being half wood and half wire. In the sheltered wood part of the pen I install a cat bed heater (25 watts) in a corner. It can be covered with sand or hay. The quail covey up similar to bobwhites and roost right over the small heated pad. I also provide a heated water bowl for all of my quail in the winter. The Mearns Quail do fine here even at -25 degrees. In the spring I separate them into breeding pairs.
The Elegant Quail are a little more difficult to winter outside. Mine are provided heated roosts and a heated pad in the bottom of the pen. They roost at night and use the pad during the day when it is cold. The heated roost consists of a 2X4 with the wide side up. A heat tape is run back and forth several times on the top of the roost. Then I cover the roost and heat tape with outdoor carpet. The problem with Elegant Quail in the winter is they are flighty and if they get flushed from the roost at night they may freeze their feet. I winter some of mine in an unheated building with a heated pad and no roost which seems to work fine. The heated roosts also work great for Diamond Doves, Parakeets, etc.
For all of the quail I think it is important to get them from a climate colder than where you live so you get hardy ones. I like to always get eggs or young birds in the fall and make sure the colonies are established prior to cold weather.
Not much to say but …here it is!
About Joyce Dalebout Bouck
I was born June 24, 1944 in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was the 3rd born and youngest. I had 2 older brothers. I lived in 3 houses while I was growing up in Sugarhouse.
On Harrison Ave until I was 4. It was on a hill so in the winter time they closed our road so all could go sledding . I also remember waiting out on the sidewalk for my aunt Berdie to walk up the hill to visit every Saturday.
We moved to Hollywood Ave. also in Sugarhouse. We listened to “Inner Sanctum” on the radio until we got our 1st television when I was 5 or 6. It was color T.V., blue across the top, green through the middle and brown across the bottom I think? LOL!! The neighbors got a new car - a Hudson (who remembers them?). It impressed me cause it seemed so very nice at the time. I didn’t go to kindergarten much because I was sick most of the year and in the hospital where they expected me to die of some kind of infection. Nobody seemed to remember what it was and possibly the doctors didn’t know either.
I entered a contest when I was about 7 to “Wonder Bread” I won a Schwin bicycle. This is of coarse is the 1st and last thing that I have ever won in my whole life!!
We moved when I was in the 4th grade from there to Beverly Street (Sugarhouse area also).. I didn’t know why we moved at the time but now when I look back I think that we lived by 2 polygamist families and they probably didn’t want me to end up being a sister wife ( LOL) to one of them. I have nothing against them. To each their own I say but my parents thought differently I suppose!
Both Hollywood and Beverly St. were about 6 blocks either way from the prison where Sugarhouse Park is now.. This never seemed to bother anyone living that close. I even had a friend that went and played with her dolls outside the prison wall.
I took dance lessons from Mr. Purrington. I wanted to be a “June Taylor” dancer. Who remembers them? I also took skating lesson at “Hygia Ice”
In 7th grade the new Highland High School was build. This was the first graduating class that went all 6 grades (7 - 12). A lot of my friends went to Granite High so in the middle of 10th I decided to transfer there.
I met Roy in January 1960 at Granite. He gave me a ride home in his ‘55 chev (very nice) and from then on picked me up and took me home from school every day. I have told some that I looked good in his car so I stayed for the ride!! This I guess is were it all began.
We were married in August of that same year in the house on Beverly Street.. This doesn’t seem like a long time to know someone before getting married but we have been married for 57 years as of August 29, 2017. Working on 58 yrs.
We moved a house from where the Cheyenne Freeway was being built out to South Jordan, Utah. We had 4 children while living in that house . Terry, Lori, Chris and Ryan.
Terry does tile work…He lives around the corner from us but lives alone with his 3 girls (dogs) and doesn’t have to answer to anyone or a wife…LOL. Lori married Steve Eyre. They live in American Fork, Utah. They gave us 2 grand kids. Stephanie and Brandon. Chris married Stefanie Evans and live to the East of us. They just have to deal with each other and they have a few cats….; - ) !
Stephanie and Lori are into import export stuff and seek to do very well.. Brandon took over his Dad’s business - “Band Fire Protection” and he flips houses and hopes to build his own very soon. He has a girlfriend Nikki and lots of reptiles. They got engaged on Christmas.
We got 3 greats from Stephanie & Kim Elliott. They have had a lot of bad luck with their house flooding and then it burned. Their boys are Brock, Benson & Cooper. We just love all of the kids, grand’s and greats!
My Dad and my oldest brother died in 1975. My mom passed away in 1987. We lost our youngest son Ryan when he was 16 in 1988 at the end of a ½ marathon race. We all miss him all of the time very much. It has been very hard for all of us still to this day. Things will never be the same without him.
About 1972 Roy and his Dad built us a home on about 1 acre just around the corner from where we moved our 1st home which came from where the Cheyenne Freeway is now. The home was built and paid for from the sale of Koklass for that year. It was a very good year for Roy and his birds. This acre is where Roy started to build most of his pens for his birds. We bought property all around us as it came available. We have about 6 acres at this time.
I did get my G.E.D. with one of Lori’s friends in about 1981.
I worked for J.C. Penney’s, Z.C.M.I., K-Mart and retired from Albertson’s after 25 yrs. with them . I enjoyed working at Albertson’s but had the most fun working at K-Mart.
I really haven’t been active with the birds. It’s Roy’s hobby. I am not a very good helper.
I do enjoy doing the news letter/booklet though. It keeps me going & kind of out of trouble . I have been doing the news letter/booklet since 2001.
I would like to challenge all of you & hope to see more stories about “YOU”
for the news letter/booklet. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about what you raise …
JUST HAVE IT BE ABOUT
My Name is Steve Keller, I was born and raised in Northern Utah and currently reside there as well. We love being close to the mtns, and being able to get away to Idaho and Wyoming to hunt/fish when we’re not attending to things around here. ‘I’ve been raising birds since I was 12 years old (going on about 35 years now) thanks to my Bro. in Law. It’s something that I really enjoy – it’s my escape after a long day at work. Sometimes I question my sanity and wonder why I spend the time and $$$ on the birds but in the end it’s all worth it. I started with the Ornamental types – Golden, Silvers, Reeves and Amherst’s and a few quail. Over the years I added some waterfowl and partridge. About 12 years ago, I saw a picture of some True Pheasants and it was love at first sight. I started asking around and acquired some Strauch from a guy in Reno NV. The next year I saw an article in the Gamebird Gazette written by John Bonser and the birds he raised (True Pheasants). I made a call to John and we talked a bit and I was able to get a few eggs (Bianchi) that spring. I got rid of all my Ornamentals and decided I was going to concentrate my time, $$$ and efforts working with Trues. It’s taken me quite a while to add to the collection of True Pheasants that I have today because there just isn’t that much interest and not that many guys that raise them anymore and it wouldn’t have been possible without some great guys out there – John Bonser, Brent Horrocks and James Pfarr) – Thank you!!
I’ve enjoyed the years and my association within the UPS and attending/entering birds in the annual show. My son JD (8 yrs. old) enjoys helping out around the “bird farm” and has some of his own responsibilities. I encourage all the get the family/kids/grandkids involved as they are the future of Aviculture.
My father Neil Thomas has been raising birds since he was a teenager living in Spanish Fork, Utah. When he decided to move to American Fork Utah to live with his wife Shauna Thomas, he began to raise birds shortly after building his very own home. He had started with three pigeon pens and began to raise pigeon until he then decided to expand his small aviary of pigeons, to which he would began to raise pheasants, doves and quail. My father would build his bird pens slowly over the years, while expanding his small aviary to a variety of birds to which he would increase the number of pens built over the constants summers that would come and go.
He had bought his first good sized incubator set a few years after building those pigeon pens, and his first pen he built for raising pheasants. My father would get to meet many kinds of people from attending Utah Pheasant Society shows, to attending dove and pigeon shows at the state fair. My father increased the variety of birds to his own aviary throughout the many years that he would encounter with many other people that raised, sold, and traded birds with him.
Neil has always taken a personal interest in giving his birds the best treatment he could provide to his birds. I remember growing up as a kid in the summertime, one of my jobs was to squirt the birds of with water along with cleaning the pens every three months. I would also have to feed and change their waters every other day, when my dad was working long hours in the construction business. My mother and I used to joke that those birds outside got treated better than anyone in our family, it was a great inside joke that my mother and I enjoyed laughing over.
If I’ve learned anything from my father about raising birds, it would be that you should take your time to embrace the moment of being outside with the birds. He has taught me to learn to appreciate what you have worked hard for in this life. Neil shows a great care and respect for not only birds but many other animals we have had, from dogs, to cats and even Guinea pigs. My father is constantly learning about his hobby of raising birds. He is always improving on his skills of breeding birds and doing whatever he can to provide a great environment for the birds he loves.
My Love-Hate Relationship with Birds
by Kristi Davis
I was pregnant with our first son, Cougar, when my husband first got started with raising birds. In fact, just minutes before being admitted to the hospital I had been sitting outside watching him build the first coop. How was I to know at that time how deeply game birds would affect our lives? He first got a few ringnecks and mutants and I thought nothing of it. I had no idea the ornamental pheasants existed. I also thought it would be a fad, something he would throw all his time in to for a while and then tire of. I’ve never been so wrong in my life.
I try to be a supportive wife, but I must admit there have been times when I’ve hated those birds with a passion that should be reserved for murderers and war criminals. He spent hours setting up pens and finding birds and equipment. Hours of his time I felt were being taken away from me and our new baby. He would come home and check on the birds before coming to see us. I would go outside to find him when he should have been home from work for half an hour and find him just standing there watching his birds. I still don’t understand the desire or need to raise birds, but I can see the positive way it affects our family.
Now that Cougar is almost four years old he sure gets excited to help with just about anything, but he loves to help with the birds. In the spring he gathers eggs and checks on chicks. He helps feed and water and takes his responsibilities very seriously. This past fall he even was able to enter some birds into the annual Utah Pheasant Society Show where he competed against his daddy and many others. He won a first place ribbon and a few others and I’ve never seen him so proud of himself. I realized then that raising birds wasn’t the most horrible hobby in the world, as I had previously thought. It was something that bonded my family tighter than I could possibly imagine. Where else could a four year old compete against a 26 year old and actually win? Not just because Daddy was nice and let him win, a real win.
Raising birds is also teaching Cougar to respect life. Being an animal lover, it’s important to me that my children understand that creatures deserve respect as well. Cougar has a better understanding of “the circle of life” than most kids his age. He’s waited patiently for eggs to hatch, watched chicks grow to birds, and gotten a good understanding of death. He knows to be careful and calm. In fact, when he is around birds he can actually slow down and be still, a feat which at any other time seems impossible.
When we were expecting our second child, Cougar understood (on a three year old level) what was happening. He knew he had to wait because he also had to wait for chicks to hatch. He knew the baby would be tiny and would grow, because that’s what the chicks did. And when
Game birds have affected our family in so many ways and when I’m not being ornery about them I realized it is all positive, giving us something we can all share. We all have a part to play and a place to fit in. When one of us wins we all win. One of my favorite things to do is watch Cougar help catch the birds for Daddy. They are still faster than him and it takes quite a bit of running to get them cornered and caught. I look forward to when, now three month old
January 07, 2009