Conference addresses growing game bird industry

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – It’s back to basics for the 2004 Pennsylvania Game Breeders and Hunting Preserves annual meeting, Feb. 22-24, as the game bird production industry addresses an influx of new producers in the field.

Conference coordinator Michael Hulet, associate professor of poultry science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, explains that changing ecology and an increasing number of hunting enthusiasts mean that the pheasants and other game birds that used to be plentiful in the wild now must be raised in captivity for state game agencies or preserves by a growing number of private producers.

Changing trends. “We noticed last year that about 25 percent of people in attendance were either there for the first year or had only been there one year before,” he said.

“Because of that, we wanted to emphasize the basics of growth and how these newcomers should start their businesses.

“And so we have the essential features of growing pheasants, quail, bob-white quail and chukkar partridges – the species typically raised on these preserves for hunting and shooting.

“Many first timers attending our meetings come from a lot of different backgrounds,” Hulet added.

“Some use it as a hobby – they want to grow a few birds and put them into their own land. Many use it as a second or side business.”

Sessions at the conference will include terrorism awareness and prevention, methods of catching and transport, health issues of game birds and basic reproductive physiology of game birds.

Registration, details. Registration will be accepted by mail until Feb. 9 or at the door with a late registration fee.

For more information, call Michael Hulet at 814-863-8934 or by e-mail at mrh4@psu.edu.

For registration forms, fees and other information, contact the Office of Conferences and Short Courses at 877-778-2937 or by e-mail at shortcourse@psu.edu.

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