This page looks at poultry like gamebirds, waterfowl, pheasants, turkeys and quail – birds not covered on our “Poultry” and “Birds and farming” pages. This whether they are hosted or actively farmed.

Not only have gamebirds played a major role in human survival throughout ancient history, but all domestic turkeys and chickens also originate from them. South Africa offers a wide variety of game birds, some 14 huntable species of duck, two of geese, 10 partridge (francolin) species, guinea fowl and quail.


Gamebirds often reach far higher densities on farms, particularly grain and mixed farms, than in natural habitats or game farms. Farmers often regard gamebirds as a pest, yet they constitute an additional source of income. Farmers can be helped to develop hospitality services and to market shoots, so adding considerable value to their gamebirds. The infrastructure required to establish gamebird utilisation will readily support other forms of eco-tourism and recreational land use, such as hiking, birding, mountain-biking or to simply escape from cities.


Source: Abré J Steyn and Aldo Berruti (adapted)

Business environment

Role players


Associations and trusts

  • South African Field Trial Club Hunting with a difference …
  • Show Poultry Southern Africa (SPSA)
  • South African Show Poultry Organisation (SASPO) Contact details for affiliated clubs are on the website: Bloemfontein Pluimveeklub, East London Poultry Society (Club), Eastern Cape Poultry Club, Mpumalanga Poultry Club, Namibia Poultry Club, Natal And Coast Poultry Club and Orpington Club Of SA
  • South African Wingshooters Association The SA Wingshooters Association is involved in sustainable harvesting and management of wild fowl populations as well as maintaining sound ecosystems, provide advice as well as assistance to farmers. It has a Helpline to assist members, for a nominal fee, with the relicensing of firearms and the new licensing of firearms.


Other role players



Websites and publications

Visit the websites of role players listed on this page.

  • Kejafa Knowledge Works supply publications relevant to this page. Visit for Raising Ducks, Raising Ducks & Geese and Raising Turkeys.
  • A Profile on Duck Meat, compiled by the Directorate Agro-processing Support at DALRRD, includes notes on duck production, processing and marketing. Find the document at
  • Crowe, T. and Little, R.M. 2012. Gamebirds of Southern Africa. 2nd edition. Johannesburg: Penguin Random House.
  • Dr Slang Viljoen (see “Role players” heading) has authored several publications on gamebirds.
  • Goose Farming is a book about breeding, feeding, raising, farming, caring, as well as utilising down for hobbies and feather products. ISBN-13: 978-0620281324. Contact Mignon Smit at 083 254 1335 or write to mignon [at]


Some articles



Find videos like “Duck farming (documentary) Modern Farming Methods in the Philippines” and “6 Reasons to Keep Quail” on YouTube.

Visit the following overseas-based websites:

  • Take “The Poultry Page” at for notes on various species relevant to this chapter
  • – “all about gamebirds”
  • American Gamebird Research Education & Development (AGRED) Foundation
  • www.ducks.orgDucks Unlimited conserves, restores and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. Their vision is “wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever”.


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