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, two pheasant-sized birds (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)
Associations and trusts
- South African Field Trial Club www.saftc.co.za Hunting with a difference …
- Show Poultry Southern Africa (SPSA) www.poultryclubsa.co.za
- South African Show Poultry Organisation (SASPO) www.saspo.org.za 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 www.wingshooters.org.za 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
- Bester Birds and Animals Zoo Park www.besterbirdsanimals.co.za Waterfowl, guinea fowl, pheasants and quail are some of the breeds available from the birdshop.
- Dargle Ducks Tel: 033 234 4227 dean.dechazal [at] gmail.com An open range duck farm. Find the Dargle Ducks story at www.foodwithastory.co.za and in Robyn Joubert’s article for Farmer’s Weekly (see heading 4).
- De Denne Duck farm Tel: 082 788 4768 www.organicduck.co.za Organic, free range ducks
- Ducko Processing Tel: 014 537 2124 www.ducko.co.za Duck farming: meat and products like duvets and pillow.
- Ember Down Tel: 082 408 6770 www.emberdown.co.za Goose farm, goose down and other feather products
- Gamebird Management Tel: 084 202 0184 slangvil [at] iafrica.com www.gamebird-management.co.za Services include advice on habitat and resource improvement for gamebirds.
- Green Goose Organic Farm Tel: 051 933 5754 / 082 925 2770 A producer in the Eastern Free State
- Groenewald, Gawie Cell: 082 852 1678 Waterfowl breeder
- Haygrove Tel: 021 859 1026 www.haygrove.co.za Products include specialist tunnels for turkeys and geese
- John X Safaris www.johnxsafaris.co.za Bird hunting safaris
- Kent Farming www.bramble.co.za Day-old Pekin ducklings and fertile eggs supplied to growers
- Noorspoort Guest Lodge and Game Farm Tel: 082 578 5503 www.noorspoort.co.za A geese farming training course is run
- Pleysier Incubators Tel: 011 659 8041/2 www.pleysier.co.za Incubators (setters, hatchers and brooders) for successful breeding of avian species including pheasants and waterfowl.
- Rugare Bird Farm Tel: 079 893 6383 / 084 382 3466 http://rugarebirdfarm.co.za Waterfowl and rare chicken breeds bred
- Swanz www.swanz.co.za Specialise in the breeding of ducks, geese and swans
- The Duck Farm Tel: 021 988 4050 http://theduckfarm.co.za Avian influenza has temporarily shut down operations. Find the Eye Witness News report here.
- The Duck Lady™ Tel: 031 769 1235 www.theducklady.co.za “Free range ducks & duck products from the heartland of KwaZulu-Natal”. Find the article by Lloyd Phillips under heading 4.
- Theuniskraal Winery Tel: 023 230 0689 www.theuniskraal.co.za Some 200 free range ducks are an environmentally-friendly way to keep the snail population in the vineyards in check.
- Timkulu Safaris www.timkulu.co.za Bird shooting: waterfowl (duck, geese), guinea fowl, francolin, pigeon, dove, sandgrouse, partridge
- Treehaven Waterfowl Trust (TWT) Tel: 082 900 0656 30 acres of specially developed wetlands dedicated to the world’s waterfowl.
- Dr Viljoen, Slang Tel: 084 202 0184 Offers expert practical advise on gamebird management, utilisation and conservation. He develops hunts and conducts gamebird counts.
Wickedfood Earth Tel: 060 761 0885 www.wickedfoodearth.co.za A community upliftment, self-sustainable lifestyle project being developed on a 38 hectare site in the Hartbeesfontein Conservancy. Ducks and geese are included in the livestock
Websites and publications
Visit the websites of role players listed in this chapter.
- Kejafa Knowledge Works supply publications relevant to this chapter. Visit www.kejafa.co.za or phone 014 577 8006 for Raising Ducks, Raising Ducks & Geese and Raising Turkeys.
- A Profile on Duck Meat, compiled by the Directorate Agro-processing Support at DAFF, includes notes on duck production, processing and marketing. Find the document at www.nda.agric.za/doaDev/sideMenu/AgroProcessingSupport/docs/duck%20meat.pdf
- Crowe, T. and Little, R.M. 2012. Gamebirds of Southern Africa. 2nd edition. Johannesburg: Penguin Random House.
- Dr Slang Viljoen (see heading 3) 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] vlooi.co.za
- Joubert, R. 2013, March 8. “Swooping in on Dargle Ducks”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/animals/cattle/swooping-in-on-dargle-ducks/
- Free Range Chicken Farming. 2017, July 31. “Turkey Farming In South Africa – Everything You Need To Know”. Free Range Chicken Farming. Available at http://freerangechickenfarming.co.za/turkey-farming-in-south-africa/
- Bezuidenhout, G. 2017, March 24. “Quails: Small birds, big future”. African Farming.com. Available at www.africanfarming.com/quails-small-birds-big-future/
- Phillips, L. 2011, July 13. “Profiting from free-range ducks in KZN”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/animals/profiting-from-ducks-not-all-its-quacked-up-to-be/
- Kilongi, M. 2014, November 17. “Quail farming: The new ‘side hustle’ in Kenya”. Voices of Africa. Available at http://voicesofafrica.co.za/quail-farming-the-new-side-hustle-in-kenya/
- Listen to the talk “Watervoëls op die plaas” by expert Kobus Snyman (2016) at https://agriorbit.com/luister-watervoels-op-die-plaas/. It is just over 6 minutes long.
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 www.feathersite.com for notes on various species relevant to this chapter
- www.thatquailplace.com – “all about gamebirds”
- American Gamebird Research Education & Development (AGRED) Foundation – http://agredfoundation.com
- North American Gamebird Association – www.mynaga.org
www.ducks.org – Ducks 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”.