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)
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
- Alfarming Poultry and Livestock www.alfarmpoultryandlivestock.co.za waterfowl
- 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.
- Blue Orange Farm www.facebook.com/theblueorangefarm Pekin duck farm in KZN
- Cotton Traders www.cottontraders.co.za
- Dargle Ducks Tel: 033 234 4227 dean.dechazal [at] gmail.com An open range duck farm. Find Robyn Joubert’s article for Farmer’s Weekly (see next heading).
- Ducko Processing www.ducko.co.za Duck farming: meat and products like duvets and pillow.
- Ember Down www.emberdown.co.za Goose farm, goose down and other feather products
- Gamebird Management www.gamebird-management.co.za Services include advice on habitat and resource improvement for gamebirds.
- Granny Goose www.home.co.za
- Green Goose Organic Farm Tel: 051 933 5754 / 082 925 2770 A producer in the Eastern Free State
- Haygrove www.haygrove.co.za Products include specialist tunnels for turkeys and geese
- Hoekkraaltjie www.hoekkraaltjie.co.za A quail meat producer
- 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
- Makoti Down Products www.makoti.co.za Luxury down products
- Noorspoort Guest Lodge and Game Farm www.noorspoort.co.za A geese farming training course is run
- Pleysier Incubators www.pleysier.co.za Incubators (setters, hatchers and brooders) for successful breeding of avian species including pheasants and waterfowl.
- Quaint Quail www.facebook.com/The-Quaint-Quail-103128698167055/
- Rugare Bird Farm 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 http://theduckfarm.co.za
- The Duck Lady™ Tel: 083 454 9767 “Free range ducks & duck products from the heartland of KwaZulu-Natal”. Find the article by Lloyd Phillips under the next heading.
- Theuniskraal Winery www.theuniskraal.co.za Some 200 free range ducks are an environmentally-friendly way to keep the snail population in the vineyards in check.
- Tweeter Quail Products www.facebook.com/tweeterquailproducts/
- Dr Viljoen, Slang www.gamebird-management.co.za/services_5.html Offers expert practical advice on gamebird management, utilisation and conservation. He develops hunts and conducts gamebird counts.
- Wickedfood Earth 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 on this page.
- Kejafa Knowledge Works supply publications relevant to this page. Visit www.kejafa.com 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 www.dalrrd.gov.za/Branches/Economic-Development-Trade-Marketing/Product-Profiles
- 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] vlooi.co.za
- Lines C. 2022, June. “Exploring the ‘other’ poultry”. Poultry Bulletin. Available at www.sapoultry.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/PBN2022_issue-8_Jun-Jul_OnlineEdition.pdf
- Reporter. 2021, December 15. “Keeping quails for profit”. South African Smallholder. Available at https://sasmallholder.co.za/2021/12/15/keeping-quails
- Coleman A. 2021, November 12. “Breeding chickens for the show ring”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/animals/poultry/breeding-chickens-for-the-show-ring/
- Van Coller N. 2021, October 4. “More than just a quail farm”. Grond Tot Mond. Available at https://grondtotmond.com/2021/10/04/hoekkraaltjie/
- Coleman A. 2020, May 19. “Getting down to business with geese farming”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-business/agribusinesses/getting-down-to-business-with-geese-farming/
- Phillips L. 2019, August 13. “Free-range duck farming in KZN: Why less is more”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/animals/poultry/free-range-duck-farming-in-kzn-why-less-is-more/
- 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/
- 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/
- 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
- 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”.
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