In Everything you wanted to know about the Countryside...(but didn't dare ask) Jill Mason describes many countryside topics including farming, GM, invasive species, agriculture, forestry, land management, fieldsports, rural livelihoods, leisure and more! Photos in the book are taken by David Mason, such as these red-legged partridge.
Jill writes in the Country Sports chapter:
''Because French/Red Legged partridges are gregarious by nature, except in the breeding season, a different method of release is usually employed to that for pheasants. Small temporary pens covered with a net are erected, well apart, in game cover or corners of fields where they are not likely to be disturbed. Approximately 25 to 50 birds are put in each pen where they remain for only a few days before gradually being released a few at a time.
Those that have been let out tend to stay in the vicinity of the pen where food and water are provided. Feeding further afield, to spread the birds out, is done by hand, hopper or quad bike and spinner.
Partridges show a preference for pelleted food, so wheat is usually introduced into their diet later than it is for pheasants. Where a seed mixture is grown for game cover, or where there is an abundance of accessible weed seeds, partridges will also be tempted by this natural feed.
A French/Red Legged partridge is fully grown at about 14 weeks old. It is recommended that they are released several weeks before shooting is planned allowing them time to become wild and become well acquainted with the surrounding area.''