INDIAHOMA, Okla. (TNN) -Oklahoma has rich tradition of quail hunting, even though quail numbers are down across most of the state. A locally owned and operated quail farm right here in Southwest Oklahoma is doing its part to keep the sport alive.
The Triple Seven Quail Farm is Makenzie’s latest Outdoor Adventure.
Triple Seven Quail Farm is no small operation.
“We start off with 300 females, and if we got a hundred eggs from each one, that’s 30,000 eggs,” said Bill Nadeau.
Located in Indiahoma, Bill and Connie Nadeau raise and sell over 20,000 Northern Bobwhite Quail each year.
“It’s a labor of love,” said Bill. “I’m not scared of work, and it is a lot of work.”
“We like to stay busy, we like to stay healthy,” said Connie. “So this is just something that we do together.”
They collect eggs everyday that go into refrigerators, incubators, and then hatchers.
“They’re only about the size of a nickel when they come out. They’re really tiny,” said Connie. The peeping can be deafening."
At just a day old, they go into a room where they’re fed automatically.
“The key is to isolate them,” said Bill. “Not be around them very much. And it keeps them flighty. We want them wild. So we feed through these tubes and it goes in the feeder.”
There are multiple rooms for each age group, until they are old enough to go outside.
When they’re 16 weeks old, in this business, they’re considered an adult.
At that point, they can be sold. Besides raising and selling the birds, they also offer a fully guided quail hunting service.
“We go out to the property that we hunt and I’ll plant the bird,” said Bill.
However, where he plants them, is not typically where you find them. That is where the dogs come in.
"The dogs are world class dogs,” said Bill.
“When one of them locks down on a bird, the others will do what they call an honor,” said Connie. “They stay there until my husband gives them the command to flush the bird”
“If the shooters miss them, there’s a good chance they won’t fly off the property,” said Bill. “And we can hunt those very same birds again.”
With quail numbers down in Oklahoma, Bill says his farm helps with the state population.
“Sure we’re out hunting them, but some of them get away and they survive and they breed,” said Bill.
Bill and Connie enjoy running the farm together, but just being in the outdoors is what they truly love.
“I love the outdoors. It’s not something I do, it’s who I am,” said Bill.
“Just to be out there when a turkey walks by, it’s just amazing,” said Connie. “And to have a deer walk out of the woods. And in front of you, it’s just majestic. I really enjoy it. He’s introduced me to a lot of fun stuff.”
“Some people live to work. I work so that I can live,” said Bill. “The reason we raise quail is to make a little bit of money so that we can go enjoy the outdoors”
You can find out more information on the Triple Seven Quail Farm at their website http://triple7quail.com/, and on their Facebook page.