My name is Scott O'Brien and I live in the Mid-coast part of Maine. I've been raising birds for around 20 years. I used to be an avid bird hunter and always wanted to actually raise game birds, even though our native game bird here in Maine is the Ruffed Grouse. So as a kid I got into raising the basic 4 - Coturnix, Bobwhite,Ringneck Pheasants, and Chukar Partridge. I had some basic books as a kid but I learned a lot more through trial and error. Later in my teens I had to get out of it when I got my own place, a rental property on a wharf, on the shore of the bay, that I started fishing out of. I've been a lobster fisherman for around 30 years. I really missed my birds during those years and said as soon as I can finally afford my own property that I was going to get back into them. I sure did in a big way.
So in my early 30's I finally got my own place. I chose it because it had privacy. No neighbors in sight, and with 5 acres of field,and woods. Nice rural country town but only 15 miles inland from the coast. Little by little I started building pens and since then I've raise about every kind of quail that's available here in the states and also quite a few varieties of pheasants and partridges. It was a challenge for sure, but I enjoyed most of the breeds. Over the last 5 or 6 years I pretty much narrowed things down to what I refer to as "the basic three", being the Mountain, Mearns,and Elegant Quail. Elegants are commonly called by most folks "Bensons" because that is one of the two strains of the Elegant. The other is called the Douglas, which I believe is native to the more southern part of Mexico. I decided on these 3 varieties basically because they're worth the most money. I woke up one day and asked myself why I'm raising Gambels Valleys, Scaleds, and color mutations of Bobwhites for $25 a pair when the rarer birds bring a whole lot more money, and don't take up any more space, or cost any more to feed. I already had some of them at the time. I ended up getting more stock and selling all of the more common varieties.
Over the next few years of talking with some of the old time breeders who I met through The Game Bird Gazette I learned some new tips and tricks,and learned again most of it through trial and error. Now I call myself an old master. For years I've successfully raised a good amount of these birds and sold them all throughout the country. I sell nothing but good healthy,plump birds in good plumage,with no crooked toes, twisted legs, small in size,ruffled feathers,or any other signs of inbreeding like these fairly new "overnight experts" do. Some of those jokers got their original stock from me and have been inbreeding brother /sister / cousin /mother / father stock for years now. They sell a pile of junk birds and dud eggs for almost twice the cost of mine. One from Ohio and one from Michigan, who I bent over backwards to help get going in this now tell people out there that my low prices reflect the inferior quality of my birds. They're biting the hand that fed them, and are now starting to pay for it some. They still manage to sell though, because most people don't do their research on who's who, and get fooled by a cute little picture or a video with a bullshit story next to it. Some don't seem to notice that they don't even have an actual farm and they're just garage "puppy mill" breeders, just in it for the buck.
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