Sportsman understands that feed can have an important influence on the composition and quality of the game bird carcass, and the specifications of Sportsman feeds take this into account.

Recently an increased emphasis and awareness has been placed on the value of shot game, both pheasants and partridge, as a valuable food source in the human diet. In particular, the pheasant, which is available in greater numbers, is a practical, nutritious alternative to other poultry meats. Game is a very lean meat, high in protein and low in oil, with a distinctive taste and flavour. Indeed, the ‘Code of Good Shooting Practice’ and the ‘Guide to Good Game Handling’ both underscore the view that shot game is food and must be treated as such.

High protein and amino acid levels are a feature of Sportsman feeds - protein is composed of various amino acids, and it is the levels and balance of these amino acids which are crucial, rather than the level of crude protein. Sportsman feed specifications support not only good growth and the efficient use of feed, but also the development of the breast muscles, essential for flight and making up the most valuable part of the carcass.

Pheasants and partridge are very lean birds, with only small quantities of subcutaneous or abdominal fat being present in the carcass. However, the nature of the fats and oils used in the bird’s diet is important, with their degree of hardness or softness being paralleled by the type of carcass fat laid down.  Sportsman feeds provide a balanced blend of fats and oils for optimal carcass fat levels and composition.

Certain micro-nutrients are also significant in relation to carcass quality; Sportsman use both inorganic and organic sources of the trace element selenium, and specify high levels of vitamin E. Higher levels of these nutrients can have a beneficial effect on the oxidative stability of the carcass meat and thus its shelf life.

As the birds enter the release stage and beyond they are likely to move from a diet based mostly on compound feeds to a diet where an increasing variety of other feedstuffs may be encountered, and these will have an effect on the nature of the carcass. Whole wheat may be fed at this stage - feeding some whole grain will stimulate the development of the gizzard, good for long-term gut health and the ability of the birds to breakdown and digest other feedstuffs. However, wheat is high in energy but low in protein, so the design of supplementary game feeds fed at the same time must allow for this.

You can be sure that with Sportsman that all the nutritional factors which influence the quality of the game bird carcass have been carefully considered.