We live on a 115 acre farm in eastern Kentucky where we have good populations of deer and turkey and in the fall woodcock. We also have the occasional ruffed grouse. More than 50 acres of our property is in open fields, which is ideal for exercising the dogs and planting birds for training.
Pictured above is our small 5 acre training field (with pigeon pole). We also have a larger training field that is more than 15 acres, but most of our training drills can be done in this smaller field. Interestingly, the small house in the picture is part of the original home place and is more than 200 years old. It is a log structure built by Native Americans that has been covered with siding.
We train with both homing pigeons and quail, using pigeons the majority of the time. Usually we will have 30 or more pigeons available for use on a training day. These birds are very good to begin training with because they generate a lot of scent and are relatively easy for young dogs to find. Also, one doesn't have to worry as much about the dog catching these birds compared to quail. Pigeons are cost efficient when using birds for drills because they reliably return to the coop, and you can even train in the rain with pigeons. However, we do transition to quail once the dog is more steady and when we're ready to shoot birds over the dog. After dogs are finished, we use a combination of pigeons and quail to keep them tuned up.
Our kennel has eight runs, each of which includes indoor and outdoor areas. The indoor area is fully insulated with heat and air conditioning, and the outdoor runs all open to a large fenced in yard. During the day, the runs stay open so dogs can choose to be out in the yard or in the kennel. In fact, the only times we close the dogs up is for feeding, at night, or if we are not at home. Letting the dogs stay out as much as possible improves their activity and socialization and keeps the kennel clean.