One thing wild and artificially reared game have in common is that when food supplies are short, both will stray to find it. To prevent and reduce straying it is essential to provide game birds with a food supply throughout the winter.

It is also important to provide food during spring for the breeding population. Regular food supplies in spring will ensure good clutches of eggs are laid by healthy female birds.

Natural food supplies for game birds diminish rapidly after the autumn. Food for game can be supplied by planting certain seed bearing crops. Food can also be provided artificially by the use of the hopper system. Hoppers should be placed in strategically advantageous areas with good natural cover.

Hoppers should also have small trees such as birch or old Christmas placed around them, these trees will provide protection against Sparrow Hawk attack. The hopper feeding system only works when the hoppers are regularly checked and topped up.