The beauty of raising quail and using them for pointing dog training is the fact that they come back to a recall pen...with a lil' help from the quail remaining inside the pen. The same birds can be used again and again.
After a lil' conditioning time, pigeons come back too.
So...if you are training your retriever for upland hunting and have your own property with room enough for a quail recall pen or for a pigeon house, you have the ability to reuse birds again and again if you're working on flushing. This will save money.
The problem with bobwhite quail for a flushing dog is that if you're working on steadiness, a covey flush could be unnerving. If you're using a launcher during early stages of training, bob white aren't the hardiest of birds. Pigeons would hold up better. But, I know of dogs that don't react as well to pigeons as they do to game birds. So, your choice of chukar is a great one.
Pheasants would be awesome. A nice population of pheasant will help the dog develop tracking skills. But you'll need a large piece of property with good cover to support the birds once they are released. You'll lose a lot to predators. Pen raised birds are dumb. The local fox and hawk populations will love you.
Chuckar sounds like a good one, I'll have to check into that.
Don't know if I would want to raise call ducks, but love using them for training with young dogs. They're smaller than mallards, bigger than pigeons. But I hear they are difficult to raise due to a lack of natural ability to feed themselves? So I buy them from other people who do the hard part.
For a ten year period, I had ready, wholesale priced access to our camp preserve's pheasants, chukar and quail, but I far more frequently used homing pigeons with both my retrieving and pointing dogs. Easy to raise and virtually guaranteed to recycle after each use that doesn't kill it. My pups see tons of flown birds at precious little cost, and now that the preserve operation is gone, I've not missed access to training "game" birds at all.
Do also use some of a friend's English caller culls, primarily for water search work, but they keep well in the loft with the pigeons.
Would prefer mallards or pigeons. I've used chuckers and there's nothing wrong with them the first time. Pigeons hold up better and can still be used a couple of times at least after being shot (dead pigeons work great for blinds). Chuckers seem to be pretty much done after the first time you use them.
Chukars and Pheasants. That way I get to cook them and share some with the dog. They deserve a little for their efforts. I do the same thing during the hunting season and give a big thanks to them for the day's hunt.
For young pups (about 6 wks), I let them have a go at a shackled pigeon. Then might use pigeons up to 8-10 wks. But if the pups continue to want to chew on the pigeons, I go to bumpers until basic retrieving desire is determined & conditioned. From that point, its ducks (hen mallards if possible). Once dogs are doing check down marks, I prefer hen pheasants for most all check down marks when possible & for close flyers, when possible. Even so, mallards are the primary training birds for my dogs.