Pheasants farming involves raising pheasants for release, meat or egg production. There are different kinds of pheasants however we will focus on red-neck pheasant. Check list for pheasant production are sourcing adult birds, chicks or hatchery. Others include watering, feeding, provision of shelter, brood rearing. More things to consider are disease control, equipment, cannibalism, rules and regulation guiding the enterprise.
Species of Pheasant
There are many species of pheasants in the wild. We have Hoogerwef pheasant, Salvador, Bronze-tailed peacock pheasant, double banded argus and Vietnamese pheasant. Others are Crestless fireback, Tibetan eared, German peacock-pheasant, Hainan-peacock, Bornean peacock pheasant. More include Mountain peacock, crested argus, Cheer, Imperial, Copper Brown eared, Koklass pheasant, Edwards and Hume’s. List continues with Bulwr’s, Elliot’s , Crested fireback, Blue eared, Grey argus, Kalij pheasant, White eared, Siamese. We have the Golden pheasant, ring-necked, silver, Mikado, Grey-peacock, Swinhoe, Ring-neck and Lady Amhest’s pheasant.
Complete List of Pheasant Birds
- Hoogerwef pheasant
- Bronze-tailed peacock pheasant
- double banded argus
- Vietnamese pheasant
- Crestless fireback
- Tibetan eared
- German peacock-pheasant
- Bornean peacock pheasant
- Mountain peacock
- crested argus
- Copper Brown eared
- Koklass pheasant
- Crested fireback
- Blue eared
- Grey argus
- Kalij pheasant
- White eared
- Golden pheasant
- Lady Amhest’s pheasant
History of Pheasants
Red-neck pheasants were introduced as game birds in 1881 and hunted Oregon 1892 and Dakota 1930 during the world war 11. Sever winter conditions and low reproductive rate caused pheasant’s populations to decline. Due to conservative efforts the numbers increased in a ten year period from 1990 to 2000.
How to Raise Pheasant Chicks
- Bird pen construction
- Flight pen
- Cage and release
It is easier to source pheasant chicks than hatching their eggs. Purchase fertilized eggs from reputable farmers and handle them with care. Hatching their eggs requires an incubator, regular turning and temperature control. There are different egg candling methods however the whole exercise is to monitor chick development.
How to Care for Pheasant Chicks
Prepare the game birds brooding house by applying disinfectant, removal of old litter. Then replace with good liter make sure the brooding house is clean and disinfected. Apply heat source using a heat lamp to provide warmth for the chicks.
There are many commercial heat lamps that will do the job.
Common types are infra-red lamps, solar lamps, kerosene lamp and electricity infra-red lamps. Then hang 15 – 18 inches from ground, provide 1 square foot per chick and confine them within a 24 inch high chick guard. Introduce watering trough adequate food and storage area. A good practice is to change litter paper at least once or twice a week. Prevent any draft however allow some ventilation for the birds.
The most crucial time in the breeding program is the first week. Provide adequate heat, avoid cannibalism, scatter feed and add perches. Best stocking ratio is 25 square feet for 125 chicks. Best litter is expanded vermiculite, shavings, flax straw.
Feed day old chick’s commercial grade grain specially formulated for game birds. The feed are usually high in protein for rapid growth of the bird. To encourage eating sprinkle food on the ground in different areas of the brooding house and provide a drinking area away from light source. Other food source are insects, worms.
A flight pen is built outside to allow natural sunlight and space to fly. Make sure the pen is escape proof and large enough for the birds to fly around. Secure the pen from predators and introduce bushes, small trees.
Build a flight pen peg within a secure dry area and drive logs into the ground. Use corrugated net to surround the entire space and use a dome net covering for the top. Make sure the pen is rugged and provide a shaded area for the birds. Flight pen equipment include 150-250 feet 1 and 2 inch mesh, chicken wire, wooden support posts, top netting, side netting a door way.
- Electric infrared brooders
- Poultry netting
- Steel hinges
- Brooding house
Release the birds in area with high population of the bird. Release from crate need a small bush for cover and acclimatization of the new environment. Release near a field with lots of food options and away from predatory birds.
There are different regulations guiding the enterprise. Some state require licensing to propagate game species. Americans interested in this enterprise should visit the game and fisheries department of agriculture.
Diseases and cannibalism
The bird is susceptible to common disease that affect poultry birds. However the real concern is predation and cannibalism. To prevent cannibalism use a plastic blinder on aggressive pheasants. Another way is to provide a hiding place for damaged birds.