keeping and breeding your own pheasants

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muntjac

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keeping and breeding your own pheasants
« on: October 22, 2007, 00:20 »
Catching up your own pheasants...by munty & National Association Regional Game Councils
 this article features else where with my other id   " welsummerman "

Catching:
No matter what keepers rant on at you for ...saying " Stealing my bl**dy birds "etc ..Pheasants are wild birds and belong to no one .
On your property they become yours , so it is a really simple matter to catch up sufficient breeding stock from your own area.
It is advisable to put out and bait the catcher with wheat for a time beforehand.
A four foot square by two foot high cage with an opening one foot high and nine inches wide on each end which will allow the pheasant to move in and out freely while feeding on the grain.

After a suitable time of pre-baiting, wire netting funnels can be slipped into the open ends.
A sliding door in the roof will facilitate the removal of birds. These cages must be checked on a regular basis, i.e. (intervals of every 4 /6 hours) and the birds removed to avoid stress. Ideally this exercise should be completed by mid February to allow the birds to settle in and get acclimatised to their new living quarters.

Feeding:
Birds may be fed on wheat until mid March or thereabouts.
Some folks feed a game pellet, but I don't anyways for the first seven days a special feed containing Flubenvet should be fed.
Clean fresh water replaced on a daily basis is a must.
A covered over dusting area is beneficial.
Grit is very important.

Other info:
Numbers of cocks to hens:
It is an added bonus if you can source an unrelated cock and run at a ratio of seven hens to one cock with the cock interchangeable every 5-6 days.
The reasons for this are the unlikely chances of an infertile or non-working cock and also to avoid stress.

Getting eggs:
I like to use leylandii for hiding places in my pens and just throw a handful hay into the sides.
The benefit being, it is easier to collect the eggs and they do not require washing afterwards.But if they do it is cheap and safe to do so with sterilising fluid.
If a pheasant hen gets broody later on, it is important that she be released where she will commence to lay again and have her own brood in the wild.
Or you can keep her for the pot later ,just feed her up with the rest of the birds ,or again you can keep them for another year and get eggs again. Chalky eggs, mis-shapen and very small eggs should be rejected. Just eat them!

Eggs should be collected from the laying pens twice a day 12.00-1 pm and 6-7 pm. They must be handled with great care, as a little crack can ruin them

Half dozen egg cartons make a very suitable container for storing pheasant eggs. Eggs should be stored at a temperature between 50F and 55F. I believe careful turning will help to maintain condition. If possible, they should be set within 7 days of laying. After this time eggs seem to lose their ability to hatch fairly quickly.

Incubating:
As incubation can be a complex subject it is very difficult to cover all the details in the space allowed, so stick with the owners manual you get with your machine if you use one?

The best results can be obtained when the incubator is positioned out of direct sunlight and in a room where the temperature does not exceed 60F degrees.
There must be good ventilation, as airflow is an important factor when using an incubator.
Make sure your incubator is level at all times .
As already mentioned, check the manual for instructions. Stick rigidly to them.
An incubator should be in position and switched on for at least 1 week before setting of eggs. During this week, temperature can be adjusted to remain stable at the required temperature which is normally 39.5F degrees to top of pheasant egg. Only when the temperature is stable, should the eggs be set. If the temperature remains higher than required, it could cause a zero hatch. Low temperature causes a delayed hatch.
Egg turning runs a good second to temperature. So therefore, in a manual incubator, eggs should be marked with an X and O and turned 3 times daily ( 5 times is better).

In some automatic turning incubators it is also helpful to mark eggs X and O and turned manually each day.
Pay particular attention to ensure turner motor is working okay. If the motor has failed, you then will have to do it yourself for the remainder of the hatch.
Stop turing them on the 21st day of the hatch.The incubation period in the case of pheasant is 24 days. On day 24, when hatching begins, fill the water trays in the base of the incubator with warm water. Thereafter, do not open the incubator. When the hatching is complete on day 25 or possibly day 26, but usually on day 25, raise the lid a quarter of an inch to allow air circulation to harden off the chicks. They will remain there for a further 24 hours. Just before they hatch, chicks draw into their abdomen the yolk of the egg which is rich in food value and liquid and is all they require for 3 days: The chicks can be gently removed from the incubator 36-48 hours after the hatch is completed and placed in a circular box 8 ft" in circumference and 2ft high, suitable for 80 birds approximately. The box can be heated by an infra red bulb suspended from the ceiling to the centre of the circle.

The bulb should be adjusted to 15 inches (approximately) above ground level. The temperature should be 90F-95F degrees at ground level.

The chicks wil tell you if its to hot or cold. Watch how they behave and you will notice if they are gathering directly under the bulb, it is too high up. Therefore, it will need to be lowered slightly. When the height is right you will see a circle of contented chicks spread out under the bulb. Care must be taken not to hang the bulb too low. This is suitable accommodation for one week or so. Thereafter, a similar, larger pen must be provided with a cover of mesh wire and gradual reduction of heat.
At 3 weeks old, a larger shed will be necessary for the chicks so that they can get away from and return to the heat as they wish. By the time the chicks have reached 6 weeks old, they should be completely off heat and ready for the great outdoors. Great care must be taken not to over-crowd or over-heat as this causes stress

A good quality game starter mini crumb or meal as I have myself ,should be fed from the start in a suitable feeder and also a little crumb on the lid of a biscuit tin encourages feeding and will avoid starve-outs.
Clean and fresh water in a shallow container must be available. I add sugar or glucose to the water.

Cover the flooor with treated wood shavings from day one .

Natural Brooding:
If you to keep a few broody hens, like I do, for the purpose of breeding, it costs nothing but a few minutes a day. Others use silkies, but any cross breed bantam is ok. but i prefer buff orpinton bantams as you all know

Hens must be kept in dry, comfortable conditions, they do not require very elaborate housing. A simply coop, adequate for the purpose, can be erected at a very small cost.

Feeding is a simple matter with barley meal being the main diet, with a generous supply of clean drinking water. A covered over dusting area is a must so that hens are lice free when ready for hatching.
The nesting boxes must be situated in a dry place and out of direct sunshine. Dimensions of 16" square, with a thick layer of dried grass for a nest, is an ideal size.
Depending on the size of hen, 11-13 pheasant eggs is normally the clutch size. But better to stick to the lower numbers.

Always check the setting time and day and date of hatching out. Leave the chicks alone for at least 36 hrs after hatching out, but it is essential to remove egg shells soon as possible. On the day before the hatch is due out, pack some dry grass down between the nest and the box to ensure the chicks' safety from getting lost in the space created during the hatching period.make sure the hen isnt bothered by any animal or kids .

Very little attention is required after the first few days of brooding. At the start, the hen must be removed on a daily basis, preferably in the morning time.
Again, ample feed and water and dusting area must be available for her. After a time lapse of roughly 10 minutes, when the hen has fed, watered, dusted and excreted, she may be returned to the hatching box. It is wise to use ordinary hen eggs to get the routine established, and after a few days, with everything going to plan, the pheasant eggs can be set. When the hen gets used to the routine, she will leave and return to the nest of her own accord.

If, for some reason, the hen is not sitting tight, delay the setting of pheasant eggs. The hen is going to decide if she is going to hatch or not. If you force the issue by covering the nest and possibly succeed, invariably that hen will leave an unfinished job.

When a successful hatch has taken place, which normally means a 90%-95% hatch out, as already stated, leave the chicks for 36 hrs. Move the hen and clutch to an outdoor, tightly constructed grass pen, moveable if possible. The hen must remain with the poults for a minimum of 6 weeks when the poult can be treated similarly to other poults. Feeding is the same as for incubator chicks. The big difference is, the mother hen will encourage them to feed.

As you all know .I feed mine natural feeds only, so what ever you do, dont feed any layers pellets .I believe they make the birds eggs less fertile .
regards munty
still alive /............

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van connick

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keeping and breeding your own pheasants
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2007, 06:09 »
brilliant munty.....

what size pens would you suggest to keep the birds in?

and are the cock pheasants very noisy?

as you know i keep quail in sheds, but i have thought about going into either partridges or pheasants aswell....

do you think they would do well in pens inside a large barn, or would they be better all round, if they were outside?

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muntjac

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keeping and breeding your own pheasants
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2007, 10:51 »
outside 30ft by 15 ft pen with bushes etc on the floor for nesting cover incubator which i never have  :wink:  leylanii cuttings are great for this .collect the eggs and incubate under banties if you want or use an incubator which i never have  :wink:   .they need a roof on the coop about 15 ft high or you clip the wing feathers ,they have to perch as chickens do  they need stuff to scrat about i used straw on the floor  just scatter  maize wheat or whatever you like ( seed for birds )

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calli

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keeping and breeding your own pheasants
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 09:03 »
What a brilliant post!

We were supposed to be setting up with the pheasants this year but the house building stuff got in the way and no pens were built.

This is definately preferrable to buying in stock which was the alternative.

Do you have much problem with disease and do you vaccinate or medicate?

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muntjac

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keeping and breeding your own pheasants
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2007, 09:08 »
you use whatever they have for chickens :wink: but im a larger volume and buy it from gamekeeper suppliers or shop around :wink:

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van connick

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keeping and breeding your own pheasants
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2007, 07:16 »
Munty....
fantastic atricle there, but here in south Wales we are very short on pheasants.....in fact i cannot remeber seeing any in the area......no idea why, coz there seems to be plenty of ground cover for them....oh well....
what i wanted to know was, do you know of any sources of eggs? pheasant or partridge ?
seems that will be the only way i can go.......

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muntjac

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keeping and breeding your own pheasants
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2007, 09:16 »
wait till spring for them van matey then go to
WWW.BASC.ORG.UK

they will put you onto the right folks for your area  :wink:

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jimroden

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keeping and breeding your own pheasants
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2008, 19:54 »
have you ever taisted pheasent egg's
there blooming horrable you will never eat two
Dont tell lies you get in trouble

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muntjac

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keeping and breeding your own pheasants
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2008, 19:40 »
you must have bad ones jim  :lol:  i have eaten loads and enjoyed them all :wink:

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jimroden

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keeping and breeding your own pheasants
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2008, 18:41 »
Quote from: "muntjac"
you must have bad ones jim  :lol:  i have eaten loads and enjoyed them all :wink:


yack lol i dont like duck egg's though

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rainie

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keeping and breeding your own pheasants
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 08:07 »
what do pheasants eggs taste like, comparing with very free range chicken, guinea fowl and duck  (on water)?
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