Raising Pheasants

When raising pheasants from day-old chicks; there is much that must be taken into account. They must have adequate food, water, warmth, shelter and protection. To ensure your preparation for their imminent arrival; there are many things you must consider and many steps you must take.

When it comes to their brooding; the brooding house or area should be weather tight, free from draught and rodent proofed. This doesn’t have to be a solitary building but it will need to be penned off if it is part of a larger building. Make sure the area has been well cleaned and disinfected before the chicks arrive. Corrugated cardboard makes very good flooring for chicks as it gives them the proper footing they need. Flooring like newspaper is not recommended as it doesn’t provide firm footing. There should be enough room for someone to enter or reach in to change water, feed and get to any birds which need helps etc.

For a source of heat for chicks, heat lamps are easy to use and effective. A 250w bulb per 100 chicks is ideal. Preferable a red bulb as it will not be too bright and will help reduce the threat of violence and cannibalism among birds. Hang the lap roughly 18” above the floor of the brooding area. A metal rearing circle will keep up to 750 chicks in the one place and under the lamp for the first week or so.  The circle will also exclude drafts from along the floor. Try and give the birds a good amount of space as overcrowding can cause problems such as cannibalism which can be quite a problem when rearing pheasants. Keep a thermometer in or near the pen to keep an eye on the temperature and help keep it constant.

Drinkers and feeders specifically designed for chicks is ideal; chick drinkers will prevent chicks from potentially drowning in their drinking water and chick feeders will ensure chicks don’t spoil their food by walking through it. A 2 litre drinker will be adequate for up to 25 chicks. On day one, be sure to dip each bird’s beak into the water to be certain they drink and do something similar with their feed. A 2kg feeder should be big enough to accommodate just as many chicks as well.  Be sure to provide more than one of each otherwise there may be squabbles as they all crowd around the one.   Keep these away from the brooding lamp; either have the lamp in the middle and the feeders and drinkers on the outskirts or have the lamps at one end and feed and water at the other.