Pheasants are game birds that are often bred to be hunted on preserves or for wholesale or retail sale to restaurants and consumers. You can buy eggs for hatching from pheasant farmers and incubate them at home by following these steps. Read on to learn more.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Poultry incubator
- Wet bulb (recommended) or hydrometer
- Fertile pheasant eggs
Set up your incubator. Make sure that it's clean. Maintain it at a constant 37.5 degrees for two days before adding the eggs, with a wet bulb temperature of 30-31 degrees (relative humidity of 60 percent). Adjust these settings by opening or closing air vents and adding water pans.
Prepare the eggs for setting. With a pencil or crayon, mark one side of the eggs with the date you put them in the incubator. Number the eggs.
Set the eggs in the incubator with the date side up. Depending on the species, they will take between 22 and 29 days to hatch. The ringneck, the most common breed of pheasant, incubates for 24 to 25 days.
Turn the eggs at least three times daily. Be sure that all of the eggs are always either date side up or date side down. Turn them an odd number of times each day to be sure that they don't rest on the same side every night.
Candle each egg by shining a bright light through the shell to check the progress after one week and record any development. If after 10 days no growth is noted, the egg is probably not fertile. Remove it so it doesn't spoil and contaminate the incubator.
Stop turning the eggs at 23 days (or 19 days for shorter-incubating breeds) and increase the humidity to 32-34 degrees by the wet bulb reading. Let the pheasants hatch unless you notice a hole and the chick hasn't made any progress for more than 12 hours.