Raising pheasants from eggs or hatchlings requires care and attention to detail. Once the young birds are too big for a brooder, they need a lot of outdoor room to forage and fly in a place safe from predators. Build one or two well-designed pens and watch your flock of colorful game birds thrive through the seasons.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Post hole digger
- 10-foot locust or treated lumber posts
- Galvanized wire 1-inch mesh, 18 to 20 gauge
- Wire staples or nails
- #9 wire fencing
- Hog rings
- 10- to 12-foot brace posts
- Game bird netting
Size the pheasant pen for chicks that are 4 to 5 weeks of age. They require 25 square feet of pen space per bird for proper flying. Building a bigger pheasant pen is better than building one too small.
Construct the pheasant pen to keep the pheasants inside and predators outside.
Keep building costs to a minimum by price shopping for new materials or reusing chicken wire, fencing and lumber.
Use pressure treated lumber or locust for the main posts. Choose materials that are resistant to bad weather and outdoor durable.
Locate the pheasant pen in an area with adequate shelter and shade access. The more natural cover available, the safer young pheasants will feel, which results in less cannibalism.
Design the pen with gates or doors of sufficient width and height to allow for easy feeding, watering and catching of young chicks.
Build the pheasant pen frame by placing 10 foot long treated posts 3 feet into the ground, about 12 feet apart. Place the posts equally distant from each other, making sure there are posts at all corners, both sides of the door frames and in the center of each side.
Dig a trench around the base of the pen between each of the set posts, about 6 inches deep and 6 inches wide.
Lay the first layer of galvanized wire into the trench, flaring out 2 or 3 inches at the bottom. Fill in the trench with dirt. This prevents predators from burrowing under the fence to get inside the pen.
Extend the galvanized fencing around the fence up to the top of the posts.
Around the perimeter of the top of the posts, lay #9 wire fencing over the tops like an edging. Lay several pieces across the pen width for top netting support.
Place one or two brace posts on the inside of the pen like tent poles. Use 10- to 12-foot lumber or shorter lengths in areas with lots of snow and ice load.
Lay game bird netting across the top of the pen to prevent birds from escaping. Connect the netting to the corner posts first for a snug fit and then lay the remainder. Attach the netting to the #9 wire on the inside with hog rings to prevent ripping in high winds.
Tips and warnings
- Check with local authorities about required licenses and permits before buying pheasants.
- Move young pheasants from a brooder into a larger pen when they are about 2 to 3 weeks old.
- Watch young pheasants for signs of cannibalism; there may not be enough pen room or cover.
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