Rearing pheasant chicks is not a difficult process, but it does require monitoring and diligent care. The pheasant is typically classified as a game bird and is often the target of hunters. Some pheasant breeds specifically breed their birds to be hunted. Pheasants range in colour and the chicks are downy after hatching.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Pheasant chicks
- Brooding house
- Heat lamp
- Water source
- Chopped straw
- Starter feed
Purchase pheasant chicks. Many pheasant farms sell chicks to avoid having multiple age groups to care for during breeding season.
When your chicks first arrive, dip their beaks in water and put them under the heat lamp. Inspect them often, especially during the first week.
Set up an appropriate brooder house. The house should be free from drafts, rodent proof and weather tight. However, the brooder house must be properly ventilated.
Clean and disinfect the brooder house at least two weeks before you plan to move the chicks in.
Provide branches and alfalfa hay for your growing chicks to peck at, and play on. Chopped straw makes an excellent litter, as pheasants have a tendency to eat wood shavings. If the chicks end up eating wood shavings, they will die.
Heat the brooder house. A heat lamp is a must. Purchase at least one 250-watt infrared bulb for every 100 chicks. Hang it from the ceiling, so that there is about 18 inches from the floor to the lamp. Use artificial lights to gently illuminate the brooder house. Too much light promotes feather picking.
Feed the chicks. A 30 per cent protein, medicated, gamebird or turkey starter feed that is appropriate for pheasant chicks. It should be in crumble form. Once the chicks are six weeks old, you may switch to a 20 per cent protein grower feed. Chicken feed is not suitable for pheasant chicks.
Provide a 1-gallon waterer for every 75 birds. The waterer should have a narrow lip, so the chicks don't drown -- or you can fill the waterer with marbles. Replace the water twice daily and clean the units often, to help prevent disease.
Monitor your chicks for signs of illness at all times. Some common diseases in pheasant chicks include coccidiosis, gapeworm, moulds and mould toxins, and botulism.
Tips and warnings
- Sand or newspaper is not suitable for pheasant chicks as litter or flooring as it is difficult for them to get proper footing.
- Don't overcrowd your pheasant chicks as they can be cannibalistic. Your brooder house should be able to give each bird about 3/4 of a square foot. Initial evidence of this behaviour is typically blood on wing tips and tails of the smaller chicks.
- Never let your chicks run out of food or water.
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