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BEGINNERS GUIDE FOR THE RED GOLDEN PHEASANT (PIC HEAVY) WITH MUTATION PICS

By birdman55, Feb 4, 2015 | Updated: Feb 4, 2015 | | |
  1. birdman55
    GOLDEN PHEASANT or the CHINESE PHEASANT (Chrysolophus pictus)

    (Pic below is of a two year old male)
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    INFORMATION

    This pheasant is perfect for beginners and the most popular of all pheasants that are kept in captivity. Its very hardy (both extreme climates, hot and cold). Captivity kept in America as early as 1740. From my understanding even George Washington kept them at Mt Vernon. The Golden pheasant along with the Lady Amherst pheasant (C. amherstiae), are ruffed pheasants (Chrysolophus. Named for the "cape/ruff" which is displayed and spread around their face during the courtship rituals). Throughout time some breeders have mixed them making pure (F1/F2/F3) F stock hard to find in captivity. So if someone is claiming to have a F stock bird or producing a F stock bird. First, you must ask them if they are related. If they are not then they should have bought two different pairs so the birds could be switched and not be related when breeding. Also if someone claims to have pure stock ask them for paperwork to prove they are for sure pure. If they are pure the breeder will be more then happy to prove it and show the papers on the birds. And also make sure that when you buy your new birds that they are for sure unrelated pairs. A lot of breeders will sell you brother and sister pairs. Which you don't want to breed. If you are buying related pairs then you will have to get another pair and switch the males and females so they can be mated to an unrelated opposite partner. Also keep in mind that you want to be able to see the parents of the birds you are buying from, making sure the birds are healthy (asking question about their worming practices, the feed they are giving them, there shelters/coops, even where they got there birds from.)

    Golden pheasants in the wild are called Red Golden pheasants in captivity. The males have the bright colors while the females are dull and have no bright colors. The male birds should look like this when they are an adult: Feet should be yellow, not olive like the Lady Amherst. Immature males look just like hens for the beginning stages of their life. You will be able to tell them apart after a couple of months by looking at their eyes. The male eyes will change color (blueish/green/yellow) while the females will be a brown. Females have no bright colors like the adult males would have. They look like the picture below. Now I have seen females that were supposed to be F stock, one from a zoo and the other a direct wild line and the females looked different to the eye. The female from the zoo was thicker, squattier, and had bright yellow feet and beak while the wild ones were taller, more thin, feet and beak were more of a dull yellow and they were darker then the zoo lines.

    (Female red golden in the snow)
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    (4 year old yellow golden male displaying)
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    (Same male halfway displaying)
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    (Same male displaying)
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    (2 year old red golden male displaying for a yellow golden female)
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    (2 year old red golden male displaying for red golden female)(sorry the female in this picture doesn't look great I just got the female birds and they weren't taken care of very well, but they have full body and tails now. They are some recent pictures of the female birds posted below.)
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    Great video to check out below seeing the bird display his cape


    Thinking about getting Goldens then look at the adults that the offspring was produced by and make sure to use your best judgment. (If they are mature 2 year old males) They should have yellow legs, yellow crest on the top of the head (not red/orange), no green in the breast, no barring in the chest, and no horizontal yellow lines in the chest (these would be indications that they are mixed).

    This bird is the best option for a beginner and also is very affordable (most young birds go for 15-25$ each.) as well. Many people on byc have these birds and have been breeding these birds for a while and will keep you on a good path (Thanks Tony). The birds don't require a lot of space for the aviary. So if you have limited space this bird is perfect for you. Very compatible with other types of birds. (See pictures below.)
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    (As you can see below you can easily tame these birds)
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    (They love sunflower seeds. They get them once a day. You can also see in the background the two Red Golden males displaying)
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    (A good look at the back of the different colors on a Red Golden)
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    (More displaying by the males)
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    I have raised the Goldens along side other types of pheasants such as Ringnecks, Lady Amhersts, and also with peafowl. The only thing I noticed is when raising them from a chick you don't want to keep quail in with them because the quail will actually tear the top beak off of the pheasant and it wont grow back like a normal beak should look like. I have bought some and didn't notice it at the time that two of their beaks were like this, and the breeder didn't mention it to me. See picture below of what this looks like.

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    (Side view of the same bird)(Lady Amherst female)
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    So always check new birds you're going to get making sure they have straight toes, beaks look good, they walk fine, the parents look great, and are healthy, even walk around and check their droppings for anything noticeable to the eye, and that they weren't raised in with chickens. I know people that have raised them in with chickens but I wouldn't buy any of their stock because of this. Just personal preference I guess. I have read online that you shouldn't keep them with other types of pheasants but I did because I was limited on the space and didn't have the coops built. Now all the birds are separated into pairs, trios, and quads for breeding. Here below is a great web page for how droppings should look like (it's meant for chickens but I'm sure the same looks apply)
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/search?q=chicken+poop
    (This is what curled toes look like)
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    (I will be doing a test here with the two females with curled toes to a Red Golden male that's fine in appearance to see what their offspring looks like and to see if this problem is passed along. None of these birds will be sold.)
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    They are very winter hardy and able to take very cold temps (today it is zero degrees) very well. You will hear them whimper when they are cold however. They can survive with little or even no shelter. Provide them shade and a top that is covered so that water and snow cannot get in the coop. I'm putting in corrugated fiberglass that is 85 percent light penetrated so that they are shaded and not hit by the elements but can get the light they need.

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    Also keeping them out of the sun will keep the males bright colors bright and wont fade them. This species of bird was the first that I got (4 males) and I got for free from a byc member (thanks Jodie birds are doing great). The males will show off to both the males and the females. When they display for the males they are figuring out dominance and will more then likely fight soon to come. See pictures below for displaying and what they look like before they fight. The pictures are provided to show what they look like when being confrontational so you can better take matters if you put males together.
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    (Most of my birds are very tame and eat directly out of my hand. See pictures below.)
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    (Picture below is of a female Red Golden about one year old. This was taken about two weeks ago and you can see she is very comfortable with me handling her)
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    (Yellow Golden female on the left and Yellow Golden immature male on the right)
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    (4 year old Yellow Golden mature male all others are Yellow Golden males that are about a year old)
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    (I can literally just pick them up)
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    (Red Golden female about a year old, this is one of the same birds that didn't have a tail and were skinny when I got them.)
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    (Yellow golden male about a year old. Notice the eye color)
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    (Female Yellow Golden just hanging out)
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    (Red Golden females about a year old saying I love them sunflowers, same group that was skinny with no tails when I got them.)
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    (I just got this bird home after meeting Gail a fellow bycer who does artwork on eggs and I opened the box and it flew up onto my shoulder and wouldn't come off.)
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    The species will breed their first year in captivity with a good fertility rate. You can run a quad (meaning three females to one male) pair with great fertility.

    Call of a Golden pheasant

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4qcJokD-Rw
    You can see in these videos that the bird has been mixed with Lady Amherst pheasant because of the orange color in the crest.

    HABITAT

    Due to the isolated and harsh terrain on the birds habitat little is known about the habitat. Many people that try and look for the birds cant see them in the trees or on the ground even with the vivid colors the males have. Their natural habitat is dark young conifer forests with sparse undergrowth. This bird is native to the forests in mountainous areas of China but feral population are in the United Kingdom. You can find them in England in East Anglia in the forest of the Breckland. They have also established themselves in Florida as well.

    STATUS IN THE WILD

    The International Union of Conservation of Nature lists them as being least concern, meaning there have a good population in their habitat. The average lifespan of Golden pheasants in the wild is 5-6 years, however, captive birds can live 15-20 years if properly taken care of.

    AVICULTURE

    They can be found in zoos and aviaries all around the world, as well as in many private aviaries. They are hardy, easy to maintain and contain, and don't need that much space. A 10' x 10' or a 6' x 12' is perfect for a pair, trio or quad.
    (Picture of the back 4 coops being built. And I wouldn't recommend doing this in winter. I had no choice because of the amount of birds I had to get separated for this years breeding season. It is not an easy task to build in frozen ground.)
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    (This is the male pen until I get females for them)
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    (Yellow Golden male)
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    (If you plan on having birds you need some sort of protection for the birds (i.e. a dog or several). I have two pit bulls. They are very nice but are trained to leave papas birds alone and keep out unwanted creatures. It did take a couple chicken losses before they learned to leave the birds and protect them. They do a great job of protection.

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    We live in the middle of a forest as you can see in the background so we get all sorts of animals (coyotes, rabbits, brown bear, deer, turkeys, raccoons, other dogs, and stray cats). The dogs keep out all the creatures from pestering the birds or even killing the birds. (Behind him is a trio of Red Goldens. This is the pen that has the two Red Golden females with curled toes.)
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    (Side view threw most of the back pens, the plastic was put up also to keep the birds from getting out and the other unwanted things out, it is very thick. I tried to puncture a hole with my finger and no way did that happen. There also is non see thru poly about two feet high now between the pens so the males can concentrate on the females.)
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    (This is the temporary completed back 4 pens. After winter I am putting the corrugated fiberglass that is 85 percent light penetrated on.)
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    (This is the front 20' x 20' that was divided into 4 - 10' x 10' pens. Next to it is a 8' x 8' shelter, which they have access to. (It is currently housing a pair of Peach Golden.) In front of the ladder is going to be another pen roughly 9' x 9' and will have a slanted roof attached to the existing shelter for another set of birds.)
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    (Same picture with some of the interior poly up)
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    (These 3 pens pictured below are 2 - 5' x 16', and one 10' x 16'. The two smaller pens are done and the bigger pen is being worked on right now. I have been slacking. But that's because we just got another 10 peafowl. The bigger pen will be split up into sections and the birds that are hatched and raised here will be banded and placed into this unit until they go elsewhere.)
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    (When I got these the two birds not to long ago I put them in this empty pen to worm and quarantine them. This coming Thursday after being wormed again for the second time they will go into their breeding pens. I just got this bird and it was the first time handling it and it seems to like me. Call me the bird whisperer. Or the "bird juggler" like someone on byc has named me.)
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    As for costs of building all these pens and what to expect, it cost me about 3500$ for all 11 pens. So doing the math that's 318$ per pen and that is also including the one 8' x 8' shelter and some of the tools to cut the wood with. Now I will be adding roofing to all of this so the price will be my guess double. So figure with roof and everything your looking at about 750$. But you can make it way cheaper using things you find. All this stuff was brand new treated wood. The only thing I would have done differently is used hardware cloth on the wiring part, I believe it would last longer then the current stuff, which is 2x4 wire with chicken wire over that.

    BREEDING OR INCUBATION

    Hens lay 6-12 eggs (Lays an egg every day or ever other day) in a clutch in April thru July, depending on the temps for the birds and where your located. 21-23 days is normal hatching amount of days. They lay eggs in one clutch and will lay more if you take the eggs and incubate them yourself. Some hens will be broody while others wont. Best bet is to incubate the eggs. Chicks are easy to raise but I wouldn't put them in with peafowl they will pick the top feathers off and pick on the peafowl.
    (2 day old white peafowl in with two 2 week old Yellow Golden pheasants)
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    (He had a feeling someone was watching him)
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    (So did this peafowl bird)
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    (I want to say these birds are about a month old and they are Yellow Golden pheasants)
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    I would also use red lights and ceramic heat lights to deter picking / cannibalism. Even adding a small box on the inside of the brooder can help with picking. Some will run into the box to hide. They lay a small sized pale creamish egg. Collect eggs thru ought the day and mark on them with a pencil (don't use a marker as the ink can seep into the embryo) the date and what breeding pen they came from and if you have multiple kinds then mark what breed it will be. I am separating each pen into colored leg bands and the eggs will be separated in the incubators so that when the birds hatch out I don't have to worry about what pen they came from. This bird (x) hatches in the area where the pen (x) is placed then I know it is from pen (x) and then I can band/zip tie which ever you decide to use. The eggs should be incubated at right around the same temp as a chicken so if you hatched chickens you can hatch these birds. Keep the hatched bird in the hatcher for minimum of 8 hours so it can dry off. Chicks of the Red Golden should be a dark brown with a creamy yellow eyebrow/face markings. Chicks should be in a 2' x 3' brooder and should be around 100 degrees when first placed into brooders (don't put to many in this size brooder). After a week or two you should place them in a brooder twice this size (2' x 6') for the next 7-9 weeks. After that they can go outside. Of course dropping 5 degrees every week. You can put them on wire mesh, if so then get the smallest size spacing and place a set of paper towels over it for a week or so, so they can get there footing established. You can use sand as well. Just make sure to use washed masonry sand (the kids play sand has small shards of glass and when ingested can kill birds.) The sand also applies for other types of birds as well. Make sure to use paper towel for the first week or so on the sand and then it can be removed. And of course you cant forget about the pine shavings at least two inches and make sure the bottom piece is of something coarse so they don't slip if they dig down that far. Make sure to not use cedar as this can be fatal to birds if ingested and don't use sawdust. Heard many bad stories about that type of bedding. Make sure to put down paper towel for the first week or so as well. During the first week you want to sprinkle down feed all over the paper towel so the birds can eat and learn what food is. The heat source should be on one end and the feed and water on another end. I'm building brooders right now and I am going to install a ceramic heat source on one end and a red 25 watt light by the feed and water. You can give them electrolytes and probiotics in their water and this will make them healthier in the long run when they get bigger. I will be installing digital temp meters in each unit so the heat can be set at a certain degree and the heat source will turn on/off when needed. This will make things a lot easier to monitor being it is just me, then a typical dimmable switch because there will be fluctuations in the building temps which will have an effect on the inside brooder temp. After the birds are accustomed to no heat for a few weeks then they are ready to be place into the outside environment. When placing birds outside make sure they are blocked off and do not come in contact with cold rain, as it could possibly kill them. At this point you want to use some sort of netting. And remember you get what you pay for in this material. You can buy one inch or two inch top netting. I got mine from cutlersupply.com. It works great. Or you can place a roof over the whole thing and not have to worry about the snows or rain. The roof is a much better option and will serve as more long-term as the netting is only rated for five years. But one downside to a roof is the chance of having them fly up and breaking their neck. (Which I have seen this season while buying birds.)

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    DESCRITPTION

    The adult male is about 40 inches (100 cm) in length. The male tail accounts for 2/3 of the total length of the bird. Males have a golden yellowish crest. The face throat, chin and sides of the neck are a rusty tanish color. Wattles and orbital skin are both yellow, the ruff/cape is light orange. The upper back is green, lower back and rump is golden yellow. Wings are blue, and the scapulars (shoulder feathers) are dark red. Tail feathers are black spotted with cinnamon, and the tips of the tail feathers are also a cinnamon buff color. The chest is a red color, and the flanks and under parts are a light chestnut color. Feet and beak should be a dull yellow. Immature males resemble hens, but will have a spotted tail and varied patches of red throughout the plumage. Females however have a mottled brown plumage. Breast and sides are barred buff and blackish brown, abdomen should be plain buff. Face and throat should be buff. Legs and beak should be a dull yellow. Sometimes the females may later develop some male plumage. I have seen a yellow crested female. Female is a bit smaller at 24-30 inches long and the tail making up half of that.
    (Red Golden male about two years old)
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    (Red Golden female about one year old)
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    (2, 2 year old Red Golden males)
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    (Red Golden females about one year old. These were some of the skinny, no tail birds.)
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    (2 year old Red Golden male)
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    (Red Golden males and females)
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    (Red Goldens and in the middle a Yellow Golden male)
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    (A Red golden female getting wormed orally in picture below.) Worming should be done twice a year. I use Safeguard for my chickens in water for 5 straight days at a dose of 2 1/3 tablespoons per one gallon. Then ten days later re dose in the same amount for another five straight days (keep in mind I have over 50 chickens now and they consume about a gallon a day) I worm the other birds (pheasants) with Valbazen at a single dose of 1/2 ml/cc per bird orally and then re dose after ten days the same amount. (For the peafowl I also use Valbazen but given at a higher dose then the pheasant.)
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    (Juvy Red Golden male getting his colors in)
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    (Red Golden Juvy male getting his colors in)
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    (Same Red Golden juvy male)
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    (A pen of Red Golden juvy males and females)
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    (2 Red Golden females)
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    (Red Golden female in front and a Yellow Golden juvy male in the back)
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    MUTATIONS

    There are many mutations of this breed. Yellow Golden (Ghigi Golden) was developed by professor A. Ghigi of Bologna, Italy. The crest of the male is yellow, ruff/cape is orange and black on the tips, however I have seen yellow capes with black on the end, the upper back is brownish, the lower back is yellow, wings are dark brownish metallic mantel, majority of the tail is white with brownish/greyish detail, chest is yellow, feet and beak are yellow.
    (Yellow Golden male back)
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    (Yellow Golden male body shot)
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    (One of my favorite picture is of the Yellow Golden male displaying)
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    (Frontal of Yellow Golden male)
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    ( A Juvy Yellow Golden male)
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    (Same bird)
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    (Juvy Yellow Golden male. They love it when you rub their neck towards the bottom of their beak.)
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    (Yellow Golden juvy male)
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    (Yellow Golden juvy male. You can see the difference in the eye colors from a female easily at this point)
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    (Yellow Golden juvy male)
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    (Yellow Golden female)
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    Silver Goldens (Anyone with these types of birds please pm me I would be interested in buying stock from you.) have an olive colored beak and legs that are almost the same color as a Lady Amherst. From my understanding this bird was produced by a guy in Minnesota and he is no longer into birds. The juvy birds look just like the Yellow Golden juvies but the legs and beak are a different color. An adult male's cape is white and black, the upper back is of dark brownish color, the lower back is of silverish/white, the wings are a cinnamon color, tail is like the yellow golden, chest should be silverish/white however I have seen many breeders Silver Goldens that have a cinnamon, silverish/white chest and back.

    (See the almost olive colored legs on this Silver Golden female)

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    (not my birds but where I got the female above from)
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    (Silver Golden male right and female on left)
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    (Silver Golden male. The colors in this picture is nothing like seeing them in real life. It's an absolutely stunning bird)
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    (Now we get to talk about this bird below. This is a male Silver Golden on the left, which I believe has some Yellow Golden genetics. (red juvy male on the right saying hi when I put the new birds in the pen) I would like to meet someone that has information about how these birds came about and information on these birds. To me this bird doesn't fit what I think is a Silver Golden because of the yellowing on the bird. But he will be mating with my two Sliver Golden females and I will have to see what comes out of this set. I wont be getting rid of these offspring because they are going into my peafowl pen. When I get a male like the one pictured above, I will be really happy and I will make the offspring of those birds available. But you can clearly see that there is a difference.)
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    (Same bird displaying for the female. The tail is short because the breeder I got him from must of had him in a confined area. I didn't happen to see where the birds pen was, or the bird was picked on. I have males right now in one pen here and some of the young males seem to have the same problem while the adults tails in the same pen are perfectly fine.)
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    This is a totally different breeder (One Silver Golden male and four females)
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    (Same birds)
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    (The next two pictures are difficult to see but look at the wings and notice that its not brown. Its like a juvy pattern would be (has barring). Weird to me but this bird is four years old.)
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    Lastly there is one other Silver Golden I have seen and most people do have this. The looks are similar however the chest isn't pure whitish/silver. Its got a cinnamon color mixed in with it. I do have pictures but the breeder didn't give me permission so I cant post it. sorry. And that's one problem I have seen with the mutations, there are no set standard. So be prepared you will get into verbal arguments about these mutations. And with virtually no data to set a standard you will have lovely conversations. (You can kind of see the cinnamon color in the chest in the two pictures above.) Most people selling these birds online have the cinnamon in the chest.

    Dark throated golden (1860's) looks just like the red golden but has a black face and throat, the females are also a lot darker then the regular Goldens. The tails are barred and not spotted like the Goldens as well, ruff/cape is of a lighter orange with black on the ends, the rest of the plumage is pretty similar to the red golden, the feet i guess would be not as bright yellow as the red golden. There has been speculation that this bird was crossed with the Lady Amherst but no actual proof was documented.

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    Pineapple Golden
    I have never seen this kind in person only on the internet so the link is below
    http://www.freewebs.com/grayfoxaviary/goldenpheasants.htm

    Mahogany Golden
    Same applies with the mahogany golden. Link below
    http://www.freewebs.com/grayfoxaviary/goldenpheasants.htm

    Cinnamon Golden was developed by William Petzold of Connecticut in the early 70's. The males are very similar to the Golden. The Cinnamon don't have the green on the back nor the blue on its wings. Those two things are replaced by a brown/greyish sheen, other then that they are similar in plumage as the red golden.
    (Well sorry for the dark picture but this is the only picture I have of this bird. Looks like there is a different pheasant in there as well, which I just found out was a Swinhoe male and it was just sold a couple of days ago.)
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    Peach Golden are a harder bird to keep alive out of all the mutations from what I was told. Males and females will look the same and as they grow the male will change to a beautiful set of colors. They were first produced in Wisconsin by Louie B. after he passed his son Lonnie took over and rebuilt the coops and I should be getting some stock indirectly from him. The birds color reminds me of a cockatoo's coloring. Males have a lot of white set off by a yellowish/golden breast and body and a full peachy colored ruff. The head crest of a male is yellow gold color and under the eye is a marking similar to the Lady Amherst male but it is a yellow color (drop). There is no barring or stripes and the peach ruff has light barring in a white buff color, and the tail and wings are white. Females are less dramatic with color and are white/cream colored. I was also told that the first peach was a mutation off of the cinnamon golden. That information came from a breeder in South Dakota that hung out with Lonnie in some swap meets in Minnesota. When breeding with this unique kind, please understand that the offspring will not be all peach, and some will turn to splash as they molt.
    (Year old Peach Golden male on left and female on right)
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    (Year old Peach Golden male right female left)
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    (Adult Peach Goldens female left male right)
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    (Same birds as above, you can see how much a picture can change)
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    (Year old Peach Golden female left male right)
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    (Year old male peach getting a foot soak in Epsom salts, iodine, Ivomec, and water. What happened was he stepped in droppings and it froze to the bottom of his feet so I was taking no chances.)
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    Anyone with the Peach Golden birds please pm me I would be interested in buying stock from you.

    Splash Goldens look like the Goldens but just imagine taking a brush of white paint and painting certain random feathers white creating a pied/splash look (there are many different splashes as well, yellow golden splash, peach splash, cinnamon splash and so on.)(good video below with the peaches and the splashes)


    Tangerine Golden very similar to the Peach Goldens. I have not seen this in person only on the web

    Salmon Goldens very similar to the Yellow Goldens. I have not seen this in person only on the web

    Flame Golden
    http://www.aviangenetics.com/Pheasant_Ridge/birds_that_we_raise.html

    Yellow Flame Golden
    http://www.aviangenetics.com/Pheasant_Ridge/birds_that_we_raise.html

    These birds (Red Goldens and the mutations) will breed with other pheasants and some will be fertile so keep them separated. And remember when your dealing with the Peach Goldens they will not breed true and you will have Splash Goldens with few actual Peaches. Be vary careful on breeders saying they have a new kind of mutations. And more then likely those wont breed true either.

    FEED
    They feed on the ground in the wild on leaves and other types of vegetation, grains, and invertebrates (animals without internal skeleton, i.e. insects, larvae, earthworms, millipedes, snails, and spiders).
    I was feeding my breeders and young adults a mix of 18 percent layer and 26 percent crumble (Hubbard Life). Once a week or so throw in some mixed grains and some fresh greens (lettuce, chickweed, dandelions, grass (cuttings not mowed clippings)), and fruit/veggies (berries, tomatoes, grapes) (which we have a forty foot grape vine...which the chickens love to fly up to and eat). Before breeding and during breeding I will be giving them 24 protein feed. The feed store just got some new feed which I will be using its called Prince Animal Feed. The game bird starter is medicated and is 28 percent protein, and the medicated game bird grower pellets are 24 percent protein. All other months I will be using the 24 percent Prime animal feed. Chicks start off at 28 percent game bird starter crumble.
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    Great articles about medicated feed / ingredients in feed / misc
    http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/urba...hatching-medicated-chicken-starter-feeds.aspx
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/backyar...edicated-feed-all-about-do-I-need-it-H74.aspx
    http://msucares.com/poultry/feeds/poultry_feathering.html
    http://www.pjbs.org/ijps/fin1406.pdf
    http://www.lysine.com/pdf/poultry/PRR24.pdf
    http://www.zootecnicainternational....ility-and-factors-affecting-requirements.html
    http://japr.oxfordjournals.org/content/7/4/351.full.pdf
    https://www.pheasant.com/resources/rearingtips/tabid/106/default.aspx
    http://www.gbwf.org/pheasants/pheasant_diets.html
    http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-begin-breeding-pheasants

    MISC

    They will roost in trees at night or the highest perch you give them. They are not really flighty birds and they do prefer to run. You will see them running around your coop after each other rather then flying. If they are startled or if you are trying to handle them then they will burst up and fly, once one flies the others tend to follow. They fly in short bursts, but mainly stay on the ground. (I have also noticed if your movements are slow they are less likely to fly.)

    Feathers are used to tie flies for trout and salmon, as well as decorations (hats and such). Here are some pictures by a byc member (Flyfish1985). Thanks Zach for the great flies. They are truly amazing. You have a great talent. Keep up the great work.

    The fly tying industry has been using Golden Pheasants as a source of feathers all the way back into the mid 1800's. With the expansion of the British empire into all parts of the world scientists and naturalists began sending specimens of exotic birds back to England for research purposes. The fashion industry caught wind of these beautiful birds and from there created a need for these birds as they used them in millinery for hats and boas for ladies wear. Fly tiers were the last onto the scene and began to pick up what was left over from the fashion craze and use them in their fly designs. The rest is history.

    The Golden Pheasant is one of the most well known birds in fly tying because of the crest feathers on the top of their head. To a fly tier these, toppings, are used to create tails and a cascading arch over the top of the fly to polish off the look. Many "classic" patterns, ones from about 1850-1920, call for these crest feathers along with others from the bird as you will see.
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    The orange neck feathers from the bird, or tippets, are another major part of fly tying from this early age of "gaudy" flies. These feathers can be used as supportive under-wings for a fly, tail fibers, sides on a fly, or they can be the wing itself. In this fly the tippet feathers are used as the main wing itself. The pattern is one called a Black Ranger.
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    The tippet feathers are called for in the below pattern called a General Practitioner. They have been tied on to the hook in an overlaying pattern to represent a very bright version of a shrimp. The black barring on the feather is great for making the illusion of the segmentation in a shrimps body. In this fly the red breast feathers are used as hackles that have been wound around the fly to create the illusion of the legs of the shrimp. A fly tier could also use the red rump feathers in a fly like this too. The tail of this fly also uses fibers from the red spear feathers on the sides of the tail to create the look of antenna and the feelers of the shrimp.
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    One of the most distinctive parts of the Golden Pheasant is the beautiful brown and black mottled tail feathers. In fly tying, these long fibers are cut from the tail and used to create portions of wings for some flies. In the fly here the fibers are tied in to create the roof portion of a fly.
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    You can also see in this close up of the wing of this fly that the tail fibers have actually been married to other fibers from different feathers to create a wing with different textures and colors. This fly also utilizes the tippet feather as an under-wing and the crest from the top of the head as a tail on the fly. The center tail feathers are the ones that are sought after most though. The side tail feathers and spear feathers are normally not used a lot in fly tying. There is one other thing that is very important in fly tying as well. When tying decorative patterns like this the fly is two sided! This means that matching feathers from each side of the bird are paired up and tied onto the hook back to back so that they support each other. The same goes for the tail fibers in the wing. The fibers for one side of the wing were taken from the left center tail feather, and the fibers for the other side of the wing were taken from the right center tail feather.
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    Golden Pheasants are amazing birds and are gorgeous to look at. As you can see they also have a rich history in the fly tying community as well.

    Almost all the feathers came from a Ringneck Pheasant besides the crests, those come from a Golden Pheasant.
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    This fly is a fly that has been around since the late 1800's early 1900's called "The General Practitioner" It uses feathers from a normal Golden Pheasant.

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    Here is another fly that has been around for a long time called the "Glen Grant Spey". This fly uses, Golden Pheasant, Grey Jungle Fowl, Blue Winged Teal flank feather, and Blue Eared Pheasant rump feather.
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    MEDICATION (Great person on byc to ask questions about meds......casportpony....thanks for all the help)
    Corid and safeguard (The bigger the bottle you buy the more you save)
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    (A capture net which I got from cutlersupply.com works great)
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    (Image shows how small the holes are. Don't use a fishing net as the birds will get stuck with their heads in it. Been there done that until I got this net)
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    (Valbazen I use and make sure to get a syringe that holds about three ml/cc)
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    This article was based on my views on what I have experienced so far in the eight months I have had birds. On what I've seen in person, read on the internet, and talked to other breeders. I am just a beginner and my knowledge does not stop here but I would like to show that anyone who enjoys birds can be successful at it. With dedication and proper care, theses beautiful birds can bring many years of joy. I want to wish luck to all breeders out there, may your journey be as fulfilling as mine.

    ALL PICTURES POSTED HAVE BEEN GIVEN PERMISSION TO BE USED OR ARE MINE.
    HOPE EVERYONE HAS ENJOY THIS AS MUCH AS I HAVE MAKING THE ARTICLE
    KRIS AKA "BIRDMAN55"

    PLEASE FOLLOW THE FORUM BELOW FOR UPDATES ON THESE BIRDS, BUILDING INCUBATORS, BUILDING PENS, AND LOTS OF GREAT IDEAS FROM PEOPLE HERE ON BYC....
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/940456/building-paradise-for-the-birds

    Some of the information was found online
    websites cited
    http://www.gbwf.org/pheasants/golden.html
    http://www.aviangenetics.com/Pheasant_Ridge/
    http://www.freewebs.com/grayfoxaviary/
    https://www.purelypoultry.com/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_pheasant
    http://beautyofbirds.com/goldenpheasants.html
    http://www.hilltopfarmsny.com/hilltopfarms-goldenmore.html

    In addition this article was made to be informative to what I have seen and to what color they may look to me. Not saying what color is mentioned above in the article is the exact color of the bird. Just simply what I think the color was. So my apology to those that might think that I didn't explain it perfectly and get the color precise. I tried my best and like I said I have only raised these birds for 8 months. Please understand that none of these birds above are actual F stock and I'm just an amateur with some birds (140 plus birds). Some of the birds above could infact be hybrids. There is no way of proving if they are pure because they are not F Stock and the mutations are questioned about being mated with other types of birds specifically the Lady Amherst.
    Feel free to put your thoughts about the birds so I can learn as well. I'm sure I didn't explain some of the mutations quite right and there is virtually no information on a standard of these (mutation) birds, and most of the information is what I have heard about them, seen in person, or seen on the internet.

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    About Author

    birdman55
    Read the forum u will learn.

Comments

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  1. amyschickens1
    great I want to know what colour my male goldie is just got from auction. really flighty and nervous. what colour is it its not got all its colour but has an orange back and orange face
  2. WalnutHill
    Great article, Kris!
  3. Arbor
    Well done! Through some of my own research, it seems that mahogany golden is actually a dark-throated cinnamon golden. I wonder what the dark-throated pattern would do to peach or silver. I may have to try this! We also know that salmon goldens are dark-throated yellow goldens, according to Delacour.
  4. scootj79
    Great job on your information. When I had my Goldens and Silvers I also use to have some pigeons and doves in with them. So I had made up nest boxes for the doves and pigeons that were say around 12 to 14 inch square with sides and a roof. I would place them anywhere from 5 to 10 feet off the ground(checking 10 feet up always stunk lol) and I found out my pheasants would use the boxes to nest in more than anything. Always had AMAZING success with having broody hens that were great mothers. In fact almost too good of moms. Ever been around a silver hen protecting her nest or her chicks? Its dangerous lol.
  5. Mahen100
    Cudos and thumbs up. So well organized, great in content and most enjoyable read.
  6. RezChamp
    WOW!!! Awesome, AWESOME article.
    I've always been interested in Golden Pheasants and even raised a cpl. I like pheasants in general.
    I did'nt know there was Silver, I did know about the AmherstX.
    I prided myself in holding some knowledgs regarding these birds but this article makes me look like a Nursery student in a building full full of PhD's
    My interest is piqued again. Thankyou birdman55.
    I guess thats another $5G. LOL.
    Ironic.......... my son's nickname is birdman and I'm 55.
  7. birdman55
    98 out of 123 pictures are indeed my own birds....so that's 79.67% of the birds above are mine...there would have been more pics but I didn't get permission to show their birds...wish I could have posted them for they are beautiful
  8. casportpony
    Great article! I love that you used so many of your own photos and that you got permission to use the others.
  9. birdman55
    Loved writing the article. It got me a lot closer to these birds and the many types of mutations. I also got to see subtle difference between the birds and learn a lot while doing this. As for the dogs I couldn't ask for better dogs. I have raised pits my whole life. Mom used to babysit and she had no issues with the pit and the kids.
  10. Outpost JWB
    Thanks for writing this article. I love all the different colors you have in your birds. I also love the pics of the dogs watching over your birds. You would think those breed dogs would not make such good LSG dogs, but yours seem to do very well. Congrats on such beautiful work.

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