Free Range Red Golden Pheasants????

Discussion in 'Pheasants and Partridge (Chukar)' started by stu3796, May 16, 2009.

  1. stu3796

    stu3796 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2008
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    This may be a crazy idea, but I think it would be really cool to have red golden pheasants roaming around our land and of course coming home to roost inside at night. If I were to hatch some and basically raise them with newly hatched chickens do you think they would stick around the chickens and basically free range with them? Any other ideas on how this might be done? Thanks!
     
  2. muscovy94

    muscovy94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a few pheasants that were hatched under a chicken hen and they all free ranged and they all stayed with the chickens.
     
  3. isaacearlg

    isaacearlg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:thats what i want to do. do the pheasants roos with the chickens
     
  4. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    I had several species of pheasants free range. Goldens were one of them. They stayed around fairly good(some were tempted into hopping the fence into the neighbor's yard..).

    However.. the hens and juvenile males were hit VERY hard by hawks(primarily sharpshinned & coopers hawks in my case). The hawks did not target the adult males nor most of my chickens. I had to stop free ranging the goldens because the hawks just would not let up on killing the hens/juveniles- I happened to see a hawk drop a dead pheasant it had pucked and eaten some to swoop down and kill another hen that had come into view.. was the last straw.

    The best species I had free ranged were the Eared pheasants. They were exactly like chickens as for free ranging habits.. except they dug a lot with their beaks instead of feet. Very friendly too.

    The worst ones as for not staying IN the yard very consistently were Ringnecks. The males insisted on holding separate terrorities which other males were excluded from.. on my one acre it meant the males were OUT of my yard most of the time.. they only came in at feeding time. The females were very fickle, they'd be here for a couple days or just a day and I just don't know where they are for several or most of a day.. One surprising thing about those- they were very friendly with me. Several of the males would hop up on a trash can containing the feed to eat out of my hand.. one male allowed me to pick him up and gently pet him(the Goldens were the tamest of all though- all birds of both sexes and ages readily hopped up onto my arms if they were hungry or thought I had food or treats. None of them let me pet them though). Had to sell all of them due not to staying IN the yard though.
     
  5. stu3796

    stu3796 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2008
    NW Ohio
    Thanks for all the info... at least I know it is possible. I find it interesting that the hawks attacked the females/young... I suppose they put up less of a fight, but I'd have guessed they'd hide a lot better than the bright, fancy males.
     
  6. leonie

    leonie New Egg

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    I've been wondering the same. Theres almost a dozen pheasants (males and females) that roam around one of my paddocks eating the pig pellets. I'd quite like to introduce some other colours or just some more females to boost their population. I'm just not sure how'd I'd release them into the wild, as I don't know how I could be sure they'd survive. Especially with a local fox. Any ideas?
     
  7. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not sure why and it did surprise me.. My own idea is since these hawks are migratory(they're here only during fall/winter), they probably prey on grouse or wild birds similar in coloring up north so it's "prey they are familiar with" with the chickens and very bright adult male goldens being unfamiliar to them so they were less inclined to 'try them out'. Doesn't explain why they also were murder on baby chickens, irregardless of color..

    Captive raised birds, even of the 'wild species' strongly tend not to do well after being released. I understand they tried to introduce wild turkeys by raising and releasing them(even if they were hatched from wild collected eggs).. which failed. Apparently only the wild ones trapped and released in new location did well.

    It's not always a good idea and can potentially back fire too- what if the captive raised birds have diseases or parasites.. could really hurt the ferals already doing well/okay on their own. Or they have genes that don't work well- too heavy, genetics for roosting on ground vs trees, not such great mothers etc. Or the captive raised ones can actually as lures for predators- those are much easier to catch so the predator starts hunting around for pheasants specifically.. wipe out the whole flock or whittle it down even further eventually.

    I'm guessing the best way to introduce new colors is either finding a nest and replacing the eggs or free ranging the captives- if you keep only the hens, it's pretty likely the local roosters will come for a visit and eventually some of the chicks will grow up and move out to live with the wilds. Many of the 'odd colored' wild turkeys likely are descended via wilds and domestics breeding.
     

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