Hen Stress - wild pheasant

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jbtweed, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. jbtweed

    jbtweed New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Mar 15, 2010
    Hi there,

    I have a small flock of about 10 hens, plus a rooster. Lately, a wild cock pheasant has been in and out of their all-but-free-range run. He's been there for about a month, and at first it seemed like there were no problems. The hens and rooster ignored him. But in the last week or so, we've noticed that we're only getting 2 eggs a day, not the usual 6. Also, one of the eggs each day has a really pale yolk. I don't think the pale yolk is to do with them not getting enough greens - we quite often feed them our vege scraps and they have a quarter acre-ish space of spring grass. We feed them a mixture of laying-pellets and wheat also.
    I'm wondering if the pheasant could be contributing to this?

    In the last day or two he's started trying to bonk my four youngest (who are not even laying yet). I noticed my rooster chasing him around the run today as well, rooster seems unhappy - I know that's a sign that the pheasant is not welcome, and I'm gonna do something about it. But really I just want to know if he's what might be causing my hens stress and in turn, less eggs and paler yolks?
     
  2. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    I would cover the run to keep the wild bird out to protect your birds from disease if nothing else. As for is the pheasant stressing your hens? I think you answered your own question when you said that your roo seems stressed and you are experiencing a pretty sever drop in egg production.

    Good luck to you!
     
  3. jbtweed

    jbtweed New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Mar 15, 2010
    Thanks! I really just wanted to confirm it and get someone else's opinion. Its good to know my chook-instincts are on the money.
    I hate to say it but we had no choice but to get rid of the pheasant yesterday. I caught him twice fighting with my rooster, and I wasn't having that - he's the best rooster we've ever had, I'm not keen on losing him.
    My hens are pretty well free range, they're in contact with pukekos and various other birds all the time and we've never had any problems with disease, but if I ever do notice any different birds I might consider covering it.
    Thanks so much for your help [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by