Info on raising Melanistic Pheasants!

Sajaha

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 6, 2009
16
0
22
Hello all!
So on Craig's List I came across someone local that has some melanistic pheasant chicks for sale. My first instinct was that I wanted some! Then I came here to ask about raising pheasants to see if this was a good idea.
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We have a flock of 12 barred rocks, but have never had pheasants. What/are there special considerations that I need to know about keeping pheasants? (ex. clip wings, food, can they be kept with the chickens, etc.?)
Thanks!
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chickenzoo

Emu Hugger
12 Years
Mar 10, 2008
9,364
221
341
a bumpy dirt road in Florida
Welcome !..........Pheasants should be kept separate from chickens as they are susceptible to diseases that chickens can pass to them. Many pheasant breeds need a lot of space if keeping more than one male in a pen, especially Ring Necks, which Mels are. Also with them, having odd numbers of females work best, like 3, seems to help them from picking at each other and fighting. They can also be aggressive to other breeds of pheasants, so I typically keep them with their own kind. They can be friendly, especially when raised from chicks, but majority can be flighty as they are a game bird. Red Goldens, Yellow Goldens and Silvers tend to be more personable in my experience, although I have a Ringneck hen I've had from a chick that is friendly..... We feed a game bird chow from our local feed store, give wild bird seed and meal worms, fruits, veggies etc... We also worm our pheasants typically more than our chickens with Safeguard. i'm sure there will be others to chime in that have raised them longer than I have and have the tricks of the trade so to speak..........
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007Sean

Face it, Embrace it, Ace it, Replace it
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Oct 25, 2015
33,711
202,134
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South Central Texas
I have "supposedly pure" Green melanistics. Their offspring are still considered melanistic but look nothing like the parent birds. Here are pics of the parents and offspring. You can see the differences in feather color, eye color and a slight ring on the neck of the offspring. The female off spring have green and purple color on the nape of their necks.
Yours may turn out totally different, there are just too many different species of true pheasants mixed/crossed with birds available today to be able to say that you will get a pure melanistic bird. image%3A15446.jpg image%3A15440.jpg image%3A15447.jpg image%3A15443.jpg image%3A15444.jpg image%3A15445.jpg image%3A15441.jpg
 

AB Gamebird Farmer

In the Brooder
May 22, 2017
20
5
19
Southern Alberta
We are looking into Melanistics too...we want to release them in our yard, will they fly off? We would like them to come back each night for dinner...will they stay if we feed them?
GAQuail is likely correct. An oldster told me the other day that ring necked pheasants have no "homing instinct", I asked what he meant by that and he went on to explain that when pheasants are released they seam to travel at random and surprisingly far. He told a story about a time he released 50 ring necks hoping to populate the area around his farm. The following morning his closest neighbour, 18 miles away, called him on the telephone and said, "you wont believe what I just saw walk through my yard, 50 pheasants! they were following one another dang near single file."
 

007Sean

Face it, Embrace it, Ace it, Replace it
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Oct 25, 2015
33,711
202,134
1,652
South Central Texas
So true AB Gamebird Farmer. My father released several hunderd ring- necked phesants in the panhandle of Texas, near Muleshoe, back in the 40's. Some actual survived the brutal winters and multiplyed. The Parks and Wildlife saw that someone....they didn't know who? had released them but they would thrive in this part of Texas. Thus, the rest is history. They started a stocking and release program that was a great success.
 

AB Gamebird Farmer

In the Brooder
May 22, 2017
20
5
19
Southern Alberta
So true AB Gamebird Farmer. My father released several hunderd ring- necked phesants in the panhandle of Texas, near Muleshoe, back in the 40's. Some actual survived the brutal winters and multiplyed. The Parks and Wildlife saw that someone....they didn't know who? had released them but they would thrive in this part of Texas. Thus, the rest is history. They started a stocking and release program that was a great success.

Game bird farming is in your blood eh 007Sean. Sounds like your father deserves to have something named after him, or something to that effect. I wonder if he would have been in trouble with Parks and wildlife if they knew he had intentionally released them in the 40's. Would you say pheasants "thrive" in that part of texas?

Your right about the pheasants not being particularly suited to survive harsh winter's. Up here in Canada pheasants do not thrive, the population is supported by government(which means tax payer/hunting licence buyer) sponsored release programs. The daily bag limit on male pheasant is 2/day and the season is fairly short, I believe October 15 to November 30th Even then the ring-necks seam mostly to be found only area's where cereal crops are cultivated. Which is actually a good thing because our native grouse species seam to prefer the natural/native prairie. I have often wondered if pheasants out compete the native grouse species but I must assume that they do not because the sharp-tail grouse bag limit in my area is 5/day; however, with a one month season. Maybe I am wrong to assume that Alberta fish & wildlife's bag limits are in tune with the health of the population.

Hungarian (or grey) partridge are an introduced species which thrives in alberta, to my knowledge there are no release programs to supplement the population, they are completely self sustaining and I assume they do it very well because the hunting bag limit is 5/day and the are in season from september to january. and I can testify that there are plenty of Hungarian partridge around!

here is a link to infro on albertas pheasant release program: http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/birdregs.html#pheasant

and here are the gamebird bag limits: http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/wmu/bird-seasons.html
Ill get some photo's on my melanistic cock today!
 

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