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Pheasant hopeful looking for advice

Discussion in 'Pheasants and Partridge (Chukar)' started by JerseyHen, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am hoping to make the jump from chickens to pheasants this year and have come here looking for resources and advice. I have been doing a lot of reading on BYC and other pheasant pages, but thought I would ask around for additional advice. Links to particulary high quality past posts and such are appreciated as well.

    First, what are the best breeds to start with? I really like the red golden, lady amherst, and silver pheasants. Are any of those particularly difficult for a newbie? I would like to avoid having to provide extra heating if possible (I live in NJ so let me know if this is a pipe dream).

    Aviary design: I am planning on an aviary for them with at least 100 sq feet per bird (I am hoping to keep 6 - 9 total in 3 separate pens). The design so far is for 3 pens with at least 300 sq feet with an enclosure around the entrances to keep any from escaping (is there a name for that particular part of the aviary?). The gound will be as natural as I can arrange it for them, sand, moss, natural mulches, rocks, bushes, downed logs, etc...

    Is 100 sq per bird enough for most types of pheasant?

    How high should the top be?

    Will it be better to enclose the top with garden fencing (to keep out predators) or will that hurt them if they try to fly out? So, would netting be better and if so, at what height should I have the electrical line to keep the local predators out?

    I have seen many types of "coops" for them, most being a simple elevated box without a floor that have roosts inside. Should it be more elaborate than that or is that ideal?

    Other:

    I have chickens, I don't plan to mix them in and plan on keeping the pheasants in the aviary at all times. Do I need to engage in any specific biosecurity arrangements to protect one from the other? Do they readily share diseases? I do range my chickens and it will be difficult for me to completely avoid dirt contamination, even with shoe changing and such. How strict are you with your biosecurity?

    Stock:

    Where should I go to find birds? I live in NJ and would prefer to pick up or hatch birds rather than shipping. Thoughts? I have looked all over the web and it seems that there are not that many sources for pheasants, especially local to me.

    Again, I really appreciate your advice and pheasant keeping wisdom. I will continue to read back through this forum as I await your information.
     
  2. rollkeeg877

    rollkeeg877 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i keep my pheasants with my chickens and it makes them tamer from my experience and have the pens so if the bird goes to fly its not gonna break its neck off the roof and you can just use chick wire for the top and make the top i would say so that you can walk around in the pen standing up straight and i like the silvers i have had ring necks and silvers and i prefer the silver pheasants cause there more tame then ring necks and like i said at the beginning keeping chickens with them is fine people say its not but i have had it good with it and i keep my ring necks and silvers all together same with the chickens and pigeons and quail and silvers are fine with the cold and heat and ring necks do even better in the cold cause they are mostly in Canada and europe so good luck
     
  3. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

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    All three are easy to keep. 6ft high pens are fine. They will interbreed so best kept in seperate species pens. 8 ft x12 ft pens a pair are fine. Dont run chickens and pheasants together. Yea rarely some time you luck out but most times you dont and your pheasants will die first. Chicken wire or netting will work for top. Best place to find stock GBWF site. Most like to roost so run a pole or branch across the pen. Put some cover (pine or cedar boughs) in the pen also so the hen can hide a little from the boy especially during breeding season.
     
  4. Lophura

    Lophura Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the plug Shawn!! All the advice given has been great. And yeah, be sure to check out our pheasant species page http://www.gbwf.org/pheasants/index.html for the variety of species along with basic care information to help you make the right decision. I revamped and updated it last year, so many new photos, links, & articles. Plans are for more complete updates in 2013 to my other sections. It's not a catalog and I don't have any pheasants for sale...

    Dan
     
  5. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

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    No. Thank you Dan!!! [​IMG] I love GBWF and dont know what I would do without it. Your site has especially helped me on the purchasing,keeping and caring of the more rarer bird species. In my opinion GBWF and BYC compliment each other as I feel these are the best sources for both practical and advanced bird keeping that is available on the internet. Or anywhere else for that matter! Shawn
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Lophura

    Lophura Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I appreciate it Shawn!!! Trying to get more active on both to keep my mind occupied from all the turmoil that you are surely aware of from my FB posts!! I always want to try to help out when I can and do what's best for the birds in our care. You've been a member and supporter of gbwf for a long time, I really appreciate all your contributions there (and here). Now that I've brown nosed, how about a pair of Harlequins? [​IMG] - Kidding of course!!! As you said before, someday...

    Dan
     
  7. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info. I have read and re-read the gbwf page (bookmarked it, in fact). There is so much to learn! I found that link a few days before I posted this. Nice to meet the person behind that collection of information.

    How about where to get birds though? I will be building pens well into the end of spring, so I have some time, but I thought it might be good to get started on looking. Thoughts?
     
  8. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

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  9. Lophura

    Lophura Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, glad you have found it useful!!

    The forum has a classified section that usually has many listings for pheasants & waterfowl (throughout the year, you may also see cranes, finches, softbills, very rarely any domestic birds). Many of those selling I know (not all however) and many have some outstanding bloodlines. I know it gets a bad rap sometimes for being rude or elitist, but we do have a focus and aim for conservation aviculture and not just breeding. I can't post the link here because I got in trouble a couple of years ago talking about the forum on this forum, but I'm sure you'll find it [​IMG] .

    Dan
     
  10. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

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    Take the plunge.All 3 species you have spoken of are great birds to start with.I would run quads on all species to help the hens from getting a beating during breeding.The males can be very aggressive breeders.Your pen size is way more then adequate for a quad,100 sq ft per bird i9s a looooooooooot of room.Here in N.H for ringnecks the state requires 25sq ft per bird,ornamentals are not regulated here.
    As for the top,I would use poultry netting for an area that size.It is expensive,but may be your cheapest route for a pen of that size.Don't forget to put an apron of wire(at least 2' wide) around the bottom outside of your pen.This will keep the digging predators out.Also when putting up perches,keep them 3' down from the top so predators can't reach down and grab them.As for the height,at least 6'hi or even higher if you are tall.The height is more for your comfort while giving your birds room to fly.Have a sheltered part of the pen so your birds can get out of the elements.They more then likely will not use it,but it is best to give them an option.I always use rubber bowls for food and water,I don't like them eating off from the ground.Just my own preference,There are no people listed in the APWS directory that raise pheasants,but I'm sure there are some people that do and just don't advertise them.When you are ready to purchase birds,let me know and I will try to find someone near you.
    Lots of helpful info on www.gbwf.org.You will find yourself checking it out several times a day.
    Keep the good work uo Dan,we all appreciate your site and the efforts you put into it.
    In N.H.,Tony.
    [​IMG]
     

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