Pheasent Blinders or ''Peepers''?

Bruiserdog99

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 23, 2014
141
6
71
Idaho
Hello im new to pheasants i raise quail and we have a small hobby farm and i wanted to start ring neck pheasants. I have done quite a bit of research and know that they are very aggressive birds do you use blinder i know how to put them on but what age do you put them on? are there different sizes and do you have to change them as they grow. another question is i have heard people trim there beaks with clippers or a machine i was thinking of doing that. does it work as well or are the blinders better? Thanks! also could you show me some of your pens i was gonna start with 8 each would receive at least 10 sq ft in a 10 x 10 dog run with a hutch they could get out of the weather. any information is much appreciated thanks!
 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
228
20
113
When I first got into them I ordered peepers and bits. I've never had to use the peepers. The bits keep them from pinching their beak all the way together so they can't bite one another. http://cutlersupply.com/zen_new51/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4
I ordered the smallest size but have never had a problem when they were that young. It'd be nice to have some on hand just in case a problem broke out though.

I'd try to dissuade you from debeaking. The tool is expensive that cauterizes. Using anything else really doesn't remove enough without bleeding to be effective. They can still remove chunks from one another with a beak trimming without the tool that cauterizes in one step. Cauterizing separately is next to impossible as their tongue is in the way at that point.

With the bits I use plastic as they grow from 6 wks to adult. Then metal when they are full size. The plastic ones need to be monitored daily as they can get out of whack and prevent them to eat easily if it gets cockeyed. Of course the metal ones are pretty well permanent as they would need to be cut off. I guess they must learn that they can't bite each other because I never see any aggression from them as adults. No injuries ever with bits in them. On chukars I tried the peepers but they would get stuck in 1" wire so I had to go with bits in them as well. They never learn not to try and bite one another but no injuries or missing feathers. That's without culling roosters, just keeping them as hatched in breeder pens and overcrowding a bit.


One suggestion I'd give is that you put 1" hex chicken wire on the top. They love to rocket into the air with the smallest of disturbance and will knock themselves silly, bloodying their head. The flimsy wire will give a bit and keep them from scalping themselves. I've had hawks and owls bounce off of it in the past so it's strong enough for dive bombs. Acts kind of like a trampoline. It's pretty funny seeing them trying to figure out what just went wrong. Personally I don't trust the net as it degrades in the sun over time.

Good luck.
 

Bruiserdog99

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 23, 2014
141
6
71
Idaho
yeah i know what you mean about them flying up and smashing there heads on the ceiling (seen my quail do it many times) ive always used chicken wire for outdoor pens for my chickens and rabbits and never had a falcon get one yet. had some coons get some chickens but i took care of them right away. for the deabeaking i was gonna try using a goat dehorner when goats or steer are little you burn there horns off so they dont get stuck to fences and break there necks but i think im gonna try the blinders and see how that goes. I wanted to start selling birds for dog training im not looking to make alot as i am doing it as a hobbie i will hatch my own after my first flock but id like to be able to pay for the grain. is this the best route to go? Thanks
 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
228
20
113
It takes about 16-20 lbs of feed to raise them to 5 months (depends on jumbo or normal, male or female, winter or summer) then about 12 lbs a month to sustain them. You can figure out your feed costs for however many you intend to raise. Make it easy and say 2 bags of feed per bird the first year and 3 per bird to sustain a breeder every year after that. I am betting training stock won't cover much. There's just not enough guys that buy them to warrant a very high demand within driving distance of a given area.
Of course that's purely speculation as I don't even know the current price of feed since I grow and mix my own.

Years ago when the government used to buy them for restocking it was smooth sailing. Now everybody and their brother grows them. Also every time there is a drought the grain prices go up and never fall back down the next year when the yield is normal. Even the longstanding game bird hatcheries are dropping off like flies here lately. My suggestion is to just look at it from a hobby perspective. 100 sq foot would give you room for 3 females and a male. I'm betting that ebay for the eggs and craigslist for the eggs, chicks and adults along with a separate add emphasizing training stock would get you a whole lot closer to your goal. I'm also betting if you factor in feed, initial stock, electricity, labor, 10% mortality rate, feed waste/rodent control and misc equipment there would be no way to provide a sustainable business model at that scale.

Not trying to dissuade you as I like them myself and would own them on a very small scale if it wasn't profitable on this scale. But going in if you look at it from the hobby scale perspective any profit you make to offset the feed bill will have you that much further ahead if you enjoy raising them.
Good luck.
 

Bruiserdog99

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 23, 2014
141
6
71
Idaho
im picking up my first flock on Tuesday from the hatchery and then ill start hatching my own. i appreciate all the helpful information. Thanks!
 

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