Total newbie questions about raising our first pheasant eggs

Discussion in 'Pheasants and Partridge (Chukar)' started by adshea, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. adshea

    adshea Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Hi

    I'm hoping someone can help by answering a couple of really basic questions. We've had 3 golden pheasants for a year now (2 girls and a guy), and we've just seen our first eggs in the aviary. It's very exciting, but we're very lost. I've read as many articles as I can find online, but they all seem to assume some knowledge and skip the basic questions... which is making it hard for us to figure out what we should do next.

    • First off - the four eggs are all scattered around the aviary - 2 in the hutch, one under a bush, and another out in the open... is normal? or are our girls a bit forgetful? should we gather them up and put them together in the hutch? at the moment we've brought them inside where its warmer.

    • How long can the eggs be cold for after they're laid and still be good? The eggs are all cold, and may have been there in the open for a day or so at about 10 Celcius / 50 F. Are they still ok? I have kind of gathered from reading articles about incubation that the eggs can be left "cold" for around 10 days before they have to go in an incubator. Does this mean that so long as we incubate them or give them back to the girls soon they should be ok?

    • Oh, and would it be best to incubate them or gather them up into a nest for the girls and hope they do the job themselves? Does the fact they've scattered them all over the place so far suggest they're not the best mums (this is their first laying season - so they're probably as confused as us!)

    • And finally, how serious do you have to get with an incubator? My wife works as an elementary school teacher, and the school has a really basic incubator with a heat lamp or two in a wooden box. Can we get away with that for pheasants? I assume a better incubator would produce more success, but they are quite expensive! We would be ok with manual turning and misting for humidity (she has a class of 25 willing volunteers!)

    Thanks heaps!
     
  2. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Pheasants are weird,some will lay in nest and others will scatter them.
    !.Are you planning on incubating or letting the hens set on their own eggs?You shouldn't of moved them,they have become comfortable with their pen and moving them may slow down laying or even stop them from laying.If you just herded them into a barn it may not interupt them.Pheasants do acclimate to your temps and no heat should be given to them.
    2.Eggs viability declines after 15 days.Eggs can be stored at 40 degrees so no harm at 50.If you plan on incubating eggs,they should be set for a day at room temp before putting into bator.If storing eggs you still need to turn them 3 times per day.I put mine in an automatic turner while storing so I won't forget to turn them.
    #.I would leave the eggs in their pen and see if they will set,after 12 days they are not setting,I would incubate them.Pheasant chicks first instinct is to run,so make sure all the holes are covered and they cannot get out,or pull them and brood them yourself.I find that brooding yourself is much more reliable then depending on mom.While some make good moms,but you may lose a few birds finding out which ones are good moms.
    4.Pheasant eggs are very fussy when it come sto hatching them.Things look great,the air sac is perfect and then they start to hatch,some make it while others die hatching.It's very discouraging.The temp should be set at 99.5 degrees and run it for 24 hours to make sure it stays at 99.5 before putting any eggs in.Humidity is always a guessing game,but 65-70% should be fine.The problem with hand turning is you are losing your humidity every time the bator is opened.I suggest an automatic turner.I leave my eggs in the turner until they hatch,I've had much better success leaving them in.The styrofoam bators are no good for pheasants.I would suggest an R-Com for pheasants.Other good ones are GQF,Dickey,Brinsea,but I like the R-Com best.
    Hope I've been some help.
    In N.H.,Tony.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  3. Farmergreen

    Farmergreen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2010
    QGF here. I can set 180 eggs in the 30 count egg carton. Find a local cafe to save you theirs. Now you can go light or really get into it. Believe me you will get into it.
    I can set as many as 180 or 1. I raise several breeds of Bantams so with this size Bator I have eggs hatching most all the time. in small numbers.
    To do this you will need a lot of pencils, paper and a book keeper LOL
    A well run Bator can give you some very good hatches I've hatched all kinds of eggs and Ducks are the hardest for me. The humidity is hard to keep up in Oklahoma
     
  4. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Have you tried putting sponges in your water supply to get the humidity up?
    In N.H.,Tony.
     
  5. adshea

    adshea Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Thanks for all the advice. We're on day 25 now and no sign of hatching, although when we candled they were all fertilised and now all you see is a dark shadow and even a head like shape near the bottom. Any advice on how long it could take? When we should give up? What signs can we look for? I've heard they are meant to be rolling around if there's something alive in there, I'm starting to panic!!!
     

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