Will Free range Ringneck Pheasants stay around????

northernbiggame

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 28, 2008
11
0
22
I enjoy seeing pheasant in the area we live in, but have never seen any on our property. I have seen lots of Quail though. I live on a 10 acre vineyard that does have a lot of cover. I also have a few free range chickens. Does anyone know that if I purchase some ringneck pheasants to raise if they would stay around the vineyard and would they get along with my chickens?
 

Kev

Crowing
12 Years
Jan 13, 2008
6,517
702
361
Sun City, California
Hmm. Hard one.. I would say if you bought adults then no the chances are not very good for they staying IN your property or letting you see them if they do hang around.. unless you condition them to view you as the person who brings food before letting them loose. Which can be done by "hand feeding"- either by tossing feed in their holding pen or pouring just enough feed to last until the next day. They will come to associate you with food and not necessarily to shoot off in one direction away at the sight of you.

I used to have blueback ringnecks, the ones I raised from chicks or even by hens were very tame or at least came running at feeding time when they were let loose. Several of the cocks and hens would let me gently pick them up and pet them a little bit. They certainly never were "tame" or handleable like chickens though.. if you grab or forcibly hold one, they instantly become wary of any people and quickly become wild-ish.

I had to give them up though as I was on only one acre and they all definitely thought that was way too small- ranged through several acres in size plus the cocks when they matured were VERY terrorital, they could and would not tolerate the presence of another male ringneck on "their" patch so several males were forced to keep terrorities outside of my acreage.. which meant they were in the neighbor's yards most of the time.. Probably not be as much of a problem on your 10 acres, but would say don't be surprised if several go or stay outside of your 10.

As for getting along with chickens, they pretty much did for the most part, particularly the hens. Some of the roosters did not like the (ringneck)cocks and would try to challenge them to fights or try to chase them off.. most of the cocks return the challenge(and usually won)..... but this also had the effect of sort of discouraging the cocks from staying IN my yard.

The best bet probably is having a hen hatch and raise the chicks.. she will "teach" them where home is and to come around at feeding time at least. I don't know if you would want sub-species or lines bred to be truly wild and flighty(better for hunting/shooting) for better survival chance for becoming more or less feral or something a bit mellower and far more likely to be visible or even chicken-like.
 

northernbiggame

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 28, 2008
11
0
22
That was very helpful and gives me some ideas to work with. I had no idea on how to introduce them or even if it would work. I will give it a shot, I can pick up a dozen or two pretty cheap I think. Thank you again.
 

ams3651

Songster
12 Years
Jan 23, 2008
3,343
14
223
NE PA
they will stay within your general area. they tend to only travel with a mile or 2 from where they live, I would think if they were used to being fed by you they would stick close. we have one here that was raised by a guy about a mile away, i hear him in the morning looking for a woman
 

pips&peeps

There is no "I" in Ameraucana
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
8,431
165
341
Newman Lake, WA
You might want to check with the State you live in to make sure you can release them into the wild. It is illegal to do so or to do so without a permit in some states as they can carry disease into the wild population.

ILT is a disease that has a very devastating effect on wild pheasant populations.
 

Brian

Songster
12 Years
Sep 30, 2007
387
13
141
Jacksonville, ORegon
I have a neighbor that raises ringnecks. He keeps some hens inside the pen, and a male outside. The outside male never leaves his property.
 

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