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Building a Better Gamebird

On February 17, 2014 in General by spope

Good hunting pheasants don’t just happen. At MacFarlane Pheasants, we understand this, and it’s because of the pains we take with our birds, from their selection, incubation, brooding, and shipping, that have helped us become the number one pheasant supplier in the U.S. But building a better bird begins with the genetics, and ours came direct from the fields of China.

MacFarlane Pheasants is a family business since 1929. But it was the son, Bill MacFarlane, that led the business to its current spot in the U.S. In 1989, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bill brought over eggs from China of the pure strain of the Manchurian pheasant. These birds are wild, cunning gamebirds, and nobody else had them. They’d give our hunting customer base—the heart and soul of our business—new opportunities for sport. For the DNR, it would give them new opportunities to reintroduce gamebirds into the wild, diversifying the current strain, which was at the time in decline. It was a win-win.
Building a Better Gamebird
And it worked. Since the early ‘90s Wisconsin has improved her wild pheasant populations, and we’ve carved a niche for ourselves with our Manchurian Cross pheasant, a strain produced from a male Pure Manchurian and a female Chinese Ringneck. They’re a wilder bird, with wilder genetics. They run a little more than the average bird (their natural instinct) instead of flushing early, and they tend to roost in trees, where regular ringnecks won’t. What this means is we’ve built a bird more difficult for common predators to track down, meaning a higher survivability rate for your hunt.

To this day we still maintain a flock of that Pure Manchurian strain to produce these crosses. Think of it like our secret ingredient, and it’s a big part of what distinguishes MacFarlane Pheasants from other breeders. But we also offer a host of other birds and pheasant varieties besides the Manchurian Cross, including K Thunder, Melanistic Mutant, Chinese Ringneck, and Extra Large Ringneck pheasants. The reason is simple: it’s a big country, and like our birds, not every hunter is built the same. Size and behavior are just a few of the considerations we’d be glad to advise you on when you’re considering a pheasant variety for the upcoming season.

MacFarlane Pheasants was built to serve a base of passionate pheasant hunters and hunting clubs across the country, and we produce 450,000 mature hunt-type pheasants every year, most of which are for this purpose. We’ve never lost sight of our hunting roots, and it’s for this reason that we’re proud to be known for our Manchurian Cross. It took us a long time to perfect the art of the pheasant so that it only takes you a moment to enjoy it.

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