Lodewyk Davis (Wikus) has worked at MacFarlane Pheasants for five years. He has been the proud manager of the Milton Farm in Milton, WI, for three years, and we can thank him for sharing Milton Farm facts with us this week. We have two farms located in Milton, one we just call "The Milton Farm" and the other is a little further down the road and we call that "Doug's farm" (it's the surname of the owner we rent from). We have four barns, two pens on the Milton home farm, and another four at Doug's farm.
Forty acres of covered pen space and four large barns provide the ideal conditions for raising 75,000 birds at the Milton Farm each year. The Milton farm is exactly 14 miles from MacFarlane Pheasant's main farm in Janesville, WI., and the distance between farms protects our business in the event that there is a biosecurity incident at another farm. Biosecurity is a major emphasis at all of our locations and because of our diligence, we not only protect our birds, but prepare for any emergency by raising pheasants in more than one location.
The Milton Farm is a satellite farm used to raise our flight birds. The birds come from the hatchery as day-old chicks and are cared for inside the barns until they are six to seven weeks old. Temperatures are controlled and chicks are carefully monitored during this time. They are moved from the barns (at 6 to 7 weeks) to pens, where they continue to grow and reach maturity at 21 to 22 weeks old. We also raise our next generation of breeder birds here. They are selected by the breeder selection crew and shipped to our barns in Missouri.
Milton Farm aims to raise the healthiest and best-looking pheasants possible. Wikus explained that keeping barn and pen mortality low and keeping pheasants healthy in the barns and pens is the primary job he and crew members Herman and Justin strive to achieve. We aim to have all the birds off the Milton Farm for the current season by January 15. We will start the new year by cleaning the barns and equipment and making any repairs necessary to equipment and pens in preparation for spring chicks.
Lodewyk Davis takes great pride in his work raising MacFarlane's pheasants and is quite knowledgeable about pheasant-rearing practices. If you have a question, please email Lodewyk Davis.