How to Protect Pheasants From Wild Birds and Ground-Dwelling

Published On: March 29, 2016Categories: Avian Flu, Biosecurity, Farm Management, Flight Pens


The protection of our pheasants and the other game birds we raise is a high priority at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. Wild birds are a hazard we can’t afford to ignore! Birds of prey, such as red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, and even bald eagles, prey on our pheasants.  Starlings populations are a huge nuisance and there are lots of them! We take precautions each year to control starling populations on the farm.

Wild geese and ducks transmit Avian Influenza, a  deadly, highly pathogenic virus, carried by migratory water fowl, that causes severe illness and death in poultry populations. The spread of this virus could decimate our farm and put us out of business! It is very important to eliminate contact with the birds and their feces. Read more about Avian Influenza and our biosecurity measures on our website. Salmonella can also be spread by wild birds and requires routine checks for the disease and diligent hygiene practices.

We must also protect our birds from ground-dwelling invaders, like  rodents, foxes, wolves, skunks, cats, and dogs. These animals get pretty excited when they see thousands of pheasants within their reach! They will try to get into pens or go after a pheasant that has escaped from a damaged pen! We are always on the alert for these dangers.

Steps to Keep our Pheasants Safe

  • MacFarlane Pheasants takes great care to keep feed that would attract wild birds and rodents cleaned up and out of sight.
  • We keep dead birds picked up and away from pens to eliminate the extra attraction of birds of prey and ground predators to the farm.
  • We set up a catch box outside the pens, baited with cracked corn to attract any of our pheasants that might escape the pen and put themselves in danger. Our pheasants can find their way in, but can’t get back out.
  • We check the pens and netting often and repair any damage, to prevent birds of prey from getting in and our pheasants from getting out. We immediately remove and release any birds of prey that get inside a pen. Falconers are sometimes called in to humanely capture hawks. They capture and release them or sometimes use them for educational demonstrations.

Controlling the wild bird population and other animals that come on to the farm requires vigilance because it is critical for disease prevention and to prevent predation of our pheasants. You might enjoy taking a look at our 150 acres of pens by visiting our farm or by taking virtual tour of our pens. You can see how careful we are about protecting the health of our birds!

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