When you walk into your local grocery store, it is common to see the child that is walking quietly next to their parent, hand on the cart, the picture of obedience. Even more common, is seeing the naughty child that is taking every opportunity to escape, and run out the door the second it opens. Well, game birds are not very different.
Different breeds have varying characteristics. If you want to know how to raise pheasants, your best advantage is going to be to study these characteristics, and accommodate them as best as you can. We have taken the time to do this, and in doing so, have discovered a few breed-specific tricks that have proven effective.
The Burken’s with Bill MacFarlane
Naughty child, meet the Hungarian Partridge. Hungarian Partridge, meet naughty child. We have found that this particular breed requires much attention to the small details, for a variety of reasons. For starters, when hatched, the chicks are roughly the size of a quarter! You can imagine how easily one or more can get away from you. Through the guidance of Gene and Nancy Burken, we have found that placing these birds on a tabletop yields the highest survival rate. The tables have mesh wire and black plastic, and use an electric brooder. Paper towels placed over the wire prevent their tiny legs from being trapped. The Hungarian Partridge grows quickly, and is known for being aggressive. At around 7 days, they are ready to be moved to the floor and gain a little more space. However, always be on the lookout for runaways, they will use any opportunity they can get!
Through our years of raising pheasants, we have found the French Redleg Partridge to be a little less demanding. For starters, they are immediately placed on the floor. Feeder flats are strategically placed to promote healthy eating, and the transition to feeders is done at around 14 days. Close monitoring is key to raising a healthy French Redleg. During every transition, (feed, room changes, etc…) the mortality rate is closely tracked and adjusted accordingly. This breed is known for being a flying bird; therefore, we attempt to get them outside as soon as possible.
Our birds are more than our job, they are our passion. We have the highest success rate when this simple concept is remembered. This way, we can guarantee nothing but the best when you see the MacFarlane name.