Pheasants are Tough

Published On: January 7, 2014Categories: Mature Birds

Temperatures here have been colder the past 2 days than we have had for 20 years. It’s been as low as -18 F (that is the actual temperature, not the wind chill temp). Our birds are nearly all outside, so since we knew last week that this cold snap was on its way, we did a few things to make things better for our birds. We fed whole corn to our July and August hatched pheasants, and cracked corn to our French Redleg partridges. Corn is high in energy (calories) and our thought was corn might help the birds through the cold. Our youngest birds all still have huts in their pens. Pens on the north or west ends of pen units are most vulnerable to winds, so the crew opened doors to allow the pheasants to get out of those end pens. Also, we left our birds alone as much as we could. The birds nearly go dormant when it gets so cold, and our thought is the best thing we can do for them is leave them alone. I woke up at 4 am this morning, wondering if we would have thousands of dead pheasants, but I drove around some of our pens this morning with our production manager, Chris Theisen, and I saw very few birds that had succumbed to the cold. Most of the pheasants simply looked at me as if they were saying, “is that all you’ve got”. Pheasants are tough critters.

Photo of Pheasants in Flight PenComing to America: The Pheasant’s History in the United States
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