The guidelines used to provide feed and water to pheasants from birth to maturity are like a recipe. If the recipe is followed, the end result will be the same each time. If an ingredient is changed or missing, who knows what the end result will be? Here are the guidelines we use for feed, water, and space to raise our fabulous pheasants.
The first three weeks are critical.
During the first three weeks, we provide.25 square feet of space, per bird, in the barns.
During weeks three to seven we provide .50 square feet of space, per bird, in the barns.
At seven weeks we sex the pheasants and they are separated and moved outside to flight pens.
If the cover is two feet or higher, roosters get 22 square feet of space.
If the cover is two feet or higher, hens get 18 square feet of space.
Cover and open space are important ingredients.
We mow a five foot wide path around the perimeter of each pen and a path down the center of the cover. Pheasants then have a place to get out of wet cover after a rain. It allows them to dust in the open space. The open space also allows us to see into the pens and keep an eye on the pheasants, as we drive by daily.
Feed and water space is part of the recipe.
Once birds are out in the flight pens, the ideal feed space per bird is .7 inches and water space is .1 inch per bird.
Our production is based on a premise that pheasants will be shipped off our farm when they reach 23 weeks. If we short cut our recipe, there is a risk of the birds picking. Gen-erally, if picking takes place, the tails suffer. If this happens, it delays their readiness for shipping, as time is needed for tails to regenerate. If we hold on to pheasants longer, we have more mouths to feed. So, of course, our goal is to get birds off the farm as soon as they are ready and to keep our orders filled on time, every time.