Blog | Pheasant Farmers Have to Collect Data!

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On January 12, 2016 in General by spope

Hen barn data collection is an essential part of growth and development at MacFarlane Pheasants. We use data to determine breeder selection because we want to breed the highest quality birds for our customers. Here’s how we find the top breeders:

  • Data is collected on bird weights at 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, and 12 weeks of age.
  • After we have collected 7 weeks of data, we select top-performing birds identified from the data and perform feed conversion on them.
    • Feed Conversion is when we get a starting weight on each bird and then weigh the feed that we give the birds each day. After 2 weeks the birds are weighed again, along with the amount of feed left over that didn’t get eaten. How much feed each bird consumed and how well the bird converted that feed to body weight is important information. The data collected from each weighing and the feed conversion gives us the information we need to select our top-performing birds. These birds have characteristics we want to sustain in our breeding program.
  •  Mortality data is collected in order to determine livability of a family.
  •  Anything abnormal about a bird is documented; if abnormal traits are found, that bird will not be used for reproduction purposes.
  • Egg production data is also collected to assess how many eggs individual birds produce.
  • Each bird in the Hen Barn has a wing band. These bands are used for individual identification, and they also help us identify the parents of individual birds

We use scanners to scan the wing bands into the computer and then type in the weight. We also use a portable scanner to scan the egg data. The data collection only takes a matter of seconds per bird, but this adds up quickly with a large flock. Excel spreadsheets are used in the barn and then sent on for further assessment by Brad Lillie in our Logistics Department.

Knowledge is power, and data collection is essential to maintaining a successful pheasant business. This process allows us to breed the highest-quality birds. If you have any questions about our data collection process or our birds, feel free to email Research Manager Trudy DeRemer at

 Pheasant Farmers Have to Collect Data!

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