The summer weather on a large wild bird farm like MacFarlane Pheasants is an important factor in raising beautiful, healthy birds. MacFarlane raises many breeds of birds and the weather affects all of them!
Ideal Weather Conditions:
• Upper 70’s during the day with plenty of sunshine and not too much humidity
• Cool nights (50’s-60’s F)
• Timely gentle rain throughout the season
James Clark is a MacFarlane employee with lots of experience with wild birds, he operated Blonhaven (a pheasant farm and hunt club in Milton, WI for 34 years before retiring.) He said, “The best birds I ever raised were in summers when the weather never got to be 90 degrees until Labor Day.” We live in Wisconsin where this doesn’t happen very often, but Jim told me that the closer we come to moderate temperatures the better it is for wild birds.
Why are Moderate Temperatures Ideal?
• Cooler nights and mornings cause birds in the pens to eat more.
• Birds that eat well have overall better health.
• When birds eat more, it promotes feather growth.
• Hot birds, who are not eating well, get ornery (James Clark believes that a full moon during a hot and humid period exacerbates picking and fighting among birds in the outdoor pens.)
How Do We Help Birds Handle Less Than Ideal Weather?
• Make sure there is cover for birds to get to a shady space.
• Add extra water to pens.
• Make sure there is lots of open space in the pens so birds are not crowded.
• In extremely warm days, transfer birds very early in the morning while days are at their coolest.
• Spray birds down with cool water before transferring them into the pens.
• Take at least three days while transferring birds to pens. In moderate temperatures, this job typically only takes two days.
In spite of the very hot and humid week we had in July this year at MacFarlane Pheasants in Janesville, WI, it has been an excellent year for our birds. You can look forward to receiving brightly colored and healthy birds, if you have mature birds ordered for 2019!