MacFarlane Pheasants has big news: We’re expecting! That’s right, by the end of July the U.S.’s largest pheasant farm will be the proud parent of two shiny, new outdoor pheasant pens. Our extra space couldn’t come at a better time.
As you might expect, we’re approaching the meat of our busy season. Fully-grown pheasants in the fall mean a horde of juvenile pheasants now, and space is key. We follow a rule of thumb of 25+ square feet per bird outdoors for many reasons, but here’s one of the most important: birds used to this size of an area are able to survive in the wild better when you release them for your fall hunts. A wild bird is a live bird, and that means more enjoyment for you.
But with that kind of size requirement, it takes up a lot of space, and as our pheasants’ demand has grown, so have our land requirements. We had been renting a 70 acre plot of land across the road from our farm for years until two years ago we bought it outright. Now that it’s part of the MacFarlane property, we’ve been toiling away like ants ever since. Last year we put in three pens and a barn, and this year we began building pens 18 and 19 in April. They’ll be fully operational by the end of July, the peak of our juvenile bird season.
Pens are about ten acres each, and we’ve divided each of these in half. (In fact, we’ll sneak our first 10,000 birds into a half of a pen in about two weeks, around the first week of July.) They’ll continue to receive new generations of birds as late as September, with the average stay being around 4 months, or until the pheasants are 23+ weeks old. When they hit that mark, we box them up and ship them to you.
We’re now in the final days before our first birds go in, and we’re running down a checklist of last minute inspections. Is the netting securely fastened? Do the gates close tightly? Six weeks ago we planted the natural ground cover to shelter and protect the birds, and thanks to the plentiful rain this season it’s grown well above beak height. Everything is just about ready in our new pens to continue growth your fall pheasants. We think you’ll notice the difference.