Raising pheasants has some situations where the pheasants need to be protected from themselves. One of the things that pheasants will do is pick at each other. They will pull out the tail feathers of other pheasants and grab onto their skin with their sharp beaks causing serious injuries. Those injuries can lead to infections that can result in death.
To prevent this from happening, we install peepers when chicks are five weeks old. Peepers are also known as binders. They are small devices that are put on the pheasants’ beaks to block their forward vision and prevent them from having a direct line of vision to other birds. One of the questions people ask about peeping is, “Does it hurt?” The best answer we have heard is that it compares to getting your ear pierced, but with the importance of flu shot.
We use different color peepers on different hatches. It allows us to identify what group the birds came from. If we have a loose bird on the range, the color of the peeper can help us identify which net may have a hole.
We buy our peepers from Doris in Idaho. Their website can be located at https://www.dorrisgamebirdheartblinders.com/page2. They sell the colored peepers we use. It is possible to get three to five years out of the peepers. Each season they are washed and sorted by color, to be used again the next season. When putting peepers on, our staff averages 225 birds an hour, per person. Some experts can peep 400-500 chicks an hour.
Pins that we have used in the past have been cut off with a side wire cutter. We have been using some breakable pins that can be pulled out rather than cut. This makes the process for the removal of the peepers a quicker process, but it does have a downside. 10-20 percent of the breakable pins break on their own. We have to watch for that because we can have the original problem of the birds with broken peepers being aggressive!
If you would like to see a peeper installed, we have a video on our website. Feel free to email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org. if you have questions.