Regrowth Tails

Published On: October 25, 2012Categories: Mature Birds

We know what management protocols generally work for the top quality of raising pheasants. We know the density (sq. ft. per bird), the feeder space and waterer space per bird. We know what constitutes good vegetative cover. We know what type of peeper we think works best, etc. etc. We know what energy level and protein level feed is sufficient for our birds. We’ve got it all down.

Our crew moved our June 5th hatch out at 6 weeks of age into pens with good cover. All the protocols were followed and yet the birds “picked” between 8 and 12 weeks. The factor we had no control over was the weather – it was steaming hot during July and August this year – right when our birds were at the most vulnerable stage.

We hear about people who have “broken tailed cocks”. We don’t have problems with broken tails. We also have seen and heard about birds with saddle picking (picking of the back feathers). We just don’t see back picking here. What we do see is where 8+ week old cocks get their tails picked out.

Interestingly, when pheasants pick out their tails, a new tail starts to grow. This 2nd tail is a regrowth tail. The birds in the pictures above have regrowth tails. The new tails have black tips on them (confirming the tails aren’t “broken” tails). The birds with regrowth tails are usually from 3 weeks to up to 6 weeks behind, i.e. we can’t ship the birds nearly as early as we could ship if they had not picked.

How do we prevent this? The best answer would be in this case for us to have given the June 5th hatch extra room because of the heat.

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