Everyone even remotely associated with the pheasant business knows that there was a severe shortage of adult pheasants on the market this past season (the fall of 2011 and spring of 2012). I hear a lot of speculation regarding bird supply for this upcoming season (the fall of 2012 into the spring of 2013).
One argument goes that because of the shortage, producers are increasing production. This same argument continues by stating that the belief is the primary cause of the shortage in the past year was the demand created by the warm winter.
I speak to many producers and what I repeatedly hear from them is that the number of pheasants they are raising is based on what they have for orders. With feed prices being significantly higher than even just a few years ago, it’s risky for producers to raise additional birds (above and beyond what they have orders for) on speculation. If a producer does raise on speculation, and then can’t readily sell the additional production the holding costs (primarily feed) quickly erode any potential profit and in fact can result in a significant financial loss on those “extra” birds.
Also, as I have written in previous posts, the warm winter was just one of several factors leading to the short supply of birds. I am not saying that I believe there will be a shortage again in this upcoming season. But I do not foresee a glut of birds either.
The best situation is for preserves and producers to work together. Hopefully preserves will order what they need and supply and demand will match up.