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Winterizing Pens Keeps Game Bird Farmers Busy

On December 16, 2016 in General by spope

On any given day at MacFarlane Pheasants, 3-6 people are kept busy winterizing the pens that hold pheasants, partridges, and huns. Typically, this work begins in October, as the temperature starts to get colder. The process we follow is repeated yearly, during the fall. Just like many jobs on a game bird farm, processes are repeated seasonally to make sure our pheasant population is well protected all year long.

What We Do

  • When the outside temperature drops below freezing, we shut the automatic water system down (pull plassons out of pens and pull pressure reducers and spindles).
  • Water pans are placed in the pens at 1 pan per 100 birds.
  • Wood blocks are placed under every prop post that holds the top nets, so when we have to drop nets due to snow or ice, the posts are not frozen in the ground.
  • Pens that are empty are mowed, feeders vacuumed, equipment is pulled and nets are placed down for the remainder of the season.
  • Pens with cover through the top nets are cut and pulled out so snow can fall through freely.

Why We Do It

  • The pans we place in pens are used until snow falls (like we had this past weekend). Once the snow falls the birds can hydrate through the snow.
  • The reason we pull the plassons and reducers out of the pens is to prevent them from breaking in the cold. Below 0 wind chills are expected this whole week so we would definitely have problems if we didn’t get them pulled.
  • The blocks are needed for the time leading up to the ground freezing. When heavy snow and ice are forecasted, we drop all the nets, so the elements don’t weigh down the nets and tear or break them.

All of these jobs keep our pheasant population protected during the winter, while we plan for our spring set up and a whole new seasonal process!  Take a look at 4 Steps to Keeping Pheasants Healthy in Winter to read more about winter preparations at MacFarlane Pheasants.

Stay warm and safe this winter and be sure to contact us if you have a topic you would like to have us write about!

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