Frequently Asked Questions About Pheasant Breeding
How many eggs will a pheasant lay?
A Ringneck hen will lay 50- 60 eggs during the spring/summer season. We expect an average of 75% hatch here at our farm. This varies depending on the breeds and the time of the year.
At what temperature should I store my eggs?
The ideal temperature to store eggs is 58-60 degrees, but they can be stored at room temperature for a short period of time.
What feed do we suggest for breeders?
We use a 20% protein breeder diet starting one full month prior to production.
Inside breeders get a 23% protein diet.
I do not suggest any grains, but the use of a complete pelleted feed. Feeding grains can lead to cannibalism and hens that have too much internal body fat leading to "blow-outs" and mortality.
What calcium level do you feed? Do you include oyster shell or calcium carbonate chips free choice?
The initial breeder feed is 2.75 % calcium, at the onset of laying, 20% production, the calcium is increased to 3% in the feed. As to free choice calcium grit I suggest a half and half mix of oyster shell and granite poultry grit given free choice for feed utilization and to assist the breakdown of the oyster shell. I use a calcium carbonate chip called "poultry pellets" from a local ag supply company and provide it free choice.
How often do you pick the eggs?
My crew picks the eggs at least 4 times daily in the outside pens. The indoor breeders are picked at least 6 times daily to decrease the cull rate.
How do you wash the eggs?
Our eggs are washed in a Kuhl egg wash machine with a mild non-foaming soap and Clorox Bleach at 400-450 PPM. They are in the wash bath for 3 minutes and have a blower to get most of the water off. The water temp is 105 degrees. The eggs are then sprayed with a Quatinary Ammonia solution at 700 ppm as a final sanitizer. The eggs are stored at 56-59 degrees with 75% humidity. Test kits are available for both bleach and ammonia.
What ratio of rooster to hen do we use?
Most outside natural lighting breeding is done 10-12 hens per rooster in flock matings at 25-30 square foot per hen pen space. Indoor breeding is 15-16 hens per rooster in completely light and air controlled facility. In both cases the birds are wing clipped, primaries on one side only, and given a shot of Tylan to clean the birds prior to placing. All birds get peepers.