We’ve been raising pheasants here at Clucky Dickens Farm for a few years now. If you have room and the inclination, here are four reasons to consider raising pheasants on your homestead or farm.
Raise pheasants to release them into the wild.
Many people raise pheasants to release them into the wild to try and increase the local pheasant population. Some folks argue this is ineffective, as noted in this article from Pheasants Forever. We’ve seen an increase in pheasants in our area since starting to release birds around our farm. It could be a coincidence. Maybe not.
If you’re raising pheasants for release, it is suggested to release them either at approximately 8 weeks of age, or wait until they are fully grown. Releasing an adult bird will obviously give you better chances for survival, but pheasants also require a lot of room as they grow so they don’t become territorial and cannibalistic. It all depends on your set-up and what works for you.
Raise pheasants because they add character to your homestead.
Pheasants definitely add character to your property. Although they can be quite elusive—they are not social like chickens at all—they are beautiful and certainly have their own personalities and ways of doing life within their flocks. I especially like watching the young roosters change from gangly teenagers to regal birds full of color.
When you raise pheasants, you may find that you see more wild pheasants hanging out on your property—especially roosters. We’ve always got wild roosters coming up to our fence to check out what’s happening in our outdoor pen. They’ve always got a lot to say to our ladies…and a few words for our kept rooster, as well.
Raise pheasants because they are proficient layers.
Pheasants start laying in March/April and lay until the end of summer. In the peak of their season, they can reliably lay an egg a day. From our ten pheasant hens, we could count on 9-10 eggs a day in the height of their laying. And yes, you can eat pheasant eggs. But if you’ve got an incubator—and a rooster—you’ll have the opportunity to hatch out a LOT of chicks! (Pheasant chicks will hatch after 25 days or so. We like to say “pheasants hatch when they want to, because….pheasants.”)
In our experience, pheasant hens are not good mamas. We had heard this, and saw it in action for ourselves when we had a hen hide and surprise us with a hatch. Within a day of her chicks being revealed to us, five of her six chicks were dead—they got too cold overnight because she didn’t sit with them. We found them in various places in the pheasant coop. The next day after a rainstorm, we rescued the last chick because she’d abandoned it in a puddle.
You may also enjoy … 5 Things I Didn’t Know Before Raising Pheasants
Raise pheasants because they are a good food source.
I’ll be honest. Pheasants are tasty. Because of this, we don’t release all of our birds to the wild. We keep back one large batch for our food supply. Pheasant is a lean, white meat similar to chicken.
Pheasants are also easy to butcher. Shaun Woods explains in detail how to butcher a pheasant in under two minutes , but other people only take the breast of a pheasant, arguing that there isn’t much meat elsewhere on the bird.
One of our favorite recipes to make with pheasant is this Tender Pheasant Recipe—not only is it delicious, but it’s made in the crockpot!
There are many reasons to consider raising pheasants on your homestead. Do you think you’d ever take the plunge?