4 Reasons Why You Should Raise Pheasants
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We raised pheasants here at Clucky Dickens Farm for a few years. If you have room and the inclination, here are four reasons to you might want to raise 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.
But maybe not.
If you raise 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! *Please note if you plan to incubate pheasant eggs or overwinter any pheasants, it may require a game farm license. Please check with your local Department of Natural Resources.
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?
13 thoughts on “4 Reasons Why You Should Raise Pheasants”
Thanks for the advice. I was wondering if pheasants scratch like chickens ? Thank you
I wouldn’t say they scratch in the traditional sense (I haven’t seen it) but they do dig a lot. 🙂
Pheasants are beautiful birds — and tasty. Is there a market for pheasant meat?
I live in Missouri and never see wild pheasants. But I’ve seen them while driving through Iowa. So striking.
You know, pheasant meat is not something I’ve seen a market for…and I’ve never thought about why that might be. Hmmm. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places. In any event, they are tasty and work well for my freezer. 😉
Hello there, thank you for all the great information so far! I’m looking into raising pheasants, and wanted to figure out a way to let them out during the day, is that something that you’ve tried or will they just go back into the wild?
Pheasants are most definitely wild animals. They’re not a bird that will go back to their coop at night. When they are let out of their cage/pen/barn/coop and can get away, they do. And they don’t come back. 🙂
Sometimes I go down to our pheasant run and find one out (gotta fix that fence!). It wants to get back in, so I leave the gate open just a bit and walk slowly around the outside of the pen, non aggressively pushing the escapee back toward that opening. The bird usually goes in on the first pass.
Hi there! Thank you for all this info! At what age to do process your birds for meat?
I’m also wondering about this.
Any recommendations for where to source your first batch?
We got our first batch from Hoovers Hatchery years ago.
Oops. Pressed ‘send’ too soon. Do grouse cohabit with pheasant well? Thanks.
That I do not know. I know of no place where you can get grouse, though. 🙂