Common Pheasant It belongs to the order of the Curonidae, subfamily Phasianinae, is one of the domesticated species, in nature endangered by hunters. In the CIS, common pheasant occurs, as a rule, in the Caucasus, the Far East, southern Turkmenistan, as well as in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. May inhabit the highlands. This species of birds includes 32 subspecies, which differ in color.
Description of royal pheasants
The royal pheasant lives in China. The length of the body is up to 2 meters. It is the largest pheasant with a long tail. It is characterized by endurance and tolerance to weather vagaries. The royal pheasant prefers to eat fresh crops or ripe seeds.
He does not like dense forests with tall tree trunks. Here they spend time during the day, making their way from one bush to a friend, or going to the fields where they are looking for food, and as soon as night falls they look for an overnight stay in the bushes or on a tree. Since they know their vulnerability and helplessness, they often hide not only from predators, but also from people.
Their most dangerous enemy is a person who is looking for any opportunity to deceive the prey and seize it. Males are distinguished by their aggressiveness towards themselves. The royal pheasant does not know what marital fidelity is. As soon as the time of courtship is completed and the female lies in the nest, he searches for another passion.
The color of feathers has imitation scales due to the shiny dark brown and black edging on the feathers. The head is black with a white cap and a wide ring running from the throat to the back of the head. The wings are of light color with black edging of feathers, the belly and the lower part of the sternum are black-brown. The tail with iridescent chamois silver stripes is a distinctive feature from other bird species.
The length of the male is 210 cm, the tail is 150 cm. The female has a dark brown color on the head, the sides are light, the ears and strokes under the gases are black. The wings have a brown-brown tint with black spots. The lower part has a greenish sheen. The length of the female is 75 cm, tail - 40 cm.
Pheasant - description.
Pheasant Males always bigger than females. The length of the bird's body is 85 centimeters, while the weight of the carcass can reach two kilograms. Distinctive feature common pheasant is an unfinished ring around the eyes. The pheasant has a very long wedge-like motley tail, winged wings rounded. The male pheasant has spurs on its paws, which it uses during the battles for the female.
Pheasant Males always painted brighter, have metallic luster on feathers. The head and neck of the male half of individuals of yellow-green color with a dark purple tint from below. Pheasant's back feathers, golden with black opalines, slowly turn into nadkhvostiya coppery with purple tint. The tail feathers have a yellow-brown shade with copper-purple edges. The ring around the eyes is bare and bright red.
Pheasant females do not have such a motley color as males. They are always either light brown or gray-sand with black spots or dashes on the feathers.
Where does the pheasant live?
Common pheasant is mostly a settled bird that chooses forests, undergrowths and thickets of thorny shrubs for its houses. This provides them with some protection from predators - the fox is unlikely to want to climb into the prickly bushes without special need. Birds such as pheasants build their nests near the reservoirs, often along the banks of rivers or lakes. The frightened bird will not leave the place and will not fly away to the top of the tree, these birds will rather hide in dense thickets. Perhaps that is why the nests of these birds are located directly on the ground. Pheasants are taken to trees only in order to get high-growing fruits, mostly it happens in late autumn or in winter when there is less food on the ground.
Description of the species
The plumage of males of this group looks openwork due to the black and dark brown edging of feathers. The basic tone is beige, light brown, the lower part is darker, golden brown. On the tail it has a silvery shade, with wide black stripes. The bird's beak is light and its legs are dark gray. The head is white with a wide black stripe running from the beak to the back of the head.
The length of the male of this subspecies can reach 220 cm, most of which is wedge-shaped tail. In some individuals it exceeds 1.5 m. There are up to 20 wing feathers in the tail. The body length is 60-80 cm. In some cases, the weight of the bird reaches 2 kg.
In females, body size is much smaller. Their total length is 70-80 cm, and the tail is about 35-40 cm. The lower part of the body is colored brown and light brown in color with a greenish tint. The wings, back and tail are dark brown with black stripes and spots. The head is dark chestnut. The band running from the beak is less pronounced than that of the opposite sex.
The mating season in pheasants.
Studies of ornithologists have shown that common pheasants are monogamous in the wild, that is, they spend most of their life with one partner. And if they are bred in captivity, they become polygamous. The mating season in pheasants comes in early spring, the clutch can be from 8 to 20 eggs brown color. Pheasant female incubates eggs for 20-28 days, the male does not participate in this. In winter, pheasants live in packs, but females and males live separately.
People domesticated pheasants and often breed them in hunting grounds. However, for hunting, the choice most often falls on a special hybrid species - the hunting pheasant. This is a mixture of Chinese, Caucasian and Semirechensky species.
By the way, an interesting fact: common pheasant is the national bird of Georgia.
The males during the mating season attract girlfriends with the help of spectacular dance. They open their luxurious tail, stand on tiptoe, inflate goiter, fan the female with feathers. The mating dance is accompanied by loud, harsh sounds, to which the female responds with a slight cluck.
Then the male switches his attention to another darling. He finds no eggs worthy of attention and does not engage in the incubation of offspring.
However, not all females have maternal instinct, some individuals drop clutch.
King pheasants eat both plant and animal food. In nature, they prefer the fruits of trees and shrubs, berries, acorns. They eat various invertebrates and insects: snails, worms, mollusks, ants, spiders. Large individuals do not disdain small rodents and lizards.
Habitat of royal pheasants
Most often the royal pheasant lives in the mountain ranges of Northern and Middle China at an altitude of 300 to 1700 meters above sea level. In England there is a small settlement of pheasants. They originated from individuals that once managed to break free. In the wild, the life span of pheasants ranges from 10 to 20 years.
Birds belong to the settled group, calmly reacting to the change of weather and temperature outside the window. In winter, they live in groups of 5-10 individuals, and in the warm season - smaller. During the day, they lead an active lifestyle, search for food, and at night sleep on treetops. Males are distinguished by one feature: they always have their own territory, even when there is no breeding season, they become attached to their territory, this is indicated by their frequent returns.
Perhaps the most beautiful bird bred by humans for meat is the royal pheasant. Photos attached to the article will make sure of this.
The first thing that catches your eye when looking at a male is the tail. The length of the bird can be 200-210 centimeters. And of these, the tail accounts for about 120-140 centimeters. After molting, the length increases slightly. Females in pheasants are a bit smaller, and the length of their tails does not exceed 50 centimeters. The weight of adult males is about 1.5 kilograms. Females weigh about 1 kilogram.
The head and neck combine areas of white and black. The wings and body are covered with white and golden feathers with small patches of black and chestnut. The tail feathers are white, but have yellowish edges and pronounced black transverse stripes.
The legs are gray and the beak is almost white.
As you can see, the spectacle is really impressive. Alas, it was this that nearly caused the extinction of the royal pheasants.
Description and appearance
Royal-looking pheasant feathers resemble fish scales, because they have black and brown kaemochki. The head is black in color, with a snow-white “cap” on top, and around the neck is a wide two-tone collar. The wings are lighter, the feathers also have rims, and the area of the abdomen and chest is colored black-brown.
The legs are gray with lead shimmering, the beak is of a light gray color, and black and silver-gray stripes alternate on the tail. The length of an adult male is about 210 cm, and the tail is 100–160 cm.
The female looks quite different: the head is dark brown, the area near the ears and strokes near the eyes have a shade closer to black. The feathers of the upper part of the wings are chestnut-brown with black specks, and the tips are gray.
The lower part of the feathers has a slightly green tide. On the colorful tail there are perpendicular black and brown stripes, at the ends of the steering feathers change color to blackish white. At length, the adult female reaches 75 cm, and its tail is 35–45 cm.
Where they live and how much they live
The habitat of royal pheasants are mountain forests in the center and in northeastern China at an altitude of 300 to 1800 meters above sea level. They are also found in canyons and valleys. These birds love deciduous forest, but coniferous for them is also quite suitable.
Life expectancy in captivity ranges from 10 to 20 years, depending on living conditions and other factors, there is no data from the wild.
The maintenance of royal pheasants is popular among poultry farmers. These are quite unpretentious birds that tolerate cold and high humidity well, so special warm rooms do not need to be done.
The room should be spacious and dry in order to preserve the tail of birds as best as possible. Floor must be sprinkled with clean sand. In nature, pheasants sleep in trees, so it is recommended to build several perches at a height of 2-2.5 m in an open-air cage. They are made of trunks and thick branches of trees, preferably conifers. It is also necessary to provide secluded places where shy individuals could hide.
Since the pheasant is polygamous, 3-4 females can be hooked to the male cage. Chicks are bred naturally or with an incubator. A female who diligently incubates eggs is better to leave the last clutch. Hatching chicks are kept in warm cages equipped with heaters. The room for young stock should be spacious: at least 2 m² per 100 chicks.
After 22-26 days pheasant is transferred to a more spacious cage. One chicken should have at least 1 m² of free space. The room is equipped with electric heaters. Here chickens are kept up to one and a half month old.
The diet depends on the time of year and the conditions of the birds. The basis of nutrition are mixed fodder from grain crops: wheat, corn, millet, etc. In the winter, their rate is not less than 50 g, in the summer - 45 g. Food is supplemented with succulent vegetables (potatoes, carrots, etc.). Depending on the time of year, pets should be given 10-20 g of such food.
Pheasants also require animal food: minced meat, cottage cheese, etc. The diet is supplemented with vitamin supplements, lime and salt.
The life of royal pheasants at home
Keep this breed of birds is not difficult. It is polygamous, so one male and two or three females can be placed in the aviary. The area of the enclosure can be from 15 to 60 square meters. If you want to grow and contain birds with the longest tails, the enclosure should be spacious. The birds are not afraid of frost, so they should not do very warm rooms with batteries, but the aviary should be dry to store the tail feathers.
In the wild, pheasants sleep in trees, so it is better to install two or three perches in a cage, which consist of single, thick branches of trees, fixed at a height of 1.5 to 2 meters. You should also take care of shelter in case of fright or rain. Feed the birds crushed fruits and vegetables.
One bird accounts for about 80 grams of feed, which consists of:
- 45% of crushed cereals,
- 20% crushed wheat grains,
- 10% fish dust,
- 3% yeast or flour.
After keeping the chicks in the incubator, they need to build cells with electric heaters with an area of at least two squares per 150 chicks of 2 weeks of age, since this period they are sensitive to low temperature. Then they need to be transferred to spacious cells with electric heaters, where they should be kept up to 6 weeks of age. With this alternation, you can use each cage several times a season, while the loss of chicks will not be higher than 10%. Birds live at home for 10-14 years.
The merits of breeding birds as a business
If you decide to start breeding pheasants as a business, you should know the main advantages of such earnings:
- Demand. Pheasants are bred for further meat, which is a delicacy and has a high cost. Pheasant meat has a delicate and juicy structure and is dietary due to the least fat content in it. That is why in ancient times the aristocrats did not think about their daily lives without the meat of this breed of birds. Today, popularity is not less, the only thing, meat in restaurants is expensive, so not everyone can feel its exquisite taste.
- Little competition. In Russia, pheasant breeding is not as popular as in Europe and America, so you can occupy a profitable niche with a minimum number of competitors.
- High price. It is easy to sell such meat, any restaurants and health complexes can easily conclude an agreement with you for the supply of pheasant meat. Moreover, they will not buy frozen meat and not bring it from abroad, but will purchase directly from you.
It can be concluded that the business of breeding pheasants is a profitable direction. The downside is the presence of a large place for growing birds.
Lifestyle and behavior
Royal pheasants are ranked as sedentary birds, they calmly react to changes in the weather and easily endure both heat and cold. In the cold period, they live in groups of 6–10 individuals, and with the advent of heat they are divided into smaller groups. They are awake during the day, mostly looking for food, sleeping at night on the tops of trees.
Males have a certain feature: they always have their own territory even outside the breeding season, and they are very attached to their place, which is confirmed by their constant returns. By nature, males are more polygamous than monogamous. They are also quite aggressive in nature and rarely welcome guests on their territory, be it another pheasant, another animal or person.
Where do they live
The only place in the wild where this magnificent bird lives is China. You can meet them both in the central and in the north-eastern regions. Prefer mountains and foothills, densely covered with forests. They usually inhabit deciduous forests, but in some cases they also inhabit conifers. There are at an altitude of 300 to 1800 meters.
Interestingly, in the UK there is also a small colony of these magnificent birds. However, it was created by chance - as a result of the fact that several individuals escaped from people and settled in the wild. The mild climate, the almost complete absence of dangerous predators and the love of people allowed them to survive and multiply successfully.
Where to buy pheasants for breeding at home?
The reproduction and further sale of pheasants is a simple undertaking. Birds are not whimsical in food and living conditions. First you need to buy young. Consider that it is better to buy birds from different breeders in order to eliminate kinship and get healthy individuals. For breeding you need to buy an incubator, the price of which is 1000 rubles.
One female carries 20 eggs per season. The price of a male or female of the royal type is different, as usually the male gender is more expensive. Also, the cost depends on age: the older the salt, the higher its value. In Russia, you can buy a royal pheasant from 3,000 to 5,000 rubles.
How much is a royal pheasant
The cost of the male and female royal pheasant will differ, males are usually more expensive. Also, the price will depend on age: the older the bird, the more expensive it is. In Russia, the value of a royal pheasant ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 rubles.
In Ukraine, you can buy one bird for 200-350 UAH. Also on some farms you can buy hatching eggs, for example, in one of these farms in Ukraine, hatching eggs can be purchased for 15 UAH (if you buy more than 50 pieces, 12 UAH for an egg), one-day pheasant - 35 UAH for a piece, a week - 50 UAH per unit, month - 70 UAH. per piece, two months - 100 UAH. per piece In Russia, hatching eggs can be purchased in the region of 50 rubles. per piece, and young individuals from 100 rubles and above.
Распространенность в природе
К сожалению, именно красивейшие перья королевского фазана едва не стали причиной его вымирания в дикой природе. В Китае местные жители активно охотятся за ним не только из-за вкусного, нежного мяса, но и чтобы добыть перья, которые используются для украшений.
Официально на сегодняшний день на территории Китая осталось около 5 тысяч особей, живущих в дикой природе. And some sources claim that this figure is even more frightening - no more than 2 thousand birds.
Although killing of wild pheasants in China is prohibited by law, it doesn’t stop local hunters or just peasants who want to eat poultry meat. Therefore, every year the number of royal pheasants is reduced.
Is it possible to keep in captivity
It is possible to keep our pheasants in captivity, moreover, it will not require huge efforts. Since the males are polygamous, it is possible to acquire one male and several females. Aviary should be at least 15 square meters.
If your male has a long tail and the quality of the feathers is important to you (and he, as we already mentioned, can reach 150 cm), it is necessary to provide the birds with a wider area - about 60 meters or more square meters.
For these birds, the frosts of middle latitudes are not terrible, so you can not make additional heating for the winter. However, if you want to keep the tail in good condition, then try to keep the air in the room where the birds live dry.
Since royal pheasants in the wild like to sleep in the trees, in the aviary you need to make two or three perches from single and thick branches of trees (if possible, it is better to use the wood of coniferous trees) and fix them at a height of 1.5 to 2 m Also, it is for these birds that you will need a shelter where they can hide when they get scared of something. Chicks hatch in an incubator. Then you will need cells with electrical heating of at least 2 square meters.
150 chicks up to the age of 20–25 days, as the royal species is more vulnerable to cold temperatures than, for example, the hunting species. After 25 days after birth, they need to be transferred to electrically heated enclosures and maintained there until 6 weeks from birth.
The density of landing in the aviary should be at least 1 individual per 1 square meter. With this mode of maintenance you are guaranteed a minimum loss of chicks. In summertime, pheasants can independently find food for food, eating various greens, worms and bugs, but with the onset of cold weather, it is necessary to pay more attention to their diet.
Per adult bird should be about 75 g of feed, which includes:
- 45% of crushed corn kernels,
- 20% crushed wheat grains,
- 10% fish dust,
- 3% meat and bone meal and yeast.
In the spring, along with the first warm days, sunflower oil, calcium and various berries should be introduced into the diet. Then pheasants will grow faster, and their meat will be more tender. Small pheasant feeds are usually fed with greens and finely chopped boiled eggs. At the age of two months they can already be transferred to the diet of an adult bird.
Fortunately, the complete destruction of these birds is not threatened. At least because they were domesticated in Europe and reproduce well in ordinary farms.
Surprisingly, they are only slightly more difficult to breed than chickens. So, if you want to breed royal pheasants, the characteristics of their content should be considered.
First of all, you need an aviary - for a small flock, 15 square meters is enough. If you want the birds to show themselves in all their glory, it is desirable to have an enclosure with an area of 60 square meters or more - here males of pheasants will be able to grow a longer tail, and in fact it is the main ornament. In general, there should not be more than 1 individual per square meter. And this is despite the fact that you are ready to provide them with quality food - with such a dense settlement they will not be able to find a sufficient amount of food themselves.
It is very convenient that they are polygamous - you can keep only one male per flock of 10-15 females.
In the aviary is to establish several perches at different heights - from 150 to 200 centimeters. After feeding for the day, pheasants prefer to fly up into the trees at night. In captivity, trees can be easily replaced by a normal perch of sufficient thickness.
It is advisable to sprinkle the floor of the aviary with a thick layer of sand so that dirt does not appear, otherwise the tails will be dirty, shedding and ugly all the time.
Of course, many enthusiastic farmers are interested in trying to work with such an unusual bird as the royal pheasant. Breeding them is inextricably linked with proper diet.
In nature, they eat various berries, acorns, seeds, and do not squeamish insects and invertebrates if they manage to catch them. In winter and in early spring, when food in the forest becomes scarce, pheasants can often be seen on agricultural land, which is an additional reason for their destruction.
When breeding birds on a farm, it is desirable to give more freedom of movement - then they themselves will collect insects and eat grass. Still, additional feeding is also very important. The best diet is considered, which includes:
- chopped corn - 55%,
- crushed wheat - 30%,
- fish dust - 10%
- yeast and meat and bone meal - 5%.
Per day, one bird should account for about 75 grams of feed. You also need to give them a large amount of grass, which they eat with appetite.
From mid-spring, you can add to the standard diet a variety of berries, calcium and some sunflower oil. Then pheasants will grow faster, and their meat will acquire a particularly delicate and pleasant taste.
Care for the young
Adult royal pheasants do not need special care. But the young - very much so. You need to make sure that they are warm enough - if necessary, install additional heating or place a container with hot water wrapped with a thick cloth so that the chicks can warm themselves at night. It is important to ensure that there are not too many young - no more than 25 individuals per square meter. Otherwise, the weaker will simply be trampled by healthier and more brazen relatives. Gradually, the area needs to be increased - from 10 to 30 days, a maximum of 15 individuals should fall on the same area. And after a month - no more than 6.
It is also very important to make a suitable diet - it’s impossible to give the same food as the adults eat.
A good choice will be the usual chicken eggs - they need to boil hard-boiled and finely chopped. In the first days of life, they give only protein, but starting from the second week it is already possible to give yolk. You can also add young nettles to the diet - it is advisable to pour it with boiling water beforehand so that it does not burn, and finely chop. Over time, the young can be taught to the grain, usually starting with millet and gradually transferred to rye, wheat.