The pheasant is a very beautiful bird that looks exotic. In any courtyard, such birds look original and bright. Against their background, all other birds, if any, fade away. However, these birds can not only please the eye, but also produce excellent meat and eggs. Today we will take a closer look at such individuals and find out how they should be kept at home according to all the rules.
Pheasants are truly luxurious birds with an exotic and catchy appearance. These individuals are the largest representatives of the chicken order. There are many subspecies of such a bird. Each of them has its own individual characteristics and is distinguished by a certain color. Most often, it is by color that different types of pheasants are distinguished.
The male pheasant can be identified very easily and easily. Usually males have rather bright and variegated plumage, which attracts a lot of attention.
In addition, males have a long tail.
As for the females, they have a less bright brown color, combined with black specks scattered throughout the body. Depending on the immediate habitat, the color of males can vary significantly. The head and neck of this bird is green or blue-violet.
Around the eyes of pheasants there are characteristic rings, on which there are no feathers at all. The rings themselves have a contrasting red color. The immediate body color of these individuals varies from orange on the back to deep red on the breast. Pheasant feathers have a very interesting and attractive metallic sheen. It is difficult to look away from such a "riot" of noble colors.
In length, males can reach 80 cm. There are also such males, the length of which is 90 cm. Females, as a rule, are more miniature and neat - 55-70 cm. Different-sex individuals also differ in weight. So, males can weigh 1.3-2 kg, and females - 1-1.4 kg. Another difference between females and males is the length of their tail. In females, it can be from 20 to 25 cm, and in males - from 45 to 60 cm.
The wings of these gorgeous birds are not too long. They have a neat oval shape. The tail is wedge-shaped, consists of 18 long feathers, which become narrower and narrower towards the tip.
Feathered owners of such a prominent and catchy color in nature have to hide forever so as not to become prey to predators or hunters.
The pheasant has a rather shy character. He behaves cautiously, as there are always too many dangers around him. Most often, such birds take refuge in bushes or hide in tall grass. If possible, a pheasant can climb a tree and rest properly among the foliage, where it is practically invisible.
Before descending from the tree back to the ground, the fearful pheasant must take a good look around. He must know for sure if there are any dangers below. After making sure that the situation is safe, the pheasant quickly falls to the ground, changes the angle very quickly and with a sharp movement, and then enters the trajectory horizontally, gliding in the air.
The pheasant can be recognized not only by its bright and rich color. These beautiful birds are known for their love of unusual sounds.
You can recognize these individuals by hearing a characteristic unusual cry. However, one must take into account that the pheasant does not always cry.
Even in the event of a strong fright and a serious stressful situation, these birds do not make a sharp and loud sound.
The noise from pheasants can come not only from unusual calls, but also from the process of their flight. Individuals take off quite loudly, leaving in a vertical trajectory. They fly off a maximum of 100 meters. They run very fast and can easily cover impressive distances. Without such opportunities, pheasants would be easy prey, as they attract too much unnecessary attention from predators.
How do females differ from males?
Given the basic description of these beautiful and colorful birds, one can easily determine what the main differences between females and males are.
- As mentioned above, the main difference between birds of different sexes is the color of the plumage. Males have a brighter and more variegated color, in contrast to females, covered with feathers in brown and black scales.
- Males are always larger than females. This applies not only to their body length, but also to their weight.
- Males develop a more elongated and attractive tail than females.
- On the feathers of males, you can see an unusual shine, close to metallic. This is another important difference between different sex birds of this species. Females on feathers do not have such a colorful feature.
- The male has special spurs on his legs. He uses them to fight for the female. Of course, the latter do not have such additions on their paws.
It is easy to distinguish the female from the male. The first thing that usually draws attention is the colors.
Females always look more modest and less attractive. Males, on the other hand, immediately catch the eye due to the rich and iridescent colors on the feathers.
Habitat and lifestyle
The pheasant is very widespread - from the Iberian Peninsula to the most Japanese islands. These individuals are often found in the Caucasus, Turkmenistan, and the Far East. This species is able to adapt to a variety of circumstances and live almost everywhere. The main thing is that in its habitat in the winter season, the height of the snow layer is no more than 20 cm.
The pheasant feels great, even being in the mountains at an altitude of 2600 m above sea level. Under natural conditions, such a handsome man can live quite a long time. The record age of the wild bird was 7 years and 7 months.
As for captivity, then within the specified framework, this beautiful bird lives quietly from 12 to 15 years.
Individuals usually live in a same-sex group. Groups consisting only of males, in most cases, turn out to be more numerous than groups made up only of miniature females. These individuals make exits only to search for food in the morning and evening. When the spring season arrives, the behavior of pheasants changes markedly. They gather in small family groups. Birds live, as a rule, in places close to water bodies, where there is dense vegetation and enough food. Pheasants usually settle in forests or undergrowth.
The favorite place of these individuals is thorny thickets. They perfectly protect bright and eye-catching birds from attacks from predators. A large enemy will only in exceptional situations be able to get through thorny bushes. Impassable reed areas are another place where pheasants can stay and feel safe.
Pheasants arrange nests on the ground. They are located closer to water bodies.
Usually the pheasant gives voice exclusively during flights. As mentioned above, these birds make a specific sound: sharp, sonorous. It is difficult to confuse it with something similar.
Pheasants are champions in running speed. When these birds run, they take on an unusual shape, characteristic only for them - the birds stretch their necks, push their heads forward, and at the same time lift their tail. Likewise, mechanisms are laid down at the instinct level that contribute to better aerodynamics while running.
In the wild, the natural enemies of these beautiful birds are:
- wild dogs;
True, it should be noted here that one of the most insidious and dangerous enemies of pheasants at the present time is a man, and not predatory animals.
In many cases, to catch these birds, people use hunting dogs, which can easily catch pheasants quickly and without problems. Having found a bird, a hunting dog drives it up a tree. As soon as the pheasant starts to take off, the hunter fires a shot.
Many people believe that the pheasant is the only species of bright bird. In fact, there are several of its varieties, representatives of each of which have their own specific color and behavior. Let's take a closer look at the most popular and well-known pheasant subspecies and see how they differ.
The common pheasant is exactly the same famous bird that was once announced to be hunted in the wild forests. A little later, they were able to tame her in order to brighten up the royal courts with her and present valuable meat to the table. The birthplace of this breed is the Caucasus. In addition, the common pheasant was in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. At the moment, farmers breed the brightest representatives of this breed to obtain rich and juicy meat - a real delicacy.
Outwardly, the common Caucasian pheasant is very similar to common chickens. However, it also has certain pronounced differences, to which the following parameters can be attributed:
- elongated tail feathers, becoming narrower towards the end;
- the presence of a red skin near the eyes (a kind of "mask").
As in all cases, males of the common pheasant look much brighter and more attractive than females. Their plumage is silvery gray and has many different shades that are difficult to ignore, such as blue, orange, purple, bright green. On the neck and head, the feathers are usually turquoise. In females, the plumage has only 3 main colors: gray, black and brown. The weight of an ordinary male can be about 1.8 kg, and a female - 1.5 kg maximum. Oviposition of these individuals begins in April and lasts until June.
In their natural environment, birds of this breed usually settle in shrubs and places where tall grass grows, and water bodies are located nearby. Males often behave rather aggressively towards rivals. Often, real fierce battles are arranged between males, which can even end in death.
Females usually lay 8 to 15 testicles. Laying is done in small holes dug in the ground. Females hatch eggs for about 3-4 weeks.
Once this interesting breed was obtained by crossing green and common pheasants. The population of hunting individuals is small and small. After crossing the hybrid species, different breeds are born. The hunting pheasant nowadays can be found in America and Europe.
The plumage color of the representatives of this breed is different - from snow-white to dense black. By tradition, males look more luxurious and elegant than females who are rustic in appearance. The plumage of males is distinguished by a green or lilac beautiful tint. In color, burgundy, orange, bronze or brown colors are mainly visible. In addition, males wear an interesting red “mask”, a black contrasting “cap” and a white “collar”. Their legs are quite strong and strong, with spurs.
Hunting pheasant females can boast of high egg production. They can produce up to 60 testicles in three months - this is a good indicator.
Hunting pheasants have excellent health and strong immunity. They are fertile birds that are ideal for breeding.
Since 1947, the green pheasant (otherwise it is called Japanese) holds the title of the national Japanese bird. Previously, representatives of this breed were found only on the islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku. This breed is subdivided into several interesting subspecies, therefore, when bred, it can show many variants of bright and unusual colors.
The back and chest of males of this breed are covered with very beautiful feathers of emerald shades. On the neck there are no less catchy and variegated purple feathers. As always, females do not have colorful colors on their bodies - they are painted in inconspicuous brown-brown colors. You may notice small black blotches on the body.
Male green pheasants usually behave calmly and do not demonstrate excessive aggression. They live for about 15 years. They prefer to dwell on hilly terrain, like tall grass and lush thickets, where they are almost invisible. These individuals live in both polygamous and monogamous families.
The diamond pheasant is one of the most beautiful and luxurious birds in the entire world. Otherwise, representatives of this breed are called Lady Amkhrest.
The bird of this decorative breed was called diamond for a reason. Its plumage shimmers very effectively in the light, as if it were an expensive gem. On the head of such pheasants there are wide and large feathers of white flowers. From the outside, they can strongly resemble an old wig, which makes the appearance of these birds truly unique.
The chest of a diamond pheasant is distinguished by an olive or emerald color, gradually flowing into a snow-white tummy. On the goiter, you can see a combination of black and white feathers, and on the back - blue-black. Around the eyes there is skin that has a blue tint.
A female diamond pheasant can produce only 30 eggs per season. Birds of this breed are characterized by high adaptability. They get along seamlessly with other species of birds, for example, pigeons or chickens. The disposition of diamond pheasants is rather calm, friendly and completely non-conflicting. These birds make contact with humans very easily.
Diamond pheasant meat is dietary, very tender and delicious. Eggs are also characterized by an impressive protein content.
The majestic beauty of the plumage is characteristic of the representatives of this stunning breed.
Golden pheasants are bred both for decorative purposes and for obtaining first-class meat of excellent taste and aroma.
These individuals live in Eastern Europe. They are very common in protected areas. In other areas, it is rather difficult to meet them.
The main distinguishing feature of the representatives of this breed is an interesting golden crest. It has a contrasting black outline around its edges. The tummy is distinguished by a maroon color. In females, the crest is absent. The plumage of males combines yellow, orange, black and blue hues. On the neck, you can see the luxurious decoration in the form of an orange collar with a darker border. The tail of these birds grows rather long and remarkable. Females are small. Their plumage is less conspicuous and modest.
In the clutch of female golden pheasants, there can be from 7 to 10 or more testicles. These birds can lay up to 45 eggs per season. Young females produce no more than 20 testicles. The main feature of a beautiful golden pheasant is that if the eggs are taken immediately, the level of egg production will only increase. These birds cannot boast of strong immunity, therefore, they are susceptible to all sorts of diseases.
Representatives of this breed are the largest.
In most cases, they are bred exclusively for decorative purposes, but not to obtain tender meat.
This luxurious bird comes from the highlands. On the territory of Russia, the royal pheasant can be found in special zoo zones.
The plumage of this bird resembles scales, and has a yellow-brown color. Each feather has a contrasting dark border, as well as around the neck. Light feathers are visible on the crown. Females, as in other cases, do not have such a bright color - they are characterized by yellow-golden plumage with noticeable intersperses of darker tones.
The average weight of these individuals is usually 1.3 kg. In a clutch of royal pheasants, as a rule, there are from 7 to 14 eggs. These birds like to move on the ground more. They use wings on very rare occasions. Royal pheasants live up to 14 years old and are very shy in their behavior.
One of the heaviest and most massive birds are eared pheasants. There are several subspecies of this breed:
In nature, these beautiful birds can be found in the highlands of East Asia. The main difference between eared individuals is that the plumage of females and males is approximately the same. There are no big differences here.
The body of these representatives of the breed is oblong, the legs are powerful, but short. They have spurs on them. Another distinctive feature of eared pheasants is the presence of long snow-white feathers near the ears. They are slightly raised up. The head is usually black and slightly shiny. Expressive red circles can be seen near the eyes. The tail of these individuals is very long - half of the bird's body.
Representatives of this breed are quite widespread. Their homeland is China. The silver pheasant is famous for its excellent egg production rates. Also, these birds have an impressive weight. That is why they are often bred for juicy and tasty meat.
The body of such individuals is covered with light ash or snow-white plumage with contrasting dark stripes. There is a characteristic greenish tint. A bright red "mask" can be seen on the face. There is an expressive bluish-black crest on the head, and a white "hood" on the back. As a result of such an interesting combination of different shades, the plumage of this bird looks like it was silvered.
The weight of a male silver pheasant can reach 5 kg, and a female - about 2-2.5 kg. Oviposition may include 50 eggs per season. These birds can gain weight surprisingly quickly. The silver pheasant is characterized by good and strong immunity, due to which it rarely gets sick.
However, it should be borne in mind that males behave badly during the breeding season: they are aggressive and hot-tempered, they easily start fights.
Representatives of this breed are very rare. Otherwise, Taiwanese pheasants are called Svayno. They are listed in the Red Book.
These birds are small in size and rich blue-purple feathers on the breast and neck. The lower back has a distinctive black edging. The feathers, of which the tail is composed, are of a snow-white color. Orange specks are visible at the base of the wings. There are no feathers on the face. Feet are bright pink, with spurs in males.
Taiwanese pheasants are characterized by a very shy disposition. They are extremely careful. Under natural conditions, these individuals can successfully hide in bushes throughout the day, and move to a tree at night. The main periods of bird activity are at dusk and dawn. They live for about 15 years.
These birds first appeared in the Malay Islands. They are rare, and you can find them only in special nurseries or from amateur poultry breeders who are fond of breeding breeding birds.
The plumage color of these individuals is very similar to that of a peacock. By itself, this bird is quite large, but not too bright in comparison with other pheasant species. The plumage of these representatives of the breed is grayish-green, the neck is red, and the head is blue.
Argus females lay a sufficient number of eggs, but not in all cases can hatch them. The meat of these birds has a unique taste. In the aviary, such pheasants live well. They behave friendly and quickly get used to the owner, are not afraid of him and do not hide.
Young animals are usually fed with minced meat, worms, carrots and other suitable foods.
Romanian pheasants belong to one of the subspecies of the common breed. Otherwise, these birds are called emerald or green, due to the interesting greenish tint present on their wings. You can find individuals with a yellowish or blue tint on their feathers. This bird is large and bred for meat.
Romanian pheasants have a gray-brown plumage. Often the heads of the males are covered with blue-green feathers. There is a crest on the head. Females have a modest color of feathers - brown, without greenish overflow. The specified bird in factory conditions is raised only up to 1.5 months, after which it is sent for slaughter when it reaches a weight of 1 kg. During the season, the female is able to lay 20 to 60 eggs. The egg production level of the Romanian pheasant depends on its age. The meat of this bird is dietary and has excellent taste.
This is one of the varieties of the spectacular golden pheasant. It is artificially bred and has bright yellow plumage. On the head there is an expressive lemon tuft that attracts a lot of attention. Also, these birds have a beautiful yellowish-orange "hood". Females do not have such bright colors on their feathers. They are also yellow, but their shade is lighter and more unobtrusive. In length, males can reach a mark of 1 m.
Female yellow pheasants are accustomed to laying their testicles in holes made in the ground. Clutch usually contains from 5 to 12 eggs. These representatives of the breed live for about 10 years.
Conditions for maintenance and care
Pheasants of all breeds can be kept at home. These birds, like any others, require competent and complete care.
To keep these birds at home, you will need a certain amount of money.
For these handsome men, you will have to make special enclosures. Their area should be at least 5 square meters. m. Mainly, the selection of enclosures depends on the immediate breed.
- It is permissible to grow hunting birds only in rather tall cages. They need space for flight, since pheasants must be able to fly.
- As for meat breeds, they should be kept in ordinary enclosures with large and reliable fences or in high-quality cages.
- Varieties that do not tolerate low temperatures very well should be kept in high quality insulated poultry houses.
It is quite simple to care for these individuals. The main thing is to take into account the nuances of their content and breeding. Individuals of any breed are divided into pairs. All families must be moved to closed enclosures, where there can be 4-5 females for one male (if he is polygamous).
These birds should be kept a little differently during the summer.
- The minimum dimensions of the aviary should be 1.5x2 m.
- The nests should be located at a height of 2 m. Perches for sleeping should be placed.
- The house should not be damp. The walls are recommended to be made of galvanized steel.
- It is advisable to make the litter from ash and sand. Replace it as it gets dirty. Better to put a rodent net on the floor.
- Set up small trays for pheasants to rest. Sand and ash must be poured into them.
- Attach all containers and feeders so that the birds do not overturn or tear them off.
- Place huts in aviaries during breeding. They are made from reeds or reeds. Females need them.
- Insulate the walls of the enclosure with polycarbonate, even in the summer season.
Prepare the enclosures for wintering in advance.
Insulate the flooring with special materials, put insulation on the walls. Take care of good lighting, otherwise the birds will not fly or feel bad.
At first, chicks are usually fed with boiled eggs. Then they are gradually fed with flour worms and herbs. When feeding at night, the lighting in the house should be turned off for half an hour. With the passage of time, the chicks are allowed to feed the feed, designed specifically for the young. A brood of two weeks can be given:
- corn flour;
- finely chopped dandelion or clover;
- feed additives containing calcium.
The food for the birds described should be balanced and quite varied.
Adult representatives should be pampered with compound feed made for chickens. However, it must be combined with animal proteins - pheasants eat such food well.
Any pheasant happily eats snails, bugs and various insects. An adult herd must eat:
- millet and corn;
- sunflower seeds;
- minced meat;
- cottage cheese;
- meat porridge;
- boiled and raw vegetables.
For pheasants to have good digestion, they need to be given solid food, for example, cake. During nesting, it is required to increase the portions to 85 grams.
Depending on the season, the “menu” of these birds may vary.
Any breed of pheasant reproduces well in captivity. But to get offspring from these beauties, you must have a good incubator in your arsenal. In order for the female to sit to incubate the testicles on her own, she needs to provide suitable conditions in the aviary, very similar to natural ones. This will mean that the lion's share of the aviary will have to be allocated only for her, and many bushes, shelters and houses will be placed there. Pheasants are shy and rather secretive birds. Unlike ordinary domestic chickens, they are not satisfied with ordinary and accessible nest boxes.
The collected eggs must be moved to the incubator and the chicks must be hatched in the same way as for normal chicks. The incubation period for different species can take from 24 to 32 days.
Helpful hints and tips
If you keep pheasants at home, then you should know that eating harmful Colorado potato beetles by them significantly improves the taste of meat.
When keeping pheasants at home, it should be remembered that individuals of different breeds are both polygamous and monogamous. This must be taken into account during the resettlement of the birds, since in the setting of one enclosure there may be a male and a couple of aggressively-minded females who do not accept polygamous relationships. They will definitely fight, and the one that is stronger will kill the one that is weaker. As a result, you will not receive the expected large profit, but will incur large losses.
In the enclosures where pheasants will live, it is very important to organize good and reliable shelters for them.
They are necessary for these birds, since they are very shy by nature. Without shelter in the house, they will be less comfortable and calm. If you do not take care of such details, you can end up with shabby, frightened birds constantly experiencing severe stress. Of course, this will affect their performance.
It is not necessary to keep pheasants on the farm to get meat or eggs. If desired, they can be kept as a beautiful decor. The main thing is to provide the birds with proper care. Do not feed these birds too much concentrated feed. Otherwise, pheasants can become obese, and even die. Watch the nutrition of your handsome men very carefully.
During summer seasons, pheasants should be given cool water (not too cold).
If there is a cold winter outside the window, then the birds will need to pour warm clean liquid for drinking. It is important that the birds are fed and watered by the same person. He also has to look after the pheasants. Otherwise, they will experience serious stress, which will certainly affect their condition and appearance.
In winter, pheasants can be kept in an aviary, but care must be taken to provide good bedding and a secure shelter. A poultry house with pheasant chicks can be populated so that there are no more than 30 individuals per square meter.
You can find out more about pheasants by watching the video below.