7 best pheasant breeds
For a long time, various types of pheasants have attracted the attention of enthusiastic poultry breeders. At the royal court they were kept to decorate the garden and get excellent meat, bright feathers and dietary eggs. Modern farmers, however, did not break the ancient tradition. The poultry is still raised for this very purpose..
General characteristics of pheasants
In their natural environment, birds live among thickets of bushes, in dense forests, near the shores of lakes and rivers.
Most often they eat:
- small fruits;
- various seeds;
Birds create nests on the ground. There they lays eggs (from 8 to 20 pieces) of brown color. After about 25-28 days, chicks appear, which are usually led by the female. The body length of adult pheasants, on average, reaches 85 cm. The weight of birds ranges from 1.6 to 2 kg. Biologists distinguish about 32 pheasant breeds. Each of them has its own unique feather color. Consider only 7 of the most popular varieties.
Wild pheasants live in pairs, and semi-domesticated ones feel great in a polygamous “society”.
It was these birds that adorned the palaces of oriental nobles and often ended up on the table as an exquisite delicacy..
Their homeland is considered:
Today, the breed is actively cultivated by farmers in many countries of the world. From the side, the common pheasant is very similar to ordinary chickens. The significant difference is the long tail and red skin around the eyes, reminiscent of a carnival mask. Males are distinguished by bright silver-gray plumage..
It surprisingly combines a number of shades:
The head and neck are strewn with turquoise plumage. The legs are decorated with spurs. The tail reaches 55 cm in length. In their natural environment, males have a rather aggressive character when meeting a rival. Sometimes battles for the “soul mate” end in death.
The female is covered with black, gray and light brown feathers. The length of the tail is about 30 cm. For the entire period of mating, it carries about 50 eggs (1 or 2 eggs per day). Birds tolerate the cold wonderfully, but are afraid of drafts..
It is advisable to keep pheasants in pairs in a spacious covered aviary.
By crossing common and green pheasants, a unique breed was obtained. Currently, the hunting pheasant is found in Europe and the United States. Its plumage is white or resinous black. The color is complemented by burgundy, orange, bronze and brown tones.
Males have a black “cap”, a scarlet “mask” on the eyes and a snow-white cuff on the chest. The powerful legs are equipped with spurs. The length of the body together with the tail is about 80 cm.Weight of an adult bird is up to 2 kg.
Most often, hunting pheasants are raised for slaughter. During the mating season, adult males are kept separate from each other. Otherwise, they will fight for the attention of their “lady of the heart”. The rest of the time, polygamous families are formed from one pheasant and 6 females.
A hunting pheasant eats about 75-80 g of feed per day.
Subspecies of eared pheasants
The largest birds among their relatives are eared pheasants..
Scientists distinguish between 3 subspecies of the breed:
In its natural environment, the eared pheasant is found in East Asia. Often nests in hilly areas. Male and female have almost the same plumage.
White eared pheasants are distinguished by the corresponding color of the feathers. The crown of the red head is crowned with a black “cap”. The wings and tail are diluted with gray feathers with a black frame. Spurs are visible on bright red paws.
Although females carry eggs, they rarely hatch chicks on their own. Therefore, it is advisable to use an extraneous hen for breeding the breed..
Blue eared pheasants are colored smoky blue. The head is decorated with a scarlet mask and snow-white ear feathers. Luxurious tails are blue or black. The length of the birds reaches 100 cm. At home, blue-eared pheasants quickly get used to people, make contact and show instinctive friendliness. The birds are not afraid of the winter cold and frolic in the snow with pleasure. Feel great in covered enclosures where bushes and grass grow.
The body and wings of brown eared pheasants are covered with brown feathers. The back is creamy. The neck and tip of the tail are framed by a black and blue border. The birds wear a black cap on their heads. They have yellow eyes and a brownish beak. Pheasants feed on plant foods and quickly get used to humans.
The breed was obtained by crossing European and wild Japanese pheasants. The birds are bred exclusively for meat. The weight of an adult often reaches 2.8 kg. The male Romanian pheasant is distinguished by its brown-gray body plumage with an emerald hue. Its head is covered with blue-green feathers. There are individuals with a yellow or blue tint. Females, on the other hand, wear brown, monochromatic plumage..
The Japanese or green pheasant has been considered the national bird of the Land of the Rising Sun since 1947. The chest and back of the male are covered with emerald feathers. The neck is decorated with a purple collar. The tail is purple-green in color. Females “wear an outfit” of brown-brown color.
The diet of domesticated birds includes:
- compound feed;
- cottage cheese;
- finely chopped vegetables;
Green pheasants live for about 15 years. They love to “hunt” in dense tall grass and bushes. They wonderfully take root in a polygamous and monogamous “society”. There are 3 subspecies of green pheasants: North, South and Pacific. They differ in the color of the head, paws, collar, mantle, abdomen and beak..
The homeland of the bird is Tibet and the southwestern part of China. Despite this, the golden pheasant lives in Europe as well. Its main difference is a yellow tuft with a black frame..
The plumage of males is dominated by shades:
The neck is decorated with a bright orange collar with a darkish border. The birds also boast a luxurious tail. Females of golden pheasants have a modest feather color.
Thanks to the hard work of breeders, several subspecies of birds have been bred: Bordeaux, Red Pheasant, Cinnamon and Gigi.
Himalayan (Nepalese) pheasant
In nature, the bird lives in Indochina and in the Himalayas. The breed is also called Black Lofura due to its stylish plumage..
Scientists have bred several subspecies of Himalayan pheasants:
- Purplish black;
In European countries, black pheasants appeared in the 18th century. They are distinguished by dark plumage with a purple tint. The lower back is decorated with a wide white border. The head is crowned with an elongated black crest. Feet with spurs are dark gray. The beak of the Himalayan pheasant is light green. Feathers of females are brown-olive with an orange border. During the season, the individual brings 15 cream or yellow-red eggs. Unlike other breeds, the female black pheasant independently incubates and takes care of the offspring.
In captivity, it is advisable to feed Nepalese pheasants with wheat, millet, corn, chopped vegetables and fruits.
We got acquainted with the most popular breeds of pheasants. Males are distinguished by bright plumage and large size. Almost all birds are wonderfully tolerant of the winter cold. Some of them like to frolic in the snowdrifts. Pheasants wonderfully take root on the farms and summer cottages of our compatriots. Look after them like chickens.