10 Hatching Tips for Incubating Pheasant Eggs Successfully

Our hatchery at MacFarlane Pheasants is where we incubate eggs and hatch our pheasant chicks. The most important part of incubating eggs is to provide heat, humidity, and ventilation. If you can provide those basic needs and follow some basic steps, 25 days later you will have some beautiful peeping chicks.

  1. Pheasant eggs are incubated at 99 degrees and 51% relative humidity for the first 100 days.
  1. We check the temperature using a mercury thermometer. (Even if the incubator has a digital reading it is important to verify the temperature.)
  1. The incubator must be up to temperature BEFORE we put eggs in it. We also make sure there is good airflow.
  1. Eggs are turned 3 times per day to make sure the chicks do not stick to the inside of the shell. It really is a labor of love.
  1. On day 10 we candle the eggs to determine if they are viable and growing. We use a piece of foam and a handheld mag light.
  1. At 21 days the temperature is reduced to 97.8 degrees. This is not absolutely necessary, but since chicks are expending lots of energy to get out of their shells it helps them not to get too dehydrated. The eggs are not turned at this stage.
  1. After another 4 or 5 days and the chicks are out of their shells, dry, and ready to go to the barn.
  1. Special fee is provided to begin the process of raising the healthy, newborn chicks.
  1. Providing constant water sources are critical to raising healthy chicks.
  1. Keeping these tiny bodies warm helps them to keep them stress free!

Following this process and being especially attentive to temperature, humidity and airflow leads to successful hatches year round! If you wanted to try hatching chicks, an incubator can be purchased at a farm store for $100-$500. The miracle of life is exciting whether it is on a large or small scale!

We have added a link for you so you can watch this exciting hatching process in action. Enjoy and feel free to contact us with your questions.

Your comments and questions on our Facebook page are always appreciated. Our mission is to provide information that is interesting and beneficial to pheasant lovers everywhere!

10 Hatching Tips for Incubating Pheasant Eggs Successfully










10 Hatching Tips for Incubating Pheasant Eggs Successfully

10 Things You Should Know About Driving for MacFarlane Pheasants

  1. Delivery driver applications are considered year-round.
  2. Drivers can apply by walking into our retail store and filling out an application.
  3. Drivers must have a Class A CDL or be able to attain one.
  4. Experienced drivers are preferred but we are willing to help train new drivers to attain their CDL, if we think the person is right for the job.
  5. Drivers must have a good driving record so they are insurable.
  6. Drivers must be able to lift 75 pounds (the weight of a large crate of birds).
  7. Drivers are part time, so this is a good job for someone who only wants part-time work.
  8. Drivers must be able to follow instructions, precisely.
  9. Drivers must be computer literate as we will soon be using electronic logging devices in all our trucks.
  10. Drivers must be responsible and trustworthy.

Please visit us at MacFarlane Pheasants if you want to fill out an application.













10 Things You Should Know About Driving for MacFarlane Pheasants

Living By the Numbers When Raising Fabulous Pheasants

The guidelines used to provide feed and water to pheasants from birth to maturity are like a recipe. If the recipe is followed, the end result will be the same each time. If an ingredient is changed or missing, who knows what the end result will be? Here are the guidelines we use for feed, water, and space to raise our fabulous pheasants.

The first three weeks are critical.

During the first three weeks, we provide.25 square feet of space, per bird, in the barns.
During weeks three to seven we provide .50 square feet of space, per bird, in the barns.

At seven weeks we sex the pheasants and they are separated and moved outside to flight pens.

If the cover is two feet or higher, roosters get 22 square feet of space.
If the cover is two feet or higher, hens get 18 square feet of space.

Cover and open space are important ingredients.

We mow a five foot wide path around the perimeter of each pen and a path down the center of the cover. Pheasants then have a place to get out of wet cover after a rain. It allows them to dust in the open space. The open space also allows us to see into the pens and keep an eye on the pheasants, as we drive by daily.

Feed and water space is part of the recipe.

Once birds are out in the flight pens, the ideal feed space per bird is .7 inches and water space is .1 inch per bird.

Our production is based on a premise that pheasants will be shipped off our farm when they reach 23 weeks. If we short cut our recipe, there is a risk of the birds picking. Gen-erally, if picking takes place, the tails suffer. If this happens, it delays their readiness for shipping, as time is needed for tails to regenerate. If we hold on to pheasants longer, we have more mouths to feed. So, of course, our goal is to get birds off the farm as soon as they are ready and to keep our orders filled on time, every time.

Living By the Numbers When Raising Fabulous Pheasants





Living By the Numbers When Raising Fabulous Pheasants

Coming Soon: Electronic Logging Devices for Our Drivers

MacFarlane Pheasants continues to grow technologically. Our pheasant company has been in business 88 years, so the advancements in technology, since that time, are astronomical! We made a decision to purchase an electronic logging device for our trucks and have it implemented no later than December, 2017. These new devices are like an I pad that is connected directly into a delivery truck’s engine monitoring system and they make it possible for the driver to monitor the hours spent on the road electronically. In addition to that very important function, we are looking for a system that may also include a phone and a GPS system. 

We haven’t yet purchased this device, but are exploring all the available technologies. Though we hope to purchase an electronic logging device with multiple functions, the “must have” function is a log book app. It will make the paper log books obsolete and help assure our drivers and our company that federal driving laws are specifically followed! 

The current law says that as soon as you start your pre-trip you have 14 hours to be on duty before you are required to shut down for a 10 hour break. You cannot drive more than 11 hours in a 24 hour period. The apps we are researching have a computer generated log book. Drivers enter information about driving and not driving. The apps automatically calculate hours of work and make it easy for our drivers to follow federal law, regarding how many hours they can be on the road. 

Art Schumacher (maintenance@pheasant.com) is our head maintenance man and he is quite excited about getting this device installed and ready to go. He would be happy to share his knowledge about this new technology, so feel free to e-mail him. 











Coming Soon: Electronic Logging Devices for Our Drivers

The Biosecurity Team on our Game Bird Farm

We have been implementing biosecurity practices for over 31 years at MacFarlane Pheasants. Since 2015 we have had a biosecurity team, who meets once a month, to discuss current issues, biosecurity protocols and changes in protocols due to specific situations or new information. Troy Cisewski is the chairperson. Trudy DeRemer, Rachel Atherton, and Krystal Price are members of the team. Each of them consider biosecurity a major priority.

The major reason biosecurity is such high priority is that the methods and protocols established to keep animals safe from contagious diseases, parasites, and pests are critical to the health of all the birds on our farm. When there was an outbreak of HPAI in the Midwest in the spring of 2015, we increased our biosecurity standards beyond the strict protocols we already had in place. HPAI is Avian Influenza, informally called bird flu. It is a highly contagious disease among birds and if it spreads throughout a farm, it can be quite deadly. This is one of the reasons we decided that a team, who met monthly, was necessary.

Our procedures protect our business. Listed below are just a few of them.

  1. All crew members that peep and move out young pheasants wear cloth uniforms.
  2. Our farm shoes are designated (they never leave the farm).
  3. There are disinfectant trays at every entrance to the barns, office, and break rooms.
  4. We have designated staff who move deceased birds to the composter.
  5. All equipment is washed and disinfected regularly.
  6. Tires on vehicles are sprayed off before vehicles enter all farm locations.
  7. All new employees are trained on biosecurity as they get hired.
  8. All current employees are refreshed once a year on all biosecurity protocols.

Feel free to Contact Chairperson Troy Cisewski at t.cisewski@pheasant.com with questions you might have about keeping your game birds healthy.

The Biosecurity Team on our Game Bird Farm













The Biosecurity Team on our Game Bird Farm

Birds For Mounting

Many people are not aware that MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. provides birds for taxidermists! Taxidermists mount birds for hunting enthusiasts. They also enter their work in competitions. Preservation of the birds is as either a table or wall mount, depending on the requests of the buyer. Anyone can visit our website called birds4mounting.com to get pricing and view photographs of the very important wings or tail feathers. We sell a variety of bird grades to meet the needs of the taxidermist. 

We sell Hens, Hungarian Partridges, Chukar Partridges, and Chukar Redleg Partridges in Grade 1 quality, only. Ringneck Cocks are sold in five different grades. Read on to get descriptions of each Ringneck grade. 


Have smooth feathers throughout.

Grade 1+

Have almost competition grade, small flaw in wing or tail, but still better than grade 1.

Grade 1

Have minimum chips on the inside of tail feathers and tips of the wings and are excellent for flying mounts. 

Grade 2

May have chips on outside of the tail feathers and wing tips. They might have a broken wing feather or two and are best suited for standing mounts. 

Grade 3

Have larger chips on tail feather and chips as large as a quarter. They may have several broken wing feather and are good for the beginner.

Please visit birds4mounting.com to get pricing and other valuable information.

Birds For Mounting











Birds For Mounting

Gro-gel Helps Newborn Chicks

Gro-gel is a super hydrating gel for newborn chicks. In addition to hydration, it is filled with nutrients and good bacteria. The Gro-gel we purchase comes in a powder and we add water to the amount we need and mix it until it is gel-like. Then, we place a heaping spoonful onto a small paper plate.

At MacFarlane Pheasant Farm, Inc. we are currently using Gro-gel in two places on the farm. It is used with White Pheasant chicks in the Hen Barn and with Hungarian Partridges. In both areas, we use Geo-gel for about 24 hours beginning on the second or third day of a chick’s life. We have found that waiting a couple days to let chicks, in both departments, recover from the hard work of peeping out of the eggs and being transported and handled, results in the best outcome.

The Gro-gel is set out with a little feed on a small paper plate in both situations. The use of Gro-gel is easier to monitor with Hungarian Partridges and White Pheasants because the chicks are kept in a more restricted area and watched very carefully to assure that the Gro-gel is positively affecting the health of the chicks.

Heidi at h.welch@pheasant.com and Trudy at  t.deremer@pheasant.com both have experience with Gro-gel and would be good contacts for folks interested in learning more about the benefits of this product.












Gro-gel Helps Newborn Chicks

Spring Time is Hatching Time on the Farm!

After the other night’s snow, I was reminded it’s not quite spring in Wisconsin! But we are preparing for our spring pheasant and partridge hatches ,because it is almost here!  Our first chicks will be available April 2017. We hatch 500,000 chicks a year so we need to prepare. We have a master schedule to assist us in preparation, but also to keep you informed about availability of chicks. Barn preparation is an important step in preparing for spring hatching time.

Barn Preparation

  • Pressure wash and disinfect the barn.
  • Put down shavings and prepare brooders.
  • Set up feed flats and troughs for new chicks.
  • Prepare feed system for transition at three weeks.
  • Set up nipple waterers for new chicks.
  • Prepare the Plasson bell waterer for the three week transition.
  • Fog the barn the day before the new chicks arrive.

We have many chicks that leave our farm at a day old. The first chicks will be ready at the beginning of April. If you haven’t received our chick catalog yet, please contact us and we will send one out. Our chicks are known for their quality genetics and great livability. And in addition to a free rearing guide, our support team supplies service with every sale of partridge and pheasant chicks. We look forward to talking to you at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.

Spring Time is Hatching Time on the Farm













Spring Time is Hatching Time on the Farm!

Heidi Welch Loves Brand New Chicks

Heidi Welch is currently the Partridge Manager at MacFarlane Pheasants Inc., but she has played many other roles, on our farm, in the three years she has worked here. She started as the Assistant Manager for Hungarian Partridges at the beginning of the chick season in 2014. When that season wound down, she was transferred to the Hen Barn where she learned about other functions on the farm, including artificial insemination and egg and data collection.

When the next chick season started, Heidi returned to the brooder crew as Partridge Manager. Heidi, like most employees on the farm, has helped in other departments, when needed. This includes catching birds, helping in the hatchery, helping in the office, and working at different locations. After all that, she has still found time to train new employees and learn to run the different equipment available on the farm.

When I asked Heidi what a typical day on the farm is like, she said, “busy.” Her day begins with preparing the crew for the day’s work. After plans are made and discussions completed, the crew splits off to do the morning chores. The morning chores in brooder barns are very thorough and include cleaning plassons, feeding chicks, checking temperature and fan controls and making sure everything is properly working and that the birds look comfortable.

During the day, Heidi can be found setting up a room, cleaning out a room, pressure washing, feed vacuuming, or top dressing a room. The afternoon is spent making sure everything is running properly and chicks are all in good shape before everyone leaves! When I asked Heidi what the favorite part of her day was, she responded, “I don’t know if I have a favorite part of the day, but I do enjoy seeing a fresh clean room, all set up and ready for brand new chicks to be placed there.”

Heidi finds the middle to end of chick season very rewarding. It is the busiest time in the season when all the barns are full. “We can get a little stressed,” she says, “but if you take a step back , you can see how well we have done keeping the chicks healthy and seeing how the season’s improvements will help the farm succeed.”

Heidi attended UW Platteville for one year before deciding she was ready to go to work and get on-the-job experience. She enjoys being a part of MacFarlane Pheasants, being busy, and learning new things. Her spare time for the past eight years has been spent doing dog sitting and grooming. She also enjoys spending time with her daughter, traveling, fishing, cooking, and photography. Heidi is a very diverse and busy person!

It is easy to hear, when talking to Heidi, that she loves her work at MacFarlane Pheasants. She ended our interview by adding that  she enjoys “working with a great team of employees, who all come together and work hard for great success.” Thank you Heidi for your great attitude and hard work!

View More: http://lisakarrphotography.pass.us/2015-06-13-heidi-welch-color

















Heidi Welch Loves Brand New Chicks

MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. Renews Lease on 19 Acres in South Dakota

We currently lease 19 acres of  flight pens, in Miller, South Dakota. You can read about flight pens on our blog site. If you do, you will realize that it requires both time and money to build pens. An advantage to the property we lease is that the flight pens were there when we rented the land. Miller is a proud and beautiful agricultural community where we began raising 7 week old pheasants to maturity, last year.

The birds are shipped to South Dakota from our Janesville, Wisconsin farm. This satellite farm proved to be very productive and we recently renewed our lease for five years. The farm is an excellent location for birds that we can ship into Canada, if needed.

We raised 35,000 birds in South Dakota, last year, and expect to raise the same number this coming year. An employee lives on site and takes care of the birds all summer. We hire local help when needed and in the fall, we send a crew out to the farm to catch and deliver the mature pheasants.

The decision to extend our lease in South Dakota is a sound business decision that provides advantages for our customers. Partnerships with other communities in North America allow us to provide greater economic security for both parties. Please contact Chris at chris@pheasant.com if you have questions about our satellite farm in South Dakota.

MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. Renews Lease on 19 Acres in South Dakota














MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. Renews Lease on 19 Acres in South Dakota