MacFarlane Pheasants is Excited About Ruff Tough Kennels for Gamebird Shipping

We are in the process of switching over to plastic crates from Ruff Tough Kennels, to ship our pheasants and partridges. Eventually, wood crates will be outlawed because they are not able to be disinfected, easily. This is why plastic crates are a big deal in the game bird industry, right now. We are pretty excited about how we got the crates we have and the progress we are making toward perfecting them with the co-owner of Ruff Tough Kennels, Doug Sangl.

Brian Davis attended Pheasant Fest in Minneapolis in 2017 and saw a crate he had never seen before, being carried around by a dog trainer at the show. After finding out where the dog trainer had gotten the crate, he was excited to know that there was a Ruff Tough Kennels booth at Pheasant Fest! Brian thought maybe the style could work for pheasants and other game bird shipping at MacFarlane Pheasants.

Brian met Doug Sangl at the booth and after some chatting, Doug was nice enough to give Brian a sample to take back to the farm for the guys to look at. This resulted in an initial order of 60 Ruff Tough Kennel crates.

After having the crates on the farm and trying different birds in them, it was decided that with the crate being only seven inches tall, it was a little small for pheasants but a nice size for partridges. This led to another contact with Doug Sangl.

Doug ended up tweaking the design for us a little more. Doug worked the mold and sent us a prototype. This led to an order of 650 crates in the summer of 2017. These crates are nine inches tall, have solid ventilation, stack nicely, and are pretty close to the size of our small wooden crates. The 650 crates came in lots, so as we began to put them in service, we found some other technicalities we need to address.

We needed a hole on the side opposite the door, the “lip” on the door area at the floor of the crate needed to be removed because it interfered with getting the pheasants out of the crate. After a load of crates went th a rainstorm, we realized we needed small holes in the bottom so the crates would drain well, but not so big that bird toes would get caught in the holes. Doug and Ruff Tough Kennels responded and as the crates came in, each lot was improved to meet our needs.

At this time, the crates are really close to what we want in a plastic crate. We are having some final details executed and The Ruff Tough team and the MacFarlane team are working on designing a large plastic crate.

We are currently selling the Ruff Tough Crates in our store, for customers that pick up pheasants. They sell for $59.99 at our store and eliminate the need to buy a $6.50 box each time customers pick up a pheasant. The only crates allowed back on the farm (for biosecurity reasons) are ones made for bird transfers and pickups. We are currently looking at having Ruff Tough crates available, for our customers, on a larger scale. Customers could use them to transport their pheasants to the field. We are still working out the details with the Ruff Tough Kennels company. Watch for more information, as we work together to bring our customers this service.

We continue to feel very positive about this partnership. This brand is tough. We had one of them get run over by a delivery truck and were able to pop it back into shape! The journey toward switching over to Ruff Tough rates for our game- birds continues to excite us. Brian is so happy he attended Pheasant Fest in 2017 and ended up at the Ruff Tough Kennels booth.
















MacFarlane Pheasants is Excited About Ruff Tough Kennels for Gamebird Shipping

Deante Calvin Has Worked at MacFarlane Pheasants for Six Years!

Deante Calvin is one of the most positive employees at MacFarlane Pheasants. He is friendly and kind to everyone he meets.  We are so happy he is an employee with us, and that he’ll be celebrating his 6 year anniversary in May 2018. Bill MacFarlane says that Deante says hello to everyone and he always smiles.  He graduated from Craig High School in 2012 and came to work at MacFarlane’s right after that.

Deante’s official job is cleaning, but he does so much more. When things get hectic in the office, he has a way of lightening the mood. When he was asked what he does at the farm, he said, “I keep the office and break room fresh and clean!”

Deante has a life outside of work, though. He told us he cleans at home also and then spends time with his brother and his dogs, Oreo and Kenzie. He lives in Milton and has family in both Beloit and Milton. His favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because he gets to spend time with his family and eat good food!

When Deante was asked what music he likes, he said “R&B and hip-hop.” When he was asked who his favorite person is, he said, “My Mom, because she is always there for me.” When he was asked what he likes most about his job, he said, “Seeing people and cleaning.”

Thank you, Deante, for working at MacFarlane Pheasants and enjoying your co-workers as much as they enjoy you. Thanks for giving us a clean office and break room!

























Deante Calvin Has Worked at MacFarlane Pheasants for Six Years!

11th Bi-Annual International Pheasant Management Seminar

MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. organized and hosted the “11th Bi-Annual International Pheasant Management Seminar” March 4th-7th, 2018. Sarah Pope is to be applauded for spearheading the organization of this year’s seminar. The accommodations and food choices were some of the best in our area! All the little details that make a seminar a success were in her capable hands.

Extensive drive-around and virtual tours were included, and a big hit with attendees. Seminar topics were covered by experts from all over the United States and included our own MacFarlane staff.

This year’s seminar was hosted at the Ramada, located in Janesville, WI. More than 100 people attended the event and they came from all over the world. Most attendees came from the United States, but we were also pleased to welcome guests from the UK, France, Portugal, and Canada.

Some educational topics covered included:

  • Cover in a Gamebird operation
  • Modern Brooder Barn Ventilation
  • Early Embryonic Mortality
  • Raising Reeve’s Pheasants,
  • Brooding Hungarian Partridges
  • Sexing Day-Old Chicks
  • Egg Storage and Hatchability
  • Pen Operation
  • Food Production
  • Necropsy Lab
  • Feed Additives
  • Seminar Testimonials
  • MacFarlane’s White Breeding Operation
  • Mycoplasma in Gamebirds
  • All About Biosecurity
  • All About Feathering
  • Interstate Movement of Birds
  • Forsgren’s Pheasant Farm

Comments about this year’s seminar:

“I participated in my first MacFarlane’s seminar in 2016. I really enjoyed meeting people working in the same sector from another part of the world; we have shared a lot of our respective experience. The technical presentations were interesting all along the seminar. I would like to thank Bill and his very nice team for this great time.”




“It’s amazing to meet raisers from around the world. Learning about new technological advancements along with the onsite tour make it a “must” to attend (in the future).”




This event is the most comprehensive and detailed seminar, anywhere! Nothing compares to it.




We would like to thank our many guest speakers for 2018. Your presentations and expertise were a source of pride for the MacFarlane’s and we know our guests enjoyed the experience.

Thank you, also, to our many attendees from all over the world. The shared stories and networking opportunities, available to all who were here, were lots of fun. We hope you enjoyed your time with us and will join us again in 2020.

If you weren’t able to make this year’s seminar we hope you will join us in 2020. It will be here before you know it! Please follow our website to keep track of all the MacFarlane events.















11th Bi-Annual International Pheasant Management Seminar

Learn all About MacFarlane Pheasants’ Retail Store

MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. is located at 2821 South US HWY 51 in Janesville, Wisconsin. This is where our main farm is located and where our retail store is located. The store is open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. We hope you will stop in to see the great foods and gift products we have to offer! 

Here are some of the items you can purchase: 

  • whole dressed pheasant, smoked pheasant, pheasant brats, pheasant sticks

pheasant pot pie, and pheasant sausage

  • alligator, quail, rabbit, Duck, venison, and elk
  • slack jams and jelly marmalades, jellies, and salsa
  • Rice River and TNT Rice
  • High Mountain Jerky Rubs and spices from Wisconsin-based companies
  • jewelry, scarves, farm-themed home décor, wine glasses, books, MacFarlane t-shirts and hats

The store is kept stocked year-round. Many of our visitors stop in at the store after a farm tour or when picking up chick orders, but it is worth your time to make a trip just to visit our retail store. People who stop in often say, “We’ve seen this place a thousand times while driving by but didn’t realize how much you have to offer.” It really is a fun store with something to meet everyone’s tastes.

Karina Rangel, who works in our office, maintains the store. She makes sure all our products are exhibited well and fully stocked. Her favorite part of the job is looking for new products to excite customers about what the store has to offer. We hope you will stop in soon to explore and delight in our unique choices for culinary treats and other fun products.
















Learn all About MacFarlane Pheasants’ Retail Store

MacFarlane Pheasants’ Employees Attended Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic 2018 in South Dakota

Sarah Baker and Sarah Pope represented MacFarlane Pheasants at the 2018 Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota February 16-February 18, 2018. This trade show, sponsored by Pheasants Forever is held every year and we make sure we are represented at this event.

This year’s trade show focused on wildlife conservation, upland game bird hunting, dog training, and wildlife habitat management and restoration. Pheasants Forever held seminars on habitat improvement, pheasant hunting, shooting sports, wild game cooking, dog training, and conservation. MacFarlane Pheasants donated pheasant meat to the Wild Game Cooking Stage. It was a thrill to attend this year’s event and to actively participate in seminars that have everything to do with our business!

In addition to being active learners at this event, we had the opportunity to meet others who work in our industry, support the efforts of Pheasants Forever, and talk about MacFarlane Pheasants’ day old chicks and mature pheasants for 2018! At least 20 of our current customers attended Pheasant Fest this year. Sarah Baker, Assistant Office Manager, and Sarah Pope, General Manager came back excited about the opportunities to collaborate with them about future needs.

MacFarlane Pheasants will attend next year’s Pheasant Fest in Schaumburg, Illinois, February 22-24 2019. We encourage everyone interested in pheasant, quail, our environment, hunting tips, preparing pheasant, and wildlife conservation to make plans to attend Pheasant Fest 2019. The fee for entrance is only $10 and if it is anything like this year’s Pheasant Fest, you will get to network with around 29,000 other wildlife enthusiasts.










MacFarlane Pheasants’ Employees Attended Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic 2018 in South Dakota

New Chick Ordering System at MacFarlane Pheasants

We are always looking for ways to improve our chick ordering procedures at MacFarlane Pheasants. In the past, we used an Excel worksheet to keep track of orders and availability of chicks. Two or three people worked on keeping the worksheet updated. 

During the busy season, it was hard to track if we had oversold chicks or if our incubators were at capacity. Our new system will solve that problem. Chris Theisen inputs all production numbers into the chick ordering system. This allows the customers to order chicks online and for the sales staff to take orders in the office. 

The new system prevents us from over-selling because we can physically see the up-to-date numbers and the system will not allow us to sell chicks when there aren’t any to sell. Once we have a better idea of the hatching rate and fertility rate (usually three weeks before they hatch) we can increase or decrease production according to sales. 

If you would like to get a head start and see how we package chicks for delivery enjoy our article called “An Inside Look at How MacFarlane Pheasants Boxes Chicks for Live Delivery.” Please watch our website for chick availability. We are excited about the 2018 chick season and are sure your needs can be met, as we expect to provide at least 500,000 chicks again this year. 

Just an update for our chick customers: The new chick system requires full payment when orders are placed. We will no longer be taking down payments to hold the orders. We look forward to providing the same quality chicks we have sold in prior years. If you have any questions about ordering chicks, please contact April Goble in the office at MacFarlane Pheasants-608-757-7881.















New Chick Ordering System at MacFarlane Pheasants

Semi-Trucks Deliver More Pheasants!

Delivering our pheasants and other wild birds efficiently and cost- effectively is very important to us at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. That is why we leased the incredible semi-truck you see in these pictures. 

Our load capacity with smaller trucks was 650 bird crates. Currently, thanks to the leased semi-truck, our truck capacity increased to 910 crates. We use two to three large trailers with the semi, depending on the size of the delivery. 

Art Schumacher, our maintenance manager says we experience fewer mechanical problems and provide our drivers with a larger cab and a more comfortable ride. Fuel mileage has also improved which makes us very happy. 

So, the bottom line is that by leasing the semi-truck and attaching the larger trailers we have been efficient, cost-effective, and delivered more pheasants per trip. That is a win-win in the pheasant business!





















Semi-Trucks Deliver More Pheasants!

French Redleg Partridges are in Demand!

We started importing the French Redleg Partridge eggs a little over 8 years ago. We had good luck hatching the eggs and raising these feisty birds. In fact, the demand for the French Redleg Partridge has continued to grow over the past 8 years and we need more space to raise them! We are in the process of adding 2.2 acres of pens for the French Redlegs. This will allow us to raise about 20,000 more of these awesome birds.

The Redleg Partridges are very uniform in size and beauty. They typically weigh between 19 and 26 ounces and are 13-15 inches high. Redleg Partridges have light brown backs, gray breasts, and buff bellies. Of course, their red legs set them apart, as well as their streaked flanks.

Game Farms/Hunters Love French Redleg Partridges 

  1. Hardy and able to withstand extreme climates
  2. Wild, flighty, and easily excitable
  3. Exciting birds to hunt because they are a challenge
  4. Easy to raise in captivity
  5. Tasty to eat

How We Raise French Redleg Partridges

Partridge chicks like warmer temperatures and require brighter “A” and “B” room lighting than pheasants. We treat the chicks as if they are afraid of the dark. Lights are on 24 hours a day or else the chicks will pile up, leading to suffocation. Partridge chicks spend about four weeks in the “A” room and five weeks in the “B” room.

At 9 weeks, their feathering is good enough for outdoor pens. Once moved outside, they spook easily. We switch netting to a 1.5-inch weave at this point to prevent birds from escaping. Outdoor pens need 10 square feet per bird and huts or shelter of some kind.

We are pretty excited about increasing the space available to raise more of these exciting birds and meeting the demands of our customers!










French Redleg Partridges are in Demand!

The Production Palace at MacFarlane Pheasants

We kept you informed about our new Hen Barn as we built it, so now it is time to talk about what we are doing with that beautiful building. First of all, it has been renamed, “The Production Palace”. The Hen Barn staff was put in charge of naming the facility and we think they made a clever choice. 

The Production Palace is a white bird production facility where we are breeding the birds that produce the eggs that will hatch our birds that will be raised for meat production! Doesn’t that sound like a Dr. Seuss story? This new Hen Barn is a palace! It is a brand new 4900 square foot building, with all new equipment. Our staff says, “It’s decked out like a palace.” 

The Production Palace went into use on May 22, 2017, and the first group of chicks were placed on June 5, 2017. The Production Palace has 4 rooms. Room 1 is where we start the hens at day one of age and they remain there until they reach 24 weeks of age.

At that point, they are of breeding age and are moved into the laying room, which is Room 3. We have a young male room that the males are moved into from the Hen Barn at eight weeks of age. At 24 weeks, males are moved into Room 4 for light stimulation and where they will produce semen for artificial insemination. 

We are currently at the highest production levels ever at MacFarlane Pheasants! Fertility is being maintained at a high level in the newest Hen Barn and I believe our birds are satisfied with their Production Palace! The end result is awesome white pheasant meat for our customers to enjoy.
















The Production Palace at MacFarlane Pheasants

Dillon Seamster Talks About His Life and Work At MacFarlane Pheasants

Dillon Seamster has worked at MacFarlane Pheasants for a little over three years. He started out as a crew lead with the Pen Crew. As a crew lead, Dillon was required to learn all of the paperwork related to his job and also how to run full crews for an entire shift. He attributes his training and experience for helping him to develop his people skills and learning how to keep everything moving forward in a positive manner. One of the positive moves forward for Dillon is that he recently became the manager of the Pen Crew. 

As the manager of the Pen Crew, Dillon’s job entails delegating the breakdown of the crews and assisting in catching birds for customers. An important element of this job is ensuring that only the highest quality birds are caught for customers. After the main shipping season winds down, Dillon’s crew shifts their focus to placing blinders on the young birds and moving them out to the freshly prepared pens. 

He applied at MacFarlane Pheasants at the encouragement of a former employee. It turned out to be a very good decision! His advancement is an example what a good fit Dillon has been for the farm. 

Dillon graduated from high school in Newport, North Carolina, where his entire family still lives.The family is very important to Dillon and he stated emphatically that he wouldn’t be who he is today if not for them! In fact, when he was asked who was most influential in his life he said it was his dad because his dad led by example and taught him many important skills and attitudes. 

Dillon likes to be productive at work and in his free time. He likes to go to the gym, when he’s not working, work on car audio, and collect old and foreign currency. 

Dillon concluded his interview by sharing that for him “the best part of working at Macfarlane Pheasants is definitely the people.”












Dillon Seamster Talks About His Life and Work At MacFarlane Pheasants