Sign Up Early for the 11th Bi-Annual International Pheasant Management Seminar March 4-7, 2018

It is our pleasure at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. to announce that the Bi-Annual International Pheasant Management Seminar will be held March 4-7, 2018 in Janesville,  WI.  Let me share what Darrell Meineke, from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said about the 2016 seminar.

Where do I begin,” he said. “I had such an incredible time at the seminar. Bill MacFarlane is an absolute professional and put together an event that far exceeded my expectations. The speakers and meaty topics were amazing and the whole atmosphere lent itself to learning and networking so that game bird producers on a world wide scale can take away incredibly valuable information and industry contacts that will benefit any size producer.” 

We have planned the 2018 seminar to be just as exciting and informative as past years. Our speakers are the best in the business and we are delighted to have them share their knowledge with other game bird growers. The topics and our speakers are listed below, but a full schedule with times and lunch and dinner sites is available on our website. 


Sunday, March 4th

Registration at Ramada – Poolside w/ cash bar 3:00-6:00 pm

Depart hotel for dinner 6:15 pm

Welcome Dinner at Prime Quarter Steakhouse 6:30 pm


Monday, March 5th

Welcome -Bill MacFarlane

Dr. Justin Fowler, University of Georgia

All about Feathering

James Clark, MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc

Managing Vegetative Cover in a Gamebird Operation

Trudy DeRemer, MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc

All About Biosecurity

Austin Baker, Hog Slat

Modern Brooder Barn Ventilation

Drive Around Tours of MacFarlane Pheasants

Virtual Farm Tour – Brian Davis

MacFarlane Pheasants Brooder Barn

Virtual Farm Tour – Ryan George & Shayne Noller

MacFarlane Pheasants Food Production


Tuesday, March 6th 

Welcome – Bill MacFarlane

Dr. Richard Schambow

Interstate Movement of Birds

Michael Forsgren, Forsgren’s Pheasant Farm

Forsgren’s Pheasant Farm

Royd Hatt, Hatt’s Ranch

Raising Reeve Pheasant

Dr. Al Hollister, Dawe’s Laboratories

Feed Additives

Hands on Egg Breakout Lab & Demonstration on Sexing Day-Old Chicks

Dr. Keith Bramwell & Josh Deines

Necropsy Lab

Dr. Robert Porter & Dr. Nick Anthony

Virtual Farm Tour – Krystal Price

MacFarlane Pheasants Hatchery


Wednesday, March 7th 

Welcome – Bill MacFarlane

Josh Deines, University of Arkansas

Egg Storage and Impact on Hatchability

Jeff May, ClearView Enterprises

Mycoplasma in gamebirds

Dr. Richard Keith Bramwell

Early Embryonic Mortality

Farm virtual tour – Brian Check

MacFarlane Pheasants Pen Operation

Farm virtual tour – Kate Rollette

MacFarlane Pheasants White Breeding Program

Farm virtual tour – Heidi Welch

Brooding Hungarian Partridge

Farm virtual tour – Troy Cisewski

MacFarlane Pheasants Breeder Farm

The fee for this outstanding seminar has not increased for some time. It is still $500 for the 3-day seminar that includes dinner on Sunday night, and lunch, and dinner on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday! If you sign up for this seminar before December 1, 2017, MacFarlane Pheasants Inc. is pleased to provide a discounted fee of $475.

The newly remodeled Ramada Inn, 3900 Milton Ave, Janesville, WI is providing accommodations at a price of $75 per night, if you mention the seminar when making reservations. A hot breakfast is always included in your stay at the Ramada. Please call 608-756-4511 for reservations.

To speak with someone directly about this seminar, please call Sarah Pope at 800-345-8348 or email her at You may also visit our website resources tab to find the 2018 seminar and register online.






Sign Up Early for  the 11th Bi-Annual International Pheasant Management Seminar

March 4-7, 2018

Year-Round Chick Adventures at MacFarlane Pheasants

  • This past chick season, we raised 2.4 million chicks between March and August. 600,000 chicks were kept on the farm and raised to maturity to meet the needs of hunt clubs, individuals, and government agencies. The rest were sold as day-old chicks to folks who wanted to raise their own game birds.
  • The variety of breeds we sell are Ringneck, Extra Large Ringneck, Manchurian Cross, Chukar Redleg, Melanistic Mutant, and Kansas.
  • In addition to this astounding number of chicks, we will raise an additional 200,000 or more white pheasants for our Food Division at MacFarlane Pheasants Inc. Hatching chicks, caring for them, and raising so many of them to maturity is a year-round adventure for us.
  • The white pheasant chicks are raised to maturity to meet the needs of grocery stores and restaurants who sell or serve our Pheasant. You can also purchase a variety of pheasant meat at our retail store in Janesville, WI. MacFarlane Pheasants’ Food Division has expanded due to our global networking and change of sales methods. Our pheasant is widely known as delicious, nutritious, and a unique replacement for center of the plate protein.
  • Once the chick season ends in August, Bill MacFarlane, April Goble, and the other managers begin planning next year’s chick season. This includes, but is not limited to, setting prices, projecting sales, and developing the new catalog.
  • Watch for the new 2018 chick catalog and prepare to order your favorite chicks! If you are on our list, we’ll send you a copy via mail. If you are interested in receiving a catalog or have chick questions, just call us at 800.345.8348 and ask for April!









Year-Round Chick Adventures at MacFarlane Pheasants

MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. Employs Len Narra from Durbanville, South Africa

Len Narra is one of 10 employees from South Africa, who was hired to fill short-term positions at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. Len arrived in March 2017 and will return to his hometown in Durbanville, South Africa in January. Durbanville is a rural, residential suburb in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. It is surrounded by farms that produce wheat and wine. 

Len applied for work in the United States, for an opportunity to see a different part of the world, while earning an income. MacFarlane Pheasants appealed to his sense of adventure. He had never heard of game bird farming and wanted to give it a try! Len had just finished his studies and had been chasing the dream of becoming a professional rugby player when he became interested in working in the United States. 

Len currently works on the pen crew on our farm. He catches birds to help fill our orders for game birds. Len has learned a great deal in the few months he has been here and will soon get to experience a whole new season in Wisconsin that is quite a change from Durbanville. 

Len enjoys experiencing a new culture and has found things he loves in this area, besides work! He enjoys American pizza and all kinds of music. 

The things he misses are South African “braai vies” and “biltong,” better known here as barbecue and jerky. He misses traditional South African food and sushi buffets, his family, and his dog Zeus. The experience at MacFarlane Pheasants is a once in a lifetime experience, though, and Len appreciates the opportunity. 

It is our pleasure to learn about the South African culture through Len and the other South African employees and we have appreciated how engaged Len and other workers have been in learning the game bird business.



















MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. Employs Len Narra from Durbanville, South Africa

Jano Smith Works At MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.

Jano Smith shared his experiences in Astummerica, working at MacFarlane Pheasants Inc. He joined the farm crew in March of 2017, traveling all the way from Schweizer-Reneke in the North West Province of South Africa. This province of around 40,000 people is sometimes called the City of Sunflowers. 

Jano found the process of obtaining his job in America relatively easy. There is an agency in South Africa that fulfills requests for employees from America. MacFarlane Pheasants was on the list. After answering a set of questions at the agency, a work visa was issued and Jano was on his way. 

Leaving his work as a horse breeder and farmer in Schweizer-Reneke, Jano was excited to earn an income while having a new experience in America. He has had many new experiences at MacFarlane Pheasants and is currently working on the Pen crew. We have over 100 acres of outdoor pens housing our pheasants and partridges, so his days are very busy. 

Obviously, the new skills learned from working on a pheasant farm have required a learning curve, but daily life in a new country is also a learning experience. Jano said the weather, lifestyle and more expensive food have been the biggest changes in his life since leaving his home town. He misses African music, traditional home-cooked African meals, and his friends. But since being at MacFarlane Pheasants he has enjoyed his work, new friends, barbecue chicken, country music, and going to the gym. 

MacFarlane Pheasants thanks Jano for his contributions during his stay here and hope he takes great memories back to his home in South Africa when he returns in January 2018.




















Jano Smith Works At MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.

Record Keeping In The Brooder Barn

Record keeping is essential to making business decisions at MacFarlane Pheasants. In the brooder barns we record key information on a daily basis. There is a mortality sheet in each workroom. The workroom is a special room for sanitation right before the chick barn. Information recorded at the top of the mortality sheet includes the barn number, the number of chicks placed into the room and the hatch date.

Employees in each barn are required to fill in the following information, daily:

  • date
  • age of chicks in days
  • current temperature
  • fan settings
  • light intensity
  • number of dead chicks
  • employee recording information
  • additional notes to track anything out of the ordinary

When chicks move outside at seven weeks, the sheet is tallied and studied. We look at the number of chicks started, the number of dead chicks the crew recorded and then compare that information to the actual number of chicks moved out of the pens.

We record things like temperature, fan settings, and light intensity to double check our own procedures and to make sure we are doing everything perfectly to protect our chicks. Even under the best of circumstances, we lose some fragile young chicks. By knowing what our exact numbers are, after chicks are seven weeks old, we have an inventory of how many birds will be available for shipping, to fill our orders.

At the end of each season, we tally up the information from all of the barns to compare to previous years. This information is important to our business decisions for the next season. Brian Klein, our Brooder Barns Manager, can be contacted at, if you have questions about our brooder barns.














Record Keeping In The Brooder Barn

Empty Bowls Event Is a Smashing Success

MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. was honored to participate, with more than 50 local businesses, individuals and other community volunteers to support the Empty Bowls Event at Parker High School on October 28, 2017. Empty Bowls brought in 650 guests to enjoy the 34 soups, breads, desserts, pottery, and entertainment organized for this event. This is an annual event established to support Everyone Cooperating to Help Others (ECHO) and is an important fundraiser for all of the people served by this agency.

“ECHO’s mission is dedicated to meeting housing, food and other basic human needs and addressing the barriers to self-sufficiency.  ECHO seeks to help people help themselves through its programs and services, not readily available through other sources, and to assist them in utilizing other existing services and programs in the community. It does not impose any theological or political value system upon those served. It exists through the generosity of others in the community. Congregations help us, so do many individuals, businesses, school and community groups, foundations, and social service agencies.” ECHO Website

It is a blessing to help support such a worthy agency and also enjoy the company of so many friends in our community. We had a great time visiting with friends and serving our Pheasant Florentine Soup, prepared by our wonderful chef, Sarah Boyd. This creamy soup was loaded with many fresh vegetables, parmesan cheese, and smoked pheasant. It is no wonder that in the friendly competition between businesses for the most popular soup, our Pheasant Florentine was voted #1!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of the sponsors and guests who made Empty Bowls 2017 a smashing success. If you were not able to attend the event this year, be sure to watch for next year’s date and join us in supporting ECHO services in our community.



































Empty Bowls Event Is a Smashing Success

10 Steps to Prepare for a Delivery of Mature Game Birds

Hopefully you are nearly prepared for your upcoming delivery of game birds from MacFarlane Pheasants. If you want to be sure you are fully prepared, I would recommend a complete reading of our guide “Setup and Care for a Delivery of Adult Birds Manual.” This manual is free and located on our website under “resources.” Listed below are 10 reminders to make your delivery and the care of your birds a smooth and successful process.

  1. Have a graveled driveway ready for our big trucks to get to your barn or pens. (55 feet is recommended)
  2. Decide if you will keep your birds inside a facility or in outside pens until their release date.
  3. If using an indoor facility, be sure it is completely sanitized.
  4. Provide enough room in the facility to house your birds. (2 square feet per bird if holding for 10 days and 5 square feet if holding for more than 10 days). You will also need special bedding, lighting, exhaust and dividers.
  5. If your birds will be kept in open pens, you will need about 10 square feet per bird, ground cover, special protection from the weather, netting covering the pens, a clear path around the pen and a path down the middle.
  6. Predator and pest control is important in outside pens and in inside buildings.
  7. Have secure doors in your indoor facility and provide netting to keep birds from flying into the rafters.
  8. Special care is required for Chukars, Redlegs and Redleg Partridges, including changes in space requirements, feed, and water. Indoor facilities are preferred for these birds.
  9. Have your feed and water ready the day birds are delivered. One hundred full grown pheasants will drink, on average, three gallons of water per day. One Pheasant will eat one pound of feed per week.
  10. Read our manual called “Setup and Care for a Delivery of Adult Birds.” This manual contains much more detailed information than listed here, including pros and cons of an indoor facility or outside pens for housing birds until their release. Feed and water specifics are also provided and there are many great pictures to make the information come to life.

We hope our manual is helpful but if you still have questions be sure to call us at 608-757-7884. We have experts on staff who can help with any questions you have.






















10 Steps to Prepare for a Delivery of Mature Game Birds

20,700 Starter Birds Were Shipped in 2017

Some customers, who buy from MacFarlane Pheasants Inc., prefer to raise their own pheasants to maturity. This is the reason they buy our starter birds. This season, 20,700 starter birds were purchased. These starter birds are pheasants at 7-8 weeks of age.

Depending on customer preference for cocks or hens, we go into the appropriate barn to catch the order. In some of our barns we keep both cocks and hens, so if necessary to fill the orders, employees may have to sex the birds in those barns to fill the order accurately. Some customers request that we “harden” (get them used to the outdoors) the starter birds they ordered, by putting them out in our pens for a week or two prior to shipping.  We certainly are willing to do this, when a request is made.

Starter birds go to customers who want to raise pheasants in a pen, without having to build brooder barns or deal with young chicks and the complications and expenses of raising pheasants from birth. When our starter pheasants leave the farm at 7-8 weeks it gives us pen space to raise more pheasants to maturity. It is a win/win situation.

If you want to discuss the purchase of starter birds, please contact us at 608-757-7881 and discuss your needs with our office staff. You might also like to look at our Insider’s Guide to Rearing Pheasants.























20,700 Starter Birds Were Shipped in 2017

Incubating and Hatching Pheasant Eggs

Incubating and hatching pheasant eggs requires a specific process to insure success. The process we use at MacFarlane Pheasants is documented in our online booklet called The Complete Guide to Incubation. You can download our booklet for free and try incubating and hatching your own baby pheasants! Let me use this article to share some of the finer points of preparing and incubating pheasant eggs so you are aware of just what it takes to end up with beautiful baby chicks!


  • We use an expensive unit called the NatureForm Model I-14 to incubate our eggs but you can buy a small incubator with a digital reading for under $100.
  • You need a mercury thermometer to calibrate the incubator.
  • You need absorbent paper to place under the eggs in the hatcher and boxes to place the chicks in after they hatch.
  • You will need Gro-Gel neonate supplement for chicks after they hatch.

The Eggs

  • Collect eggs daily. You can’t let the hen sit on them!
  • Eggs must be washed before they are put into the sanitized incubator. Watch our egg wash video to see how this is done at Macfarlane Pheasants. If you are just working with a few eggs you can rinse them in 105 degrees Fahrenheit water and dry them right away. Read more about this process in the incubation guide.
  • Pheasant eggs must be stored at temperatures between 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity has to be kept at least 75% lower than the outside room.
  • Don’t store the eggs for more than 10 days before beginning the incubation process.
  • Warm the eggs gradually. Read about the process in our incubation guide.
  • Eggs hatch at 23 1/2 – 24 day after they are placed in the incubator. Keep reading our incubation guide to learn about responsibilities during days 1-24! It’s not complicated but it does require turning eggs four times per day to keep the embryo from sticking to the membrane. Follow the guide to learn what to do once those fluffy chicks hatch!

Enjoy our Complete Guide to Incubation and please contact us if you have questions.




























Incubating and Hatching Pheasant Eggs

Customer Service at MacFarlane Pheasants. Inc. is Outstanding

We have five talented people in our office at MacFarlane Pheasants. Their backgrounds are as diverse as the colleges they attended. They are experienced, educated and dedicated to outstanding customer service.

Sarah Pope is the General Manager in our office and is responsible for Human Resources. She has a degree from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse in Political Science. Her agricultural background led her to MacFarlane Pheasants.

Rachel Atherton is the Global Marketing Director and also keeps all our systems running with her Information Technology skills. She has a degree in International Business from Monmouth College in Illinois. Her education serves her well in the global marketplace where MacFarlane pheasants are sold.

April Goble is our Chick Coordinator. She handles all major chick customers and their accounts. She also gets all paperwork ready for the hatchery to assure that the chicks arrive safely to each customer. April graduated from Blackhawk Technical School with a degree in Criminal Justice. Her love of the outdoors (hunting and fishing) brought her to MacFarlane Pheasants. 

Karina Rangel is our Administrative Assistant. She helps in every department as needed. She is very versatile. Two of her main duties are to keep our retail store stocked and help customers find what they want. She is also bilingual and assists us with customer service and employee needs. Karina attended San Diego University for one year before moving into the work world. She worked as a marketing manager and a dental assistant, before moving to Wisconsin and working in our office. She enjoys getting to know people and is well suited for this job. 

Sarah Baker is our Mature Game Bird Coordinator. She handles all the shipments of mature birds and works with customers to assure that they get their birds ordered and delivered when they want them. She handles day to day office “stuff” to keep everything running smoothly. Sarah attended Carroll College and has a BS in Biology with an emphasis in animal behavior and two minors (Physiology and Small Business Management).


Always feel free to call our office at 608-757-7881. Our staff is prepared to help you with any of your pheasant or other game bird needs.











Customer Service at MacFarlane Pheasants. Inc. is Outstanding