Who Wants to Shop on a Pheasant Farm?

If you want to find a large variety of cooked and uncooked pheasant, a variety of exotic meats, or just a gift for someone special, you want to shop at MacFarlane’s Pheasant Farm! The store has been part of the farm since 1986 and the products offered have always appealed to folks within driving distance of the farm and area visitors who want to take a unique gift back to their hometown.

Sarah Baker works in the office at MacFarlane Pheasants and it is her job to keep the inventory stocked for our visitors. She said, “In addition to our pheasant products, our guests can buy rice, jams, mustards, and everything from gifts for avid hunters to earrings!” If you have a new idea for a product you would like to see offered, be sure to say hello to Sarah and share your thoughts.

Our address is: 2821 South US HWY 51, Janesville, WI 53546

Directions: From I 39 take exit 177 to HWY 11 west and turn right onto HWY 51 to arrive at MacFarlane Pheasants.

Our hours:  Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Phone number: 800-345-6348 or 608-757-7881











Who Wants to Shop on a Pheasant Farm?

White Pheasants Are Raised Year-Round at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.

We will raise 220,000 white pheasants on our farm this year which is a substantial increase in these birds, from just a few years ago.  The white pheasant is occasionally born as a mutation in the Ringneck breed. What we found out many years ago is that when white pheasants are selectively bred, they produce more white pheasants. These birds are bigger than the typical Ringneck and very tasty. We use white pheasants for 100% of the meat we sell because of their taste and size. Their average size is 2.5-3 pounds when dressed!

The white pheasants we raise are provided very special treatment.

  • They are kept in their own facility and breeders are selected from the best of the best producers.
  • The selection process has improved continuously over the years so that our white birds have a very high breast yield.
  • They are raised and bred indoors and we are hatching them year-round.

Feel free to contact us at 608-314-3448 if you have questions. We are always happy to talk about our pheasants and answer your questions.













White Pheasants Are Raised Year-Round at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.

Pheasant Deliveries and our Newest Driver!

Paul Dwyer recently changed positions at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.  Until 2 weeks ago he was the Coordinator of Mature Pheasant Sales. Paul loved talking to customers about their pheasant deliveries. Then, when we needed drivers, Paul stepped up to the challenge. He joined 13 other drivers delivering pheasants all over North America. He was very excited about meeting the customers and seeing their facilities, and he is a real asset in this position because he is familiar with our customers and understands their needs. So for 15 of the last 16 days Paul has been on the road!

Over the past couple of weeks Paul has delivered mature pheasants to South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, and Wisconsin. This week he is headed out to both Pennsylvania and South Dakota! This delivery schedule is typical during this time of year and will run through November. During the winter months, deliveries are still made to the southern states. Being a driver involves more than just being on the road, though, and there are many steps prior to the birds leaving the farm.

  • Invoices are developed for customers.
  • Purchases are put into excel worksheets,
  • Crate numbers and vet papers are put together.
  • Pheasant catching and crate packing are done.
  • Loads are planned and combined to be able to give the best price possible.
  • Trucks are loaded in the order they are to be unloaded, which takes a great deal of planning.
  • Delivery plans for drivers and customers are made explicitly clear.

Here are some examples of the quantity of birds that can be in one delivery. We have shipped as many as 4000 Ringneck roosters into Canada, in one load, and as many as 6500 hens out east. We have shipped 7500 Partridges out west at one time. Drivers are carrying our large loads of birds hundreds and hundreds of miles so we pay very close attention to the loading of trucks, preparation for delivery and unloading of the birds.

Paul understands the importance of getting these large loads of healthy birds delivered and unloaded for the customers in a timely manner. He is responsible for unloading the birds and getting crates back into the trucks for the return ride home. This gives him plenty of time to get to know our customers and he told us how much he enjoys this experience. He also mentioned getting a kick out of the puzzled look on other drivers’ faces when he goes by with a huge truckload of pheasants. “They look real puzzled,” he said.

Biosecurity is an important part of the job for delivery drivers. Paul is required to wear a full body suit while at another facility. He wears boots that are never worn on our own farm and booties over them. Disinfectant spray is used on the inside of the truck after the delivery is made and the body suit worn is placed in an enclosed bag. Paul then heads out to shower and change before heading back to MacFarlane Pheasants. Trucks, Crates and drivers are completely disinfected before returning to the farm.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Paul. We hope you continue to enjoy this important aspect of our business!


















Pheasant Deliveries and our Newest Driver!

Is An Alarm System Needed On Our Farm?

Is an alarm system needed on our pheasant farm? The answer is yes, if we want to sleep at night! Having consistent temperatures is crucial to the success of raising our chicks. The most important use of an alarm system is to detect temperatures that get outside of our desired range. We began using a new system in July called Smart Barn, because our former alarm system was going out of business.

The system is up and running and working well. We have a sensor placed in each room that monitors the temperature. When the temperature moves outside the set range the brooder staff has determined, a text and email are sent to designated staff. The system we use also has a power voltage sensor. If we experience an outage, the system will alert us. The system also has an app that we can pull up on our phones and view the current temperature of each room, at the click of a button!

There was an initial startup fee for our new system. We placed the system in 5 of our buildings, at a cost of $1200 per building. After the initial cost, we now receive a monthly phone bill of about $75 per month. When you compare that cost to what we would lose in a short period of time if the heat went out, or the temperature dropped, it is well worth the investment.

Brian Klein would be glad to discuss the values of an alarm system and can be contacted at b.klein@pheasant.com. If you would like to learn more about pheasants, enjoy browsing our pheasant facts. Pheasants are such an interesting bird. Raising them in this day and age is a combination of love and logic!





Is An Alarm System Needed On Our Farm?

What is Happening in MacFarlane’s Food Division?

We caught up with Shayne Noller, food products manager at MacFarlane Pheasants, to find out what is new and exciting in the Food Division, during fall 2016, He wanted to give a shout out to the staff currently working with him to fill orders and get ready for the holiday rush! So our first order of business is to thank Terey, Luz, Brenda, Cynthia, Nate, and Dave for their work in our food production room. We would not be able to fill all the orders without them. He then took the time to talk about the orders that come in during the holiday season.

Because businesses like Whole Foods are ramping up for the holidays, we are happy to say the food division is quite busy! The team is vigilant about filling orders as soon as they come in. Commercial companies order early to make sure they have their products ready for customers when the season begins and our commercial customers typically order 750+ pheasants at a time!  Dave is our shipping clerk and he is very busy getting our products packed and out the door.

Individual customers are also ordering whole pheasants, two or three at a time, pheasant brats, pheasant breasts and other tasty pheasant alternatives. We work just as hard to make sure their orders are ready for shipping right away.

Many people order gift packs. Folks like to get food items for their friends, but when they want their gift to be special they think of pheasant. Corporate gift packs for customers and employees are also very popular during the holiday season. The gift packs usually include a whole or smoked bird, nonperishable items like crackers, candy, jellies, coffee, dip mixes, soup mixes, or even MacFarlane merchandise like glassware or utensils. Shayne personally recommends the gifts packs because they are such a “unique and thoughtful gift.”

Gift packs, whole dressed birds, smoked birds, and so much more are ready for our customers. Visit  pheasantfordinner.com to view our products and/or call 608-314-3448 with questions.









What is Happening in MacFarlane’s Food Division?

Everyone Cooperating to Help Others (ECHO) features MacFarlane Pheasant

ECHO (Everyone Cooperating to Help Others), in Janesville WI, held a fundraiser on Saturday evening, September 24, 2016, at the Janesville Country Club. MacFarlane Pheasants donated the pheasant for this “Culinary Delight” and Chef Kevin Halpin created pheasant hors d’oeuvres consisting of breaded pheasant pieces, cold pheasant salad bites, and pheasant pizza. The dinner included a honey pan fried pheasant breast with a spicy sauce that was out of this world. Steak, salad, vegetables and cheesecake completed this delicious meal. This culinary delight raised some much needed funds for community members who are struggling with basic needs.

A silent auction was held from 6-7 p.m. while hors d’oeuvres were enjoyed.  Many friends of ECHO donated gifts to be auctioned, that ranged from Bucks tickets to a Harley Davidson cooler. Guests included ECHO supporters from all walks of life. It didn’t surprise me to see many of the ECHO volunteers in attendance. Their big hearts lead them to do the daily work needed to serve Janesville’s low income children and families and to attend events that contribute to the funds that provide the many needed services.

Many people know about ECHO’s work to provide a food pantry for low income people. What is less well known is that the money from this and other fundraisers, and donations from the community pay for much more than food:

  • Clothing
  • School supplies
  • Baby food
  • Diapers
  • Emergency rent
  • Farmer’s Market vouchers
  • Emergency housing assistance
  • Employment counseling
  • Budget counseling
  • Holiday baskets
  • Adopt a Family program
  • Senior assistance

ECHO is a local agency near and dear to the MacFarlanes’ heart. Bill’s mom, Gen MacFarlane, was on the founding board for ECHO. She and Bill’s dad, Don MacFarlane, were active contributors for many years. Bill continues the tradition of supporting ECHO to honor both his parents and the community where he grew up. ECHO has been serving the community for 47 years. MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. encourages you to check out the ECHO website and make contributions to this outstanding community organization. We hope you will enjoy the Empty Bowls Fundraiser at Parker High School on October 22, 2016 from 11-2. It is an opportunity to pick out a hand thrown bowl, savor delectable soup and bread prepared by local businesses, while helping others make it safely through the winter.

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Everyone Cooperating to Help Others (ECHO) features MacFarlane Pheasant

The Afghan Pheasant is a Special Bird!

The Afghan-Whitewing Pheasant differs from other pheasants on our farm:

  • The eyes of an Afghan Pheasant are distinctly yellow with a black pupil (most pheasants have dark eyes).
  • The coverlids (feathers that cover the shoulders) of the Afghan Pheasant are white.
  • The body color of the Afghan Pheasant is rust colored and they do not have a ring around their necks.
  • The temperament and body stance of the Afghan Pheasant, in addition to their distinctive coloring, are features that separate them from other pheasants. They stand tall and alert, giving off the impression that they know everything you might be thinking!
  • The speed of the Afghan Pheasant is exceptional.

Afghans are raised on our farm in the same manner as Ringneck Pheasants. They require a perfectly washed and sanitized barn after hatching. They stay in Room A with feed and nipple waterers until 3 weeks and are then moved to Room B with feed troughs and Plasson Bell Waterers until they are 7 weeks old. At that time they are moved outside to covered pens. All of our pheasants are checked three times a day during the early stages to make sure they are healthy and that all equipment is working correctly.

We are raising about 1000 Afghans a year right now. If you would like to know more about our Afghan Pheasants, please contact brad@pheasant.com. You can read about all of the other birds we offer at MacFarlane Pheasants on our website.












The Afghan Pheasant is a Special Bird!

French Partridges Continue to Thrive!

We have been raising French Partridges, also known as Red-legged Partridges, for several years now. We import the eggs directly from L’envol de Retz in France and we are the only commercial producer in the United States. These beautiful birds weigh between 19 and 25 ounces and are 13-15 inches in length. They have light brown backs, buff bellies and red legs.  They are also one of the most exciting birds to hunt because of their speed and wildness. Hunt clubs love these birds for their hardy nature and ability to withstand extreme climates.

Our ability to raise these partridges at MacFarlane Pheasants has continued to grow and improve over these past few years. For more information about our techniques you might want to look at, “The Secrets to Raising French Partridges” in our blog posts from 2015. The changes we made in rearing strategies over the past couple of years have continued to improve our mortality rate. This has been a great year for French Partridges on our farm!

The annual mortality rate for French Partridges used to fall in the 10%-15% mortality range. This season, we moved our last flock out at the end of August and the annual mortality rate is expected to be at about 4%. We raise an average of 3 hatches of 12,000 birds in each hatch, so using our mortality rate of 4%, we have increased our flock by an extra 2800 birds. That’s good news for our customers! If you want to know more about the French Partridges at MacFarlane Pheasants, Brian Klein at b.klein@pheasant.com is an excellent contact. Also, anytime you put your questions on our Facebook page we will be sure to respond!











French Partridges Continue to Thrive!

On the Road with James Clark!

James Clark spoke to me about his work for MacFarlane Pheasants while traveling from his home in Las Vegas to Alberta, Canada. He was making this 19-hour road trip to begin a three month assignment setting up and overseeing the provincial distribution of pheasants. Jim Clark is living proof of our dedication to putting our customers’ needs at the forefront of our business!

Sometimes that includes helping customers decide what their needs are. The following are a few examples of how Jim does this: 

  • Jim helps customers get orders placed on time so that their hunt clubs can be ready for the season.
  • He assists MacFarlane Pheasant customers with every aspect of caring for the pheasants they have purchased. This includes building pens or solving bird problems on-site.
  • He makes sure customers’ questions about their birds are answered. Large flocks of pheasants are a major investment, and Jim is there to ensure they remain healthy.
  • He offers customer consultations as-needed, which typically includes evaluating bird health, feed practices, and habitats.

It’s customer needs like these that have been sending Jim Clark all over North America since 2013, when Bill MacFarlane tempted him out of retirement to serve as a consultant to a hunt club in Idaho, that was experiencing some pheasant-related issues. Jim solved those problems, wrote a detailed report for Bill to confirm his findings and solutions, and ended up joining the MacFarlane Pheasant team, completing a full evaluation of the MacFarlane Pheasant operation in Wisconsin in 2014. Since that time, Jim has continued to work to build partnerships with customers all over North America and help keep them satisfied with their wild bird populations.

It’s no wonder Jim has a knack for understanding each customer’s specific needs—game birds have been in his blood from the time he was a small boy. As an infant, his mother would take him and his sister out by the pens while she was tending to the pheasants. While his 4-year-old sister was allowed to run around, an infant Jim was hung on a nail from his papoose until the work was finished. When he got a little older he was responsible for all the chores you will see on a pheasant farm. Hanging on a fence post was a thing of the past!

After purchasing his parents’ farm in 1978, Jim grew the business for 34 years, starting with raising 5,000 pheasants annually and growing to 100,000 pheasants by the time he retired. During this time, Jim also operated Wisconsin’s oldest hunt club until he sold it in 2006.

Jim’s relationship with Bill MacFarlane extends back to this time, as Jim bought all his pheasant chicks from him. Over 25 years later, they’ve come full circle, with Jim helping to assist MacFarlane Pheasant’s customers with their bird needs. And, according to Jim, he doesn’t have a moment of regret that he came out of retirement. He loves the travel, the business he knows so well, and the relationships he has established in the United States and Canada. “It’s a great life,” says Jim.

MacFarlane Pheasants is fortunate to have a man so experienced with pheasants representing us!  When you need help or have questions before or after your wild bird purchases or want to make a purchase, be sure to contact us at 608.757.7881, toll free at 800.345.8348, or by fax at 608.757.7884.

Jim Clark












On the Road with James Clark!

Chick Sales are Growing, and Growing, and Growing!

Last year was a great year for chick sales, we sold 1.3 million chicks. This year was even better. We had excellent hatching rates and were able to hatch into mid-August! That led to a whopping 1.5 million chicks we were able to provide to chick customers!

During the week of June 20, 2016, we shipped to over 300 customers. During the 2016 season, we shipped chicks to every state in the United States. We also shipped to Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Haiti.

In addition to providing our customers with chicks, MacFarlane Pheasants has an excellent rearing manual and is available to answer questions before and after sales. Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

Please enjoy this video of chicks hatching while you contemplate how many chicks you will need in 2017!

Chick Sales are Growing, and Growing, and Growing!












Chick Sales are Growing, and Growing, and Growing!