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!

MacFarlane Pheasants Celebrates Production in Missouri

Ryan George, overseer of the MoPhe project spent quite a few days in Missouri last year helping to get MacFarlane Pheasants’ company, titled Mophe (Missouri Pheasants), up and running. MacFarlanes purchased a 40-acre farm in Seneca, Missouri with five barns and a house on the property. The best part is that it was built in the 90’s and set up as a poultry farm. It is actually pretty high tech with many computerized systems.

Though we had to do some work, including updating some wiring and purchasing some items that work best for our pheasant business, this farm is very cost effective. The price of the farm with 5 barns was less money for us than building a barn on our Janesville property. That explains why we made the decision to ship the white pheasant birds, we are raising at MoPhe, back to our local processing plants. It’s a 10-hour drive but has worked well for us.

We have 105,000 square feet of barns at MoPhe and have had birds at MoPhe since last April. When the barns are full, we are talking about 23,000 white birds. These birds are raised for food and processed at the Twin Cities Processing Plant and occasionally at the Central Illinois Processing Plant.

The main reason we decided to open the MoPhe business is that our Food Production business is growing like crazy. People cannot get enough of our food products. We built a new hen barn in Janesville last year and opened two businesses in Missouri to meet the needs of our customers. So, don’t worry about getting pheasant meat from MacFarlane Pheasants. We are ready to meet your orders.

For more information or to learn how you can offer MacFarlane Pheasants on your store’s shelves, contact Rachel Atherton of MacFarlane Pheasants at 800.345.8348 or Individuals and corporations can purchase pheasant from our online store located on our website,















MacFarlane Pheasants Celebrates Production in Missouri

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!

What is MacFarlane Pheasants Inc Connection to Rocky Comfort, Missouri?

MacFarlane Pheasants is continuing to expand its operations to meet the needs of customers. We purchased a farm in Rocky Comfort, Missouri in September of 2017. This is a tiny town on the eastern ridge of McDonald County. McDonald County, Missouri, established 1849, is located in the southwestern corner of the state and has about 23,000 people in the whole county. The 40-acre farm purchased by MacFarlane Pheasants has been established as a breeder farm. 

Our new farm, titled MoMac, sits on 40 acres, has a farmhouse for staff, four 40×400 feet barns, and miscellaneous other barns. Before we put birds in the barn in November, we had quite a bit of work to do. Troy Cisewski, Brad Lillie, Brian Klein, Sarah Pope, and Ryan George traveled to MoMac to evaluate the birds, after their arrival, and work on various projects to insure the success of this new addition to the MacFarlane Pheasant business. Troy Cisewski continues to oversee the MoMac Farm. 

One full-time employee assisted and supervised the cleaning out of the barns, pressure washing everything, and prepared the bedding. We also had to install new water drinkers for the birds, do some repair to feed lines, install light timers and test all fans and heaters. 

Since MoMac is a breeder farm we had to select some great breeders from our Janesville farm and ship the 8000 hens, in two shipments, to the MoMac farm. Each barn now has 2000 laying hens that will lay from January till August. The eggs produced from these breeders are stored on-site in an egg cooler and shipped to Janesville, on a weekly basis, to our egg wash department and then moved on to the hatchery.  

Currently, there is one MacFarlane employee at the farm, picking eggs and keeping the operation running smoothly. In mid-March, we have 2 men coming from South Africa on a 10-month work visa, who will work at the MoMac farm picking eggs from the four barns. The employees will also clean plassons, do top dressing, and mow around the house and barns. Troy will be in charge of training them. At peak production, we should be getting around 6000 eggs per day. That’s a lot of egg picking!  

We are pretty excited about this new farm. Having our breeders off-site and isolated is a good biosecurity measure. We have been producing eggs in barns for many years in Janesville so now we are learning to replicate the process from afar. Growing and learning at MacFarlane Pheasants is a huge benefit to our customers. Every change we make is designed to meet our customers’ needs.











What is MacFarlane Pheasants Inc Connection to Rocky Comfort, Missouri?

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

NAGA Convention 2018-Motivating and Informative for Pheasant Farms

Brad Lillie, Sarah Pope, and Bill MacFarlane attended the North American Game Bird Association (NAGA) convention Jan 15-17 2018 in Seattle, Washington. MacFarlane Pheasants has been involved with NAGA for two generations so they never miss an opportunity to attend and participate. There were 70 attendees at the convention, this year, held at the Renaissance Hotel in Seattle. Many opportunities were provided for guests to network with others in the game bird business.

Brad, Sarah, and Bill came back from the convention with new information from experts in the business and motivation to try out some new ideas. It is always encouraging to be with like-minded people. The NAGA mission is “to protect, promote, and sustain a positive environment for game bird producers and hunting preserve operators.” They focus on preserving wildlife in rural America, raising public awareness, and environmental management.  The NAGA mission is truly a source of pride for all game bird operators.

Preventing disease in game bird populations is also a major mission of NAGA and so to honor that goal there was an excellent sectional on educating employees on biosecurity. Brian Beavers spoke about documenting biosecurity measures. John Metzer talked about implementing biosecurity plans and MacFarlane’s Sarah Pope spoke to the group about training employees regarding procedures for biosecurity.

Brad Lillie of MacFarlane Pheasants was also a speaker for the event. He shared his thoughts on where he sees the game bird industry in the short and long term. Brad thinks baby boomers will fuel the industry in the short run and that hunter interest will remain engaged. The economy could be either a plus or minus feature for the industry because the economy is so hard to predict. Brad expects less “public” opportunity for hunting to exist but says the opportunity for private hunting enterprises will be good! In the long run, there are mostly questions. Will there be a new generation of hunters and will hunter interest remain?

We encourage you to take a look at the NAGA website for more thoughts about game birds and taking care them and our environment.
















NAGA Convention 2018-Motivating and Informative for Pheasant Farms

MacFarlane’s Milton Farm 2017-2018

Management changes took place at the Milton Farm in late summer. Brian Check left the Milton Farm to become the farm manager at the Janesville Farm and Brian’s assistant, Matt Welsh became the Milton farm manager. Changes like this give employees opportunities for continuing growth and development. We think that is a winning combination for job satisfaction and productivity! 

The Milton Crew, lead by Matt Welsh, was running with three crew members until January. Now, only two staff members are keeping the farm in operation. Three of our South African guest workers had been working at the Milton Farm, but we wished them a fond farewell, as they returned to their homes, this month. 

During the winter months on the Milton Farm, crew members are caring for, roughly, 10,000 adult pheasants. 

Until just a couple days ago we have had plenty of cold weather in the Milton area, but very little snow. (We got about three inches of snow on the 23rd of January.) That meant that most days this winter, the birds have been watered daily, using the tractor and water tank. Once the water would freeze, the crew also had to break the ice from the pans before watering. 

The rest of their time involved feeding the birds, vacuuming excess feed, setting rat baits, and breaking down pens that were no longer in use. This continuing process includes cleaning and sanitizing all equipment, in preparation for spring set-up, our busiest time of year.














































































MacFarlane’s Milton Farm 2017-2018

Who Entertains Us with Pheasants Year After Year?

Our company Christmas card has been drawn by the same artist year after year. Every year we have a card with a pheasant theme to tickle your funny bone and share our wishes for a Merry Christmas. Ron Lawrence, currently living on a family farm in Crawford County, is the artist who has drawn the MacFarlane Pheasant Farm Christmas card for more years than anyone can remember! He has a long history with the MacFarlane family. 

Ron worked full time at General Motors in Janesville until his retirement, but for 28 years he worked part-time at MacFarlane Pheasants. Ron decided he needed to supplement his income because he wanted to buy the family farm. Obviously, it worked for him because he lives on the farm he began paying for when he was 20 years old! He took the job at MacFarlane’s when Bill MacFarlane was a teenager and his dad, Don MacFarlane owned the business. Ron continued to work at the farm when Bill took over the business. In fact, his work with pheasants was such a big part of Ron’s life that his nickname at General Motors was “Pheasant.” 

Ron (Pheasant) Lawrence was the youngest of three boys. When he was 5 or 6 years old, his older brother sent a picture to “Can You Draw This” from the back of a magazine. Ron decided he liked keeping up with his older brother and began to copy pictures from the comic strips in the paper. He continues to love doodling and making pictures out of the stories his friends tell. He has spent his entire life drawing cartoons for relaxation. 

Ron remembers drawing a caricature of the entire crew at MacFarlane Pheasants for Fred, a foreign exchange worker at the farm, who was leaving to return to France. Everyone enjoyed the picture so much that Bill asked Ron if he would be interested in drawing the Christmas card for MacFarlane’s. He has been drawing the Christmas card for the farm, ever since. Bill has two framed pictures in his office with all of the cards Ron has drawn. 

As you can imagine, Ron is very important to MacFarlane Pheasants. We hope you have enjoyed his cards over the years and though we miss him, we are sure glad that his many years of hard work led him to the farm in Crawford County that he loves so much!
















Who Entertains Us with Pheasants Year After Year?