4 Steps to Keeping Pheasants Healthy in Winter

Have you ever wondered what happens to the birds at MacFarlane Pheasants during the cold Wisconsin winters? We take the following steps to make sure our birds stay healthy and happy during the winter months.

  1. It is a golden rule to never let our birds run out of feed. They expend plenty of energy during the winter months. Pheasants kept in the outside pens over winter are fully feathered and old enough that they can withstand quite extreme temps. Though our pheasants stay out all winter, our mature partridges are only outside in pens until mid-December. At that time we move the remaining partridge flock indoors. The success rate with the partridges is better when they are kept inside during the cold winter months.
  1. Structurally, the outdoor flight pens are built with winter in mind. We have twelve-foot 2x4s that prop up our netting system. When a snowstorm is predicted with temperatures near 32 degrees, we take the prop posts out to keep the heavy snow from causing tears in the netting. If it is a very cold snow, we generally don’t have damage to our netting so we can leave the prop posts in place. It’s crazy what we have to wish for in this business!
  1. Pheasants handle winter quite well as long as they have food, cover, and water. Snow provides an excellent source of hydration for our birds. During the late fall our pheasants have 30 square feet of space per bird. As winter approaches and space is freed up from shipping, the amount of space is doubled to 60 square feet. This allows the snow to stay less packed down and easier to peck for hydration. The space is even more valuable because most birds become more aggressive as daylight increases. Our last hunt birds don’t leave until mid-April. By this time the roosters are getting very aggressive because it’s breeding season. More space helps with this issue.

We deliver hunt birds all over the United States; everyone’s weather affects our business. If other states experience mild winter weather, hunters get out and hunt more, and we sell more mature birds.  If a region gets a lot of snow or goes through an arctic blast, the demand for birds goes down.

  1. Once a flight pen is finally emptied of birds we shut the pen down. Feed is vacuumed out of the feeders before they are removed and sanitized. We mow the cover and remove the prop posts. The pen remains dormant until spring when we start the process of raising pheasants all over again.

Download our Pheasant Raising Guide or contact Brian b.klein@pheasant.com with your questions about caring for your pheasants in flight pens over the winter. Or schedule a tour to take a look at our flight pens—we’d love to have you visit!

4 steps to keeping pheasants healthy in winter

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.