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

Fighting Hunger by Filling Empty Bowls-October 28, 2017

Let me begin by inviting you to attend the Empty Bowls event at Parker High School, 3125 Mineral Point Ave., Janesville, WI, on October 28, 2017, from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.


Soups, artisan breads, beverages, desserts, and entertainment (SWINGfish and Parker High School Musical) will be provided at a cost of $8 for online tickets and $10 tickets at the door. Featured soups are provided by local businesses from all over Janesville. It never ceases to amaze us at the number of businesses in our community who share their resources to make this event a success. MacFarlane Pheasants has joined in this event for many years and is a proud participant.

The soup is locally made and delicious, but more importantly, your attendance helps the fight to end hunger in our little corner of the world. This lunch fundraiser will support Everyone Cooperating to Help Others (ECHO), our local faith based charity, dedicated to helping those in need of food in our community.

Sarah Boyd, our favorite chef, will be preparing Smoked Pheasant Florentine for MacFarlane Pheasant’s soup contribution this year. This soup has been a favorite in past years and is back this year by popular demand.

Join us in supporting the fight to end hunger in our community. Please register online at Empty Bowls and join us at Parker High School on the 28th of October.







Fighting Hunger by Filling Empty Bowls-October 28, 2017

Reasons Why Buyers Prefer MacFarlane Pheasants

The number one trait buyers look for in a pen raised bird is performance like a bird naturally found in the wild. We have literally used a lifetime of experience to raise all of our pheasants with the attributes of a perfect wild pheasant. Our birds are uniform in size and right in the desired weight range to be the best flyers (around 2 pounds). No one wants a fat pheasant. Hunt clubs want their pheasants to be the best flyers and the most beautiful examples of wild birds! 

Hunters want to feel that they are indeed hunting wild pheasants. The perfect pheasant doesn’t fly straight up in the air. It flushes and coasts creating a vision of excellence with its bright green back, dark brown sides, distinctive ring around its neck, and long pointed tail. MacFarlane Pheasants raises these beautiful pheasants consistently. In fact, we have already delivered 100,000 birds this year. 

One of the main reasons, buyers prefer MacFarlane’s pheasants is that they can be assured that the birds are healthy. We are vigilant about biosecurity. We test our feed weekly for aflatoxins. None of our employees are allowed to own birds because we can’t take a chance that they would carry disease back to our farm. Our office staff takes orders and organizes all the paperwork necessary for shipping and for buyers to receive their game birds. Our delivery drivers follow every precaution when delivering birds to assure our buyers that they will be receiving the best looking, healthiest pheasants anywhere in North America.












Reasons Why Buyers Prefer MacFarlane Pheasants

Celebrate MacFarlane Pheasant Employees

Raising pheasant and partridges is the easy part of our job at MacFarlane Pheasants. We hire talented employees who enjoy working outside and are knowledgeable or willing to learn about game birds. The real challenge on a game bird farm, or in any business is to figure out how to help employees be successful at their jobs.

Our mission statement at MacFarlane Pheasants is “sustained profitability focused on integrity and accountability to employees, vendors, and neighbors, with respect for our birds and the environment.” We have Town Hall Meetings with employees and owner Bill MacFarlane, every 6 months. Managers do not attend these meeting but all crew members are in attendance. This is an opportunity for employees to share their needs and concerns.

  • What equipment/tools do you need to do your job?
  • Are the processes of your job clear so that you can do it correctly?
  • What changes would you make to the farm?
  • What makes a quality/professional farm?

In order to help employees succeed we need to get to know them as individuals. We figure out individual limits and interests by being in constant communication. We set goals with individuals and teams. Our Town Hall Meetings help us to meet this goal and to understand individual mindsets and strengths.

Managers celebrate accomplishments. Sometimes it is as simple as a pat on the back, a “thank you,” or “good job.” We have also celebrated teamwork and individual accomplishments by providing lunch, going to Badger games, Mallard’s games, tubing on the lake or a day of fishing. The most important part of employee success is to have goals and have your accomplishments celebrated.











Celebrate MacFarlane Pheasant Employees

Art Schumacher Keeps Our Equipment in Tip-Top Shape!

Art Schumacher is the maintenance manager at MacFarlane Pheasants. It takes a lot of equipment to operate our pheasant farm so he is a busy man. Art has worked at MacFarlane Pheasants for 10 years. Prior to that, he worked at Allied.

Art learned some of the skills needed, to be in charge of maintenance, at his prior job. But he will be the first to tell you that much of what he has learned about keeping equipment running well, he learned from hands on experience.

A typical day in the maintenance department includes maintenance checks and repairs on the equipment and vehicles at MacFarlane Pheasants. When I asked him what his major responsibilities were, he said, “ to keep equipment working.”  This man of few words does just that. Our equipment is in tip-top shape and we can thank Art for his many years of service and skill at performing his job so well.

When Art is not working he likes to golf, fish, and camp. He also likes to spend time with those most important to him, his wife Pam, his daughters, son, and 5 grandchildren.

Last but not least, Art told me that the best advice he ever got was “Practice what you preach.”
























Art Schumacher Keeps Our Equipment in Tip-Top Shape!

Game Bird Delivery Season in the United States and Canada

We have begun shipping pheasants, French partridges, Hungarian partridges, and Chukar partridges from MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. for the season lasting from the middle of August until March of 2018. Our drivers have already traveled to Canada, Montana, South Dakota, Idaho, and Colorado since the middle of August and we are just getting started! By the end of the season, drivers will have also delivered to Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington, North Dakota, Wyoming, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Minnesota, and Michigan. During the first week of September local customers can bring their own crates or use our cardboard boxes to pick up birds, as long as they place an order 72 hour in advance. It really is an exciting time around the farm!

We have already shipped about 100,000 birds, this year. This includes 44,000 started birds (six weeks old).  Started birds are only delivered within 8 hours of the farm.  Just to give you some idea of the magnitude of our deliveries, we can transport as many as 5000 birds in the semi we rent. It takes this much space to fill the orders from private property owners, hunting preserves, and naturalists who release our birds into the wild to repopulate an area.

Keep in mind that a spring order is recommended for the fall season in order to ensure that you get the number of birds and breeds you want. Once it gets closer to the season we call our customers to confirm the delivery date. Our coordinator schedules trucks, drivers, gets all required paperwork ready, and calls the customer to confirm the delivery date in late summer. Details of the delivery are discussed in detail with our customers so they are ready for their game birds. Every year the long cycle of bird delivery follows a similar pattern, but the season also feels brand new each year as it starts over. Delivering birds means life is good at MacFarlane Pheasants.

Please contact Sarah Baker at s.baker@pheasant.com or call us at 608-314-3461 for questions about ordering game birds or getting ready for your delivery!









Game Bird Delivery Season in the United States and Canada