This is the fourth in our series regarding raising pheasants.
You may now let the young poults out into the weather run only. The birds will enjoy being outdoors and less compact. Pecking at this point will tail off as the birds have more room and more things to discover. They soon start foraging for insects and other food items. When raising pheasants in the weather run, rain is always a concern for young poults. You must put them back into the shelter of the brooder house as soon as it looks threatening.
as long they have a good plumage they are pretty much safe to run free in the weather run for another 6 to 8 weeks
One other method is to put clear plastic on the top of the netting of the roof of the pen and if a quick shower does begin the pheasants won’t get wet and bedraggled and then become sick shortly afterwards.
In the first two weeks the poults must go back indoors at night. If cold over night the heater must be turned back on, but after this as long they have a good plumage they are pretty much safe to run free in the weather run for another 6 to 8 weeks. The weather run and will also need feeders and drinkers. The poults are not smart enough to know they can go back indoors if they are thirsty!
later chicks will be much weaker than your earlier batches
You can make do without the hanging drip feeders and the poults can move on to a trough type arrangement. Do not forget to keep moving the feeders around as food will spill out and spoil this wastes food which will begin to go mouldy and rot. The birds will pick it up eventually and get compacted digestion or it will introduce disease to your weather run.
Your later chicks will be much weaker than your earlier batches and this is for genetic reasons later broods always need more attention than the younger ones they are much weaker as the eggs are not of good quality.
in the upcoming season as weather; roads, disease and predators take their toll
Most syndicates produce no more than about 2000 birds at the most and the reason for this is simple that equates to about six or perhaps seven brooder houses. Any more and it becomes a full-time job, any less less and you won’t have a successful shoot because you have very few birds.
Even with 2000 birds you’re probably likely only to get a thousand or so shot in the upcoming season as weather; roads, disease and predators take their toll. So this puts a real limit on what a syndicate can do. In any event you are putting time and effort into a very small number of birds and if you wish to produce any more than this do you need to have a full-time person looking after the pheasants. With more than 2000 poults you need to slowly build up a number of seasons of experience before you can let your numbers grow bigger.
If this is your idea of raising pheasants then you will find out very quickly that the number of birds you can successfully raise is low. You will have high bird losses
Whoever is looking after the birds must take the time and have some patience about them. When raising pheasants you cannot drop in on the way back from work have a quick look around the brooders, herd the poults back up, lock the door and head off to the pub for the evening. You really have to get your head into each brooder house and smell to see what’s different see what has changed to see how all the birds are in this takes a little bit more than a ‘few minutes’ that many syndicates seem to think it does.
If this is your idea of raising pheasants then you will find out very quickly that the number of birds you can successfully raise is low. You will have high bird losses because you won’t be there to see what the problems are. Use your eyes and ears. Is the car battery dead for the electric fence? Is there plenty of water? Is there fresh food? Have you moved the feeders? Are all the birds looking well? Remove any that have been pecked and any dead birds. You need to keep records of your successes and losses and so you can change in future seasons what you what it is you’re doing.
You only need to get one mink into your brooder pen or whether run and it will decimate your pheasant population
Pheasants are some of the most stupid birds in all of God’s creation. They will get stuck in fences; in food hoppers, they will wrap themselves around wire, they will peck each other, they will get caught in netting. Every pheasant appears to have its own death wish and will find a number of creative ways in which to kill itself should you allow that to happen; and so you really must put a significant amount of effort into keeping them safe.
Use electric fencing around your pens as soon as they are let out into the weather run and set traps for weasels; mink and stoats. You only need to get one mink into your brooder pen or whether run and it will decimate your pheasant population killing and killing and killing far more than they could ever take with them.
You will have to dispatch any badly injured birds which must be removed from the site
When the pheasants are in the weather run; let them out first thing in the morning and close them up late at night. You should visit them several times during the day. Check the ventilation; check for damp patches or leaks, change feeder points every four days to ensure that any feeders are clean. This may mean that you have a spare one which you take out disinfect let dry and then refill with food on each visit. You cannot be meticulous enough to kill bacteria they are the enemy!
Empty your vermin traps and check the electric fence system to ensure there is no greenery shorting out the wire. Every three days you must take the drinkers apart clean and disinfect them. You will have to dispatch any badly injured birds which must be removed from the site. You can use them to set traps for vermin.