Pheasants are wild game birds, shy and rarely seen. But pheasants, like chickens, can be raised in the backyard, and they can provide endless entertainment. Keep your pheasant confined because of predators and his desire to fly off. Beyond that, his survival needs are basic to keep him healthy and content.
Provide your pheasant an aviary to protect him from predators. Depending on your area, predators could be foxes, coyotes, dogs or cats. Young pheasants could be snatched by other predators looking for small prey.
Keep more than one pheasant to keep each other company; you could have two females, or you could add a male as a third pheasant. To avoid fights, house no more than one male in each aviary.
Give your pheasants a shelter inside the aviary that lets in light but prohibits drafts. Provide an opening large enough for the birds to enter and exit, with perches above the floor -- the higher the better -- for nighttime roosting.
Provide a diet that is at least 28 percent protein for younger pheasants. By 2 months of age, back that down to a 17 percent protein-rich diet. Commercial feeds can provide balanced nutrients, and different foods are recommended for different seasons. In winter, a 50/50 diet of commercial pellets and corn is needed.
Give your pheasant slices of fruit and peanuts for variety, as well as "grit" -- a coarse substance he will ingest to help him grind up food in his digestive system. Your pheasant's food should be given in a dish under a protected area.
Make sure your pheasant's water is changed daily. Give him water that is room temperature or lukewarm; cold water can chill a pheasant and lead to death. To provide additional nutrients, add electrolytes and vitamins sold for pheasants.
- Sand can be poured onto the floor of the pheasant shelter to collect droppings.
- Pheasants can attack each other; keep an eye out for plucked feathers or blood . Remove any offending pheasants from the aviary.
Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."