How to Raise a Reeve's Pheasant

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Reeve's pheasant males have feather colorations similar to those of Mille Fleur chickens -- brown feathers brightly trimmed in black and white. They also have white heads with black bandanna markings around their eyes and heads. Females are speckled reddish-brown, black and white, with white bandanna markings around their eyes and heads. Male Reeve's pheasants are around 83 inches -- nearly 7 feet -- long, most of which is tail length. Females are 30 inches long, with much less tail.

Large Pens

Reeve's pheasants are unique in the fact that the males have exceptionally long tails, some measuring up to 6 or 7 feet long. Due to these tails, Reeve's pheasants are most comfortable in larger pens. The birds shed their tails during molting -- the shed tails often serve as decorations, so they need to be in good shape. For this reason, it's best to build the pheasant house large enough to not damage the long tails.

Chicken Wire Enclosure

Pheasants are flying birds, so they need to be completely enclosed, even overhead. Build such an enclosure by stretching chicken wire over a wooden framework. Reeve's pheasants require a pen at least 25 feet long by 10 feet wide and at least seven feet tall, not only to accommodate the birds' exercising their wings but also so taller people can stand inside. Each pen should have a perch made from a fallen tree.

Raising the Young

Reeve's pheasant chicks are aggressive -- they will attack, bite and fling more docile chicks out of their way. For this reason, Reeve's chicks should be kept only with other Reeve's chicks, and both males and females kept together until they reach maturity. At that point, males will begin to fight for dominance; less dominant cocks will be killed unless you separate the cocks.

Separating the Cocks

You must keep adult male Reeve's phesants separated at all times, particularly during breeding season. In the case of the Reeve's pheasant, due to the species' aggressive nature, even people walking inside the pen need to be very careful. Each cock can be safely penned with two or three hens, though.

Dietary Needs

Reeve's pheasants enjoy lettuce, tomatoes, dandelions, grapes, a variety of berries and other fruits. They also eat grass as well as game bird feed in various forms, like layer mash for the hens, pellets for the cocks and game bird grower for the chicks. They don't do well on chicken mash. These birds won't eat the grass down to nothing and won't denude everything that grows in their pens unless they aren't being properly fed.

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