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Raising pheasants

Living the Country Life Radio Program

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Listen to this extended radio story about raising pheasants. (MP3 upload)

Radio interview source: Chris Theisen, production manager, MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.

Chickens, geese, ducks and even guineas probably come to mind when you think about raising poultry on an acreage. Pheasants -- although most commonly thought of as wild game birds -- are another option. A pheasant rooster can easily fertilize a harem of 10 to 15 hens, which each lay about a dozen eggs in a clutch.

Because pheasants are game birds, most states require a permit to raise them. Details vary, but your state's Department of Natural Resources should be able to help you.

To get started, get pheasant chicks from a reputable hatchery. Until they're a few weeks old, they should be under heat lamps and fed a game bird or turkey starter feed. The best feed includes a medicine that will help prevent coccidiosis, a common disease.

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