Raising Pheasant Chicks
Brooding is the period between leaving the hatcher and their release into a larger flight pen (about 6.5 weeks). A brooder house for pheasants should be clean, dry, resistant to drafts, and free of vermin, such as mice, rats, and lice. It can be a part of a larger barn or a building itself. The number of chicks you plan on brooding will dictate this. Your brooder house should provide at least 0.75 sq. ft. per bird.
Heat lamps are the simplest way keep the chicks warm. We use one 250 watt infrared bulb per 100 chicks. Make sure to use the ones with the red bulb, as it helps prevent cannibalism. Heat lamps should be suspended 18 inches above the floor. A brooder guard is used to protect the chicks from drafts. It is a piece of card board 18 inches tall and circles the heat lamp. A 4 ft. diameter is sufficient for 50 chicks. It can be removed after 5-7 days.
Chopped straw is the best floor covering. You can use wood shavings, but you must cover them for the first week with burlap, because the chicks will eat them.
You should use at least 2 ft. long feeders for every 50 chicks, and one 1-gallon waterer per 75 chicks. It is necessary to put marbles or clean gravel in the water trough to prevent drowning of chicks. They should be fed a 30% turkey or game bird starter for the first 6 weeks, and then you can follow feed manufacturer directions to mix in corn. When the chicks arrive, dip their beaks in the water. Inspect the chicks very regularly for the first few weeks, especially at night. If the chicks seem to be piling under the heat lamp, lower it. You want there to be an even distribution of chicks around the perimeter of the lamp.
After 2-3 weeks, weather permitting, allow the chicks to go out side during the warm sunny days, into a run the same size as the brooder constructed with no bigger than 1 inch mesh. It is necessary to put a top on it to prevent them from flying out. You must run them back into the brooder each evening or if there is rain in the forecast.