How To Keep Pheasants On Your Property
Before deciding to keep pheasants, it should be remembered that these birds can be expected to live more than 10 years, and in excess of 20 years in some cases, so they are a long-term commitment. Other major considerations involve a commitment to provide fresh food and water every day. If you go on holiday, you will need someone reliable to provide this for your birds.
Some pheasants can be noisy and all require quite a large aviary which is secluded from pets such as dogs. Neighbours may object if they have not previously been consulted. Some aviaries can be classified as building structures and may require planning permission from local government inspectors, particularly if they are more than 2 metres high or can be seen from outside your property. Planning permission is also needed if you live in a listed building or in a conservation area.
Most countries have laws regarding the welfare of animals in captivity, and some countries even require a specific licence to keep birds such as members of the pheasant family, many of which are classified as threatened. Since this document has been prepared in the UK, it will refer to regulations and recommendations within this country, but anyone wishing to keep pheasants should make him or herself aware of the regulations existing within his or her country.
Many countries have a legal framework which demands that birds are kept in an area where they can spread their wings, but these very limited requirements have usually been drawn up for the welfare of chickens and other poultry for the domestic food market. Obviously, captive pheasants should be placed in an aviary which provides much more than the basic minimum if they are to have any quality of life, since the aim must be to allow the birds every opportunity to display behaviour which is as natural as possible. If the keeper is unable to provide birds with sufficient room to run and to fly, to be able to breed without being disturbed and to be able to keep sufficiently warm and dry, then perhaps he or she should not be keeping pheasants.
Within the UK, most veterinarians, zoos and major farming practices are committed to a Code of Conduct known as the Five Freedoms (Animal Welfare Act 2007; Farm Animal Welfare Council):
- Freedom from Hunger and Thirst – by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
- Freedom from Discomfort – by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease – by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
- Freedom from Fear and Distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
Following this code will provide the best possible care for the birds in your care.
It might also be useful to bear in mind that any inspection by statutory authorities will probably use the Five Freedoms as a measure by which to make judgements about your ability to provide for your pheasants.
Creating aviaries for pheasants in captivity can be done in many ways and each construction will probably be uniquely prepared to fit the circumstances and environment. Construction will vary depending upon how much land is available, what natural features are to be retained and whether the birds are hardy or tropical. The materials to be used for construction may depend on weather conditions or on insects such as termites which, in certain areas of the world, will totally destroy wooden constructions very rapidly.
It is strongly advised that you try to establish contact with a number of experienced breeders with whom you can share experiences and problems. There is no point in repeating errors that others have already made, particularly when these might result in needless death or injury to your birds.
Article Related Questions:
- Can you keep a pheasant as a pet?
- How do you take care of pheasants?
- Can you keep pheasants and chickens together?
- Can pheasants be kept free range?
- Will pheasants fly away?
- Where do pheasants sleep at night?