If you have not joined the North American Gamebird Association (NAGA) then we encourage you to do so. The NAGA'S board of directors are leaders in our industry dedicated to fight and preserve our rights so we can continue doing what we love. With NAGA'S NEWS MAGAZINE and WEBSITE you will get tips on raising game birds and learn where to get all your game bird supplies. Contact them at www.mynaga.org, firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 800-624-2967.
If you are going to succeed and make a profit raising pheasants you need to control cannibalism before it ever starts. You should strive to raise quailty pheasants and remember that it is easier to prevent a problem than it is to fix one.
It is not a matter of how many pheasants you can raise per pen, it is how many quality pheasants you can raise per pen. Some pheasant strains are more cannibalistic than others so you will have to determine what blinder or peeper to use and how many sq. ft. per pheasant will be required for that product.
Always blind pheasants in the coolest part of the day. Putting blinders on at daylight is good if you are done before it gets to hot. Blinding pheasants at night is sometimes a better choice because your pheasants will adjust better to their blinders in the cool morning. Just crate your blinded pheasants to their pen, open the crate doors and pick up your empty crates in the morning. Blind all the pheasants in the pen unless you have the unblinded pheasants in a separate pen, (unblinded pheasants will kill newly blinded pheasants). Never move newly blinded pheasants to a new environment, in other words do not blind them in the brooder house and then move them to an outside pen.
After blinding pheasants, crate them to their pen and do not try to herd them for at least a week. Always have plenty of feed and water down the entire lenght of pen. We had feed and water on one side for 50' wide pens and both sides for 100' wide pens, the more the better.
When to put blinders or peepers on depends on what product you are using and what age you are going to put them on. You will want to put them on as early as your pheasants can handle it. We always used the BH Blinders and put them on at 6 weeks after they had been moved to an outside pen for a week. Some pheasant raisers put peepers on as early as 3 to 4 weeks in the brooder house, while others put peepers or blinders on after they have been moved to outside pens for a week or more.
If you choose to use peepers you will have to give your pheasants the maximum amount of pen space, sometimes up to 25 sq. ft. per pheasant depending on pen cover and the pheasant strain you are raising. Most pheasant raisers put peepers on between 4 to 6 weeks.
For using BH Blinders most pheasant raisers put them on at 5 to7 weeks and allow 10 to 18 sq. ft. per pheasant. We raised beautiful pheasants at 10 sq. ft. per pheasant with plenty of cover in the pens.
The SBH Blinders should be used if you want to maximize your pen space or if you are having problems controlling cannibalism with other products. Customers are putting them on at 7 to 8 weeks and giving them as little as 5 sq. ft. per pheasant. We recommend starting with 8 to 10 sq. ft. per pheasant and gradually find out what your limits are by increasing the amount of pheasants in your next pen. Do not over do it, your goal should be for healthy beautiful pheasants.
The advantages for using BH and SBH blinders are you will not lose pheasants from hanging up in the netting and you can raise more pheasants per sq. ft.. Pheasants are harder to herd with these blinders but there are ways to make herding pheasants easier. We connected all our pens by an alleyway to the catch pen. When we moved pheasants to the catch pen all we had to do was open the gate and give them time to come out on their own.
GOOD LUCK and don't forget to join the NAGA