The flamboyant plumage of the golden pheasant makes it the darling of aviaries and animal parks. If you want to give your barnyard a splash of color, this resplendent bird will meet your expectations. Here are some tips to give him the best living conditions.
Presentation of the golden pheasant
The golden pheasant is part of the Galliformes just like hens, peacocks, turkeys, quails, partridges, or guinea fowl. Belonging to the Phasianidae family, this ornamental bird is often found in private aviaries or in zoological parks where it causes a sensation with its beautiful bright red and gold colors. Like the 52 species listed, the smallest pheasant comes from the mountainous regions of central China where we can find its traces since Antiquity.
The golden pheasant, an abundance of colors
The male is distinguished by a very colorful plumage. Its silky golden-yellow crest is tinged with red at the ends. The face, chin, throat, and sides of the neck are rust-colored. The orange ruff is beautifully displayed during courtship display. Its chest and belly sport a bright red tone while its tail combines red, yellow, black, and beige. The upper back is shiny green and the rest is yellow, as its legs. The female has duller plumage, brown-streaked with black. The longevity of the golden pheasant can reach 20 years in captivity.
The roommates of the golden pheasant
The golden pheasant remains solitary except during the breeding season during which it is heard singing to court the female and then begin the courtship display. To thwart conflicts between competitors, the recommended ratio is one male for five females. The Gallinacea has a nervous temperament, sometimes belligerent in the mating season. Therefore, if your aviaries face each other, it is advisable to place privacy screens as males are able to spend hours trying to intimidate each other.
The diet of the golden pheasant
The golden pheasant is omnivorous. In captivity, it can be fed with grains or granules specific available in specialty stores. However, it is advisable to supplement its diet especially at the time of laying and molting. The basic vegetable menu includes salad, grass, dandelion, wheat, cracked corn, various kinds of grains, vegetables, and pieces of fruit (apple, grape, cabbage, tomato …). To this diet must be added substances of animal origin such as pieces of meat, fish waste, and leftover cheese.
Preparing the reproduction of the golden pheasant
As a reminder, the aviaries must be placed in a quiet place because the noise frightens the pheasants who could abandon their eggs. When the right conditions are met, let the female reproduce naturally. Its nest can consist of a box lined with straw that you put on the ground in a sheltered corner, or that you hang at a height of about 1.50 m. A bowl made of twigs, grasses, and feathers can also accommodate the litter.
Important: candling of eggs
The laying consists of a dozen light pinkish-brown eggs that the female incubates for about 23 days. To ensure that the embryo develops normally, it is essential to carry out candling using an egg test device, a device whose shape resembles that of a flashlight. The operation takes place after 5 to 7 days of incubation and the second to the 21st day. You can then remove the unfertilized eggs (the inside is clear ) and keep the fertile eggs, which are opaque.
Feeding the young of the golden pheasant
In the wild, young pheasants feed on a lot of small insects. In captivity, you can offer them chick food from the second day. On the fourth day, they should start to be accustomed to eating outside the breeding box. In the first few weeks, the diet consists mainly of insects, seeds, and greenery (grass or salad cut into pieces). You can also give them protein to promote their growth and vitamins in case of deficiency.
Breeding: precautions to take
Pheasants drink a lot: their water must be changed regularly and the size of the containers adapted to their size in order to avoid drowning, a cold snap if they get wet or soiling of the water by their droppings. After 8-10 days, you can let the little ones explore their surroundings, taking care to protect them from the wind, the scorching sun, and predators. Do not let them get cold by avoiding, for example, taking them out too frequently in wet grass.
Keeping your golden pheasant healthy
While the golden pheasant requires little maintenance, in order to stay in shape, it will need to live in a clean area with clean water and healthy food. Sensitive to drafts, the bird should be kept away from cold passages to prevent inflammation of the lining of the nasal cavities and eye problems. Golden pheasant also requires twice-yearly deworming and flea treatment. Namely that vaccines exist against certain diseases that can contract the gallinacean.