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cline01 (1K)

Common Pheasant
(Phasianus colchicus)

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cline01 (1K)

Kirghiz Pheasant, Andy Maycen

Additional Information

Breeding Season: Feb-June.

Breeding Age: First year.

Clutch Size: 6 to 12 eggs, but many more can be produced if the eggs are removed. If allowed to do so, the females will hatch their own eggs with the males assisting in the chick rearing.

Incubation Period:: 23-26 days.

Description - Male: (Please Note - Andy Maycen has provided with a number of detailed descriptions of the subspecies currently known to be in captivty; I will be in the process of adding them as time allows.)

Description - Female:

Status in Captivity: Although millions of Ringneck Pheasants are raised each year, most of these are a mixture of the grey-rumped races and the pure subspecies are very rare in US aviculture. There are only a few breeders in the USA keep and specialize in the distinct, pure subspecies. There are however, a fair number of pure subspecies can be found in aviaries in Europe and Australia.

Misc Notes: The true pheasants, in pure form, are quite a rarity in aviculture, especially in the US. Over the years due to hybridization, pure birds of many of the available subspecies are difficult to locate. Most breeders are unaware of what pure birds of any of the subspecies should look like. Identification of females is very difficult due to many similarities. Many descriptions in literature are too vague to be of any value to the hobbyist.

The true pheasants, as an aviary bird, do best in planted aviaries where their nervous tendencies can be kept to a minimum by providing cover. In a large, well planted aviary, true pheasants can be kept with other pheasant species such as Monals or Tragopans. To prevent possible fertile hybrids, they should be kept with long-tailed pheasants or ruffed pheasants.

There are a number of mutations that have been developed in captivity. I won't go into great detail as they are not of any importance to conservation aviculture. The jumbo and white are bred in large numbers for restaurants. The melanistic form is often seen among "wild" populations in the UK. The "Green Mute" is common in American collections. Other varieties include buff, red, pied and I'm sure many other combinations.

Interesting Facts: State Bird of South Dakota. The "wild" population in North America is believed to have originated from initial releases in Oregon and South Dakota in the 1880s.

cline01 (1K)
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Bibliography and Further Reading

  • Delacour, J. 1977. The Pheasants of the World. 2nd ed., World Pheasant Association and Spur Publications, Hindhead, U.K.
  • Delacour, J. 1978. Pheasants: Their Care and Breeding. T.F.H. Publishing, Neptune, NJ.
  • Howman, K. 1991. Pheasants of the World: Their Breeding and Management. Hancock House Publishers, Surrey, B.C. Canada.
  • Johnsgard, P.A. 1999. The Pheasants of the World: Biology and Natural History. 2nd ed., Smithsonian Press, Washington D.C.
  • Madge, S., McGowan, P. 2002. Pheasants, Partridges, and Grouse. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
  • Stattersfield, A.J., Crosby, M.J., Long, A.J., Wege, D.C. 1998. Endemic Bird Areas of the World, Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

cline01 (1K)

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