When a club decides, after discussing habitat, that pheasant will be its game programme for that year, they then have a number of options of which way to go:
- It may purchase surplus cocks from a shoot syndicate at the end of the season and release straight away
- It may purchase hens from game farms after the laying season is over and release straight away
- It may purchase day old chicks and rear them on to the poult stage and ready for release
- It may purchase 6 week old poults from a reliable game farm and release them within a few weeks
- It may catch up their own breeding stock and hatch eggs in incubators or hatch eggs under Broody Hens
Whichever way, the object of the exercise is to get more birds out there on the ground. There is one clear word of warning, regardless of which option the club takes, and that is, avoid stress to the birds at all stages because stress is the greatest cause of failure. Stress from over-crowding and from poor husbandry encourages disease with huge losses and this discourages future attempts at pheasant release.
More about pheasant propagation:
We know that the “manure bag” throughout system which was common in yesteryears in the name of release has done untold damage and has put many clubs off releasing pheasant poults. It is a recognised fact that many clubs or individuals have attempted to incubate, rear, and release pheasant poults with disastrous results, and were very vociferous on the matter. Naturally we sympathise greatly with them. We know and humbly suggest to them that they did not pay full attention to detail. Remember a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So now could be as good a time as any to take out the incubator, repair that old pen and give it one more whack. We wish you the best of luck and are available with advice to assist you. In our view 50 birds on the ground is far better than £500 in the Bank.